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06 February 2016
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Sick of planes?
Photo: Seal in Itchen by Riverside Park

seal 004 by Tony Bunday zoomed
Who's this gliding through the Itchen water? Could it be the much discussed seal (apparently named 'Sammy' by rowers'), which has been spotted recently in the river to the north of Cobden Bridge? Many thanks to Tony Bunday for sending in the picture: you can see a couple more versions of the same shot, which show the river bank, if you 'read more'. You may remember Tony also sent us some remarkable pictures of deer by Riverside Park in 2014. We also ran a feature on seals in the water in 2014 on, er, April 1 - but that was an entirely different animal!

Ready for kick off!

school fields ready for new build
Here's one we took at the weekend (Jan 31) through the fence of a rather soggy Bitterne Park School field, where things are starting to get underway for the new school buildings that will eventually replace existing structures. To see an artist's impressions of the new school, see this earlier piece from July 2015

Road issues main concern at resident meeting

Celebrate Cobbett Road Library on Saturday

national libraries day logoFriends of Cobbett Road Library (FOCRL) celebrate National Libraries Day on Saturday (Feb 6) from 10.30am-2pm with activities for young, and not so young, alike. And there'll also be the chance to discuss your ideas for the future of the library in the light of news that it could be run by Social Care in Action (SCA) when council funding stops.

Create and connect at Old Chemist creativity workshop

old chemist shop front from across roadArtists and non-artists alike are invited to get creative at a workshop running at The Old Chemist on Sunday (Feb 7).

Report from Calais: Bitterne Park donations delivered

2 group by vanA group from Bitterne Park collected donations to take to 'The Jungle' refugee camp in Calais on January 30. One of the group, Karen Armstrong, sent us these words and pictures documenting their visit.

Hear about plans for local library

cobbett rd librar sunThere's a chance to hear about plans for Cobbett Road Library's possible future at a presentation on Monday (Feb 8) by representatives of groups hoping to take over its running.
• Celebrate Cobbett Road Library on Saturday (Feb 6)

Police appeal after pedestrian injured in Cobden Avenue collision

cobden avenue sign modernPolice are appealing for witnesses after a road traffic collision involving a pedestrian and a car on Cobden Avenue, near the Cobbett Road junction, on Tuesday morning (Feb 2).

MP concerned vulnerable people will be hit by cuts

portswood in rain mono cropped 200px by nick jamesAlan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test (Lab) says he's concerned that services to vulnerable people in the city could disappear because of cuts.
Photo courtesy Nick James

St Denys Road: Car fails to stop after bike collision

police sign jacket abstractA man suffered minor injuries when he came off his bike during a collision with a car that failed to stop on St Denys Road on Thursday (Jan 28).

History mini series concludes

cobden bridge 460Our final post about history around the local area concludes Friday (Jan 29) with some bite-sized facts about our favourite bridge. Click through to Instagram to find out more about its past. And do let us know what you thought of the series if you've been tuning in this week - it's always good to receive your feedback.

Could be long wait for bus shelter

bus shelter missingIf you've been the victim of a drenching recently while waiting for the number seven bus from the Triangle into town, you may be interested to hear that the missing bus shelter will apparently be reinstated in its original position – after the McCarthy and Stone retirement flats have been built.

SCA interested in running Cobbett Road Library

ruth marriott sca ceo 200pxWith council funding for Cobbett Road Library withdrawn from April, its future could be bleak. One ray of hope, however, is that Social Care in Action (SCA) has expressed interest in running it. We talk to SCA chief executive Ruth Marriott, left, who explains the current state of play, and what SCA running the library might look like in reality.

Veg Shed helps with hard to recycle household items

veg shed from over roadBitterne Park Triangle's pop-up veg shop The Veg Shed is introducing a scheme to help people recycle materials that are not presently collected by the council, including Tetra Paks, yoghurt pots and aluminium foil.

Geese fly in to Riverside Park

geese at riverside1Hard on the heels – nay, tail feathers – of the black cygnets, here's the latest wildfowl arrival at Riverside Park: these geese popped up in the trees near the ramp to the Triangle on Sunday (Jan 17), and seem to be settling in nicely. Read more for further pics...

'Be aware but not alarmed' following Bitterne Park burglaries - police

police sign jacket abstractPolice have offered advice to residents following a spate of daytime and early evening burglaries around Bitterne Park, Bitterne Manor, and Peartree since December 20.

Want to be a Bitterne Park newshound?

LisaIf your resolution for 2016 is to become more creative or more active in the community, then perhaps you'd like to become a Bitterne Park newshound, and sniff out a story or two? Or perhaps you'd like to help us improve our coverage in other ways? 

Side by Side walking group starting at Riverside Park

ramp to riverSolent Mind is starting a walking group at Riverside Park each Wednesday, run by people with their own experience of mental health issues.
• Walk with others and get fit at Riverside

Walk with others and get fit at Riverside

riverside sunny but windy jan 16 200pxThere's the chance to join a mixed pace friendly walk, often followed by a cuppa and a chat, on Wednesday mornings by Riverside Park - as well as other similar walks around Southampton on other days.

Bitterne Park - as seen from over the bridge

river4 whitworthHere are a few phone snaps of Bitterne Park from the other river bank for a change.

Train to run in time for the Southampton 10k

solent running sisters logoSolent Running Sisters start a 10-week course for runners starting on January 13 - “excellent timing to train to run the Southampton 10k” they say.

Portswood Cycles in the local community

FreeGoWrenAdvertising feature: Porstwood Cycles, at 3 St Denys Rd (and now open Mondays), offers an impressive range of up to 30 electric bikes from big names like FreeGo, Wisper, Solex and Riese & Müller, plus non-electric cycles, parts and accessories.

Talking Heads owner interviewed about move from Portswood to Polygon

Talking Heads front 460As Portswood venue Talking Heads prepares to move lock, stock, and barrel to the Polygon, we catch up with owner Guy Benfield to learn more about the move, the new venue – and ghosts!
Talking Heads moving to Polygon

Southampton MP wants to chart course away from EU

eu flag under cc2 by Hakan Dahlstrom Royston Smith, MP for Southampton Itchen (Con) – which includes Bitterne Park - has said he thinks Britain should “chart its own course” away from the European Union.

Follow us on Instagram

Instagram circle under CC3 The Pink is on Instagram! We've already posted just a few pics from what's becoming a vast library to get going, and will be posting a pic a day over a week later in the month promoting local history in the local community.

Help buying or using tablets or smartphones

smart phone under cc2 by Japanexperterna dot se If you've recently acquired a smartphone or tablet and don't yet know how to use it, or want help buying the right tablet, then this hands-on course to using and buying tablets and smartphones could be for you.

Roadworks coming up around Bitterne Park in January

bollardHere's a summary of some scheduled roadworks coming up in and around the area that may cause delays or require choosing alternative routes, including at Kent Road, Cobden Avenue, Bitterne Road East, West End Road, Townhill Way and Burgess Road.

Plane makes emergency landing; reported 'low over Bitterne Park'

flybe jetcc460The Daily Echo reports that a Flybe flight from Southampton Airport had to make an emergency landing on Sunday morning (Jan 3) after an engine failure that was caused by a bird strike. On Twitter Ian Woodland observed that the plane was “very low over Bitterne Park”. The Echo's story is here. Library pic

The last walk of 2015 - by Riverside Park

riverside park footpath 200Here's a great post documenting a walk starting along Riverside Park in words and photographs, and featuring photos of the black swans and cygnets as an added bonus. Click here to read The Last Walk on the iwalkalone blog.

Year in review: stories from 2015

only a foolWe published around 400 stories during 2015 – which has been, incredibly, our tenth year of publishing Here we look back with a month-by-month selection of just some posts that captured attention this year.

Appeal follows Bitterne Betfred bookmakers robbery

police sign jacket abstractPolice report a robbery at a Bitterne betting shop in which a man made off with £4,000.

Petition opposes public space protection orders in Southampton

pspo petition screenshotA petition's been launched to oppose Southampton City Council's plans to introduce public space protection orders (PSPOs) in various areas of the city, claiming the orders “limit the ability of law abiding citizens to execute their rights of free assembly”.

Man makes off with thousands outside Bitterne supermarket

police car signPolice say a man fled with thousands of pounds after struggling with the driver of a cash van outside Sainsbury's supermarket in Bitterne.

Petition calls on government to protect libraries

cobbett rd library banner sunAs statistics are published claiming hundreds of public libraries around the country have closed since 2010, a petition has been launched calling on secretary of state John Wittingdale and the government to protect the public's “statutory rights to a quality public library service”.

Grazing Goat becomes Brewhouse & Kitchen

Brewhouse and Kitchen in Highfield SouthamptonThe Grazing Goat pub in Highfield has tranformed into the Brewhouse and Kitchen - now one of several similar outlets in the country which, as the name implies, also house brewing facilities. Others offer brewing courses, and even private hire of micro-brewing facilities Read more on

BBC4's 'The Boats That Built Britain' on Itchen

Cobden from Whitworth'The Boats That Built Britain' takes a trip on the Itchen near Riverside Park and Cobden Bridge in a very flat bottomed vessel about ten minutes into this episode about World War Two Landing Craft, with shots at Whitworth Crescent from six minutes in - available for around a month on BBC iPlayer.

Still five black swan babies

black swans by sarah filmerMany in Bitterne Park and beyond have been following the progress of a pair of black swans and their five cygnets, who appeared on the Itchen late in the season. Latest intelligence, courtesy of this photo from Sarah Filmer, reveals that all five babies still seem to be doing well.

All systems go for Portswood micropub!

jon harris 460 1The Bookshop Alehouse, Southampton's latest micropub, has had planning permission approved, been granted an alcohol licence, and work is now underway to begin serving local ales and craft beers by the beginning of February.

Time running out for Cobbett Road Library

saveoutlibrary3Southampton Area Co-op Development Agency (SACDA) has withdrawn from an expression of interest in running Cobbett Road Library when the council cuts the library's funding next year – although another group is thought to be in discussions with the council.

Five businesses you'd most like to see at Triangle

triangle street sceneWhat types of business would you like to see start at Bitterne Park Triangle? That was what we asked in our recent survey. And you kindly told us. So here are the five most popular – and plenty more ideas besides...

Itchen autumn colours captured!

hightide itchen by Stephen Fenerty1 460Stephen Fenerty tweeted some fine shots of high tide & mist on the Itchen from Riverside Park on Wednesday morning, capturing some lovely autumnal colours. Click through for two more. And if you've taken some local pics you particularly like and that we can publish, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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envelope300pxYou can now get an email digest of news direct to your inbox, giving you a selection of latest stories from the website to keep you up to date. To sign up for free, just click here and fill out the subscription form. You can easily unsubscribe at any time.

Bombing Syria: how your MP voted

RAF Tornado by John5199 under cc2How did your MP vote in the House of Commons on whether the UK should join the coalition air strikes in Syria – which saw the government motion passed by 397 to 223?

First adjusts route 13 following consultations

First_bus_front Bus company First has announced it's changing the timetable of its route 13 following consultations with a local school and residents in Harefield.

Video: Southampton rally calls for Paris climate change action

Hundreds gathered in a very windy Guildhall Square on Sunday (Nov 29) as part of a global climate march ahead of COP21, the United Nations' Climate Change Conference in Paris, to show leaders that “we want our future to be powered with clean energy, to have clean air to breathe and a stable climate”. We spoke to organiser Jenny Barnes about the day.

Call to open up empty buildings for Southampton's homeless

38 degrees homeless petitionA petition on the 38 Degrees website calls on Southampton City Council to “follow Manchester City Council's lead and open up empty and structurally safe buildings for the homeless this winter”.

• PSPOs: solving problems or 'criminalising poverty'?

Video/pics: Black swans and cygnets at Riverside Park

DSCF0698How are the black swans and their cygnets doing on the Itchen near Riverside Park? The answer seems to be just fine. In fact they were drawing in quite a few onlookers by the jetty, and keeping the white swans at bay on Sunday afternoon (Nov 22). Click through to see a few pics, as well as a short low res video clip.

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