Memories of Havant at premier of Scalextric film

Scalextric fans in action at The Spring last year. The arts venue is hosting the premier of a film about the electric racing toy, which was manufactured in Havant, next week.
Scalextric fans in action at The Spring last year. The arts venue is hosting the premier of a film about the electric racing toy, which was manufactured in Havant, next week.

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DID you work at the Scalextric factory in Havant?

Have you a lifelong interest in Scalextric?

Then head along to The Spring, Havant, for the premiere of a film that celebrates the history of the iconic toy Scalextric and its links to the town.

The Story of Scalextric was filmed with the help of pupils from Trosnant School and Havant residents who worked in Fred Francis’ factory.

The famous racing game was manufactured in Havant for more than a decade after being invented by toy maker Mr Francis.

Mr Francis moved his Minimodels factory from Mill Hill, London, to Hampshire in 1954.

Two years later, he experimented with electrifying his tinplate toy cars and the first Scalextric sets arrived in shops in 1957.

Manufactured at Minimodels in New Lane, the toy was an instant success and its popularity led to the development of a much larger Minimodels factory in Fulflood Road, Leigh Park.

Minimodels was a major employer from 1961 until the factory’s closure in 1970, at which time it employed 1,200 people.

Trustee Steve Murray said: ‘As we mark the 60th anniversary of the brand appearing in shops, we are delighted to be able to record Havant’s key role in its international success and hope that by celebrating the past, we can promote civic pride in the present.’

Working with local people and enthusiasts, staff at the The Spring researched and collected stories for the film and book.

This work has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

An exciting open day was held in October which included a figure-of-eight track Scalextric, and ladies from the factory talking about their experiences.

The premier is on Saturday, May 13 at 2.30pm.

There are a limited number of free tickets still available.

To reserve a ticket call the box office on (023) 9247 2700.

Alternatively, go to thespring.co.uk.