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Kenwood in Havant

The kitchen appliance manufacturer Kenwood moved its entire operation from Woking to Havant in 1962 and has been a major employer in the town ever since. Our exhibition tells the story of Kenwood and the iconic products that helped spark a domestic revolution in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s. As part of this project we commissioned Millstream Productions to produce a documentary film to record the stories people had come forward with. The film (which you can see below) includes interviews with former and current employees, telling stories about their working and social lives at Kenwood and tracks the way the company has developed since it first arrived in New Lane more than half a century ago.


A new book, entitled Kenwood Memories, featuring the memories of workers at Kenwood’s factory and offices in New Lane, Havant, is also now available to buy from the Box Office, priced at £5. 

Funded by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the book covers Kenwood’s early successes in Woking, including the invention of the iconic Kenwood Chef, before focusing on the move to Havant and subsequent takeover by Thorn in 1968, which led to the departure of Kenneth Wood. The company’s more recent history, including the management buy-out in 1989 and takeover by current owner De’Longhi in 2001, is also featured.

John Wood, stepson of Kenneth, says: “With a great deal of detail, including examples of actual staff contracts and correspondence, and many wonderful photos, the book takes you right up to the present day with chapters on the management buy-out, the manufacturing move to China and the De’Longhi takeover. As well as the ultimate reference guide to all things Kenwood, this book is a glorious trip down memory lane if you, your parents or even your grandparents ever worked for the company.”