History of Leigh Park comes to life for roadshow

From left, Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones, and Isle of Wight Council leader Jonathan Bacon sign the formal application for a Solent Combined Authority in 2016

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THERE will be a sense of nostalgia when people gather to chat about their memories of Leigh Park.

A series of roadshows will explore the history of the area, from its beginnings as a manor estate to the post-war housing development that saw thousands of Portsmouth families rehomed from the bomb-damaged city.

The Memory roadshows, organised by crafts centre Making Space and Leigh Park Community Association, are being funded by a £50,000 grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Lynne Dick, director at Making Space, based in Bishopstoke Road, said: ‘We’re inviting people to search their attics or wardrobes and find objects, vintage clothing or photos and bring them along to share with us which tell their story about life in Leigh Park since the estate was developed. We’re interested in living histories.’

Visitors to the free events will be able to talk to historians, view maps and objects and see film footage.

Mrs Dick added: ‘Think of it like a new Antiques Roadshow, with lots of things to do, but without the valuation.’

The first roadshow takes place at Barncroft Primary School, Bedhampton, between 3pm and 6pm on Wednesday, March 21. There will be events at Havant and Waterlooville Football Club, on March 31 from 1pm to 4pm, at St Clare’s Church, Warren Park, on April 12 from 1.30pm to 4.30pm and at Leigh Park Community Centre on April 23 from 11am to 2pm.