INTERVIEW: Ms Humdrum meets her favourite local businesses at Victorious Festival

By Carron Stacey

WHERE?: Southsea Common (press ticket)

WHEN?: 23 – 25/8/19

During a festival, one of the things Mr Humdrum and I like to do, in that quiet slot between bands, is to wander around looking at the stalls.

  • Read on for reasons including Ms Humdrum meeting some of her favourite vendors at Victorious 

It’s always lovely to see our favourite local businesses have a presence there and this year, we were lucky enough to chat to three of the best from very different retail areas indeed: The Fisherman’s Kitchen, Leather Heather and Southsea’s Pie and Vinyl. 

The Fisherman’s Kitchen, also known as the Hipster Chipster, sports a menu rarely seen at your average chippy, selling such wares as cockle popcorn (my 13-year-old son’s favourite),  calamari and carrot smoked salmon, not forgetting their famous loaded chips.

Based just up the road from the festival on Clarendon Road, Gary Moreton-Jones, joint owner, feels it is important for the shop to have a general presence at local festivals. “We did the Portsmouth Seafood Festival, which is obviously close to us,” he explains. “Ian (Clarke, business partner) has the (Southsea Beach Cafe) and the Fisherman’s Kitchen. He did the first ever Victorious and he’s done it ever since, so it’s just important for us to be here.”

Recalling how the electrics failed at a recent festival, he reveals “It’s a different ballgame to restaurants when you’re at festivals. We were fighting fire that day. But it was good to show our faces and we got to talk to a lot of our customers!” 

Find Fisherman’s Kitchen on Clarendon Road and @Fishermanskitch

Next up was Leather Heather. If you’re in need of something special for a birthday, any celebration, or just another Christmas decoration, then look no further than Leather Heather.

Us Humdrums have many of her wares about our house (and on our Christmas tree) and have bought many unique and well-loved presents from her. Ms Leather Heather believes it is important for them to be at Victorious Festival.

“It’s not just a way for the locals to see us in a festival capacity, it’s good for other people to recognise us and learn about us. If anything, this weekend, we give out so many business cards, we don’t necessarily always make sales here, we make sales onwards.”

It is a useful thing that her name rhymes with her material of choice, thus making her easy to remember. “The stall, as you can see, is so colourful and people can see a larger than life version of what we normally do. And also people that see us online walk past and go ‘Oh look it’s Leather Heather’!”

She adds that being present at the festival enables potential customers who can’t always make it to their local craft markets to see “the sheer amount of stuff we do”. Heather explains that as she grew up with “the boys who organise this” (the festival), she feels she is doing this for them, not just for herself.

“I just want to support the boys in this because this festival is getting better and better every year and it’s so good to see.” Ms Leather and Mumma Leather use the time in between customers to people watch. This year, there were particularly taken with a group of men walking past with pink flamingo suits on. “We see a lot of sights. It’s always fun,” she laughs. 

Find Leather Heather on Victoria Grove and @LH_Crafts

Where would a music festival be without our very own Southsea’s Pie and Vinyl? If you haven’t heard of this great establishment, it does what it says on the tin. Sells pies. And vinyl. And they do both at Victorious too, along with lots of merchandise as well.

Ms Humdrum spoke to Tasha about why she feels it is important to be at the festival. “We love it here, it’s a great event and it’s great to ‘support local’. Obviously it’s on our doorstep and we’ve done it since the beginning. It’s just got bigger and better as the years have gone on.” She recalls how the total washout last year didn’t stop people buying pies. “People still stood in the rain and they ate their pies – absolute dedication. We carried on going. It was a great day and the sun came out in the end!”

Find Pie and Vinyl on Castle Road and @PieAndVinyl

The Humdrums would like to point out that they did not receive any free chips, bunting or records that day, but were just happy to write about them! 

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