Beach huts bring back memories

Residents at Gorseway, Hayling Island with their model of seafront beachuts, front, L-R, Dorothy North, Nancy Alexandrer, June McLoud and Dorothy Cottrell, rear, Paul Jones (Splodge Designs), Debbie Balcin (home trainer), Antony Eneas (senoir carer) and Clare Jefferson-Jones (Splodge Designs).''Picture:  Mick Young

Residents at Gorseway, Hayling Island with their model of seafront beachuts, front, L-R, Dorothy North, Nancy Alexandrer, June McLoud and Dorothy Cottrell, rear, Paul Jones (Splodge Designs), Debbie Balcin (home trainer), Antony Eneas (senoir carer) and Clare Jefferson-Jones (Splodge Designs).''Picture: Mick Young

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THEY have lived for almost a century and spent countless days enjoying sunny days at the beach.

So people at a residential home on Hayling Island had lots of memories to draw upon as they helped to create a beachfront scene in miniature.

Art group Splodge Designs worked with Hayling College, Hayling Island Carers’ Club and Gorseway Residential Home to produce a beautiful display to represent the island.

The display is a line of detailed beach huts complete with sand and shells – just like the stretch of beach at Hayling seafront.

June McCloud, 99, who lives at Gorseway Residential Home, said: ‘I think the display is wonderful. We helped take apart last year’s project so we could use the materials for the beach huts and we put the huts’ roofs and doors on.

‘We also helped make the figures which was great fun.

Dorothy May North, 92, said: ‘I think the project was very clever.

‘It makes you meet others in the lodge and we’ve had chats about beach huts and the history of Hayling.’

Paul Jones, who co-runs Splodge Designs, said: ‘I’m very proud of it.

‘We wanted to make something physical to celebrate the heritage of Hayling Island.

‘We spent one session a month with the home – from gathering bits from the beach to painting the sheds.’

Clare Jefferson co-runs Splodge Designs and is now an activity leader at Gorseway.

She said: ‘I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the project.

‘It’s good to make it reach across generations, from pupils at Hayling College to the elderly at Gorseway. It brings them together and allows them to share memories.’

Memories of Hayling were discussed during the project between the young and old generations. Some surprised the children, such as the recollection of monkeys on Hayling’s boat lake.

The beach hut art is currently on show at Hayling’s Station Theatre.

The display will then be part of the mini gardens theme at the Southsea Show weekend on August 3-4.

After the show, the project, alongside recorded interviews of memories of Hayling’s history, will be available to view in the Winchester archives.

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