Talking in Turktown

7 September 2011

One of the neighbouring towns around here is a strange place. It’s almost an island joined to the land. As it’s at the end of a peninsula, few people go to Gosport without a reason to be there. It has plenty of contrasts; some very smart districts perched cheek-by-jowl with some startlingly raw areas.
It’s long been a military town. Gosport is just over the water from Portsmouth and for years the Pompey dockyards and the Navy were the biggest employers around. The Gosport ferry (never the Portsmouth ferry, for whatever reason) used to be jammed morning and evening with men on their way to and from the sprawling Naval dockyards that kept the fleet afloat. The old and less than charitable joke was that the ferry was free one way because nobody would pay money to go to Gosport, but they would pay to get away from it.
Despite its less than salubrious reputation, Gosport is a far more colourful and interesting place than many of the bland towns around it that have been overtaken by the onward spread of bland suburbia. For some reason, it’s referred to (by us old people, anyway) as Turktown. I’m not sure why, but have heard it mentioned that Turkish prisoners were held at Gosport during the First World War.
But I digress.
On Thursday 15th September, 7.30, Gosport Library... sorry, Hampshire doesn’t have libraries any more. Gosport Discovery Centre is holding a Pathways to Getting Published evening, with literary agents, writers, etc, all mingling over wine and nibbles. That includes me.

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