Past heritage projects
In the last few years The Spring has worked on a number of Heritage Projects that have now come to an end. You can read about a selection of these projects below:
The Story of
In the autumn of 2016, The Spring was given the opportunity to research and record the history of Scalextric to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its creation. The iconic motor racing game was invented in Havant in 1956, and went on to become one of Britain's best loved toys for generations. The project included a exhibition in the Upper Mezzanine, a local collection cabinet display and a exclusive premiere of the film ‘The Story of Scalextric’ that was developed during the project.
The documentary film features interviews with local factory workers and was filmed with the help of students from Trosnant School.
The famous racing game was manufactured in Havant for more than a decade after being invented by toy maker Fred Francis, who moved his Minimodels factory from Mill Hill to Hampshire in 1954. The toy was an instant success and its popularity led to the development of a much larger Minimodels factory in Fulflood Road, Leigh Park. Minimodels was a major employer from 1961 until the factory’s closure in 1970, at which time it employed 1,200 people.
Working with local people and Scalextric enthusiasts, The Spring researched and collected a fantastic assortment of interesting stories which have been compiled into a documentary film and book. This work was supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Trustee Steve Murray said: “As we mark the 60th anniversary of the brand appearing in shops, we are delighted to be able to record Havant’s key role in its international success and hope that by celebrating the past, we can promote civic pride in the present”.
The final part of the Scalextric project was to provide some educational resources and send them to primary schools in Havant. This was completed at the end of August and 23 primary schools in the borough were sent a memory stick featuring the three films we made (the full documentary, the mini documentary on Miss Minimodels and the film made by Trosnant Junior School). They were also sent a PDF of the Scalextric book. The educational resources were produced in PDF form and include tasks and activities based on issues arising from the story of Minimodels (e.g. gender equality in the workplace, the development of Leigh Park etc).
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Havant Borough’s Textile Book of Remembrance Exhibition
In 2014 the world remembered the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, a conflict that killed over 17 million people and saw a further 20 million casualties world-wide.
Many men who lived in Havant Borough and the families of those who live here now were impacted. As Havant Borough’s museum, we wanted to commemorate and create a memorial to those who were affected by this terrible conflict.
Working with local professional textile artist Margaret Marks and members of the local community The Spring commissioned a textile book of remembrance to recognise the contribution many played in the war.
Over a period of 6 months Margaret met many members of the community and heard stories from the families of people involved in the conflict.
The Textile Book of Remembrance was created by hand by Margaret, who designed and created all the fabric and embroidery features.Members of the Havant Community contributed by sewing small symbolic poppies and barbed wire on the last page of the book entitled We Will Remember Them.
As part of the project The Spring sent out free poppy packs, which contained everything needed to make a textile poppy. Over 300 were distributed and exactly 100 were returned to The Spring.
Havant Borough’s Textile Book of Remembrance was on display in the Sadler Gallery at The Spring until October 2015 and is going to be on display at the Havant Public Service Plaza.
Legend has it that the town of Waterlooville is named after soldiers returning from the Battle of Waterloo, who stopped there to enjoy a rest and a drink in a local pub.
The Waterloo Bicentenary offered a great opportunity to mark 200 years of Waterlooville, to engage the interest of local people and to chart the development and history of the town from 1815 to 2015.
Working in partnership with Waterlooville Community Forum Events Team, Havant Borough Council, Hampshire Libraries, and local businesses we created and managed the Waterlooville 200 project which saw over 25,000 people learn about the town’s history.
The project included a number of events such as:
- Timeline exhibition for schools charting the history of Waterlooville from 1815 to 2015
- Town Trail that guided people through the town to discover all the shops and businesses that are located there, displaying in their windows a quiz question, photographs and information.
- Schools resource pack
- Design and display of a new town flag
- Large scale celebration days in June 2015Thanks to our partners and to the Heritage Lottery Fund who made this project possible.
Hayling Billy Oral History Project
Do you remember the Hayling Billy? – the little train that chugged between Hayling Island and Havant for almost 100 years until it closed in 1963. It was a familiar sight as it transported islanders to work and children to school, and for many the ride on the “Puffing Billy” was a welcome sign that their seaside holiday was about to begin. Today the old track bed has been made into a footpath, three miles long.
In 2014 and 2015 The Spring worked with Havant Borough Council, Hampshire County Council and the Conservation Volunteers on a project which celebrated the line. While the Conservation Volunteers explored and improved this area of outstanding natural beauty, we focused on the history of the line, gather people’s stories and memories.
As part of this project we ran community events on Hayling Island and in Havant, we recorded memories and created a celebratory DVD and booklet that records what we learnt about the Hayling Billy line.
Museums at Night 2015
In May 2015 we celebrated the 70th anniversary of VE Day. We partied the night away at a special free event until Midnight – all for free!
In 2014 The Spring led Havant Borough’s commemorations of the centenary of the start of the First World War. We ran a series of events and engaged over 2,000 in special events and activities that remembered those people in Havant who were affected by the war. As part of the project we managed:
A War Memorial Photography Flashmob and Exhibition
On 4 August 2014 local people gathered at Havant’s War Memorial for a photo flash mob. Using a variety of cameras from Box Brownies to Smart Phones together the community recorded the memorial 100 years after the outbreak of the war – a poignant moment for Havant town.
We ran a series of heritage talks and workshops which were attended by 230 people. Subjects included Women in WWI and the Battles of Ypres and Gallipoli.
We created a Memory Tree where members of the public could leave their memories and stories. 80 people participated in this and the memories have been added to the archive in The Spring’s research room.
This project was possible thanks to funding from Hampshire County Council and Havant Borough Council.