Havant: Building for change over 9 decades
Saturday 28th April 2018, 11am to 4.30pm
Havant, in south Hampshire became known as the fastest growing town in England when it’s population grew from 35,000 in 1950 to 110,000 in 1974. During the late 40’s and early 50’s there was a need to build new houses to rehouse residents of bomb-damaged Portsmouth.
Such growth also demanded new buildings for industry, shops and public services. Leigh Park, a grand house in a country estate, became a suburb and the largest council estate in Europe.
New building design, standards, materials and systems were being used all over the Havant area.
We will be guided around Havant town centre by local architect, Martin Critchley. We will see 12 interesting buildings including a classical style engine house (1925), IBM’s computer plant (Arup Associates, 1967), and Hampshire’s first prefabricated school, the only one of its kind in Britain (Bristol Aircraft Co., 1955). We’ll pass by several other buildings in Art Deco, Modernist and more recent Post-Modern styles and a number of C20 sculptures, murals, memorials and street furniture.
Meet at Spring Arts Centre Café, Havant, from 10.30 am. We’ll start our 1 ½ mile walk at 11am, lasting about 2 hours, take a lunch break about 1pm till about 2pm, then walk another 1 ½ miles until about 3.30 or 4 pm.
If time permits we’ll then go north about 2 miles passing through Leigh Park Estate to visit a crematorium built in 2014, quoted as “perhaps the most idyllic and peaceful setting for cremation in the UK”.
Then back towards the town centre to see a 1960’s Brutalist style factory and offices – now allocated for mixed use re-development in Havant’s Local Plan.
Itinerary and maps will be provided later. Havant station will be convenient for the walk. We will try and provide car transport for rail travellers for the few places further out.
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