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Havant’s War remembered

25 June 2015

On Friday 10 July at 4pm, The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre are unveiling a touchingmemorial to those who lost their lives in WWI in the form of an eighteen page textile Book of Remembrance.

In 2014, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, the Havant-based venue commissioned local artist Margaret Marks to create a piece of work in lasting memory of those who gave their lives in the conflict.

To help with the book’s creation, the general public were asked to come forward and share their stories and recollections of families and friends who took part in The Great War. Alongside their tales, members of the local community created a fabric poppy, which went on to form an integral part of the project.

Artist Margaret Marks said: “The main theme of the embroidered Book is taken from a poem that was handed to me by a Havant local, who found it in her family’s papers. It tells of one man’s experience, from recruitment to that final sacrifice. I have taken excerpts from it and then sewn it in the gentleman’s handwriting. Each page is ten inches wide and thirteen and a half inches high, with a facing page stitched with the names on the Memorial. The last two pages, ‘The People’s page’, have been added to by the community.”

Kate Saunders, Participation and Heritage Manager at The Spring, who has been co-ordinating the project, said: “The Book of Remembrance has seen a great coming together of the public and our artistic community to create a beautiful memorial to those who lost their lives in The Great War.  The finished book is both a touching reminder of the sacrifice made by Havant Borough residents and a powerful artistic statement. It embodies the importance of commemorating and celebrating our local heritage.”

The resulting fifteen-foot long embroidery, alongside 100 of the community fabric poppies, will be unveiled in the presence of the Mayor of Havant, Councillor Leah Turner, after which it will remain on display in The Spring’s Sadler Gallery until Thursday 29 October.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the unveiling and are asked to either call The Spring Box Office on 023 9247 2700 or email kates@thespring.co.uk to reserve their space.

ENDS

There are photos available of the Book of Remembrance.

For further information please contact Kate Saunders at kates@thespring.co.uk or on 02392 249063.

The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre, 56 East Street, Havant, PO9 1BS