Twist in bid to display nursery rhyme tiles

ON SHOW Former mayor of Havant Gerald Shimbart at the unveiling of the tiles earlier this year. Picture: Sarah Standing (13527-9474)
ON SHOW Former mayor of Havant Gerald Shimbart at the unveiling of the tiles earlier this year. Picture: Sarah Standing (13527-9474)

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IT’S a race against time to raise more than £4,500 to display 10 historic tiles.

The large Royal Doulton tiles once hung in the former Havant Memorial Hospital and each depict a different nursery rhyme.

They were saved from the scrapheap by the community.

Now restored and in beautiful condition, they are due to go on display at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre but, at more than 40kg each, are so heavy they need specially made plinths to display them safely.

The Spring has joined forces with the Havant Civic Society and the Friends of the Havant Museum to raise the money for the plinths before the exhibition in August.

Sophie Fullerlove, director of The Spring, said: ‘These tiles are an important part of Havant’s heritage and we are in the last stages of planning a full exhibition of the tiles for the summer and autumn.

‘The size and weight of each one means we’re having specially-constructed plinths made along with professionally-created signage.

‘The exhibition will cost around £4,500 and we need to raise this money quickly in order to ensure the tiles can be safely displayed.’

As part of the campaign, The Spring has arranged a text messaging service so the public can donate.

Using Vodafone’s Just Text Giving Service supporters can now donate to the campaign by texting TILES01 and either 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 to 70070 to make their donation in pounds.

The service is free to both the donor and The Spring, which receives all of the donation.

Gift Aid can also be added to donations, making them go further.

Miss Fullerlove added: ‘The public were so enthusiastic about saving the tiles when we were at risk of losing them that I hope people will feel able to support them in the next stage of their journey.

‘We want the tiles to be on display here for an exhibition and without the public’s support this may not be possible.

‘This is not simply about the summer exhibition.

‘We are in conversation with Hampshire County Council, which now owns the tiles, about three of them being displayed here permanently. By raising £4,500 over the next few months this will be possible.’

To donate to The Spring’s fundraising campaign, text your donation or pop into the art centre at West Street, Havant or go to

Alternatively, call (023) 9247 2700.