Havant history project completed

A section of the map
A section of the map
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IT is a three-year project that has chronicled the history of one of the biggest housing estates in Europe.

Residents past and present, schools and community groups have all shared their memories of Leigh Park since it was built to house the people of Portsmouth who lost their homes in the Blitz.

The sprawling estate has been home to thousands of families and thanks to a £50,000 National Lottery grant the project On the Streets Where We Live is now complete.

Lynne Dick, director of the charity craft organisation Making Space – which is based in Leigh Park – and John Griggs, the former manager at Leigh Park Community Centre recorded the memories, personal stories and experiences of the estate to help bring its history and heritage to life.

Almost 500 adults and schoolchildren helped create a huge map which will be on permanent display at the Dickinson Centre at Park Community School, Middle Park Way, after being on show in a celebration exhibition at Making Space from Saturday until May 24.

Lynne said: ‘The generosity of local people has been truly amazing. Leigh Park is important because of its links to the post-war new town heritage of Britain and its setting within the green spaces makes it rather unique.

‘To explore this urban and social history, and to celebrate this with local people, has been a real privilege for us.’

Residents’ conversations were recorded to be included in four memory boxes made with the help of students at the Apex Centre in Leigh Park.

The boxes contain photographs, artefacts and memorabilia and will be held at Making Space in Bishopstoke Road, for community history projects.

The grant was also used to celebrate achievements by local people.

In June 2012 Making Space called for nominations for seven Local Heroes – people who made others proud to live on the estate – whether it was a good neighbour, a volunteer or a young carer.

Eastleigh-based Cass Productions has made two films about the project.

On Tuesday Dr Fabiano Lemes from Portsmouth School of Architecture will give a talk about the planning of Leigh Park.

Next Thursday there will be a memory box workshop.

Go to makingspace.org.