Centre wants to hear memories of Leigh Park

The Leigh Park estate under construction c.1940's. NEWS125 1946 - 1959
The Leigh Park estate under construction c.1940's. NEWS125 1946 - 1959
The Purbrook team are, left to right, Jon Harvey, Elizabeth Norris and Peter Emmett

THIS WEEK IN 1975: Purbrook Park is a talking success

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A CRAFT centre has won a £50,000 grant to document the history of a housing estate.

Making Space, in Bishopstoke Road, needs the public’s help in gathering memories of the post-war years when the Leigh Park estate was built.

Lynne Dick, director of the centre, wants pictures, family videos, diaries and newspaper cuttings to document personal experiences of what life has been like on the estate over the past seven decades.

On The Street Where I Live will take 26 months to complete and will bring together young people and older residents, and former residents, from its beginnings as an overspill estate for Portsmouth families made homeless by the bombing during the Second World War, to the present day.

Ms Dick said: ‘The idea is to unlock people’s stories and experiences, encourage people to do research, to come forward with films, photographs, artefacts and to share these through memory roadshows, reminiscence work and a local heroes project.

‘The project will be filmed and there will be other artists involved in making portable memory boxes. A large map of Leigh Park will be permanently sited in Leigh Park Community Centre so that there are tangible materials for the public to use later on.’

Making Space, a charity which has been based in Leigh Park for four years, was awarded the grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

There will be events which will be within walking distance of people’s homes where they can talk about their location. A film will also be made of the project as it progresses.

Ms Dick added: ‘We will be celebrating the achievements of local people because sometimes the estate does not always get the best press.

‘We want to create plaques marking important places on the estate. People make history all the time and we want to capture it.’

The project will start in the autumn and anyone who would like to take part should contact Ms Dick now on (023) 9247 2491, email director@makingspace.org or go to makingspace.org.