Turf-cutting ceremony marks launch of housing named after Scalextric inventor

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SCHOOLCHILDREN celebrated with the family members of a hit toymaker as an affordable housing estate was launched in his name.

Pupils from Riders School in Kingsclere Avenue, Havant, met the widow, daughters and grandchildren of Fred Francis – the inventor of toy giant Scalextric.

Riders School pupils race for Scalextric prizes at the Fred Francis Close turf cutting ceremony

Riders School pupils race for Scalextric prizes at the Fred Francis Close turf cutting ceremony

The youngsters were given hundreds of pounds worth of car-themed goodies, as they united at the council-owned spot where 30 houses and eight flats will bear his namesake.

The site, called Fred Francis Close, is located just 100 yards away from the land where a Scalextric factory was once opened – employing thousands of local people.

Mr Francis’ daughter, Julia Hazel, said: ‘Dad’s memory lives on and that is fantastic for us, for our mum and for his grandchildren.’

His other daughter, Catherine Francis-Botting, said: ‘I’m not sure what dad would have made of all this fuss but these homes will be great for the local area and to have them named after him makes us very proud.’

After a turf-cutting ceremony, Mr Francis’ family were presented with a commemorative Ford Escort carrying the words ‘Fred Francis Close – Havant.’