10,000 years of Havant’s past on display in fantastic timeline

HISTORY A section of the timeline. Inset, Kate Saunders, museum and heritage officer  Picture: Paul Jacobs (120623-5&2)
HISTORY A section of the timeline. Inset, Kate Saunders, museum and heritage officer Picture: Paul Jacobs (120623-5&2)

Former Ukip councillor joins city Conservatives

0
Have your say

IT’S a stunning and thought-provoking account of 10,000 years of history.

The story of Havant has been brought to life in a new interactive timeline, thanks to a £50,000 Heritage Lottery grant.

HISTORY Kate Saunders, museum and heritage officer.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (120623-2)

HISTORY Kate Saunders, museum and heritage officer. Picture: Paul Jacobs (120623-2)

A huge section of wall at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre has been transformed into a colourful timeline with more than 60 key dates in the history of the town, pictured right.

Starting with Stone Age people settling in the area because of the water springs, the exhibit takes people on a journey through the evolution of Havant, from a Roman settlement to a thriving hub for parchment making.

People of all ages have contributed to the making of the timeline, including pupils from Warblington School.

It will be unveiled next week by the Mayor of Havant, Ken Smith.

But until then very few people are being allowed to see the finished masterpiece.

Kate Saunders, museum and heritage officer, said: ‘We have tried to be a bit secretive about it.

‘Because we are open all the time, it’s hard to surprise people.

‘We are so proud of it and we want people to come in and say “wow!”.

‘It’s the most amazing thing to look at.

‘It’s a visual feast of the history of Havant.’

As well as the timeline, Havant-based artist Tom Bennett has produced a 14ft mechanical model showing the history of the Hayling Billy Railway Line from 1865 to 1963.

And pupils from Warblington School helped to create two artistic plaques that can be used for brass rubbings.

The inspiration for the plaques was the siege of Warblington Castle in 1643, when the Royalist household was besieged by Parliamentarians during the English Civil War, leading to most of the castle being demolished.

Mrs Saunders, said: ‘They managed to contact the owner of the Bastion tower, and went down and touched it and spoke to people.

‘They felt the legacy should be fun, so they did a rollercoaster made of lots of Bastion towers.

‘They worked with an artist who brought all their ideas together.’

Other interesting parts of the wall display is the original bell from the workhouse in Havant.

Two children who were captured in a photograph outside St Faith’s Church in 1850 have been blown up in size and are featured on the wall.

Mrs Saunders laughed as she explained the timeline is made from rolls of wallpaper.

‘It’s an amazing feat,’ she said.

‘I thought it was a very clever thing to do!’

The timeline will be officially unveiled at 6.30pm next Wednesday and all are invited to the opening ceremony.