Community Project: On The Street Where We Live
- 3rd December 2015
- Posted by: Ami Lowman
- Category: Community Projects
On The Street Where We Live
In 2011, the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded Making Space a grant of £50,000 for a project that explored and celebrated life in Leigh Park, from its early development as a housing estate in the 1940s, right up to the present day.
The project included an ongoing programme of events and creative workshops for the local community.
Over the course of the project, personal stories and experiences that brought the history of the area to life were uncovered, shared and celebrated. Residents and former residents of all ages shared memories and photographs, researching the history of their local area and nominating ‘local heroes’. The series of free events gave participants the chance to enjoy working with craft artists, filmmakers and historians to create interactive memory boxes, a film and a new map of Leigh Park as a legacy for the future.
Making Space worked with two fantastic artists to run the two creative project strands; Jon Lockhart led the work on the four memory boxes and Rachel Reynolds took the lead on the production of the Community Map.
The project was launched at the Leigh Park Community Centre on 28 November 2011 at an event attended by the Mayor of Havant, Councillor Ken Smith.
Parts of the project have been made as a lasting legacy to the project:
Below is a brief description of the various strands of the project.
During March and April 2012, Making Space organised a series of Memory Roadshows, at venues across Leigh Park. 200 residents and former residents joined archivists, local historians and other specialists to swap stories, share memories and look at photographs, film footage, maps, objects and other documents.
Taking place in 2012-13, the reminiscence sharing sessions were an opportunity to informally meet up over a cup of tea and look at fascinating items from Leigh Park’s history. Participants brought in their own items and shared personal memories.
As part of the project, Jon Lockhart designed and made four memory boxes. The boxes contained items that helped generate memories and encouraged conversation. The stories behind the items were developed from what people shared during the reminiscence sessions, memory roadshows and creative workshops.
Each of the four boxes had a separate theme: ‘Scalextric/Play’, ‘Leisure/Leigh Park Bowls Club’, ‘Leigh Park Shopping Centre’ and ‘Kenwood/Industry’.
Interested parties such as local schools, retirement homes or community groups are invited to loan out the boxes. These can be used for projects, reminiscence sessions or workshops. If you are interested in viewing the boxes or would like to hire them free of charge, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leigh Park Map
Another strand of the project saw artist Rachel Reynolds design and make a huge community map which shares personal stories and artwork created over the duration of the project. Rachel led a series of workshops where content was created and ideas and memories shared. Like the Memory Boxes, the Leigh Park Map remains a legacy of the project.
You can see the final map on display at the Dickinson Centre (attached to Park Community School) in Leigh Park.
Leigh Park students worked with professional filmmakers Cass Productions to document the On the Street Where We Live project. Young people learnt how to use media equipment and gained knowledge on how to work together as a team, as well as taking on individual responsibility. It was a great opportunity for intergenerational learning too, allowing people of different ages to enjoy themselves together.
You can view the final film below. If you’d like to own a copy of the film, you can download it using this link or we have copies available to purchase for £5 each. Please contact email@example.com if you’d like to order a copy.
Leigh Park Local Heroes
A hugely successful strand of the project was Leigh Park Local Heroes. We asked the local community to nominate someone they considered to be a ‘local hero’. Lots of names were put forward and eight people were subsequently awarded the title of local hero. Each of the eight has contributed towards Leigh Park’s heritage, and all have been acknowledged on the final community map.
Seven of the nominated Local heroes consented to having a short film made about them by Cass Productions.You can watch the Local Hero films below:
A final celebration event was held at Making Space on Saturday 24 May 2014. The event celebrated the project and gave all those involved an opportunity to be proud of what was achieved.
The Legacy lives on…
We would like to encourage local people to continue to share their memories and photos with us. Click on the logos below to open the related websites. As Part of the project, Making Space also created a celebratory newspaper. You can view and download the final publication for free using this link.