We are indebted to one of our members for these pictures. The ‘guerilla knitters’ have been at work and we’re delighted to see such well cultured vandalism in the town centre and surrounding areas. With Havant Civic Society’s self driven regeneration programme including the restoration of town centre listed buildings, including the Gazebo Garden and, with a fair wind, the signal box, it’s lovely to see the Yarn Bombers doing their bit to brighten up the historic town centre for this significant centenary.
We do hope that Havant Borough Council will take a lead from this community and kick start their own Regeneration Programme from its current glacial pace with some urgent projects in the town centre. They might also take note of our editor’s suspicion that one of the new town centre businesses may just have had some involvement here.
Expect more on the subject of regeneration later.
It’s a sad day for those of us who remember New Lane in the heady days of the late sixties.
In 1968, my first real ‘summer holiday’ employer, Kenwood Manufacturing, was supporting Colt in their famous staff initiative. Boxes of Kenwood Chefs, Kenwood Mini foodmixers and the first ill-fated Kenwood Dishwashers left the plant with ‘I’m Backing Britain’ stickers lovingly applied.
Fred Price had been the mastermind behind Colt’s ‘I’m Backing Britain’ message, and with Kenwood’s staff quickly joining the movement it wasn’t long before New Lane and its predominantly West Leigh workforce were the focus of national news bulletins. Lying between Kenwood in the south and Colt in the north were Goodman’s Industries, a once respected name in the British HiFi market.
Fifty years on, none of these companies manufacture in New Lane. The Goodmans site was razed to the ground some years ago, Kenwoods has long been a warehouse operation for imported Chinese manufacturing while Colt moved their administrative offices up the road to Petersfield and their manufacturing ‘offshore’.
Love it or hate it, the Colt office building at the north end of New Lane was an iconic sixties structure. Until today, that is. The photograph below was taken this morning while the New Lane frontage was still there. By this evening, the machinery had moved large chunks of the frontage out, waiting for the concrete crushers that will be running for many weeks to come.
In its place, another development plan that will continue to have its fair share of public debate. In years to come, some of us may begin to wonder why we didn’t campaign to get this building listed.
It’s a kind of Tricorn / Marmite thing.
(In fairness, this is a personal view and not necessarily the view of the Havant Civic Society)
Our East Street traders are featured once again in tonight’s Portsmouth News.
“More businesses on East Street would be brilliant, because at the moment , there is not enough to walk down here for – and often when people come in they say they didn’t even know we were here in the first place.”
For some curious reason, while we can find the article on Google, we can’t actually link to it so here it is, as printed.
In the future, we’d like to showcase some of the local independent businesses through a set of blog posts on this site. In doing so, we should stress that we would not be endorsing the business in any way, but we would like to build up a view of how these local businesses find Havant Town as a base.
The local Havant businesses and residents share a symbiotic relationship and if we’re to address the issue of the run down and derelict spaces at the heart of the town, we should be sharing a common voice.
If you have any suggestions as to which of the local independents you’d like us to engage with, please let us know.
If you’re running a local business and would like to be included here, please let us know.