ONE of Britain’s favourite toys is going to be celebrated after a grant of more than £60,000 is being put towards researching the history of Scalextric.
The iconic motor racing game loved by many, was born in Havant and is celebrating its 60th birthday this year.
The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre in Havant has been given a grant of £61,000 by The National Lottery to put towards an exhibition as well as documenting a feature film and holding workshops for at a local school.
Director of the Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, Sophie Fullerlove, said: ‘We will feature Scalextric as a theme for our open day and are also planning to run a number of activities for young people.’
The arts centre received the grant as part of the National Lottery’s Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the centre is delighted at being chosen.
Sophie said: ‘We are very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for backing the project.’
She said: ‘We are excited to be given the opportunity to celebrate Havant’s role in an internationally renowned success story.’
From 1956 until the early ’70s, thousands of hand painted cars, controllers and miles of track were produced in two factories in Havant.
Sophie said: ‘We now have the opportunity to research and record the history of the factory and its workers, enabling the local community to celebrate the town’s famous invention.’
She said: ‘Workshops will be delivered at Trosnant Junior School, allowing children to find out more about Scalextric.’
Scalextric was created by Fred Francis in 1957 and had two factories in Havant, one in Leigh Park and one on New Lane.
The Spring is calling for workers at either factory to come forward and share their memories of the famous racing toy.
Steve Murray, a trustee at The Spring said: ‘A booklet featuring the memories of the workers will be put together as part of the exhibition.’
He said: ‘We’d love to hear from anybody that worked in the factories during the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.’
The Spring’s Scalextric exhibition will be open to the public on their open day at the centre on East Street, Havant, on October 2.
If you worked in either of the factories or have a story to share regarding scalextric please contact firstname.lastname@example.org