Scalextric: the tracks of our (younger) years

Diana Francis, the widow of Scalextric creator Fred, at the Scalextric exhibition
Diana Francis, the widow of Scalextric creator Fred, at the Scalextric exhibition
Canon Bob White with representatives of Portsmouth Churches Housing Association, Two Saints, Portsmouth Foyer and The Roberts Centre Picture: Vernon Nash

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WE are delighted to be hosting the premiere of The Story of Scalextric.

This documentary film is part of a heritage project researching and celebrating this history of the iconic toy Scalextric, which was created in Havant in 1956.

The film features interviews with local factory workers and was filmed with the help of students from Trosnant School.

The famous racing game was manufactured in Havant for more than a decade after being invented by toy-maker Fred Francis, who moved his Minimodels factory from Mill Hill to Hampshire in 1954.

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.

Working with local people and Scalextric enthusiasts, The Spring has researched and collected a fantastic assortment of interesting stories which have been compiled into a documentary film and book.

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

We held an exciting open day in October which included an eight-track Scalextric and ladies from the factory talking about their experiences.

A wonderful day was had by all 500 participants.

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’.

n The Story of Scalextric film premiere takes place at The Spring on Saturday, May 13 at 2.30pm. There are a limited number of free tickets still available.

To reserve one call the box office on (023) 9247 2700. We hope to see you there.