Havant’s heritage trail gets a 21st century makeover

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THE blue plaque trail, which marks the most historically important places in Havant, has been given a makeover for a new generation.

New technology is being used to encourage people to explore places such as Homewell, The Parchment Makers and the ancient St Faith’s Church in the town centre.

With help from Heritage Lottery Funding The Spring, in East Street, has created a large picture board which gives details of all 34 sites.

And they have joined forces with pupils from Warblington School, in Southleigh Road, to create an audio download, which gives detailed information on all the sites and provides appropriate sounds.

The download can be listened to on computers or on mobile phones as visitors walk round the sites.

It will not be available until the end of the month but hundreds more leaflets about the blue plaques have been printed, ready for the spring time.

Kate Saunders, education and heritage officer at The Spring, said: ‘Leaflets for our blue plaque trail are our most popular.

‘They were produced originally by Havant Borough Council and the Rotary Club in 2008 and are extremely popular.

‘The route blends history with very modern technology.

‘It was created to allow people to walk it at whatever pace they fancy.

‘It’s very interesting and takes in some wonderful places.

‘Of course, some of them do not exist anymore but there is information there telling you about the site’s history.’

Heritage consultant Charlie Saunders was in charge of bringing the download – known as a podcast – to a new audience.

He said: ‘All participants have given up huge amounts of their time researching all the sites on the trail using resources such as the records office here at The Spring, the school and local libraries and of course the internet.

‘The group has endeavoured to uncover unusual and interesting facts in order to bring Havant’s history alive.

‘They have worked painstakingly to write, edit and record the script, drawing on the expertise of professionals from the EDGE project and using local resources including Music Fusion’s East Street recording studio.’

The final audio version of the trail free to download from havantheritagetrail.wordpress.com from March 30.