Havant’s history is brought into the 21st century

BRINGING THE PAST TO LIFE Mayor and Mayoress of Havant Cllr Gerald Shimbart and Cllr Elaine Shimbart with Warblington School pupil Hayden Needham, 14, who was leading the trail. Picture: Sarah Standing (13894-6359)
BRINGING THE PAST TO LIFE Mayor and Mayoress of Havant Cllr Gerald Shimbart and Cllr Elaine Shimbart with Warblington School pupil Hayden Needham, 14, who was leading the trail. Picture: Sarah Standing (13894-6359)
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WAS the parchment that officially declared the end of the First World War from Havant?

And why did the Romans decide to settle in the town?

The answers to these questions, and many other facts about Havant town’s heritage have been brought to life with a podcast.

People can download audio information and a map for the heritage trail, which explores Havant’s history.

Young volunteers from Havant Borough Youth Council have worked with pupils from Warblington School and Hampshire’s Edge Project.

Charlie Fletcher, of the Edge Project, said: ‘We have created this podcast, so the idea is people download it, along with a PDF map, and go on a heritage trail of Havant.

‘The pupils came up with the idea and did all the research and sound effects for the podcast.

‘This is about young people learning and their heritage, but using technology to help them interact.

‘People can learn about the parchment industry and how the Homewell Spring attracted the Romans.’

As previously reported, in 2008 Havant Rotary Club produced a heritage trail leaflet which detailed several sites of historical interest in the town.

And after securing funding, the youth council volunteers worked with students to bring the trail in to the 21st century, and engage young people.

Jacob Woodcock, 14, helped with the research.

He said: ‘I did research for the project, and it has been really good.

‘I’ve learnt a lot about the town, and it’s pretty impressive.

‘It’s made me proud and happy to be from Havant.

‘It’s not a small town any more, and has lots of interesting things, like the parchment.’

Volunteers went along the trail to try out the podcast and were surprised when they were joined by members of the public.

Angela Bretton, 66, of Cotswold Close, said: ‘I’ve lived in Havant since 1954, and I’ve learnt more about the town in one day than the whole time I’ve lived here.

‘I think it’s amazing, and something wonderful has been created.’

For the free download, visit havantheritagetrail.wordpress.com.