SELL-OUT talks by celebrity historians, exhibitions on St George and the Dragon, and even poetry, helped celebrate the past at an arts centre.
The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, in East Street, Havant, is marking the end of a three-year, £50,000 Heritage Lottery Fund project in which 10,000 local people were involved.
It brought people from across the area together and staff and volunteers spearheaded the campaign to save the historic Royal Doulton nursery tiles from the now-closed Havant Memorial Hospital. Two tiles are now on display, close to a model of the Hayling Billy Line, which closed 51 years ago.
Above that hangs the interactive timeline of Havant’s history – something that took volunteers three months to create.
Kate Saunders, participation and heritage officer, said at the party to celebrate the end of the project yesterday: ‘Even now people still come in to say we’ve left things off the timeline. But Havant has such a rich history it would be impossible to fit it all in.
‘I’m proud of the timeline, and proud of our volunteers.
‘Another triumph was the Hayling Billy 50 open day. We had 1,000 people through the door and it clinched us a News Guide Award for Best Exhibition.
‘In all, between 8,000 and 10,000 people have enjoyed some aspect of the project.’
Celebrity historians Suzannah Lipscombe and Alison Weir gave sell-out talks at The Spring.
They were only made possible thanks to lottery funding.
There were 11 open days, three in-house exhibitions, specially-commissioned poetry, artefact handling and a standalone information kiosk was put together.
Local artist Tom Bennett even created a Hayling Billy automaton, complete with the sound of the Hayling Billy steam whistle.
Today The Spring is holding a free Meet the Tudors family fun day from 10am.