Welcome to Hampshire

This map pinpoints some of the most exciting cultural venues in Hampshire.

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Competition to find Hampshire Poet 2018 launches on National Poetry Day

A competition to find Hampshire’s next poet laureate launches on National Poetry Day, 28 September 2017.

The search for the Hampshire Poet 2018 is being led by Hampshire Cultural Trust, who are encouraging wordsmiths from all over the county to apply. The competition, which runs every other year, aims to foster local writing talent and continues the successful laureate scheme that first began in 2008.

The winning poet will receive two paid commissions highlighting projects and activities during the year, including poems linked to Hampshire Cultural Trust’s wide and varied programme of exhibitions and events across its 23 venues in the county.

As well as being a talented poet, the winner of the Hampshire Poet 2018 competition will need to be a confident speaker and a strong advocate for the pleasures of reading and writing.

The competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over who lives, works or studies in Hampshire. To apply, entrants need to submit two poems from their portfolio along with a short statement of what they can bring to the role and gain from the experience. The competition will close on Friday 8 December 2017 and the winner will be announced in the New Year. Applications for the competition can be made online at the Hampshire Cultural Trust website, https://www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/hampshire-poet-2018.

2016 winner, Isabel Rogers, pictured, produced a wealth of new verse during her tenure as Hampshire Poet, some published online and some in print on bookmarks. She worked on arts and heritage projects across the county, and held workshops in a variety of venues including schools, libraries and arts centres, encouraging people of all ages to write their own poetry.

Isabel is on the judging panel for this year’s competition. She is joined by poet and chair of the Winchester Poetry Festival, Stephen Boyce, and Angela Hicken, literature officer at Hampshire Cultural Trust.

Janet Owen, chief executive officer at Hampshire Cultural Trust, commented:

‘Hampshire Poet 2018 is a fantastic opportunity for an exceptional talent to be part of the cultural life of Hampshire. We’re looking for a poet who can not only whisk us away with their words, but also someone who can be a champion for poetry and literacy within the community.’


King Charles I Portrait Reveals Centuries Old Mystery

A portrait of King Charles I, normally on display in the Guildhall’s King Charles Hall, has recently been receiving some restoration work as part of a wider art restoration project by Winchester City Council in partnership with Hampshire Cultural Trust.

The portrait was removed and sent to April Johnson at The Brick House for cleaning and restoration and to enable it to be closely inspected in the hope that the artist would be identified.  As it turned out, the inspection would reveal a far bigger secret, hidden for many years.

Portrait artists leave clues to their identity in the form of ‘trade mark’ brush strokes and paint types. These marks are also often used to determine the age of the painting.  Charles’ portrait bore many similarities to the style of famous court painter, Peter Lely and was widely expected to be identified as a Lely piece. During the inspection, it was revealed that the sceptre held in Charles’ right hand was originally painted as a staff and had been overpainted.  It was also noted that Charles’ head was painted by a different hand to the rest of the painting and that the paint around the head was also different. 

Although not unusual for paintings by Lely - he would often paint the face of his subjects then ask one of his students to paint the body and the background from a number of poses - in this case, there was a noticeable difference. The paint used and the quality of the work on the head of this painting was not up to the standard expected of Lely. Did one of his students finish the King’s portrait off?

Further investigation revealed that the ruff round the neck of Charles was thinning and that details of a different ruff were showing through. The real surprise came when the area below the feet was cleaned and the inscription ‘Henry Jermain Earl of St Albans’ was revealed.

Henry Jermain (Jermyn) was a Member of Parliament and staunch Royalist in the English Civil War, Lord Chamberlain and also a knight of the garter.  A portrait of Jermyn in his garter robes is owned by the National Trust and is on display in Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire.  In that portrait, Jermyn is in exactly the same pose as the portrait and his hair conforms to the area of paint around Charles’ head.  Further research will be undertaken to discover who the unsung artist might be.

Ross Turle, Curator of Social and Industrial History for Hampshire Cultural Trust said, “It is not unusual for artists to re-use canvases, the city has another example in Abbey House, but what is enticing in this case is that we know who the former sitter was. We have a starting point for further research and hopefully a bit of dogged detective work will throw some light on the mystery”.

Councillor Rob Humby, Portfolio holder for Economy and Arts said: “The City Council is fortunate to own several unique and much-loved pieces of art and we take our responsibilities to their care very seriously.  The portrait of King Charles has hung proudly in the King Charles Hall for many years and it is fascinating to discover that he has been concealing this secret all this time.  We look forward to learning more about the other pieces in the Guildhall and hope that our visitors enjoy them just as much as we do”.

Creative Practitioner Training: Mental Health and Wellbeing

Creative Practitioner Training: Mental Health and Wellbeing

Hampshire Cultural Trust have received funding from the North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group, through their Innovation Conference Fund, to run a 5 week training and mentoring programme for creative practitioners who want to work with people who are experiencing mental health issues.

The aim of this project is to up-skill creative practitioners so they are able to deliver more programmes taking a preventative approach to mental health and wellbeing, reducing the pressure on local health and support services. 

The programme will involve pairing the practitioners with local organisations in the Rushmoor and Hart area who work directly with these specific service users.  Through this partnership both the practitioner and the organisation will be able to mentor each other through the process, share best practice and develop their own learning of how cultural participation can contribute to mental health and wellbeing.

The organisations involved in the project are:

  • Rushmoor and Hart Mental Health and Substance Misuse Team
  • North East Hampshire and Farnham’s Recovery College
  • Creative Response
  • North Lane Lodge

Alongside these placements, creative practitioners will work alongside an experienced artist facilitators, Little Art Haven, to ensure they are supported throughout the programme.  This will involve facilitator led learning sessions and peer to peer support among the practitioners themselves.  These sessions will take place at the West End Centre in Aldershot.

The training will take place between October and December 2017.

A Creative Day Out

On 18 August the West End Centre hosted A Creative Day Out. This day of arts and crafts saw young people take part in pottery, collage, t-shirt printing and copper ring making classes. The day was a great success with the young people commenting: “The day was great and I am glad I did it. The people are so kind.” and “It was amazing and enjoyable.” This event was funded through the Hampshire Local Cultural Education Partnership, in order to give young people a positive and creative experience but also to ask their opinions about the emerging themes of Hampshire LCEP which are: Health & Wellbeing, Aspiration, Employability.


HarFest At Bursledon Windmill

Bursledon Windmill, Hampshire's only working windmill, is holding a Harvest Festival weekend on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September.

The weekend will be a nostalgic look back at harvest time during the windmill’s heyday in the nineteenth century, and will feature vintage agricultural machinery and other farming bygones from the collections cared for by the trust, as well as children’s hands-on activities, dressing-up, a nature trail, harvest displays, crafts to make and take and live folk music from The Oak Set. Entry to the site and activities are free, with the usual admission charge for those wanting a windmill tour. Activities are from 10:00am to 4:00pm on both days, with last entry at 3:00pm.

Visitors can enjoy a pig in a bun for breakfast or lunch from Hog Roast Hampshire as well as a pint of real ale from Fallen Acorn Brewery (vegetarian and non-alcoholic alternatives are available)! There is, of course, a charge for food and drink and there will also be local produce and crafts for sale (cash only).

It promises to be a fun and fascinating day out for the whole family, and with the large threshing barn on site it will go ahead whatever the weather.

Hampshire Cultural Trust received funding from the Tesco Bags of Help scheme for the windmill’s summer programme. Tesco have kindly agreed for Harvest Weekend visitors to use their car park, 5 minutes’ walk from the windmill, as the windmill car park will be housing the farming machinery and will only have disabled parking spaces available.

Army Joins Up with Dance Company to Present Acclaimed 5 SOLDIERS in Aldershot Barracks

Community project to see young people create brand new curtain raiser

The five-star award-winning dance production 5 SOLDIERS – The Body is the Frontline will come to Aldershot this September. Audiences will have the chance to get ‘behind the wire’ and experience this thrilling show up close in a real Army barracks.

Fresh from its sell out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and performances in London in association with Sadler’s Wells, this powerful portrayal of military life by Rosie Kay Dance Company will be staged at the Canada House Boxing Centre, Rawlinson Road, Aldershot, on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 September. It is being presented in partnership with The West End Centre & Hampshire Cultural Trust.

The project also involves an eight-week tailor-made outreach programme to build new links between the military, the arts and local communities that will result in a brand new dance piece by local young people. There are still a few spaces left for young people who want to take part.

Both performances of 5 SOLDIERS will be followed by a panel discussion where the choreographer, dancers and local military will answer audience questions.

Aldershot Garrison Commander, Lt Col Nigel Macgregor, said: “If you’ve ever wanted to know who the men and women of today’s armed forces are, this show is for you. Rosie Kay, the talented choreographer of 5 SOLDIERS, has done her homework. The performance follows a group of soldiers through their basic training and operational deployment to tell a story that is fair, accurate and brutally honest in its depiction of this group’s rollercoaster journey. A professional dancer, Rosie’s commitment to her craft and her own experience with personal injury and the pain of recovery is clearly evident in this powerful performance. One not to be missed.”

The community outreach project will see locally-based freelance professional dance practitioner Hayley Barker to work with Rosie Kay Dance Company and then link up with young people in Aldershot to create a community performance that responds to the themes of 5 SOLDIERS. Participants will also receive Army drill training from the local regiment as part of their preparation for the performance.

Hayley said: “I love Rosie Kay’s work so really wanted to get involved with this. It’s a brilliant way to get young people interacting with the arts as part of a really unusual dance project.

“We will be making a piece inspired by the themes in 5 SOLDIERS – which is a story all about the people behind the uniforms. It’s really appropriate for Aldershot because this area has such a strong military tradition.”

The young people will put on their performance as a curtain raiser for 5 SOLDIERS on the Saturday evening.

5 SOLDIERS is a gritty, honest and acutely observed dance work that follows four young men and one woman as they are trained and then deployed in a war zone. It is a visceral tour de force with a powerful physicality, moments of humour and is full of honesty – all inspired by input from serving and former soldiers. 

Military audiences have applauded how well it reflects their experiences, their passion for their work and the risks they face. It weaves a story of physical transformation, helping us to appreciate what makes a soldier and how warfare affects those who put their life on the line.

5 SOLDIERS is in Aldershot during a national tour which is part of a broader initiative by the Army to engage with the public through the arts.

Major Jo Young, the Army’s officer for the arts has organised a range of festivals, photographic exhibitions and performance to build networks between the service community and the wider population.

She said: “Many people simply don’t have connections with the Army in the way they used to. The arts are a way we can engage in new and different conversations with those who rarely meet soldiers in their day-to-day life. Through initiatives like the 5 SOLDIERS tour, we can talk to them about issues we are all interested in like diversity and inclusiveness. We firmly believe that as society’s army we should reflect the society we serve.”

5 SOLDIERS was first toured in 2010-11 and was created by choreographer Rosie Kay after intensive research, including spending time with The 4th Battalion The Rifles. All the cast have experienced military training as part of their research and to prepare for this dynamic interpretation of Army life.

Kay said: “We are thrilled to be bringing 5 SOLDIERS to Aldershot with the support of the Army. It has been a labour of love over several years for me and the cast, gaining access, insight and experience; giving us a unique understanding that helps us portray the extraordinary lives of people in the military.

“We really try to humanise their story; we want the audience to empathise and to feel a visceral connection to our characters. We’ve been struck by how this work directly communicates with soldiers, officers and military families, but also with people who have no connection to the military, and even with peace activists. This is truly a humanistic portrayal of war; complex, nuanced, uncomfortable-yes, but overall, impassioned and truthful.

“Just as important is that the Army recognising that the arts are an effective way to build links with sections of the community and open up discussions about its role in today’s world.” 


Turner and the Sun

Turner and the Sun

5 August – 15 October 2017, The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre

In the weeks prior to his death, J.M.W. Turner is said to have declared (to John Ruskin) ‘The Sun is God’ what he meant by this, no-one really knows, but what is not in any doubt is the central role that the sun played in Turner’s lifelong obsession with light and how to paint it.

Turner and the Sun, an exhibition curated by Hampshire Cultural Trust, will be the first ever to be devoted solely to the artist’s lifelong obsession with the sun. Whether it is the soft light of dawn, the uncompromising brilliance of midday or the technicolour vibrancy of sunset, his light-drenched landscapes bear testimony to the central role that the sun assumed in Turner’s art. Through twelve generous loans from Tate Britain – the majority of which are rarely on public display – this focused exhibition will consider how the artist repeatedly explored the transformative effects of sunlight and sought to capture its vivid hues in paint.

The sun appears in many different guises in Turner’s work. Sometimes it is something very natural and elemental, at others it is more mysterious and mystical. Turner was working in an era when the sun - what it was, what it was made of and the source of its power - was still a source of mystery and wonder. The Royal Society was housed in the same building as the Royal Academy, and it is known that Turner attended lectures and was acquainted with scientists such as Faraday and Somerville. It is therefore possible that he was influenced by new scientific theories about the sun when he tried to depict it. Certainly, Turner’s own Eclipse Sketchbook of 1804 – which will be featured in the exhibition - shows him recording visual data of an atmospheric effect on the spot.   

Turner also mined ancient mythology for inspiration. The tale of Regulus, the Roman general punished by having his eyelids cut off and thus made to stare at the sun, is echoed by the artist replicating the effect of solar glare in paint, while the stories of Apollo and the Python and Chryses both feature the Greek sun god, Apollo.

Given his place in the vanguard of Romanticism, Turner was also interested in poetry and wrote his own pastoral verse. He would often acclaim the life-giving energy of the sun and bemoan its absence during Winter: ‘The long-lost Sun below the horizon drawn, ‘Tis twilight dim no crimson blush of morn’ and ‘as wild Thyme sweet on sunny bank, that morn’s first ray delighted drank.’

Highlights of Turner and the Sun include Sun Setting over a Lake (c 1840, Tate) an unfinished but highly vivid depiction of a sunset. At first, the viewer tries to discern behind what is, possibly, Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, but what soon becomes evident, is that the principal subject of the painting is the light and the way it is reflected in the water and gilds the sky and clouds above.

A charming example of Turner painting rays of sunlight emanating from the centre of the composition can be seen inThe Lake, Petworth, Sunset; Sample Study (c.1827-8, Tate), which is one of a series of six sample studies made for the four finished canvases for Petworth House.

The popularity of the Grand Tour and the enduring appeal of Venice created a lucrative and artistically important opportunity for Turner in his late career. In Going to the Ball (San Martino) (exhibited 1846, Tate), we see boats taking Venetian revellers to a masque ball against the backdrop of a golden cityscape. This was Turner’s last painting of Venice and was in his studio at the time of his death in 1851.

Some of Turner’s most acutely observed images of the sun are his informal, private exercises in watercolour and experiments with wash and colour. Swiftly executed, sometimes in batches, they capture transient effects where the sky is utterly dominated by the effects of the sun. A selection of these will be seen in the exhibition, and they are normally only viewed by appointment.

Exhibition curator Nicola Moorby said: “We all know that Turner is the great painter of the sun, but what is particularly interesting is trying to analyse why.”

She continues: “One of the reasons he is such an exciting and inspirational painter is because he has a very experimental approach to technique.  In order to try and replicate the effects of the sun in paint, he uses a whole range of visual tricks and devices. For example, we often seen him juxtaposing the lightest area of a composition with something very dark to heighten the contrast. He uses arcs, orbs, radiating circles of colour, broken brushstrokes, textured oil paint, seamless watercolour wash – sometimes he depicts sunlight as something very solid and physical, at other times it is a dazzling glare that we can’t properly see.  Turner doesn’t just try to paint the sun. He seems to want to actually try and replicate its energy and light so that it shines out of his pictures.”

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, says: “By combining naturalistic observation with imaginative flights of fancy, Turner’s light-drenched landscapes encapsulate the elemental force of his art and remain as dazzling today as they were for a contemporary audience. We are thrilled to be able to shine a spotlight on them here in Hampshire.”

Image N00544_10 Going to the Ball (San Martino) , exhibited 1864, Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 – 1851). Tate: Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856. Photo © Tate, London 2017.


HRH The Earl Of Wessex Officially Opens Landmark Jane Austen Exhibition

The Mysterious Miss Austen, a landmark exhibition exploring the author’s life, work and relationship to Hampshire, was officially opened on Thursday 18 May by HRH The Earl of Wessex at The Gallery in Winchester Discovery Centre.

During his visit to The Gallery, the Earl was given a guided tour of the exhibition by staff from Hampshire Cultural Trust, who are staging the exhibition and coordinating Jane Austen 200, a year-long, county-wide series of events commemorating the 200th anniversary of the author’s death.

At the centre of The Mysterious Miss Austen are six portraits of the author, all together under one roof for the very first time. Included in these is a rarely seen 1869 watercolour portrait of Jane Austen by James Andrews. The work is currently in a private collection, and the likeness that will feature on the new £10 note from July 2017 is based on this portrait. The exhibition also includes around 50 items all generously loaned from private and public collections in the UK and abroad, as well as Austen’s silk pelisse coat, one of a handful of items that survive today which actually belonged to Jane and can be traced directly back to her.

As well as officially opening the exhibition by signing a visitor book, The Earl announced the winners of the Jane Austen 200 Short Story Competition. The competition, launched in October of last year, invited entrants to write a short story of up to 2017 words based on a quote from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, ‘Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure.’ Over 281 entries were received from all over the world, and the winning story was penned by Sally Tissington, who teaches creative writing modules at the University of Warwick. Both Sally’s story, and that by runner-up, Ingrid Jendrzejewski, can be read in full at www.janeausten200.co.uk.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, commented:

‘We are both thrilled and honoured to have had the opportunity to welcome HRH The Earl of Wessex to open our The Mysterious Miss Austen exhibition. We are especially delighted that the visitor book signed by him will be available at The Gallery for visitors to sign and leave their own comments on this landmark exhibition celebrating the creativity and talent of Hampshire’s own Jane Austen.’

The Earl also visited Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Jane’s Winchester: Malady and Medicine exhibition in City Space at Winchester Discovery Centre. This show offers a vivid snapshot of Winchester in 1817, the year that Jane travelled to the city to receive treatment for what would be her final illness. Key objects on display include a rare surviving sedan chair used by patients attending the Winchester hospitals, a set of apothecary’s drawers of the period and other Regency medical equipment from pill pots to surgical instruments. It also looks at her depiction of illness and treatment in her books.

Eloise Appleby, Assistant Director (Economy and Communities) at Winchester City Council, said:

‘Jane Austen has enduring appeal, and is still one of the most important elements in our flourishing visitor economy.  We have thrown ourselves into the bicentenary celebrations, notably with our innovative Rain Jane visitor trail of inspiring quotations. We are delighted at the royal recognition of the exhibitions, which would probably have surprised Jane if she had been here today: congratulations to the Trust for an excellent programme of events in 2017.’

At the end of his visit, The Earl was presented with a copy of Jane Austen, Writer in the World a book by Dr Kathryn Sutherland of Oxford University, who co-curated The Mysterious Miss Austen with Louise West, formerly curator of Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton.

The Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said: ‘We are immensely proud of Jane Austen’s Hampshire heritage. She lived in the county for much of her life and wrote many of her world famous novels here including Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Sense and Sensibility – revealing intriguing insights into what life was like in Hampshire two centuries ago.

‘This is a landmark exhibition at Winchester Discovery Centre, and we’ve been delighted to work closely with Jane Austen 200 partners, including Hampshire Cultural Trust, to host a number of bicentenary celebrations so that visitors from around the world can enjoy exploring Jane Austen’s life and times.’  

The Mysterious Miss Austen runs until 24 July, the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s funeral and burial at Winchester Cathedral.


Funding Received For Innovative New Project For Young People, Arts and Mental Health

Major funding has been received by Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) for a new, innovative project working with health, youth and arts partners across the county. The ICE Project, a £200,000 programme, will run for three years and will work with young people who are served by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), as well as groups who are identified as being at risk of developing mental health issues.

“The aims of the project are to reduce stigma around mental health, help young people to process their emotions and to live creative, engaged and positive lives. We are looking forward to this exciting work developing,” commented Janet Owen, HCT Chief Executive.

Artswork, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the Coles-Medlock Foundation have co-invested a total of £70k in the first year of The ICE Project, which is being developed and led by HCT and CAMHS for young people in Hampshire, who have formed a new partnership to deliver the project.

“This project is an exciting collaboration between the arts sector and the NHS, and I am looking forward to the huge potential that the arts can have on young people’s mental health and wellbeing” said Helen Dove,  Innovation & Participation Lead for Sussex Partnership’s CAMHS in Hampshire.

Jane Bryant, Artswork Chief Executive, said ‘At Artswork we see first-hand how valuable high-quality arts and cultural experiences can be for the mental health and wellbeing of young people. We are very pleased to have been able to co-invest in the  ICE Programme over the next three years, and can’t wait to see how the programme develops.’

ICE - Inspire // Create // Exchange - aims to address and explore important mental health issues in young people using high-quality arts and culture. The project will measure impact and share positive outcomes, and in doing so will seek to influence organisational change. For each phase or project group, there will be three stages:  Inspire - an inspiration point, such as a trip to a cultural venue; Create - a participation phase such as regular workshops with professional artists, musicians or cultural practitioners; and finally, Exchange - showcasing opportunities, such as performance, exhibitions or online sharing of work created.

There will be core target groups of young people directly engaged in project work, specifically the Inspire and Create stages with artists, as well as a wider group of young people across Hampshire who will be reached and affected by the messages and artwork shared through the Exchange phase.

Through engaging in high quality arts and cultural programmes, the partners aim to promote positive mental health, build young people’s emotional resilience and, more specifically, bring to the attention of all the issue and impact of youth suicide and self-harm. This programme will primarily engage young people in Hampshire who have a high level of need but are unlikely to access arts and culture without the partners reaching out to them and creating targeted opportunities. The impact of this programme will be wide ranging, but the specific groups of young people who will benefit include: young carers, young offenders, looked-after children, those who identify with GID or LGBTQ, those who have been bereaved and those with autism or mental health difficulties.

Jack Poole - OUR Local Hero!

Jack Poole has been a volunteer at SEARCH - a hands-on centre for history and natural sciences - in Gosport for many years, helping with family events and inspiring younger museum visitors. 

Jack was a huge hit at SEARCH’s recent Museums at Night event where he posed for over two hours as a museum mannequin, standing still then giving visitors a fright by suddenly moving. Not an easy task for a 90 year old! 

Last year,SEARCH manager Wendy Redman nominated Jack for the Local Hero category of the Churchill Awards, a special awards scheme which honours the work and achievements of the over 65s in all areas of society in the UK. The Local Hero award was voted for by listeners to Wave FM, and Jack was their winner.

On Tuesday 14 March, Jack and Wendy attended a celebratory lunch at The Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park, where they rubbed shoulders with other award winners. These included Dame Barbara Windsor, Julian Lloyd Webber, Angela Rippon, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Barry Cryer, amongst others.

Many congratulations to Jack for winning this incredible award and a big thank you from everyone at Hampshire Culutral Trust for your years of dedication and commitment to volunteering.

Healthwatch Week

Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Better Life Chances team have been working in partnership with Healthwatch Hampshire to capture the stories of people with dementia and their carers around their experience of local health care services. Over 50 people took part in poetry making sessions, at three adult day care centres run by Age Concern Hampshire.  These stories were brought together as poems by Portsmouth based poet, Maggie Sawkins and have been published into an anthology.

During Healthwatch Week, which takes place between 20 and 24 March, you will be able to enjoy a selection of these poems as we share them through a short film within some of our venues across the county. The film will be shown at Ashcroft Arts Centre, Eastleigh Museum, Forest Arts Centre, Red House Museum, West End Centre and Andover Museum throughout the week. There will also be a limited number of anthologies available to take away for a small donation.



Young crime-fighters have the chance to stop a fiendish plot to steal the Crown Jewels at a brand new, all-action exhibition at Milestones Museum.

Around the World Brick Adventure, which opened at the Basingstoke museum earlier this month, is a fantastic, live-action LEGO® challenge, where The Tiger Club – an international crime-fighting club just for children – has discovered a plot to steal the Crown Jewels.

100 incredible LEGO models have been built by Bright Bricks, the UK-based professional LEGO building company, including scale models of world-famous landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building and Sydney Opera House, as well as exotic animals and fabulous treasures. There are also fantastic life-size models of a pouncing tiger, a kangaroo family, and king of the sands, Tutankhamun.

Hidden in amongst the models is a trail of clues left behind by the Tiger Club, which globetrotters can use along with their very own Around the World Brick Adventure map to stop the thieves and save the Crown Jewels. Historic objects from the collections cared for by Hampshire Cultural Trust will be displayed alongside the LEGO models to complement the exhibition theme.

As well as being able to solve the main, live-action plot, there are many other LEGO brick activities to enjoy. Visitors are invited to come along to Milestones on Sundays in February and March, as well as Hampshire half term, 20-24 February, to live-build a 5 metre model of Big Ben. There are also LEGO play tables with a world map, a free play area, a LEGO graffiti wall, a LEGO Minifigure™ make-and-take, a LEGO mosaic activity at weekends and during school holidays, plus a fabulous Tiger Club LEGO badge to make and take home.

Janet Owen, CEO of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: ‘We are delighted to be welcoming a LEGO exhibition back to Milestones, this year with another exciting adventure challenge for LEGO fans of all ages to enjoy. Around the World Brick Adventure follows on the huge success of Quest for the Brick Kingdom in 2016, which saw us breaking visitor records at Milestones, and I have no doubt that this year’s LEGO spectacular will be just as big a success.’

Around the World Brick Adventure runs until 23 April. Entry is included in the normal admission price, and there is a 20% discount when tickets are pre-booked online. Full details and opening times can be found at www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk.

Mayor’s Choice

Mayor of Winchester Cllr Jane Rutter hosted a private view at City Space in Winchester Discovery Centre on 9 February to celebrate Mayor’s Choice, her personal selection from the collections at Hampshire Cultural Trust. The Mayor toured the stores with Sam Butcher, Ross Turle and Helen Rees from the collections team to select works of art and interesting artefacts, and then Sam curated the exhibition and worked with Mark Barden, City Space exhibition co-ordinator and the venue team to install the exhibition.


Mayor’s Choice is an annual exhibition which puts the collections on display for the public to see and enjoy. The exhibition continues until 26 February. There are fascinating watercolours showing local landscapes and buildings as they appeared before the age of photography, and lots of family-friendly activities for half term visitors.


Uncover the secrets of the dodo at the Natural History Museum at Tring

Discover the dodo’s story and how the view of them as fat, clumsy, and rather stupid is being overturned. These new findings are revealed in the new exhibition, Dodos: Old bird, new tricks opening Friday 10 February.

This free, family exhibition explores how scientists searched for the truth behind the legend, and how a single marsh on a tropical island became the key to our understanding of this mysterious bird.

‘It’s been so much fun creating this exhibition,’ says exhibition curator Alice Adams, ‘The rare and historic specimens are incredible but I’m just as excited about the games - I can’t wait to see families digging for dodo bones, trying out their skull identification skills and exploring the very latest development in dodo science with the 3D digital dodo.’

Highlights of the exhibition include:

  • One of the very few composite (made by assembling bones from different dodos) dodo skeletons in existence.
  • A 400-year old book with the first published illustration of the dodo – an account of Jacob Van Neck’s second Dutch expedition to Indonesia.
  • A selection of some of the best preserved dodo bones in the world – on loan from Hampshire Cultural Trust.


© The Trustees of the NHM, London

Explorers discovered the dodos’ home, Mauritius, in the late 1500s. In just 90 years dodos were extinct. They died out so quickly that hardly any evidence has been left behind: we may never know what they really looked like or how they lived.

‘Amazingly, we know more about about the population, nesting behaviour, eggs and young of dinosaurs, than about a bird that disappeared in very recent historical times due to human interference’, explains Museum avian palaeontologist and artist Julian Pender Hume.

‘When people first went looking for more dodos and couldn’t find any, there was consternation. No-one had thought before that a whole species could cease to exist.’

A handful of brief eyewitness accounts, illustrations of variable accuracy and head and foot fragments of museum specimens were all that remained. Then in 1885, George Clark, a schoolmaster in Mauritius, discovered a source of hundreds of dodo bones - preserved in the bottom of a marsh.

Natural History Museum founder Richard Owen used these bones to scientifically describe the bird and construct a whole dodo skeleton. Our understanding of dodos had advanced little since then, but recent research has led us to reassess them. We now know that they were slimmer and more agile than thought and probably just as intelligent as related birds, such as pigeons. New discoveries are being made at the original excavation site in Mauritius and by re-examining specimens in collections around the world.

The exhibition will be displaying a selection of preserved bones sent by George Clark to his friend William Curtis, on loan from Hampshire Cultural Trust. The exceptional quality of these bones has only recently been recognised and they are now being used for scientific research.

© The Trustees of the NHM, London

For more on the lost world of the dodo, visit the NHM website

The exhibition runs from 10 February to 25 June 2017.

Poetry that 'Speaks Out' to the Community


The Speak Out Poetry project’s public showcase event took place on Friday 13 January at Ashcroft Arts Centre. People came along to hear a collection of poems written and read by Maggie Sawkins; a Portsmouth based poet who won the  2013 Ted Hughes Award for New Work. These works were created over three months in the latter part of 2016 with over 50 people during poetry making sessions at three adult day care centres run by Age Concern Hampshire.




The project was kindly funded by Healthwatch Hampshire through a Community Cash Fund and managed by Laura Bullivant, Cultural Engagement Manager – Older People within the Better Life Chances team. Maggie was also joined by Southampton poet Chris Bennett who worked closely with Maggie to support the poetry making sessions she devised for the purposes of creating this collection of work. To find out more about the Better Life Chances and their work in the community, please visit the website.



The Mysterious Miss Austen

The Mysterious Miss Austen

13 May – 24 July 2017, The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre







2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of the universally admired author Jane Austen – and Hampshire Cultural Trust is coordinating a yearlong series of events to celebrate her creativity and talent.

The centrepiece of the celebrations is the exhibition The Mysterious Miss Austen, which opens on 13 May 2017 (until 24 July) at The Gallery in Winchester Discovery Centre.

Presented in partnership with Jane Austen’s House Museum, this landmark exhibition will explore Jane’s life, work and her relationship to Hampshire. The county was not only Jane Austen’s birthplace (and where you can visit her grave today), but its people, landscape and the society in which she moved provided inspiration for her novels, classics such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility.

The exhibition will include around 80 items, including paintings, watercolours, prints, illustrations, manuscripts, letters, clothing and other objects – all generously loaned from private and public collections in the UK and abroad.

The centrepiece of The Mysterious Miss Austen will be five portraits of Jane together under one roof for the very first time. The pencil and watercolour sketch of Jane (featured above) by her sister Cassandra Austen (circa 1810) and the hollow cut silhouette by an unknown artist from circa 1810-15 will be familiar to many from their usual home in the National Portrait Gallery, London. However the three other portraits, all from private collections, will probably not be known to visitors: one has not been seen in public for more than 40 years; another is the 1869 James Andrews watercolour over pencil portrait of the author, made famous after her nephew’s biography of his aunt, published in 1870.

Among other treasures on show in The Mysterious Miss Austen will be the manuscript of an alternative ending to her final novel Persuasion in her own hand, on loan from the British Library. Persuasion, which deals with love lost and second chances, was written in 1815/16 when Austen’s health was failing (it was published posthumously in 1818). The two chapters which will be on display in Hampshire are unique as the only surviving manuscript pages of a novel Jane Austen planned and completed for publication. She subsequently became dissatisfied with this first ending and rewrote the chapters in the published form we have them today. But this first ending offers visitors a chance to glimpse in intimate detail the novelist at work.

Another manuscript on loan from The British Library is a volume of teenage writings, entitled by Austen Volume the Second and written when she was just 16 years old. Among the items in Volume the Second is the spoof History of England, a comic account of England from Henry IV to Charles I as told by ‘a partial, prejudiced, & ignorant historian.’ This parody of published history books includes coloured illustrations by Jane’s sister Cassandra.

There are only a handful of items that survive today which actually belonged to Jane and can be traced directly back to her – and Hampshire Cultural Trust is fortunate to have three in the collections it cares for. The exhibition will feature her silk pelisse coat – a twill weave with a small repeated pattern of oak leaves in a golden straw colour on a warm brown background (the design dates it circa 1813-15). The Mysterious Miss Austen will also include her purse and her case for sewing materials.

Other fascinating loans include a rare, photo-illustrated copy of American writer Oscar Fay Adams Story of Jane Austen from 1897 which is travelling to Winchester from Goucher College, Baltimore along with other items from its Jane Austen Memorabilia Collection. A Friendship Book belonging to Rev. James Stanier Clarke, the Librarian of the Prince Regent (later King George IV), and an acquaintance of Jane’s contains an 1815 portrait some believe to be of the author (the firth portrait in the exhibition). First editions of her works and fascinating personal letters, early illustrations for her works and images of Winchester in the early 19th century, plus items of the kind Jane would have experienced in her day to day life will all complete this fascinating survey of the renowned writer.

Bringing a contemporary view, Grayson Perry’s Jane Austen in E17 ceramic vase (2009, Manchester City Art Gallery) is evidence of her lasting legacy and influence on the arts.

The Mysterious Miss Austen is jointly curated by Louise West, former curator of Jane Austen’s House Museum and chair of the Jane Austen 200 working group, and Professor Kathryn Sutherland from Oxford University, a leading Austen scholar.

Louise West says “The bringing together for the first time of 5 portraits of Jane Austen will, we hope, provoke reaction and excite argument, about the mysterious Miss Austen. This is a new way of exploring Austen’s identity and we are thrilled to be sharing this opportunity with the public.”

Professor Kathryn Sutherland says “If you think you know Jane Austen, think again! Jane Austen is our most intimate writer – the writer we each feel speaks to and for us – and yet we know so little about her. What we do know is built upon ambiguities, contradictions and paradox: even how she looked is something of a mystery. ‘The Mysterious Miss Austen’ will celebrate and challenge the reputation of our best-known, unknowable writer.”

During 2017 there will also be smaller scale, sister exhibitions on the life and works of Jane Austen in Hampshire at the Gallery at Gosport Discovery Centre and the Sainsbury Gallery at Basingstoke’s Willis Museum.

Jane Austen in Basingstoke. Retail and Romance: Jane goes to the Ball

29 July - 7 October, The Sainsbury Gallery at the Willis Museum, Basingstoke

Visitors to this exhibition may be surprised to learn that Jane Austen knew the town of Basingstoke well and attended dances in its Assembly Rooms. Austen wrote about the world she knew, and that most definitely included how one behaved at a ball, what one wore and what one ate – the gentry, the gowns and the gossip will all be explored in this exhibition. She was an avid consumer herself, and her letters evoke the period with descriptions of what she wore and when.

The Navy at the Time of Jane Austen: Fighting, Flirting and Fortune

15 July – 20 September, The Gallery at Gosport Discovery Centre

In her later novels, Jane Austen describes a new type of hero, one who has made his own fortune through hard work and intelligence. The inspiration for the naval officers in Mansfield Park and Persuasion undoubtedly came from her brothers, Francis and Charles. Both already making names for themselves in their chosen careers, her brothers were on active service in this golden era of the British Navy - the victorious Battle of Trafalgar had been fought just a few short years before. The Navy at the Time of Jane Austen - fittingly on display at the port of Gosport - will look at the danger and the drama as well as the entertaining and social life aboard ship, through her novels, her letters and contemporary accounts.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, says “Jane Austen has been a much loved figure worldwide for more than two centuries, so we are pulling out all the stops to celebrate her life and works here in Hampshire. Whether you are a Jane Austen scholar or have just enjoyed one of the many TV or film adaptations of her works, these exhibitions are an ideal way to explore and celebrate her legacy.”

These exhibitions are just a small handful of the events taking place in Hampshire for Jane Austen 200, for the latest news and information visit www.janeausten200.co.uk

Jane Austen sculpture design unveiled in Basingstoke

A life-size bronze of Jane Austen is to be placed in the Market Square in Basingstoke to mark 200 years since the Hampshire author’s death.

Basingstoke sculptor Adam Roud has been commissioned to create the sculpture, which he hopes will represent Jane not only as a writer, but also as a strong-willed and independent character in her own right.

Jane was born in 1775 in Steventon, just a few miles outside Basingstoke, where she lived for more than half her life. The places, people and landscapes of the borough had an enormous influence on her novels, and she created the first draft of Pride and Prejudice whilst living at Steventon, where her father was vicar of St Nicholas Church. Jane Austen knew Basingstoke well: she attended social gatherings at the Assembly Rooms in Market Square, near the current-day Lloyds Bank, and regularly visited family friends at the Vyne, Oakley Hall and Ashe House, amongst others.

A maquette of the sculpture was unveiled on Thursday 19 January by MP Maria Miller, who has been working with Hampshire Cultural Trust to bring the project to fruition.

“Jane Austen is a writer of worldwide repute,” commented Maria Miller. “Born in the borough, she is a woman who broke the mould in her generation. I am delighted that she is to be recognized in a sculpture by Adam Roud. It is a fitting tribute to her status not just as a local writer, but as one of the finest and most-loved authors the world has known.”

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, commented:

“We are proud to be involved with this project in this, the 200th anniversary year of Jane Austen’s death. There will be many events across the county celebrating not only the writings of this extraordinary woman, but her life in her home county of Hampshire.”

To help raise funds to celebrate Jane’s links with Basingstoke with this  life sized sculpture please donate here.


The Red House Museum and Gardens held its second annual Christmas Market last weekend, attracting over 1300 visitors. With more than 30 different stalls, children’s activities, music, the museum’s café and, of course, Santa’s Grotto for visitors to enjoy, this year the market was extended to two days, resulting in record takings. Museum staff and volunteers worked closely with VA Productions, who organise speciality markets across Dorset and the New Forest, to prepare the museum for the market, with all three floors of the museum as well as the gardens packed with stalls and attractions.


Jenny Stevens, Curator of the Willis Museum looking through the glass

An acclaimed exhibition about Alice in Wonderland which opened in Basingstoke earlier this month uniquely features a very special object – Alice’s real-life looking glass.

Alice in Wonderland opened at the Sainsbury Gallery in Basingstoke’s Willis Museum, operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust, on 12 November. The exhibition follows a chronological path from the first time that Lewis Carroll told his story to Alice Liddell and her sisters during a boat trip on the Thames in 1862, through to the different ways in which generations of illustrators, artists, musicians, filmmakers and designers have interpreted the story and its characters in the 150 years since it was first written.

A touring exhibition from the British Library, Alice in Wonderland draws together an astonishing array of material from the original manuscript to computer games. However the undoubted star of the show is the mirror itself. On loan from the New Forest Centre in Lymington, Alice Liddell’s mirror – or looking glass – was a cherished possession when she live at Cuffnells House in Lyndhurst. Carroll, or Charles Ludwidge Dodgson as he was actually called, was a family friend of the Liddell family. A lecturer in mathematics at Oxford, he invented the story to entertain the daughters of his friend and colleague, Henry Liddell, the Dean of Christ Church Oxford.

A key highlight of the exhibition is a first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by John Tenniel. Carroll’s own pen and ink illustrations for the original manuscript were influenced by the work of his friend, the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and, in turn, these clearly informed Tenniel’s illustrations. The original printers’ woodblocks for this first edition are also on show, and these have a strong local connection. Macmillan Publishers, who have a long association with Basingstoke, were the original publishers of Alice in Wonderland and the woodblocks, which were used to create the electrotypes from which the Tenniel illustrations were printed, were held for many years by the company. In 1985, they were "rediscovered" in the vault of Macmillan’s bank, and a unique printing was made from them before they were deposited at the British Library in 1991 so that they could be conserved and made available to exhibit.  

Also on display are a silent film from 1903 by Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow which was the very first film adaption of the book, early Alice memorabilia including wooden figurines, tea tins and a postage stamp case, plus two new computer game concepts created by winners of the 2015 Alice in Wonderland-themed Off the Map competition run by the British Library and GameCity.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, says “The story of Alice has fascinated successive generations and we are delighted to host this touring British Library exhibition, which is part of national and international celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the publication of this iconic book. We are also delighted that we are able to give visitors the unique chance to see the very looking glass that inspired a classic. We hope that visitors to Alice in Wonderland will find new enjoyment and inspiration from the collections on show.”

The Sainsbury Gallery at the Willis Museum is the only venue in the south to host the show, which runs until 14 January of next year. Admission is free.



A pop-up shop giving local makers, food producers and artists a platform to promote and sell their goods in Winchester has opened at the City Museum.

Made in Hampshire is a Hampshire Cultural Trust Arts Council England funded project to give independent suppliers and creatives space to promote themselves in the heart of the city in the run-up to Christmas.

Hampshire Cultural Trust has worked closely with many partners, including Hampshire Fare, to bring together more than 30 local artisans on the ground floor of the City Museum. From Christmas puddings to ceramics, chocolates, jewellery and prints, a wide range of produce and goods is available to browse and buy. There is also an in-house coffee shop, family-run Flat Whites’, whose vintage coffee van is a regular feature on Winchester’s Market Street.

The shop will be open until the end of the year, and there is a full programme of tastings, talks, demonstrations and more to enjoy, all of which are free. Visitors to the shop can also enter a competition to be in with a chance of winning a three-course meal and overnight stay for two at the award-winning King’s Head in Hursley.

While the pop-up shop occupies the museum ground floor, the top two floors, with galleries celebrating Winchester’s Iron Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon past, are open to visit as usual. At the end of December, the shop will close its doors, and the museum will also close fully for major refurbishment works to be completed in advance of the arrival of Roger Brown’s model of Victorian Winchester in 2017, and also to make good the lift for disabled access.

For opening times, please visit www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk. Admission to the museum is free.


The Winchester and Alton Hoards return to Hampshire in Births, Battles and Beheadings, a stunning new exhibition celebrating the county’s glorious royal past at the Gallery in Winchester’s Discovery Centre.

The exquisite Winchester Hoard was discovered in a field near the city in 2000, and consists of two sets of elaborate, Iron Age gold jewellery, each set comprising a necklace torc, bracelet and two brooches linked with a chain. This is only the second time that the hoard has been on display in its home county, and only the fourth time nationally since its discovery.

The Alton Hoard also dates from the Iron Age, and a gold ring, bracelet and 20 representative gold ‘staters’, or coins, are a highlight of the exhibition. The hoard was discovered in 1996, and has not previously been on show outside the British Museum, which has loaned both hoards to the Hampshire Cultural Trust, the exhibition’s organiser.

Births, Battles and Beheadings focuses on six pivotal periods in Hampshire’s history. From the Iron Age through to the Anglo-Saxons, Tudors and Stuarts, each period is explored through a spectacular array of objects and artefacts, some of which are on public display for the very first time. Amongst those pieces making their public debut are a pendant found near Odiham which belonged to the influential Despenser family; 120 silver coins hidden in a cottage in Dummer during the Civil War, and a stunning 700 year-old gold, sapphire and garnet ring acquired for the Winchester City Council collection this year.

The exhibition will also feature the Monk Sherborne Buckle, one of the finest pieces of Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship to have been found in Hampshire, and a rare Byzantine pail discovered at Breamore, one of only three of its type in Britain.

Also on display will be eight costumes representing the different historical periods, which have been designed and made especially for the exhibition in a collaboration with theatre costume design students from Bournemouth University.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be staging this remarkable exhibition,” commented Janet Owen, Chief Executive Officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust.

“It has given us a unique opportunity not only to bring the Winchester and Alton Hoards back to their home county, but also to showcase some of the spectacular objects found in Hampshire which belong to both the Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council collections, cared for by Hampshire Cultural Trust.”

Births, Battles and Beheadings is part of Royal Blood: The fight for power in Hampshire, Hampshire Cultural Trust’s year-long, county-wide programme of exhibitions, performances and events exploring the county’s long and illustrious royal history. Admission to the exhibition is free, and it can be seen at the Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre from Saturday 5 November until Sunday 8 January 2017. Also at Winchester Discovery Centre as part of Royal Blood is City Under Siege, an exhibition telling the story of Winchester’s defences from the Romans right through to the Civil War. Admission is also free, and the exhibition runs until 4 December.


Jane Austen by Cassandra Austen. Pencil and watercolour, circa 1810 (c) National Portrait Gallery, London

2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of globally loved author Jane Austen – and Hampshire Cultural Trust is coordinating a yearlong series of events across the historic and beautiful county to celebrate her creativity and talent.

Hampshire was not only Jane Austen’s birthplace (and where you can visit her grave today), but its people, landscape and the society in which she moved provided inspiration for her novels, classics such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility. From a landmark exhibition to talks and walks, from picnics to performances, 2017 will be a very special celebration of her life, times and work.

Sure to be a highlight of the celebrations is the exhibition The Mysterious Miss Austen, which opens on 13 May 2017 (until 24 July) at The Gallery in Winchester Discovery Centre, before travelling to the Gallery at Gosport Discovery Centre and the Sainsbury Gallery at Basingstoke’s Willis Museum.

This unique exhibition, presented in partnership with Jane Austen’s House Museum, will explore Jane’s life, work and her relationship to Hampshire. The centrepiece will be five portraits of Jane together under one roof for the very first time – including two works from the National Portrait Gallery, London and three from private collections, one of which has not been seen in public for more than 40 years.

The Mysterious Miss Austen will also include a surviving manuscript of an alternative ending to her final novel Persuasion, in her own hand (on loan from the British Library). There will also be a silk pelisse coat (one of the only garments in the world with a provenance that can be traced back to Jane), first editions of her works and fascinating personal letters. Bringing a contemporary view, Grayson Perry’s Jane Austen in E17 vase is evidence of her lasting legacy and influence on the arts.

Set to be a ‘deliciously’ popular feature of Jane Austen 200 are the Big Picnics. These feasts of fun and nibbley gorgeousness will be held at significant locations throughout Hampshire. At these events, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy Regency delicacies, watch performances and, of course, learn about this amazing, world-renowned writer.  Bringing a very 21st century slant to the proceedings, Hampshire Cultural Trust will be creating a downloadable picnic pack that will inspire bakers and ‘Janeites’ to unite and create their own Regency-style Bake Off.

Much as there will only ever be one Jane Austen, Hampshire Cultural Trust passionately believes that Jane’s work still inspires excellent writing today. To find not only the next great literary talent, HCT has created a brand new competition for children and adults, with two categories; short story and letter. Grown-ups need to submit a short story of 2017 words, based on Jane’s classic quote from Mansfield Park: “Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there’s no hope of a cure”. Youngsters are invited to write a letter of 400 words based on ‘A day in the life,’ real or imagined. Entries for both have just opened (and close 28 February 2017). 

Actor Hugh Bonneville, star of Downton Abbey, and of course, the 1999 film of Mansfield Park is a Hampshire man and says: As a local and as a fan of Jane Austen, I hope you will join us in Hampshire in 2017 to get to know a bit more about the woman behind the novels. We have a great year ahead, packed with regency celebrations, talks, arts installations and so on. So please google Jane Austen 200 and come and join in the fun.”

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, echoes Hugh’s invitation: “Jane Austen has been a much-loved figure worldwide for more than two centuries, so we are pulling out all the stops to celebrate her life and works here in Hampshire. Whether you are a Jane Austen scholar or have just enjoyed one of the many TV or film adaptations of her works we will have something for everyone, young and old, to celebrate her legacy.”

This is just a small handful of the events taking place for Jane Austen 200, for the latest news and information visit www.janeausten200.co.uk.



The Renaissance Choir celebrates its 40th anniversary

Concert: “French Connection: Poulenc’s Gloria”.

St Peter's Church, Petersfield, Petersfield, GU32 3HS, Saturday 29th October 2016 at 7:30pm


The Renaissance Choir, conducted by Peter Gambie, will be bringing a gorgeous programme of classical music to St Peter's Church, Petersfield, on 29th October.

Besides performing a selection of selection of French and English choral music, including Poulenc’s skittish Gloria, the Choir will perform the second ever performance of a commission it made to mark its 40th anniversary to Hampshire-based composer Ian Schofield entitled "Stream of Life" containing poetry by Rabindranath Tagore.

The Renaissance Choir was honoured early last year by the Portsmouth-Based newspaper, The News, when it won Best Classical Music Act. Mentioned in the citation for the award was a performance during which the spell-bound audience was captivated by the choir’s sensuous sound and musicianship.

The Choir has a considerable reputation, delighting audiences across Europe with the blend and beauty of its sound.  Recent concert tours to Budapest (2006), Lisbon (2008), Krakow, Poland (2010), Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2014) and most recently in May this year to Rome have been highly successful.

For a programme not to be missed, the concert on Saturday 29th October begins at 7.30pm, and tickets are £12 (concessions £10, students £2). These are available by phoning 023 9247 5259, by visiting www.renaissancechoir.org.uk, or can be obtained on the door.





The Roger Brown model of Victorian Winchester is to be given a permanent home at Winchester City Museum.

Measuring over 15 feet and made up of 20 component parts, the impressive scale model is based on the first Ordinance Survey map of the city from 1873, and took former town planner Roger Brown nine years to create following his retirement from Hampshire County Council. Since its completion in the 1980s, the model has been on temporary display at a number of locations in and around Winchester, but this is the first time it has been given a permanent home.

The project is being championed by many prominent local supporters including travel writer and photographer, John Pilkington, who worked with Roger Brown in the Hampshire County Council planning office. He commented:

“Roger Brown was a warm and extremely generous man. The contribution he made to Hampshire’s towns and countryside was immense, but the model also shows his grasp of history and incredible eye for detail. People are going to be amazed and inspired!”

Although the project has received significant funding from Hampshire County Council, Winchester City Council and Winchester Town Forum, Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT), who operate Winchester City Museum, are launching a major campaign to raise further funds to secure the future of the model, and will be reaching out to local businesses and donors for their support.

After being in storage for a number of years, the model is undergoing extensive restoration by HCT’s highly-skilled conservation team, and will be brought to life by new digital interpretation. Along with the objects on display in the museum, the model will tell the story of Winchester, orientating visitors by taking them through the Victorian streets and introducing them to the city’s rich heritage from King Alfred to Jane Austen.

The ground floor of Winchester City Museum will undergo extensive refurbishment in two phases in order to accommodate the model. The ground floor of the museum will close to the public on Monday 3 October, with full closure from Monday 10 October, to allow conservators from HCT to remove current exhibits for conservation and storage during the refurbishment.

On Saturday 22 October, the museum will re-open to the public for the half-term holiday and Christmas period, with the galleries on the top two floors celebrating Winchester’s Roman and Iron Age past open to visitors as usual. The ground floor will be dedicated to Made in Hampshire, an HCT project which receives Arts Council England (ACE) funding. This pilot phase of the Made in Hampshire project will take the form of a pop-up shop, giving local makers and producers a platform to promote and sell their goods in the city during the festive period. The museum will close fully at the end of 2016 so that refurbishment work can be completed before the model is installed, with full re-opening planned for the end of March 2017.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, commented:

‘The Roger Brown model is a unique record of our city in Victorian times. Roger Brown completed the model in the 1980s after nine years of personal dedication, but, despite being on temporary display at a number of locations, a permanent site has never been found.

‘We are absolutely thrilled that we now have the opportunity to give this extraordinary work - made by a man with real vision and love for the heritage of Winchester - a permanent home in the heart of the community at the Winchester City Museum. The museum is the ideal place for the model to be housed, and combined with our exciting plans for the-design of the ground floor, which will incorporate objects from Jane Austen’s personal items to stories of the trades people of Winchester, we will be creating an exceptional visitor experience for local people and tourists alike.’

Details of how to donate to the Roger Brown model can be found at www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/RogerBrownModel.






Healthwatch Hampshire is supporting the Better Life Chances team, part of Hampshire Cultural Trust, to help improve wellbeing and gather feedback of mental health users with the use of a Community Cash Fund (CCF) of up to £2,500. The feedback collected will be used to influence service providers and improve outcomes for local communities, particularly within mental health services.

The Better Life Chances team will focus on people with dementia and their carers, holding a series of sessions led by a poet who will use poetry to express personal experience of mental health services. The words and responses will be captured by the artist and brought together into poetry for Healthwatch Hampshire to share with service providers.

Over the past two years, Healthwatch Hampshire has funded nearly 30 projects, gathering feedback of service users from seldom heard groups. Their work has been recognised nationally, winning an award for ‘The value we bring to our community’ in June. This year, they are working on a smaller number of projects which focus specifically on mental health services. These projects have been picked to help improve mental health services for the groups.

Steve Manley, manager at Healthwatch Hampshire, says, “Our Community Cash Fund allows citizens to develop their own voice and, with our support, share their work, findings, recommendations and innovative projects with local commissioners and providers. We recognise the power of using skills, experience and existing networks of our communities throughout the county to harness their participation and involvement in health and social care related services.”



The Breamore Pail

A stunning new exhibition celebrating Hampshire’s glorious royal history opened on Saturday 3 September at the Willis Museum in Basingstoke.

Births, Battles and Beheadings, part of the county-wide Royal Blood programme for 2016, focusses on seven pivotal periods in Hampshire’s history. From the Iron Age through to the Anglo-Saxons, Tudors and Stuarts, each period is explored through interactives, specially commissioned costumes and a spectacular array of objects and artefacts, some of which will be on public display for the very first time.

Amongst those pieces which will make their public debut at the exhibition, are an elaborate roman buckle; a pendant which belonged to the influential Despenser family and which was found near Odiham and 120 silver coins hidden in a cottage in Dummer during the Civil War.

The exhibition will also feature the Alton Hoard, a collection of Iron Age coins and Roman jewellery on loan from the British Museum; the Monk Sherborne Buckle, one of the finest pieces of Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship to have been found in Hampshire, and a rare Byzantine pail discovered at Breamore, one of only three of its type in Britain.

Also on display will be eight costumes, representing the different historical periods, which have been made especially for the exhibition in a collaboration with theatre costume design students from Bournemouth University.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be staging this remarkable exhibition,” commented Janet Owen, Chief Executive Officer of the Hampshire Cultural Trust.

“It has given us a unique opportunity to showcase some of the spectacular objects found in Hampshire and which belong to both the Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council collections, which are cared for by Hampshire Cultural Trust.”

Births, Battles and Beheadings is part of Royal Blood: The fight for power in Hampshire, Hampshire Cultural Trust’s year-long, county-wide programme of exhibitions, performances and events, exploring the county’s long and illustrious royal history. Admission to the exhibition is free, and it can be seen at the Willis Museum from Saturday 3 September until Saturday 29 October, when it will move to the Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre from Saturday 5 November.



Milestones Museum in Basingstoke has partnered with Fluid Motion Theatre Company to open a brand new weekly youth theatre for children aged 8-13.

The youth theatre is run by a professional theatre director who teaches children a wide range of skills from improvisation, to mime, puppetry and more. Children have the whole museum as their playground, allowing a brilliant opportunity for them to have fun and make theatre within the streets and amongst the vehicles and exhibits.

The group has only been running for one term and is already hugely popular, prompting a summer school during the holidays. The summer school, which ran from Tuesday 16 – Thursday 18 August, was themed around The Mystery of the Vanishing Queen. Using characters from the exhibition, the group used the trail to bring to life their own story, which took place in various locations around the museum and was performed to both an invited audience and the general public.

Leigh Johnstone, Artistic Director of Fluid Motion Theatre Company said ‘I am so excited about using Milestones to create drama with young people. The museum is already a huge, inspiring stage set and allows us to go on adventures that you wouldn’t normally get to do in a conventional youth theatre group.’

One parent who came to watch the summer school performance said ‘I cannot believe how much they have achieved in three days. The performance was excellent and really professional. My son has had so much fun.’

The Milestones Youth Theatre meets every Friday (during term time) from 3:30pm – 5:00pm and is open to children aged 8-13. The autumn term runs from Friday 9 September – Friday 16 December, and there is no session on Friday 28 October due to half term. The Christmas show will take place in on Saturday 17th December at 2:00pm. 

To find out more details, visit http://www.fluidmotiontheatre.co.uk/youth-theatre.



Image courtesy of the Museum of Army Flying

School children in North Hampshire are set to benefit from an £80,000 boost for local museum projects as part of Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Better Life Chances programme.

The funding, from Arts Council England and the Department for Education, will support sustainable relationships between qualifying schools and their local museums to enhance pupils’ education outside the classroom.

Aldershot Military Museum, Basing House and Andover Museum of the Iron Age, all operated and funded by Hampshire Cultural Trust, will develop curriculum-linked projects in order to engage with local schools and the wider community. 

The trust’s partner sites - Winchester Military Museums and the Museum of Army Flying - will also receive funding to deliver educational opportunities.

The cash windfall from Arts Council England and the Department for Education has been awarded to the ‘Reaching Out’ North Hampshire Museum Education Partnership in order to strengthen local networks for the future. 

Janet Owen, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, welcomed the cash injection for the project, commenting: “We are delighted to receive this funding which will enable our cultural venues to connect positively with schools, families and groups of vulnerable people across Hampshire.

“We have a fantastic wealth of museums in Hampshire, and we look forward to announcing further details of our projects which will help to change the lives of young people for the better.”




Andover has a long and fascinating history, but how much do local people really know about their town?

Actors from the Theatre of Dark Encounters will bring the town’s history alive over four days in August by taking people on a historical tour of the town to mark the official relaunch of the Andover Heritage Trail. The actors will be dressed in period costume and will share stories about how England’s peace with the Vikings was secured, how a scandal in the town’s workhouse led to the reform of the Poor Laws, and how the arrival of the railways affected people living and working in the town.

The tours are free and will take place on Friday 12, 19 and 26 August at 11.30am and 1.30pm and Sunday 21 August at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. They will last around 75 minutes and are suitable for ages eight and over. Tours start at Town Mills and finish at Andover Museum. Tickets must be booked in advance through The Lights Theatre box office or by calling 01264 368368.

The relaunch is part of Test Valley Borough Council’s Four Fun Fridays project, which will see a vibrant programme of street entertainment, live music, creative workshops and competitions for all the family to enjoy each Friday in August.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Carr, said: “The tours will be informative and engaging and give a unique experience for locals, or visitors, to learn more about Andover. We hope they will give people, especially the younger audience, a rare insight into the lives of some of the inhabitants from years gone by when it was one of the most important coaching towns in the south.”

The relaunched Heritage Trail has been made possible through a Heritage Lottery Grant and a partnership between Test Valley Borough Council and Hampshire Cultural Trust.


BBC History Magazine's weekend festival is back this autumn for a fourth year running. This year’s festival sees a new historic setting in the centre of Winchester, with a tremendous line-up featuring some of the biggest names in popular history.

The history weekend is working with Hampshire Cultural Trust on the county’s big theme for 2016, Royal Blood, a year-long series of historical exhibitions, performances and events bringing Hampshire’s history life. The county has played host to many crucial moments in English history and the Royal Blood events have been planned to both excite and educate visitors about its rich and illustrious royal past.

Running from 7-9 October, the festival will this year be making is debut in Winchester. The ancient capital of England is steeped in Anglo-Saxon and medieval history, and one of the lecture venues will be the amazing 13th-century Great Hall. Speakers for the weekend include Antony Beevor, Dan Snow, Suzannah Lipscomb, Jonathan Dimbleby and Michael Wood amongst many more.

This fascinating weekend is a rare opportunity to hear from some of the world’s leading historians and authors on a range of topics from Richard III and The Norman Conquest, to the Last Royal Rebels and The Private Lives of the Tudors. There are also special events to enjoy such as The Historical Trips Debate, where four expert historians will debate the Second World War, as well as a fun H for History Quiz. For a full list of ticket prices, a talk programme and to book tickets please visit www.historyweekend.com/winchester.

The weekend will be running alongside the Royal Blood events schedule, which throughout the year will include gallery exhibits, re-enactments and outdoor performances to transport everyone back to the Hampshire’s past. For a full line up of Royal Blood activities please visit http://www.royalbloodhants.co.uk/.

Southampton City Art Gallery awarded £450,000 from Arts Council England

Southampton City Art Gallery awarded £450,000 from Arts Council England’s Museums Resilience Fund

Southampton City Art Gallery, along with its partner Hampshire Cultural Trust, has been awarded £450,000 to transform the quality of cultural experiences across the county and raise the profile of Southampton’s world class fine art collection.

Cllr Satvir Kaur, Cabinet member for Communities, Culture and Leisure at Southampton City Council said "I’m really delighted that Southampton City Art Gallery has been successfully awarded money from the Museums Resilience Fund. This exciting project, which will be run in conjunction with Hampshire Cultural Trust, will ensure many more people will get to enjoy the gallery’s outstanding collection. The city is quickly becoming one of the south coast’s cultural capitals, and this vote of confidence from Arts Council England is another major step forward."

Over the next 18 months, Southampton City Art Gallery will work with Hampshire Cultural Trust’s four flagship galleries in Hampshire - The Sainsbury Gallery, Basingstoke; The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre; Gosport Gallery; and St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery - to develop a bold and ambitious artistic programme.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust said, "We are delighted that Arts Council England have awarded £450,000 towards delivery of this exciting vision for culture in Hampshire. We are looking forward to working in close partnership with Southampton City Council and other partners to bring great art to local people through vibrant gallery programmes in Basingstoke, Gosport, Lymington, Southampton and Winchester."

Announcing the award this morning, Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: "This is an exciting scheme bringing together the galleries in Hampshire’s Flagship project to showcase some of the world class art held in Southampton City Art Gallery. Southampton City Art Gallery and Hampshire Cultural Trust are working together to raise the profile of top quality exhibitions and give more people the chance to enjoy them. These museums and galleries are looking to build a more secure and resilient future and we’re delighted to be supporting them through the Museums Resilience Fund."

We Are Here

We Are Here

Summer Arts College ran in July 2016 with a group of vulnerable young people aged 15-17 referred by Hampshire Youth Offending Team. The group took part in photography sessions with professionals from In Focus and poetry workshops with performance poet, Femi Martin; the project was held at the University of Winchester. The group were inspired to think about their place in the universe, from home to outer space. All individuals in the group grew in confidence, positive behaviour and creative expression. Four vulnerable young people gained Explore and Bronze Arts Awards.

One young person who has been a victim of abuse and has a challenging home life said: “This has been the best part of my rollercoaster and I don’t want it to stop…the course has kept me out of trouble, I feel I can achieve things…it has changed the way I feel about myself and the way I see others, it has been good for my confidence.”

A young man who is in the care system said: “I have been on a lot of projects but this is the best thing I’ve been on…this project has helped me step forward in my life, I have learnt that I can be mature and more confident…I want to go to college in September.”

The group of young people performed their final poems to an audience on Friday 29 July in the gallery café at Theatre Royal Winchester where an exhibition of their photographs is displayed until end of August 2016.  One audience member commented: “What an amazingly brave and talented group of young people who are all sure to set the world on fire in their own individual ways. Well done to you all.”

“A great sharing of poetry and images. Powerful and moving words. Glad to have supported the programme,” commented Peter Taylor, Strategic Manager, Artswork.

This project was managed by Hampshire Cultural Trust, in partnership with Hampshire Youth Offending Team. It was funded by a co-investment from Artswork and the Police & Crime Commissioner. The co-investment aims to realise a number of shared objectives including reducing antisocial behaviour, youth offending rates and supporting those who are vulnerable and at most risk through sustainable high quality arts and cultural programmes that will also have Arts Council England’s Quality Principles at their heart.

Pop in to see the exhibition at Theatre Royal Winchester before the end of August!




100 awe-inspiring photographs from The Natural History Museum’s world-renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will be on display to the public at the Gallery @ Gosport Discovery Centre this summer.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition opened at the Gallery, which is run by the Hampshire Cultural Trust, on 9 July, and will run until 3 September. Admission to the exhibition is free of charge.

This touring exhibition, which is on loan from the Natural History Museum, showcases the very best wildlife imagery in the world, from captivating animal behaviour to breathtaking natural landscapes.

The photographs illustrate the abundance, majesty, and vulnerability of life whether on land, sea or sky. From intimate portraits to layered motion stills, they blend startling visuals, compelling narratives, and a passion for the natural world.


Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: "We are thrilled to be hosting this prestigious exhibition once again. It is a fantastic showcase for some of the natural world's most astonishing and challenging sights, and an honour for Gosport to be part of the exhibition's international tour, which allows the photographs to be seen by millions of people across the world."

Wildlife Photographer of the Year has provided a global platform for images taken across the world for over 50 years.

Launched in 1965, when it attracted just 361 entries, today the competition receives over 42,000 entries from 96 countries, highlighting its enduring appeal. This year’s 100 award-winning images are on an international tour which crosses six continents.


Portrait of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, c.1770-1775, Cosway, Richard, (1742-1821) / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images

2016 marks 300 years since the birth of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, England's most famous landscape designer, who changed the face of eighteenth century England.

As part of the Capability Brown Festival in Hampshire celebrating this landmark anniversary, Hampshire Gardens Trust is putting on three events at Hampshire Record Office over the summer.


Thursday 30 June 2016, 1:00pm - 1:30pm

An Introductory Lecture to the HGT ‘Brown in Hampshire’ Exhibition

A lunchtime talk by Sally Miller, Chair of the Research Group. Admission is free of charge, no booking required.


Thursday 30 June - Thursday 29 September

Exhibition of Brown Sites in Hampshire By HGT

This exhibition by Hampshire Gardens Trust marks the 300th birthday of landscape architect and gardener, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. He designed over 170 parks and gardens, several of which can be found in Hampshire. The exhibition is open Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm, and on every first and third Saturday in the month 9:00am - 4:00pm. Admission is free, no booking is required.


Thursday 21 July, 12:30pm - 1:45pm

Lancelot Brown's Kitchen Gardens in Hampshire with Susan Campbell

Brown included kitchen gardens in his landscapes, a fact that is generally overlooked. His landscapes in Hampshire are no exception. This talk examines eight Hampshire examples, with a possible ninth thrown in for good measure. Admission free - donations to Hampshire Gardens Trust welcome on the day.

Susan Campbell has been researching the history of walled kitchen gardens for over 20 years and is a well-known authority on the subject. She leads the Walled Kitchen Gardens Network – click here for the website








Capability Brown: Master of the Landscape is moving to The Sainsbury Gallery at The Willis Museum, Basingstoke, on 18 June.

The exhibition ran from 28 March until 12 June in The Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre, and welcomed over 10,000 visitors from across the UK through its doors.

The exhibition celebrates the pioneering eighteenth-century landscape designer and was formally opened on 31 March by much-loved television presenter and writer Alan Titchmarsh, a great admirer of Brown’s work.

Also on show at the Willis Museum from 11 June until 23 July, is a complementary exhibition, the Capability Brown Community Exhibition. Students from Hampshire schools and Basingstoke Young Carers have created images, photographs and artwork inspired by Capability Brown's landscapes in this exhibition which is a partnership between Hampshire Cultural Trust, NADFAS and Four Lanes Trust.

2016 marks 300 years since the birth of Capability Brown, England’s most famous landscape designer. Visitors to the fascinating Master of the Landscape exhibition will discover how Brown radically changed the face of 18th century England, and will be able to step into the landscape to reveal his genius and find out what it takes to move a mountain.

Janet Owen, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “We are delighted to bring Capability Brown: Master of the Landscape to Basingstoke, particularly after its huge success in Winchester.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to come along to view the captivating displays and find out more about this hugely influential figure. The legacy he created is still enjoyed by visitors to his many landscapes both locally and throughout the UK during this, his tercentennial year.”

Admission to Capability Brown: Master of the Landscape is free of charge and opening hours are Tuesday – Friday, 10:00am – 5:00pm, and Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm.

The tercentenary is being celebrated with the Capability Brown Festival 2016: www.capabilitybrown.org



A 700-year-old gold ring found by a metal detectorist in the Winchester area has been acquired for the City Council’s museum collection by the Hampshire Cultural Trust.

The ring has one sapphire and two garnet settings. Its large size, a little more than 20mm in diameter, makes it likely to have belonged to a man rather than a woman.

The metal detectorist submitted the find to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), run nationally by the British Museum in London.  It was declared treasure by law and offered up for sale.

Hampshire Cultural Trust, which cares for the museum collections of Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council, was able to purchase the ring with substantial grant aid from the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund and The Headley Trust, matched by a contribution of £3,000 from Winchester City Council.

“In addition to its age - it is quite unusual to find an object of this type after all this time - there are a number of things which make this ring so important,” explained Helen Rees, Curator of Winchester Archaeology at Hampshire Cultural Trust.

“Objects made of precious metals were often melted down and re-worked, so they were much less likely to survive: most of the rings of a similar age that we curate are made of base metal and much plainer. How such a valuable object came to be sitting in a muddy field is a puzzle that we may eventually solve, although it won’t be easy.”

Cllr Steve Miller, Portfolio Holder for Estates and Local Economy at Winchester City Council, said:

“Winchester City Council is delighted to have acquired this well-crafted, precious and beautiful object.  Metal detectorists play an active role in contributing to museum collections across the country, and I can only guess how exciting it must be to come across a find of this quality.

“Thanks to the good offices of Hampshire Cultural Trust and the financial support of The Headley Trust and Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Fund, we can keep the ring locally and ensure that residents of this district are able to enjoy it in the future.”

The ring is now with the Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Winchester-based conservators being prepared for display in ‘Births, Battles and Beheadings’, the Royal Blood exhibition at the Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre, which runs from 5 November 2016 to 8 January 2017.  After that, it will join the other archaeological treasures on permanent display at Winchester City Museum, which are enjoyed by over 50,000 visitors a year and many more online.


The Search for Alfred the Great on Tuesday 14 June kicks off the Royal Blood Summer Lecture Series, a joint venture between Hampshire Cultural Trust and the University of Winchester in association with the Royal Studies Journal.

The first of three lectures in the series, The Search for Alfred the Great is by Dr Katie Tucker, Research Fellow in Human Bioarchaeology at the University of Winchester. The lecture will detail the archaeological, osteological and historical detective work involved in the search for the remains of King Alfred, which featured both in a 2014 BBC Two documentary and a book, In Search of Alfred the Great: The King, The Grave, The Legend, by Katie Tucker and Edoardo Albert.

On Wednesday 22 June, the second lecture focuses on a monarch who has long held a fascination for historians and the general public alike, Elizabeth I.

Estelle Paranque will begin the evening with a talk Daenerys Targaryen and the Shadow of Elizabeth I of England examining the links between Elizabeth and the well-known central character of George R.R. Martin’s historically inspired novels and TV series, Game of Thrones. Carole Levin, internationally noted scholar on Elizabeth I and her era, will give a talk on Elizabeth I and the Art of Doing Biography which will draw together the continued interest in the life of Elizabeth I and the challenges of capturing her life and reign in biographical studies.

The final lecture, on Wednesday 29 June, turns to Eleanor of Castile, the remarkable queen behind England’s greatest medieval king, Edward I, and her half-brother, Alfonso, king of Castile. Delivered by authors Sara Cockerill and Simon Doubleday, the talk will trace the sibling’s interwoven lives, from their childhoods in Andalusia to the height of their power in England and Spain, following the story of their personal passions, their influence and their afterlives in European memory.

The lectures will all take place at the University of Winchester’s King Alfred’s Campus on Sparkford Road and cost £7 per person, with free entry for University of Winchester staff and students. Click here for full details and to book tickets.



Visitors stepped back in time and explored Hampshire’s rich royal history with the coming of the kings at Westbury Manor Museum, Fareham, last weekend.

Throughout the day, there were timed presentations by local Anglo-Saxon re-enactment specialists, Weorod, which included the weaponry of the time and how it may have been used.  Visitors were alsoable to discover more about the history and archaeology of the sixth and seventh centuries, a time when the kingdoms of Kent, Wessex and Mercia fought for control of Hampshire, a time of tribal societies where people wore their wealth and fought for their rank.

A visit to the Heads and Tales exhibition inside the museum offered two different historical periods to explore, Tudor times and the English civil war in the reign of Charles I, as well as a focus on the remarkable Wriothesleys. Supporters of Henry VIII, patrons of Shakespeare, at odds with Elizabeth I and friends with King Charles I, the Wriothesley family lies at rest in nearby Titchfield Church.

Both the Anglo-Saxon Road to Royal Blood and the Heads and Tales exhibition are part of Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Royal Blood programme of re-enactments, exhibitions, performances and workshops taking place across the county throughout 2016, celebrating Hampshire’s rich and illustrious royal heritage, visit http://www.royalbloodhants.co.uk/ for more details.


Hampshire Cultural Trust has received £20,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for Young Blood, an exciting project at the Red House Museum working with young people in and around Christchurch. It will be run in partnership with Forest Arts Centre, Highcliffe Secondary School and CODA Music Centre.

The aim of the project is to help young people find fun and relevant ways to share the original story of one of the area’s most significant monuments, Christchurch Castle. This includes film making, designing interpretation panels, creating models for display, artistic interpretations and event planning. To achieve this, the young people will take part in a research trip to help them begin to shape their ideas, work with museum professionals, artists and film makers, and develop a range of new skills which will help them put their interest in history into practice.

The project will bring together a range of youth and heritage partners to support and train over 50 young people aged between 12 and 18, including 12 young people with additional needs. The young people have been brought together from Highcliffe Secondary School’s year 7, CODA Music and Forest Arts’ Theatre Works 2 and Epic Drama youth groups.

All the young people involved will come together to showcase their work on Saturday 9th July at the Red House Museum. The public are invited to join in their processional performance at Christchurch Castle and take part in a living history event at the museum to mark the opening of a display of their work, which will be displayed throughout the summer.

This project is part of Hampshire’s Big Theme ‘Royal Blood – the Fight for Power in Hampshire’.

‘’Forest Arts are very happy to be part of this exciting local heritage project,” commented Helen Cundy from Forest Arts Centre. “Engaging young people in heritage using the arts is a great way for them to learn about their community and its history.’’

Nerys Watts, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “HLF believes everyone should have the opportunity to explore their heritage, and thanks to National Lottery support this exciting and creative Young Roots project will bring the history of Christchurch alive for young people in the community.”



The Hampshire Cultural Trust Royal Blood exhibitions team at Andover Museum, (L-R) Claire Woodhead, Conservator; Dave Allen, Curator of Hampshire Archaeology; Mark Fenton, Collections Interpreter; Ioannis Ioannides, Exhibitions Manager.

There are stories of conquest and invasion, love, loss and betrayal across 2400 years of royal rule in Hampshire to discover at Royal Blood: Heads and Tales, a new programme of exhibitions running at six museums throughout the county.

Organised by Hampshire Cultural Trust, the exhibitions feature coins and precious objects preserved from the reigns of Hampshire’s kings and queens, and a special Royal Bloop family trail highlighting humorous but horrible histories.

Visitors will be able to gain an insight into royal loves and lives, battles and deaths, and will also be able to delve deeper into their local history, with a special focus at each museum, such as the Civil War and the Battle of Alton at Alton Museum, the growth of Aldershot as a military centre at Aldershot Military Museum, and the Tudors at Westbury Manor in Fareham.

In the Iron Age and throughout its illustrious history, Hampshire has played a pivotal role in struggles to win the crown of Wessex, and ultimately, England. From the turbulent Middle Ages, into the pomp and pageantry of the Tudor period, through to the dissension and division of the early Stuarts, the county has seen its full share of triumph and disaster. Battles, skirmishes, religious upheavals, dynastic marriages and other intrigues accompanied the fight of the county’s rulers, who often left their mark through coinage: heads, with a myriad of tales.

The Heads and Tales Exhibition opened at Andover Museum on 7 May, and runs to 9 July. It then opens at Westbury Manor Museum, Fareham, 14 May - 16 July; Aldershot Military Museum, 21 May – 24 July; Curtis Museum, Alton, 16 July – 17 September; Red House Museum and Gardens, Christchurch, 23 July – 17 September and Eastleigh Museum, 30 July – 24 September.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “We are delighted to bring this fantastic Royal Blood Heads and Tales exhibition to venues around Hampshire this summer. There is so much local history for people of all ages to discover, and these exhibitions present it in a fun and informative way.

“This is a great opportunity for locals and visitors alike to travel back in time with us and be part of this countywide celebration of our rich and royal heritage.”

The trust’s programme Royal Blood: The fight for power in Hampshire will bring to life the reigns of rampaging royals through exhibitions, performances and workshops until 11 March 2017.

To find out more about Royal Blood Heads and Tales Exhibition visit: http://www.royalbloodhants.com/


Image: (L-R) Nick Tripp, Taylor Tripp; Mazen Beidas, Taylor Tripp; Matthew Blake-Pead, R W Armstrong; Richard Taylor, Taylor Tripp; George Green, Taylor Tripp; Grace Hall, R W Armstrong; Robert Adam, ADAM Architecture; Kate Felus; Stuart Pearson, R W Armstrong; Paul Hanvey, ADAM Architecture; Hugh Petter, ADAM Architecture; Nigel Anderson, ADAM Architecture; Simon Lewis, R W Armstrong and Teresa Armstrong, R W Armstrong

Sponsors of Capability Brown: Making the Landscape in the City Space at Winchester Discovery Centre celebrated the exhibition with a glitzy drinks reception last month (April 19).

ADAM Architecture, R W Armstrong and Taylor Tripp hosted the event to toast the opening of Making the Landscape, which reveals how the land was physically transformed under the guiding genius of one man, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. From labourers and foremen, to artisans and engineers, the exhibition explores those who helped Brown to realise his vision of a landscape’s capability.

ADAM Architecture, Taylor Tripp and R W Armstrong, headline sponsors of the exhibition, have together covered the cost of a tree moving machine construction, a trainee architect’s time to research and produce a detailed drawing of an eye-catcher folly, and the fabrication and installation of the drawing in the City Space.

Richard Taylor, Design Director at Taylor Tripp, said: “Helping sponsor this fascinating exhibition is an honour due to our huge admiration for Brown’s enduring influence on the landscape design profession. The harmonious beauty of Brown’s landscapes is a constant source of inspiration. He was a genius whose pioneering use of the tree wagon literally changed the landscape forever.” 

Hugh Petter, Director of ADAM Architecture, added: “We are delighted to be supporting this excellent exhibition about Capability Brown in Winchester. Three hundred years after his birth, he remains as important today as he was in his own time for anyone interested in country houses and their landscape settings.”

Guests were joined by Kate Felus, a designed-landscape historian who specialises in the social history of 18th century gardens and buildings, who spoke about Capability Brown and his work. They also had a chance to view the Capability Brown: Master of the Landscape exhibition in The Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre, which, since its opening in March, has welcomed over 6000 visitors.

Admission to Capability Brown: Making the Landscape is free of charge, and opening hours are Monday – Friday: 10:00am – 6:00pm, Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm, and Sunday: 11:00am – 3:00pm. The exhibition will be at City Space at the Winchester Discovery Centre until 15 May.

Admission to Capability Brown: Master of the Landscape is free of charge, and opening hours are Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 7:00pm, Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm, and Sunday: 11:00am – 3:00pm. The exhibition will be at The Gallery at the Winchester Discovery Centre until 12 June, before moving to The Sainsbury Gallery at The Willis Museum in Basingstoke on 18 June.



2d3d South Contemporary Art are delighted to return to the Red House with their exciting exhibition ‘Visions’ which showcases artists work offering a diverse visual dialogue of contemporary work.

There will be an opportunity to purchase original work alongside beautiful prints and cards.

The exhibition runs from 7th May until 4th June

Entry to the exhibition and museum is free but your kind donations are welcome.


Image: Alan Titchmarsh at the formal opening of the exhibition on 31 March.
L-R: Alan Lovell, Chair of Trustees, Hampshire Cultural Trust; Gilly Drummond OBE VMH DL, Hampshire Gardens Trust Ambassador and Chair of the Capability Brown Festival 2016; Alan Titchmarsh, MBE VMH DL; Janet Owen, Chief Executive Hampshire Cultural Trust

Capability Brown: Master of the Landscape, an exhibition celebrating the pioneering eighteenth-century landscape designer, is drawing the crowds to The Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre.

The exhibition was formally opened by much-loved television presenter and writer Alan Titchmarsh, a great admirer of Brown's work, on 31 March. Gilly Drummond, Ambassador for Hampshire Gardens Trust and Chair of the Capability Brown Festival 2016, also spoke at the opening.

2016 marks 300 years since the birth of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, England's most famous landscape designer. He recreated the natural landscape on a grand scale for many estate owners, and is associated with a number of estates in Hampshire, including Highclere Castle - famously the setting for Downton Abbey - and Broadlands near Romsey.

Since opening just three weeks ago, over 4000 people have visited the exhibition from all over the country, while more than 2500 visitors have enjoyed the accompanying exhibition, Capability Brown: Making the Landscape, also at Winchester Discovery Centre.

Admission to Capability Brown: Master of the Landscape is free of charge, and opening hours are Monday-Friday 9:00am-7:00pm, Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm, and Sunday 11:00am-3:00pm. The exhibition will be at The Gallery at the Winchester Discovery Centre until 12 June, before moving to The Sainsbury Gallery at The Willis Museum in Basingstoke on 18 June.




Image: ‘It Stood, Abandoned, Against the Yellow Skies’ © Anouk Mercier

DRAWN: Innovative approaches to drawing arrives at the Sainsbury Gallery at The Willis Museum in Basingstoke this week, opening on Saturday 23 April.

DRAWN is an exciting exhibition of some of the recent works of two emerging contemporary artists, Anouk Mercier and Greg Gilbert. Both artists use fragments of images, photographs or existing artwork as inspiration and material in their drawing.

The exhibition at the Willis Museum is the first time Gilbert’s detailed biro and pencil miniatures and Mercier’s fictional, melancholic worlds have been exhibited together. Although both artists share a love for the ready-made image, their end results are contrasting due to the distinct materials and techniques they each use to create their work.

Image: ‘Spoils' © Greg Gilbert

Gilbert, who was born, lives and works in Southampton, will be exhibiting at the Winchester Poetry Festival this October, and has recently been confirmed as one of the artists in residence at Southampton arts and heritage venue, Gods House Tower.

Mercier studied classical drawing at the Beaux Arts in Paris, and her 2015 work Route des Lindarets – Une Cascade, was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize and is currently part of the Prize’s national touring exhibition.

Janet Owen, chief executive of the Hampshire Cultural Trust, commented:

“We are very excited to be bringing this inspirational exhibition from two such talented and innovative artists to one of the Hampshire Cultural Trust’s flagship venues, the Willis Museum.

“Both Gilbert and Mercier are nationally-acclaimed artists, and we are very proud, once again, to be able showcase world-class art in our county.”

Admission to the exhibition is free, and it runs until 9 June 2016.



Hampshire Cultural Trust is working in partnership with the Winchester Poetry Festival to support the inaugural Winchester Poetry Prize.

With a first prize of £1000, the aim of this prestigious new award is to give recognition to the successful poets, who will be invited to read their winning poems at a presentation at the Festival on Sunday 9 October. Winning and commended poems will also be published in a competition anthology to be launched at the Festival, which runs from 7 -9 October.

The prize will be judged by Mimi Khalvati, whose most recent collection, The Weather Wheel, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and Book of the Year in the Independent. Mimi Khalvati is the sole judge, and, as well as reading all entered poems, will also be present at the prize-giving event.

Angela Hicken, Literature Officer for the Hampshire Cultural Trust, has been closely involved with the Winchester Poetry Festival since it was first devised in 2014, and now acts as an advisor to its Board.

The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over, and entries may be on any subject in any form or style but no longer than 40 lines. Entry fee is £5.00 for the first poem and £4.00 for each subsequent entry. The closing date is 31 July 2016, and full details are available on the Winchester Poetry Festival website.


A book of poetry written with the help of people with dementia has been published by Lymington's St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery.

The Sharing Shorelines anthology was created as part of the Sharing Shorelines community engagement project, which was sponsored by care home provider Colten Care.

The project ran alongside the art exhibition Shorelines: Artists of the South Coast.

This major exhibition took place at St. Barbe gallery between September 2015 and January 2016 and featured artists from the 18th century to the present day who have drawn inspiration from the cliffs, harbours and beaches of southern England.

St. Barbe invited local people affected by dementia, including Colten Care home residents, to visit the exhibition and take part in a series of 'conversations' about some of the paintings with poet and storyteller Chris Bennett.

Chris then recorded their observations, interpretations and feelings about the artwork.

He said: "At the beginning of this project we had no idea how people with dementia would respond to the paintings.

"But people from throughout the community, with varying stages of dementia came along, and we just took things slowly, looked at the art and chatted about what we saw."

He continued: "The participants' reactions and observations were very interesting, sometimes giving glimpses of their memories, including holidays they'd spent by the sea.

"I then simply took those memories and observations and moulded them into poems."

Laura Bullivant, the community engagement and learning officer for Hampshire Cultural Trust and co-ordinator of the Sharing Shorelines project said: "We gave people the chance to share their ideas, opinions and responses to major artwork and develop their own creativity through language.

"This has given people with dementia an opportunity to socialise and keep mind active, as well as the chance to enjoy a new learning experience."

Residents from Colten Care's Linden House in Lymington and Kingfishers Care Home in New Milton, attended some of the gallery conversations and contributed ideas which inspired poems.

Linden House resident Frances Evans helped to write two of the poems in the Sharing Shorelines anthology.

Her daughter Sara Shelton said: "When I heard my mother was going to be involved in writing poetry I was intrigued.

"When a loved one has dementia you often feel that who they once were is now lost.

"But just from looking at the paintings with Chris, Mum talked about what she saw and linked them to her own memories - of her love of the sea - even her passion for spring cleaning!

"The resulting poems have the very essence of mum within them, which is wonderful to see."

Tim Wookey, Colten Care's Marketing Director, said: "The Sharing Shorelines project has been a huge success across the community and we were very proud to sponsor it as part of our overall commitment to community initiatives around our homes.

"I attended some of the sessions at the gallery and saw for myself the inspiring way in which local people with dementia responded to the paintings.

"We were also very pleased to host the St. Barbe team at Linden House, for a celebration to mark the finale of the project."

Exceprts from the gallery sessions can be viewed here, and copies of the Sharing Shorelines poetry anthology are available from St. Barbe Museum & Art Gallery and Linden House. An online version can also be seen at http://www.coltencare.co.uk/ and http://sharingshorelines.org/.


Image: The Sealed Knot Re-enactment Society


Hampshire Cultural Trust is travelling back in time this year to explore the battle for power throughout Hampshire’s long and illustrious royal history.

From April, Royal Blood: The fight for power in Hampshire will bring to life reigns of rampaging royals, transporting curious kids and history buffs alike to the heart of battles, terrifying sieges and opulent banquets through riveting re-enactments, exhibitions, performances and workshops across the county.

Hampshire is rich in royal power, having hosted many crucial events in English history, and Royal Blood blasts off on 9 April with a live re-enactment of the Civil War siege and storming of Basing House by The Sealed Knot, the nationally-renowned re-enactment society. The highly interactive events and exhibitions programme, organised by Hampshire Cultural Trust as part of its ongoing mission to bring world-class art and culture to people’s doorsteps, will draw to a close on 11 March, 2017.

Gallery exhibits will allow visitors a close-up look at priceless objects dating back to 400BC and through the Iron Age, Roman, Saxon, Norman, Angevin, Tudor and Stuart periods. There will also be a rare opportunity for visitors to view items on loan from the British Museum, including The Winchester Hoard, a unique collection of gold jewellery which has been described as the most important discovery of Iron Age gold objects in Britain since 1950.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said:

“Last year’s DINOFEST2015 was a gigantic success. Thousands of visitors from across the country stormed into Hampshire for a year-long series of roarsome events and exhibitions.

“We are thrilled to be bringing Royal Blood to the county this year with such an exciting, informative and interactive series of events, exhibitions and performances to enjoy.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the people of Hampshire and beyond to travel back in time with us and be part of this countywide celebration of our rich and royal heritage.”

The Royal Blood programme of events and exhibitions includes:

Sealed Knot Civil War Re-enactment
Basing House, Basingstoke, 9 – 10 April 2016

Take a step back in time and witness the turmoil of the English Civil War as the Sealed Knot society re-enacts the siege and storming of Basing House. The smell of gunpowder, clash of swords and battle cries will combine to evoke the stirring atmosphere of this attack on one of the great Royalist strongholds. A great way for the whole family to experience living history.

Heads and Tales

Andover Museum, 7 May – 9 July
Westbury Manor Museum, Fareham, 14 May – 16 July
Aldershot Military Museum, 21 May – 24 July
Curtis Museum, Alton, 16 July – 17 September
Red House Museum and Gardens, Christchurch, 23 July – 17 September
Eastleigh Museum, 30 July – 24 September

This exhibition explores the Kings and Queens who have ruled our county over the last 2400 years through the coins of their eras, precious objects carefully preserved from their reigns and a special Royal Bloop family trail that highlights their humorous but horrible history. Visitors will gain an invaluable insight into the royals’ lives and loves, battles and deaths, and will be able to delve deeper into their local history.

The Mystery of the Vanishing Queen
Milestones Museum Basingstoke, 19 July – 30 October 2016

The Queen is coming to Milestones Museum’s cobbled streets and the citizens are excitedly preparing for her royal pageant – but some have other ideas. A kidnap plot has emerged, so get dressed up in your Victorian best, follow the clues to reveal the conspiracy and be sure to telegram the police. This brand new, interactive experience is perfect for curious kids, and for older history buffs, the latest Victorian-themed Escape Room challenge will get hearts and minds racing.

Births, Battles and Beheadings

The Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre, 5 November – 8 January 2017
Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery, Basingstoke, 3 September – 29 October 2016
The Gallery at Gosport Discovery Centre, 14 January – 11 March 2017

Explore the past 2000 years of English Royalty through objects and images that highlight the fascinating and bloody history of Kings and Queens. The show tells key royal stories, including tales of resolution and revolution, dignity and despair. At the heart of this fascinating exhibition are pieces from two Hampshire Iron Age treasure troves, the Winchester Hoard and the Alton Hoard, both on loan from the British Museum.

To find out more about Royal Blood visit: www.royalbloodhants.com

Hampshire Cultural Trust would like to thank the following for their invaluable contributions to Royal Blood exhibitions and events:

Arts University, Bournemouth
The British Museum
Winchester Cathedral
Winchester College


Quest for the Brick Kingdom at Milestones in Basingstoke extended to 24 April 2016

Image: Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Milestones Museum, Basingstoke, is extending its Brick Kingdom LEGO® Challenge.

The all-action Quest for the Brick Kingdom LEGO® Challenge at Milestones Museum in Basingstoke has been extended until Sunday 24 April.

With over 11,000 eager visitors in just its first ten days of opening, the live action LEGO® Brick Challenge has proved to be a huge hit with families across Hampshire and beyond.

Taking place on the cobbled streets of Milestones, visitors can embark on a quest to help defeat the evil Wizard Zapp, and return Princess Orra to her home, the Brick Kingdom. The exciting adventure unfolds as young heroes take on challenges and solve clues to complete their Quest Logbooks, meeting life-size LEGO® models of a griffin, unicorn, princess and wizard, as well as a fearsome 2.5 metre dragon, along the way. Children can also build their own versions of the Brick Kingdom at the LEGO® play tables.

Milestones have worked closely with Bright Bricks, the UK-based professional LEGO® building company, to bring this fresh and exciting experience for everyone to enjoy to Basingstoke. Bright Bricks built an impressive castle gatehouse from the large scale LEGO® bricks that visitors made during February and March. Serving as additional inspiration for budding builders, this will also be on display until 24 April.

Janet Owen, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “It is a great privilege to be hosting this popular event at Milestones Museum and to be able to extend the experience, allowing even more visitors to get involved with the LEGO® quest and activities.

“The live action LEGO® Challenge and the model building have already proved a great success and we look forward to welcoming more families over the coming weeks into the Brick Kingdom. Don’t miss this great opportunity to join in and have fun with your family this spring”.

Normal admission includes entry to Quest for the Brick Kingdom, with additional charges applicable for certain activities. Click here for more information.

In addition, would-be record breakers can pit their wits against Ed Diment, the official Guinness World Record holder for LEGO® speed building. Taking place from 11:00-4:00pm on both 16 and 17 April, children will have great fun competing against friends, family and other visitors to set a Milestones LEGO® speed building record.



Horizon 20:20 programme to engage hard-to-reach young people in Hampshire through arts and culture


Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) is to head up an exciting new programme that will see local young people explore different art forms through a series of workshops, including printing, pottery, drama, music and poetry.

The young people, deemed to be ‘at risk of social exclusion’, will have the chance to work with professional artists and enjoy cultural visits to locations including Milestones Museum, Basingstoke, and the Tate Modern, in London.

Following a successful pilot programme, the Trust has been awarded £350,000 in funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. This will enable it to offer the programme to 700 participants at seven local Educational Centres (EC) over the next four years:

  • Andover EC, Andover

  • The Bridge, Eastleigh

  • Forest EC, Dibden

  • Linden EC, Farnborough

  • Woodlands EC, Havant

  • The Key, Gosport

  • Ashwood Academy, Basingstoke

Janet Owen, chief executive at Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “This funding will make a significant difference to how we engage with and change the motivation of those young people who are at risk of social exclusion. It will provide the cornerstone in our Better Life Chances Programme and allow us to realise the possibilities that arts, cultural and heritage can offer young people, to help them define their futures in a meaningful way.”


Dominic Coburn, headteacher of Greenwood School, Dibden, said: “We are so pleased that Horizon 20:20 will continue. In the first project, we saw a transformation in the way that young people learn creatively, value themselves and perceive their future opportunities. We have been able to display work from the last project in the centre – giving them the chance to feel pride in their achievements.”


Artswork, the South East Bridge organisation funded by Arts Council England, supported the initial pilot programme, through a co-investment of £25,000. The pilot ran across four Educational Centres and delivered artist-led workshops to hard-to-reach young people once a week. Cultural visits and the incorporation of Bronze Arts Award boosted participants’ self-esteem and motivated them to learn, whilst helping the young people to develop positive relationships with those around them and broaden their horizons.

Jane Bryant, chief executive of Artwork, said: “Artswork's co-investment in Horizon 2020 supported an innovative and ground-breaking pilot programme – one with the potential to make a meaningful difference. It provided fantastic opportunities for disengaged young people to build confidence, leadership and self-esteem through participating in great arts and culture. We look forward to sharing the learning from this over the next four years.”

To find out more about the work Hampshire Cultural Trust do, visit: www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk

Visit www.artswork.org.uk to find out more about Artswork, the South East Bridge organisation, funded by Arts Council England.




Rising star plays the Blues at West End Centre

Rising star plays the Blues at West End Centre















Image: Up and coming blues musician Laurence Jones is coming to the West End Centre, Aldershot.

British Blues Awards winner Laurence Jones will be rocking his fans with tracks from his new album when he performs in Aldershot next month.

The rising young Blues star is currently touring to promote ‘What’s It Gonna Be’ and stops off at the Hampshire Cultural Trust’s West End Centre venue on Thursday 28 April.

Described by BBC Radio Two as "Exciting and full of energy”, Laurence won Young Artist of the Year at the British Blues Awards in 2014 and 2015, and was named Best Guitarist at the 2015 European Blues Awards.

The 23-year-old Merseyside musician supported the legendary Van Morrison on his tour last year and Buddy Guy at the Albert Hall in London at the end of February.

Blues guitarist Walter Trout describes Laurence as "A cross between Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy - he is a genius”.

This is Laurence’s third album and has already received much praise from the music press. He is supported by Black Circles on this tour.

Barney Jeavons, centre director, said: “We are thrilled to have Laurence Jones play in Aldershot next month. He has already received great acclaim for his music and is a rising Blues talent.

“Don’t miss this opportunity to see him play in the West End Centre.”

Tickets are currently on sale priced from £10 to £12.

Contact the West End Centre box office on 01252 330040 or book online through Hampshire Cultural Trust’s website at http://www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/west-end-centre

To find out more about Hampshire Cultural Trust events visit www.hampshirecultural.trust.org.uk

Stand up for a night of comedy with Dane Baptiste

Image: Comedian Dane Baptiste is coming to the West End Centre, Aldershot

Stand-up comedy fans may know him from his appearances on BBC1’s Live at the Apollo, but now you have the chance to catch Dane Baptiste live in Aldershot.

The quick-witted comedian brings his own fast-paced brand of humour to the West End Centre, in Aldershot, on Friday 15 April.

He stops off at Hampshire Cultural Trust’s venue for one night only with his show ‘Reasonable Doubts’. Tickets are now on sale, priced at £12, and £10 for concessions.

Dane, named the Independent’s Face to Watch in 2015, and now starring in his own BBC3 sitcom Sunny D, is on his first UK tour which has already been met with sold-out audiences and huge critical acclaim at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Nominated for Best Newcomer in both the 2014 Foster’s Comedy Awards in 2014 and the Chortle Awards in 2015, Dane is being hailed as one of the most exciting acts to emerge in recent years.

Edinburgh Festival Magazine reviewed Reasonable Doubts: “It’s not hard to see why he is being praised as the next big thing. Whilst good comedians follow the formulae of stereotypical stand-up, Dane Baptiste ignores it and makes up his own rules – if you want to see something genuine and exceptional, Reasonable Doubts should be at the top of your list.”

Barney Jeavons, centre director, said: “This is a real coup for the West End Centre. Be sure to book early for tickets to see Dane live in action - you’re assured of a laughter-filled evening with this excellent stand-up comedian.”

Contact the West End Centre box office on 01252 330040 or book online through Hampshire Cultural Trust’s website http://www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/west-end-centre

To find out more about Hampshire Cultural Trust events visit www.hampshirecultural.trust.org.uk


Bunnies and Lambs at Bursleden Mill this Easter

Image: Miller’s Ark Baby Bunnies

Baby bunnies, lambs, ducklings and chicks from Miller’s Ark will be making their way to Bursledon Windmill for a fun packed family day this Easter Sunday.

There couldn’t be a more enjoyable and seasonal Easter Sunday outing than going to the beautiful windmill site to meet the Easter animals and taking a tour around the windmill itself.

Open from 10am to 4pm, there is no need to book, and for an extra £1 on top of the windmill entry fee, visitors will be able to meet and pet the animals.

As some of the larger animals will be in the car park, visitors will need to park off site and walk up Windmill Lane (they can phone 023 80 40 4999 if they have a mobility issue).

Image: Miller’s Ark Lambs



Clare Scheckter joins Hampshire Cultural Trust Board

Hampshire Cultural Trust appointed a new trustee this year (January 22).



Clare Scheckter, who owns Laverstoke Park Farm, Basingstoke, with her husband Jody, the 1979 Formula One World Champion, has joined the trust’s board, bringing a wealth of technological, educational and agricultural expertise and enthusiasm.


Clare, who is one of Dame Mary Fagan’s deputy lieutenants of Hampshire, was chief operating officer and co-founder of a high-tech company based in Atlanta, USA, before opening the Laverstoke Park Education Centre (LPEC) on the farm. It has seen over 15,000 students from schools, colleges and youth organisations try their hand at farming and learn more about sustainable land management, animal welfare and healthy food production, free-of-charge, since its conception in 2003. It was officially opened by Princess Anne in 2012.


She is no stranger to board committees. Clare has also been a governor at Testbourne Community School since 2006 and served on the CLA’s Education Committee between 2009-2011. In 2011, she was awarded an honorary fellowship of the University of Winchester and has served on the Worthy Down Independent Advisory Panel since 2012. In 2013, Clare was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire and, in 2014, as a trustee of the Enham Trust. Clare has just finished serving a one-year term as president of the South of England Agricultural Society.


Hampshire Cultural Trust is a registered charity providing arts and museum services for local people and visitors to Hampshire. It is governed by a board of trustees, chaired by Alan Lovell.


Alan said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Clare to the Hampshire Cultural Trust board. We look forward to the integral role she will play in our continued endeavours to showcase, connect and empower Hampshire’s creative economy.”



University of Winchester announced as founding corporate partner of Hampshire Cultural Trust


Hampshire Cultural Trust has announced its third Founding Corporate Partner, University of Winchester, today (16 March).

Founded in 1840, the University of Winchester, based in the heart of the city, is in the top 10 universities in the UK for teaching excellence and in the top four for student satisfaction. It offers both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a range of subjects including the arts and humanities. The new partnership has seen the university donate £2,500 to the trust as a Founding Corporate Partner.

The partnership will see two of the county’s leading organisations working collaboratively to foster and harness creativity to the highest standards in the region.

Hampshire Cultural Trust, which manages 23 museums and arts venues, works in partnership to be an economic catalyst for regeneration and skills development.

Both independent organisations share the same core values of being fresh and exciting and collaborative, always staying ahead of the curve and working to engage the public and creative talent as it emerges.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “We are delighted to announce The University of Winchester as a Founding Corporate Partner. We both share the vision of championing Hampshire for its outstanding education, arts, culture and heritage. We plan to extend our corporate sponsorship further and welcome organisations in the county to come on-board.”

Joy Carter, Vice Chancellor of The University of Winchester, said: “The University of Winchester is an engine room of creativity and productivity for Hampshire, so we are thrilled to be partnering with Hampshire Cultural Trust to create world-class culture in Hampshire.

“As a university we deliver outstanding teaching and research in arts, culture and heritage, and in everything we do we want to serve the common good. So, the trust is a really important partner to boost the impact the university and our students have in driving the region’s cultural and creative economy.”

To find out more about the University of Winchester visit www.winchester.ac.uk





Creative Apprenticeship Success!

Creative Apprenticeship Success!



Luke (aged 18) attended our Summer Arts College in 2015, a partnership project between HCT and YOT. Over two weeks a group of young people learnt photography and poetry skills, worked with arts professionals, visited an art gallery for the first time and gained Bronze Arts Award, all in the beautiful surroundings of the University of Winchester. In addition they gained Discover Arts Award with John Hansard Gallery, Southampton.

The confidence and creativity that Luke developed, along with new professional connections meant that artist Kristianne Drake was able to support his application to become a Creative Apprentice at John Hansard Gallery in Southampton and Luke got the job! Our sincere congratulations to Luke, he is starting in March 2016 and we know he will be fantastic!

British art provides the inspiration for local authors

British art provides the inspiration for local authors

Defining Movements: a journey through British Modern Art provided the opportunity for a group of local writers to be tutored through a short series of creative writing workshops at the Gosport Gallery.  Led by published author Judy Waite, the participants used the art works as springboards to create characters and produce new writing. 

Local author Lauren Jones took inspiration from Richard Long’s ‘Merthyr Tydfil Line’ and wrote:

“This Merthyr Tydfil is waiting and blasted. Never complains that you’re late.  Abandoned and removed, here the lines are not lines. These lines are ribbons, waving and bending. Their rusting, splintered arcs beg you to rediscover them.”

Local Author Piers McEwan said:

“I enjoyed the various methods we used to engage with the pieces of art, which served to spark ideas that simply would not have appeared if I had been looking at the artwork alone and without Judy’s guidance.”

Jacqui Pack opened her piece Rainbow Rumble based on Peter Blake’s ‘Babe Rainbow’

“The tunnel’s dark but, when you step inside, it explodes with light.  Successive blocks of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet ripple along its length towards you, seeming to radiate from the gold curtains that obscure the tunnel’s end.  The pattern repeats every seven seconds, and you sway, in danger of being hypnotised by its psychedelic motion.  You clear your head with a shake, and take another step forward.  The walls move; the tunnel grows shorter.  The conveyor belt beneath your feet runs so smoothly it’s hard to believe you’re travelling.  If asked, you’d swear the world was moving while you remained still.”

Angela Hicken Literature Development Officer with Hampshire Cultural Trust said:

“The writer’s workshop was a unique opportunity for local talent to discover their creative voice whilst experiencing and being immersed in those artistic works that have influenced art movements throughout the 20th century. They were also supported by Judy Waite, an award-winning author who has published over forty works of fiction, ranging from picture books to works of young adult  fiction.

Read more of the wonderul pieces of creative writing here!

In the photo left to right: Piers McEwan, Jacqui Pack and Lauren Jones.


Artists design luxury products based on iconic items in Hampshire museum collections

Artists design luxury products based on iconic items in Hampshire museum collections

Hampshire Cultural Trust has launched a new initiative whereby artists take inspiration from historic collections and use these to create artworks with a modern twist.

The Creative Commercial Collections scheme was piloted in partnership with the National Motor Museum Trust and supported by Jane Austen House Museum and 'a space' arts. The trust challenged artists from the Sorting Office, Eastleigh, to design luxury contemporary products inspired by one of three iconic items from the museums' collections:

  • Jane Austen's Pelisse Coat

  • The 1929 Golden Arrow - a world’s land speed record breaking car and Napier Lion Aero engine

  • The garden at Jane Austen's House Museum

The trust asked the artists to design a commercially viable item or product range to a theme of 'quintessential Englishness or Hampshire'. To be considered, the design had to be contemporary, fun and subversive. Artists that made it to the shortlisted stage also had to present their designs to judges on the panel partnership team.

The quality of the designs was so high that Hampshire Cultural Trust has chosen to commission three of the artists' products and will help them turn the designs into verifiable prototypes.

As an illustrator and a passionate gardener, Denise Hughes was inspired by the garden at Jane Austen's House Museum and wanted to communicate the garden's links to history alongside a modern illustrative surface design. She has designed a small and collectible range of luxury ceramic vases, based on the flowers in the garden.

Mariska Parent, a print designer and illustrator who incorporates hand-drawn imagery with a surreal and playful twist in her commercial interior projects, based her design on the 1929 Golden Arrow. Her unique hand tufted rug has a retro-futurism feel and the colour scheme is influenced by how the paintwork of the car and the museum lighting play together.

The third winning artist, Karen Head, was moved by Jane Austen's Pelisse Coat to design a luxurious wool and silk scarf that follows the colour palette of the coat and references its oak-leaf motif as a crocheted acorn border. Karen’s scarf is handcrafted using the “nuno-felt” technique, pressing silk chiffon between the softest merino wool and lustrous mulberry silk fibres to create a fine felted fabric with sheen.

Janet Owen, chief executive officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: "The aim of this initiative is to provide a design platform for artists to create a modern collectible with a connection to historic collections in the county. Artists are inspired by all kinds of sources and we, along with the National Motor Museum Trust, Jane Austen's House Museum and 'a space' arts believe that there are iconic items that are the perfect creativity springboard for contemporary designers. We’ve been delighted by the imagination demonstrated by the artists and we look forward to seeing their creations once finished."

Over the next eight weeks the three artists will transform their designs into prototypes to be translated into commercial products, for sale across the global market.

Janet continued: "We were impressed by the calibre of designs produced by Karen, Denise and Mariska and believe they have every chance of commercial success. We can't wait to see the finished products."


Volunteers needed at Milestones

Do you love LEGO®?

Do you enjoy meeting new people?

Would you like to get involved in an exciting new exhibition at Milestones this spring? If so then we’d love to hear from you!


Milestones Museum, Basingstoke is looking for volunteers to assist visitors at the Quest for the Brick Kingdom exhibition from 12 February to 10 April 2016.

Your role would be to help keep the magic alive for our visitors and to assist at the LEGO activity stations at weekends and during the school holidays.

If you would value joining the team during the exhibition, then please get in touch!

Milestones is open Tuesday to Friday 10.00am-4.45pm and weekends 11.00am-4.45pm.

Please note we can only accept volunteers over the age of 16.

We offer a complimentary family ticket to the ‘Quest’ exhibition to anyone who commits to volunteering on a regular basis during the exhibition and one complimentary adult pass to Milestones for each day of volunteering on completion of their commitment.

Check out this video to find out more about the exhibition: http://hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/event/quest-brick-kingdom

Please apply via email, stating your available dates to the Milestones email address: milestones.museum@hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk and we will be in touch.

Stunning Timorous Beasties exhibition to be revealed at The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre

Stunning Timorous Beasties exhibition to be revealed at The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre

Hampshire Cultural Trust have handed the creative reins at The Gallery Winchester Discovery Centre to multi-award winning, internationally acclaimed design studio Timorous Beasties. This exciting exhibition will be revealed on 23 January.

The special installation includes a selection of Timorous Beasties’ own collections, who have been known for making bold and beautiful statements in the design world since 1990.

Founded by Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons, who met as students at Glasgow School of Art, the Timorous Beasties design studio has both embraced traditional design and defied conventional rules of pattern-making over the last 25 years. The result has been an array of exciting textile collections and collaborative projects at the forefront of British design with clients such as Fortnum & Mason, Famous Grouse, the V&A and Nike.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive Officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: "We've given Timorous Beasties 'carte blanche' over The Gallery and we can't wait to see what they produce. Their sumptuous and surreal work is known throughout the world and this display will give visitors and fans of Timorous Beasties a special insight into this creative duo."

Timorous Beasties are expert in printed fabric and wallpapers and also apply their designs to a range of disciplines, from carpets to ceramics and graphics to products. This striking show offers a fantastic opportunity to see one of the best current British design studios in Winchester.

Paris Smith LLP Announced as Founding Corporate Partner of Hampshire Cultural Trust

Image: Peter Taylor, Managing Partner of Paris Smith LLP, with Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust

Hampshire Cultural Trust has announced its second-ever Founding Corporate Partner, Paris Smith LLP, today (January 14).

Paris Smith LLP, which is based in Southampton and has recently opened an office in Winchester, is one of the largest regional law firms in Central Southern England, with 34 partners and just under 200 staff. The new partnership has seen the firm donate £2,500 to the Trust as a Founding Corporate Partner.   

The partnership will see the organisations working collaboratively to champion Hampshire as a world-class county.

Hampshire Cultural Trust, which launched last year, exists to bring world class culture to Hampshire. With 23 museums and arts venues, it works collaboratively to bring organisations, people and ideas together for greater impact, with customer focus at its core.

Both independent organisations share the same core values of being fresh and exciting, collaborative and customer focused - always staying ahead of the curve and delivering real value with confidence.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “We are delighted to announce Paris Smith LLP as a Founding Corporate Partner. We both share the vision of enabling and showcasing the very best and Paris Smith LLP are a perfect partner for us to have on board. We plan to extend our corporate sponsorship further and welcome organisations in the County to get involved.”

Peter Taylor, Managing Partner of Paris Smith LLP, said: “A community is undoubtedly defined by its culture. As a business which is committed to enabling success in the regional economy, it is important to Paris Smith to support the Trust in its mission to raise awareness of the world class culture, arts and heritage available on our doorstep. As a Corporate Founding Partner, we are really pleased to play a part in enriching the cultural offer of the County. We know that the support of business can really make a difference to the breadth and depth of the culture and arts sector, which enhances the region in which we live and work, as well as attracting others to experience what is on offer here."

Mayor's Choice exhibition opens at City Space in Winchester Discovery Centre

Mayor's Choice exhibition opens at City Space in Winchester Discovery Centre

Image: Clarice Cliff tea plate, which will be exhibited with a cup and saucer, chosen by Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Angela Clear as part of the Mayor's Choice exhibition at City Space, Winchester.

Rarely-seen artwork and artefacts will be on display at the ever-popular Mayor's Choice exhibition at City Space in Winchester Discovery Centre from Saturday 16 January. The exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to see artwork and objects from the City and County museum collections, now cared for by Hampshire Cultural Trust and not usually on public display.

This year the Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Angela Clear, has selected a range of paintings textiles and artefacts, many of which illustrate the history of her local area of Wickham. The Mayor's personal interest in the early 20th century art deco style is also represented by several pieces by the renowned ceramics designer Clarice Cliff.

The Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Angela Clear, said: "The work on display is my personal choice, incorporating exhibits from Winchester and the district past and present. They include artwork illustrating local views and subjects over many years and showcase some of the wealth of our museums' collections."

One of the fascinating objects featured in this exhibition is a rare survival from the late 18th century - a wooden carved overmantle depicting the coat of arms of the City of Winchester. It is thought this recently acquired piece was originally in the Mayor's official residence in Winchester, Abbey House, when it was the home of the Recorder of Winchester in the mid 1700s.

Mayor's Choice is a free family friendly exhibition and includes quizzes and colouring in activities. There will also be a make and take workshop between 10am and 4pm on 16 February at the Discovery Centre where visitors can drop in and create their very own Clarice Cliff paper plate design. This event is free and suitable for age 7+ but an adult should accompany all children taking part.

The exhibition closes on 21 February.

City Space is open Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 11am to 3pm, closed bank holidays. More information can be found at www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk/city-space.

Hampshire Poet 2016 appointed by Hampshire Cultural Trust

Image: Isabel Rogers, Hampshire Poet 2016, photo credit Paul Clarke

Hampshire Cultural Trust has chosen Isabel Rogers as Hampshire Poet 2016 to help them celebrate this coming year. Isabel, from Cheriton, was chosen from a strong set of applicants from all corners of Hampshire for the sought after post.

Isabel will be commissioned to write poetry in celebration of the Trust’s exhibition and project work during 2016. Her poems will be shared widely through print and online publications. Isabel will also act as an advocate for the power of reading and creative writing. 

On hearing the news Isabel said: “I'm thrilled and honoured to be chosen. It's a fantastic opportunity to share my enthusiasm for poetry with people all over the county, and I hope I can help broadcast our local talent to the wider world.”

Isabel’s poetry has been published in Poetry Wales, Under the Radar, Mslexia and the New Welsh Review. She won both the Cardiff International Poetry Competition and the Faber Academy QuickFic Competition last year. Her writing career began by adapting Asterix books for her class and many years later she relocated to the Highlands and wrote her first novel.

To enter the competition, Isabel had to send in two poems from her portfolio plus a short statement including what she will bring and gain from the experience.

Joan McGavin, Hampshire Poet 2014 and judge of the Hampshire Poet 2016, said: “I liked the liveliness of Isabel’s ideas about poetry generally and the Hampshire Poet role in particular. She displays an energetic commitment to the task of exciting people about poetry, both ‘on the ground’ across Hampshire and also online. I’m sure she’ll use this role to encourage others to write and to develop her own writing as the year progresses.”

Judge Stephen Boyce, published poet and chair of the Winchester Poetry Festival, said: “In a strong field Isabel stood out for her versatile and accomplished poems, her infectious enthusiasm for exciting others about poetry and her ability to communicate widely. I’m confident she’ll make a real impact as Hampshire Poet, bringing style and a good deal of pleasure to the role.”

Below is a short, recent example of Isabel’s poetry. A version of Flying South, about changing seasons, has been set for unaccompanied choir by composer Ian Stephens for performance in 2016.


Flying south

I felt a soft distortion in the sky

an unlocatable thrumming; heard the call

for strength, trust and a true compass,


the locked vector in each head

wearing a groove across the world

like iron to the poles.


Time’s bow-wave rippled and shrank to black

leaving me stretching – heavy and unfeathered –

solid human, anchored in a new season.




Experience a night like no other at the Westy Christmas Ball

Famed for their Summer Westival where they lay real grass through the building, on Saturday 19th December the West End Centre team is transforming their venue for a night of festive magic!

Featuring sets from incredible international DJ Goldierocks, outstanding comedian Louisa Omelian, and music by the acclaimed electro-swing dance outfit Swing Zazou, the entertainment alone will be worth the cost of a ticket.

Also included on the night will be a delicious curry from festival favourites Asian Grub Foundation, all you can eat candy floss, free mocktails, balloon artists, up-close magic and a photo booth to capture moments that will be remembered forever.  

With a fully stocked bar and a dress code of whatever makes you feel amazing, even if that means boots with a ball gown, the event is designed to cater to all of the West End Centre customers.

“This is our way of saying a massive thank you to the people who have supported our little venue for 40 years and made us so loved. This is going to be one of the greatest things we’ve ever done, and we want to make sure everyone has a truly wonderful evening” Barney Jeavons, Centre Director.

The Westy Christmas Ball is on Saturday 19th December, from 7pm till 2am. Tickets are £40 each and can be booked online at www.westendcentre.co.uk or by calling the box office on 01252 330040.

Roman Cupid ring goes on display in Andover Museum


A gold ring appearing to show Cupid the Roman god of love, which was found in a Hampshire field, has gone on display.

The 1,700 year old ring was discovered in a farmer's field near Tangley in 2013 by an amateur metal detector enthusiast.

It has gone on display to the public at Andover Museum.

David Allen of Hampshire Cultural Trust said it was a "very nice piece", probably owned by a high status individual.

The ring, part of which is broken, shows an onyx and blue stone with standing figure, thought to be the Roman god of love.



Mr Allen described the image of Cupid as "rather languid and impious looking".

The ring was recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme before being acquired by Hampshire Cultural Trust for display at Andover Museum.

While a Roman road is known to have gone through the area, Mr Allen said the artefact find was "a first" for Tangley.

For more details or to view the full article please visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-35062637

Experience a Victorian Christmas with Westbury Manor Museum's Illuminated Christmas Windows

Image: Westbury Manor lit up for Christmas

Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Westbury Manor Museum is bringing the Victorian era to life this Christmas (28 November – 4 January).

A stunning installation will bring a captivating, festive glow to the windows of the historic building, with illuminations depicting scenes from the manor in bygone years.

Artist Emily Harper has created the silhouetted imagery, which will allow museum visitors and passers-by the chance to peek into the past. The Hampshire based illustrator and concept artist specialises in character design and children’s book illustration.

On designing the Westbury Manor Museum display, she said: “I often turn to the past for inspiration. Designing the Christmas windows was a fantastic opportunity to look at Victorian ephemera such as Christmas cards and fashion plates.”

The window designs were created using a mixture of pen drawing, traditional paper cutting and watercolour washes.The magnificent Georgian building, which is in the heart of Fareham, holds regular exhibitions and free family activities throughout the festive season.  

For more information about the artist and her work visit: emilyharperillustration.com


For more information about Hampshire Cultural Trust visit:


An illuminating experience in Winchester this Christmas time











Image: The interactive lightweight globe projects magical Christmas imagery

Hampshire Cultural Trust is bringing the magic back to Christmas next weekend (11-12 December). Two stunning light installations, by nationally-renowned Impossible, will emit spellbinding festive animations and stories, right outside the Great Hall, in Winchester.

The first installation, Lightweight, is a 360-degree projection globe. It invites onlookers to have their picture mapped into live animations, which swarm around the globe alongside movies, audio, graphic effects, pictures, text and even tweets.

Fully interactive, the four-metre-high sphere is lit with colour and images, creating a unique and shared experience. Previous audiences have described the sight as “magical and mesmerising…almost hypnotic.”

Codex, the second installation, takes the form of a giant illuminated book, filled with a thousand-and-one fables, all animated with captivating images.

The wintery nights will be lit up by the glowing open book. Innovative technology modernises classic stories, adding another dimension to well-known fairy-tales. Inspired by early illuminated manuscripts, the mystical book combines words and images as well as spectator tweets, to create an unforgettable Christmas sight.  

Janet Owen, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “We urge the people of Hampshire to come along and be amazed, engaging in an interactive completely unique experience. Impossible is a nationally-renowned, dynamic organisation and we are delighted to be working with them this Christmas time.”

Both pieces will be outside the Great Hall, in Winchester, on Friday 11 December - Saturday 12 December, between 5pm – 8pm.  Come along and be amazed.

To find out more about the installations visit:




For more information on the event: http://bit.ly/1PRYMmb

Black to White Exhibition

BLACK to WHITE – Printmakers Exhibition 

Until Sunday 10 January City Space in Winchester Discovery Centre will be hosting an exhibition of work by four local printmakers; Kate Dicker, Anne Hayward, Howard Phipps and Ann Tout.

These artists have specialised in wood engraving throughout their careers and the exquisite work on display in this exhibition showcases their mastery of techniques that are the most challenging faced by artists working in any medium. The art of the wood engraver has long been associated with the depiction of landscape, which is a principal interest to these artists, as well as urban and industrial views.

Visitors can also get a glimpse of the printmaker’s studio and discover the intricate tools, end grain woodblocks, artists’ proofs, drawings, monotypes, publications and the art of bookbinding that all give an insight into how these artists use black and white with a range of silvery tones to create their amazing images. 

Artist Kate Dicker says “We are delighted to be exhibiting in City Space in Winchester Discovery Centre particularly as group of artists who take so much inspiration from the City and the beautiful Hampshire countryside.”

The exhibition is free and the artists work will be on sale so if you are looking for that extra special Christmas gift, or simply to take time out in a busy day to relax and be inspired why not pop in to City Space.

City Space is open Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 11am to 3pm, closed Bank Holidays. Weekdays between Christmas and New Year the Discovery Centre will close at 5pm.

SEARCH is 20!

image: children at SEARCH

SEARCH at Gosport Discovery Centre will be celebrating its 20th Birthday on 16th December and we would like to mark it by collecting memories of visitors. Have you been visiting Search over the last 20 years? If so, we'd love to hear from you with your for memories/photos of SEARCH.

SEARCH is unique with no other museum like it in the UK. With between 10,000 &17,000 visitors a year for 20 years we are close to a quarter of a million visitors. Most visitors to SEARCH participate in workshops staying with us for over 2 hours at a time. Many visitors who came to SEARCH as children with their school or took part in the extensive holiday programme that we offered in the past are now returning with their own children. Some have gone on to work in museums or become volunteers here.

We are going to mark 20 years of this unique learning facility with several activities and events as well as displays of memories from over the years. If you feel you have something you can contribute, (photos, memories, articles) then please contact wendy.redman@hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk.






Stephen K Amos to perform at the West End Centre in Aldershot

image: Stephen. K. Amos

The maestro of feel-good comedy is back on tour and will complete his tour of Hampshire when he performs at the West End Centre, in Aldershot, on 2 December.

Tickets are just £17 and can be bought from www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk

Star of BBC Radio 4's Life: An Idiot's Guide and What Does the K Stand For?, Stephen K Amos has entertained audiences all over the world with his natural, assured delivery and his honest, original material. Described by The Evening Standard as 'Unashamed feel-good entertainment", the comedy show is bound to have audiences doubled up with laughter in their seats.

Stephen K Amos is fast becoming one of the nation's favourite faces on television, with guest appearances on panel shows such as Have I Got News for You and Mock the Week and a number of documentaries under his belt, including BAFTA nominated Batty Man. He has impressed critics as a gifted actor both on stage and screen, with the Sunday Times stating that he is "officially becoming a national treasure."

Janet Owen, chief executive officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: "We're honoured to host Stephen K Amos, one of Britain's most engaging and exciting comedians. He's played the nation's biggest theatres but residents of Hampshire won't have to travel far to experience his brilliant performance."

Basingstoke Town Centre businesses say ‘yes’ to Basingstoke Together Business Improvement District

BASINGSTOKE, 13 November 2015

Basingstoke Town Centre is set to benefit from nearly £2 million of private sector investment over the next 5 years after local businesses have voted in favour of creating Basingstoke Together, a Business Improvement District (BID) for the area. The team of local businesses behind the BID campaign are delighted the proposal was given the green light today with 173 businesses taking part in the ballot and 116 of these voting in favour of the BID.

Laurence Martin, Chair of the Basingstoke Together BID steering group said, “We’ve got lots of ideas to really improve the Town Centre for shoppers and other users and shout about what a great place it is. As a town centre business and Basingstoke resident, I’m really excited that we now have an organisation and funding in place to make these happen.”

Work on the BID proposal and campaign so far has been made possible thanks to the efforts of a wide variety of local businesses from the area that stretches from the railway station to the Top of Town.  Support from BID specialists, The Means, who have set up BIDs across the UK was integral to the campaign’s success.

In a drive to make Basingstoke better for business, Basingstoke Together aims to:

  1. Promote Basingstoke Town Centre to regular customers and new visitors
  2. Support and connect local businesses
  3. Improve the visitor experience

The council’s Deputy Leader, with responsibility for the town centre, Cllr Terri Reid said “It is fantastic news that local businesses have voted in support of a Business Improvement District for the area.

“It’s vital for town centres to gain a competitive edge and bringing all the businesses in the area together to help improve what is offered to the people that live and work in Basingstoke can really help to achieve this. The council is committed to working with local businesses to ensure that Basingstoke Town Centre is a thriving retail and leisure destination and we look forward to working with the Basingstoke Together BID on this.”

37.74 % of businesses within the proposed BID area voted in the Basingstoke Together BID ballot. 67% % of those voted in favour of the BID with the ‘yes’ votes representing 66 % of the total rateable value of all the properties that voted. In line with BID ballot regulations, Basingstoke Together needed to secure at least 51% of ‘yes’ votes on both counts to win the ballot.

The full BID term will last for five years from April 2016 to April 2021. Nearly 500 businesses with a rateable value of more than £10,000 will contribute a levy up to a maximum of 1.4% of their rateable value every year to the BID. This will generate nearly £2 million of private sector funds that will be reinvested back into Basingstoke Town Centre.

Alan Stone, Chair of the Top of the Town Association and member of the Steering Group said, “We would like to thank all the businesses for their support throughout the campaign, for having confidence in Basingstoke Together and for voting ‘yes’. We could not have achieved this without their backing.”

The Basingstoke Together BID proposal, which sets out the BID’s 12 pledges can be viewed online at www.Basingstoketogether.co.uk

Hampshire Cultural Trust to host literary festival

Image: Romance author Lucy Dillon will speak at the Hampshire Cultural Trust New Forest Readers' Day

Keen readers and fans of fiction will have the chance to put their questions directly to their favourite authors when Hampshire Cultural Trust hosts a literary festival this weekend (14 November) at the Forest Arts Centre in New Milton.

There's something for every keen reader at the New Forest Readers' Day with three top writers of romance, crime and historical fiction giving talks to small groups and taking part in panels.

Writers attending the New Forest Readers' Day are:

  • Lucy Dillon, who has won the prestigious Romantic Novel Association twice, most recently for A Hundred Pieces of Me', a heart-wrenching yet truly life affirming tale. Lucy's latest novel, her sixth, is 'One Small Act of Kindness', a vibrant story of friendship, secrets and the kindness of strangers.
  • Kate Rhodes, the acclaimed author of two poetry collections and London based crime series featuring psychologist Alice Quentin. This year sees's Alice's fourth case come to light in 'River of Souls', where getting inside the mind of a killer isn't for the faint of heart.
  • S D Sykes, writer for radio, screenplays and novelist. Her first novel, 'Plague Land', a medieval mystery filled with danger and intrigue, was released last year. Her latest novel 'The Butcher Bird' is a compelling and vivid read that takes the reader from the plague-ruined villages of Kent to the filthy streets of London.

Janet Owen, chief executive officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: "The New Forest Readers' Day will be an engaging and thrilling event for any fanatical reader or budding writer. We're proud to host world-renowned authors at our literary festival in a day and bring world-class culture to Hampshire."

The New Forest Readers' Day will take place between 10:15am - 3:30pm. Tickets cost just £26 and include a panel and two group discussions of your choice. Lunch is also included in the price of the ticket.

To book tickets and to find out more information please visit www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk

Tickets are also available from the box office on 01425 612393

Hampshire Cultural Trust launches its 10-year Vision and Strategic plan


Image: One of Hampshire Cultural Trust’s venues, City Museum Winchester


Hampshire Cultural Trust formally launched its 10-year vision and strategic plan at its birthday celebration (October 30).


The event, was held at the Sainsbury Gallery at the Willis Museum in Basingstoke, and marked a year’s anniversary since the trust’s launch in 2014. The trust was created as an independent charity to showcase, connect and empower Hampshire’s culture and creative economy.

Hosted by the trust’s chairman, Alan Lovell, and chief executive, Janet Owen, the event offered the trust’s founding ambassadors a unique opportunity to hear about the achievements and future ambitions of the trust and how the public can play their part in its future.


It has had a hugely successful first year. Some of its key achievements include:

  Reaching over one million people through Hampshire’s ‘big theme’, DINOFEST2015

• Hosting world-class touring exhibitions in its Flagship Galleries, including Ralph Steadman: A Retrospective, Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Made in China

• Recruiting 36 Founding Ambassadors and its first Corporate Partner, Be Wiser 


By 2025 it aims, with the support of its partners, to have transformed its diverse portfolio into an even stronger and sustainable offer that brings world-class culture to local people and draws in visitors from across the globe.

The celebration, also featured an exclusive presentation from Andrew Forsyth, one of last year’s finalists of the nationally renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. He gave guests a fascinating insight into his work before they had the opportunity to look around this year’s world-class exhibition in the museum’s Sainsbury Gallery. Janet Owen, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “The evening gave us the opportunity to showcase the vital work Hampshire Cultural Trust has undertaken and introduce the framework we have set out to help us achieve our ambitions over the next decade.

“It is a way to say thank you to our current founding ambassadors and invite new supporters and corporate partners to assist the trust in realising its ambition to make Hampshire a world-class place for arts, culture and heritage.”

Alan Lovell, chairman of Hampshire Cultural Trust, added: “Hampshire Cultural Trust promotes world-class culture on people’s doorsteps. We truly believe that we can change the lives of every single person we engage with, sometimes for a day and sometimes for a lifetime.


“Our vision and plan is bold and exciting and it is my belief that, in a county as enterprising and strong as Hampshire, we are on route to success.”


Light Room exhibition to immerse the Sainsbury Gallery in colour

Image: Your Colour Perception by Liz West at Castelfield Gallery's New Art Spaces Federation House in Manchester

The Sainsbury Gallery at the Willis Museum will be immersed in a kaleidoscope of rainbow lights as artist Liz West brings her exhibition, The Light Room - Your Colour Perception, to the Hampshire Cultural Trust venue on November 7.

Liz creates vivid environments that mix luminous colour and radiant light. She is interested in exploring how sensory phenomena can invoke psychological, physical and emotional responses that tap into deeply entrenched relationships to colour.

This exciting artist, who has exhibited both nationally and internationally, will transform the Sainsbury Gallery into a magical rainbow of light for visiting art lovers to wander through. The experiential exhibition will invite visitors to question their reactions to the intensity of light and colour.

Liz will individually wrap each lamp in coloured filters to create the vast rainbow effect in the gallery.

Liz said: "My interest into the science of light and colour is ongoing and has been integral to all of my works in the last couple of years, even the work I made on my degree was steeped in rich colour mixing and awareness. Colour can conjure long forgotten memories in the same way that other sensory experiences, such as certain smells or sounds, can be reminders of vivid past events.

"I find that reactions differ depending on age. In the past as young people entered the space they immediately took the opportunity to run as fast as they could from one end of the room to the other!"

Janet Owen, chief executive officer at Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: "We're delighted to be exhibiting Liz West's extraordinary art at the Willis Museum's Sainsbury Gallery. It’s a truly immersive experience that visitors will lose themselves in. Liz's work has been recognised as world-class and we're proud to be bringing her to Basingstoke."

Liz graduated from the prestigious Glasgow School of Art in 2007 and has exhibited around the UK and abroad. Her work has been recognised in international awards and this year she was one of just 10 artists to win a RBS Bursary Award from the Royal British Society of Sculptors.

The Light Room - Your Colour Perception will be at the Sainsbury Gallery until 2 January.


Repatriation Ceremony

Image: (L-R) Councillor Andrew Gibson; Christine Taylor, curator of Natural Sciences at Hampshire Cultural Trust; Emily Hill, niece of Kenneth Dickson; Kenneth Dickson, elder; Meriki Hill, niece of Kenneth Dickson; Nicole, friend of Meriki Hill; Alan Lovell, chairman of Hampshire Cultural Trust; Janet Owen, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust

On the 2nd November a special ceremony took place to mark the handover of Australian Indigenous human remains, originally from Delicate Nobby, seven miles south of Crescent Head in the region of Kempsey, New South Wales, Australia, to Mr Kenneth Dickson, representing the Dunghutti Community from Kempsey.

It is believed that the remains were removed from Australia during the 1960s and taken to the United Kingdom. A coroner’s report of 1962, showed that the remains, found by workmen earlier in the year at Delicate Nobby, New South Wales, were up to 2,000 years old. The remains were donated to Hampshire County Council Museums Service by a research biologist and local resident.

Christine Taylor, Curator of Natural Sciences for Hampshire Cultural Trust said:


“Repatriation was an easy curatorial decision to make based on the ethos and terms of our Acquisitions Policy. When we seek to undertake such a transfer, the most appropriate recipient should be sought and in this instance it was the Dunghutti people.”

Christine Taylor spent almost a decade undertaking the process of repatriation which included a formal biometric analysis being carried out on the remains in 2009. This confirmed that they were from an Australian Indigenous male aged between 21 and middle age. Following the publication of two reports confirming the origin of the remains, the Dunghutti people, were informed and formal repatriation proceedings began.

Working in partnership with the Australian Government’s Ministry for the Arts, a repatriation ceremony took place in Queen Eleanor’s Garden at the Great Hall, Winchester on Monday the 2nd November at 10am. This was presided over by Mr. Kenneth Dickson who performed a Smoking Ceremony.

Mr. Kenneth Dickson said:

“It has been a very special experience, not just in the journey we make overseas but in the process of spiritually connecting with our ancestors to bring them home.”

Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, Cllr Andrew Gibson said:

 “The County Council is very pleased to be in a position to return these remains to their rightful home. The return of ancestral remains to their community of origin is important, to help promote healing and reconciliation for Aboriginal people. We are glad to work with Hampshire Cultural Trust to ensure these ancestors are enabled to finally rest in peace in their homelands.”

Councillor Andrew Gibson attended the ceremony along with Wendy Dalitz, Assistant Director, Repatriation (UK) of the Australian Government’s Ministry for the Arts, who has played an active role in facilitating the process; Karen Murray, Director of Culture, Communities and Business Services, Hampshire County Council; John Tickle, Assistant Director of Culture and Heritage, Hampshire County Council; Alan Lovell, Chairman of Hampshire Cultural Trust and Janet Owen, its Chief Executive.


To find out more about Hampshire Cultural Trust visit www.hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk and to explore its collections visit http://lovecollecting.org.uk/

First Corporate Founding Partner for Hampshire Cultural Trust

Hampshire Cultural Trust has announced its first ever Founding Corporate Partner, Be Wiser Business Insurance, today (September 18).

The Hampshire company, which is based in Andover, has donated £2,500 and pledged 30 hours of volunteering time to the charitable trust. Students from the Be Wiser Academy will dedicate their time as volunteers in the trust's venues and exhibitions.

The partnership will see the organisations working collaboratively to champion Hampshire as a world-class county.

Hampshire Cultural Trust, which launched last year, exists to bring world class culture to Hampshire. With 23 museums and arts venues, it works collaboratively to bring organisations, people and ideas together for greater impact, with customer focus at its core.

Both independent organisations share the same core values of being fresh and exciting, collaborative and customer focused - always staying ahead of the curve and delivering real value with confidence.

Janet Owen, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “We are delighted to announce Be Wiser Business Insurance as our first Founding Corporate Partner. We both share the vision of enabling and showcasing the very best and Be Wiser are a perfect partner for us to have on board. We plan to extend our corporate sponsorship further and welcome organisations in the county to get involved.”

Be Wiser chairman Mark Bower-Dyke said: “We recognize the importance that culture, arts and heritage play in our society. We are therefore delighted to play an important role in its sustainability by becoming Hampshire Cultural Trust’s first corporate partner. In addition the volunteers will be able to contribute to its vital work whilst gaining insight and inspiration which are important qualities for the success of our business.”


What Are The Top 5 Funniest Dinosaur Names?

Dinosaurs are everywhere it seems and once again they are hitting the headlines this month after a truly roarsome discovery was made. 200 bones were unearthed in Canada, which are thought to have belonged to a bizarre looking creature with curly horns over 79 million years ago. It was fossil hunter Wendy Sloboda who made the discovery and aptly called our new frilly horned friend, Wendiceratops.

Now palaeontologists can be forgiven for naming the objects of their research after themselves, can’t they? Well, we did a bit of research and found that some of them have gone even further. A lot further in fact. So we’ve compiled a list of 5 of the most entertaining names we could find for your amusement and add to dino-fever. Enjoy!


Named after the famous Walt Disney movie and everybody’s favourite deer Bambi, it’s fitting that the fossil hunter who discovered the Bambiraptor skeleton was just 14 years old. That’s where the similarities end however, because instead of the sweet and innocent animation, this dinosaur was a fearsome raptor with killer claws and a mouthful of sharp teeth. Scary!


Half dinosaur and half machine, this Jurassic creature from the future….. We’ll stop there. Unfortunately, much to our disappointment (and relief) Technosaurus doesn’t live up to its billing and was in fact a rather small creature. Its remains were found in 1984 and it was named after Texas Tech University.


Did this dinosaur spend all its time in the pub? Or devour its prey on another one its binges? Probably not, but it sure is the most unusual dinosaur title we’ve heard of. It was given its name – unsurprisingly – by one of the most famous palaeontologists of all time, Edward Drinker Cope in North America and he must have liked his name so much, he didn’t even bother to make it sound dinosaury.

Dracorex Hogwartsia

Yep, you guessed it Harry Potter fans. After 3 amateur palaeontologists from Iowa discovered the fossils of this creature, they decided to name it after their favourite film. Dracorex derides from Draco Malfoy, Potter’s arch nemesis, and Hogwartsia comes from the famous school of magic that is Hogwarts. We love it!


Was this the most annoying dinosaur out there? Making loud inappropriate noises and leaving passive aggressive post it notes for other dinosaurs to see? It’s more likely that this name stuck because of some poor palaeontologist spending hours of his time in the lab with his brush chipping away tiny fragments of rock. Even so, pretty funny nonetheless.

Have we missed any cool or not so cool sounding dinosaur names? If so, we’d love to hear them. Tweet us your suggestions @DINOFEST2015 

Dinosaurs invade Andover

The latest exhibition from the DINOFEST2015 line up will arrive this week (July 11) at Andover Museum. Running until September 5, DINO ARTIST features the work of John Sibbick, the Isle of Wight based artist who has been drawing and illustrating dinosaurs since he was a boy.

This touring exhibition of 28 pieces of his work includes a specially commissioned piece for DINOFEST2015.

Over 25 years John has illustrated prehistoric reconstructions for magazines, museums, television and books, including the Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dinosaurs. His work has been displayed in London's Natural History Museum, the Museum of Scotland, the Gamagori Museum in Japan and the Sea Dragons Gallery in Bristol.

John's detailed work is created from taking fossil evidence and advice from specialists within the field. 3D models help him to work out lighting and various viewpoints before executing the paintings in gouache paint and finishing drawings in pen, ink or different types of pencils.

DINOFEST2015 sees some of the world’s leading dinosaur exhibits stomp into Hampshire. Visitors can get up close and personal with awesome animatronic dinosaurs from the Natural History Museum, which are on display in both Basingstoke and Southampton. From inquisitive young minds to intrepid explorers, there is fun for all the family.

Events at Andover Museum during the DINO ARTIST exhibition:

Storytelling with children's author and illustrator, Paul Stickland (July 29) - Join the author and illustrator of Dinosaur Roar, Ten Terrible Dinosaurs and Swap Stomp. £5 per child, pre-booking required.

Family pop-up book workshop with children's author and illustrator, Paul Stickland (July 29 and September 5) - This dynamic, fun and inspiring workshop is designed to empower and engage children using some of their favourite subjects, roaring dinosaurs and monster pop up books. £10 per child, pre-booking required.

Paint your own wooden dinosaur (August 5) - Drop in and choose your own wooden dinosaur to paint and decorate yourself. £3.50 per dinosaur, no need to pre-book.

Make your own clay fossil (August 12) - Create your own fossil with potter Lucy Burley. £7 per participant, pre-booking required.

Make your own dino hat (August 19) - Pretend to be a dinosaur and make your own dinosaur hat. £3 per hat, no need to pre-book.

Dino badge making (August 26) - Drop in and create your own dinosaur badges to wear. £3 per child, no need to pre-book.



The newest exhibition from the DINOFEST2105 line up is coming to City Space at Winchester Discovery Centre this week (July 11). DINOSAURIUM: Reimagined Creatures is a family friendly exhibition featuring many hands-on activities and fascinating facts about dinosaurs.

The exhibition has a strong collector's theme with visitors invited to explore a reconstructed antiquarians and naturalists study and gaze in wonder at a mystery fictional Edwardian specimen jar containing a 'living' dinosaur.

Local artists have created creatures from paper, card, plastic and textiles and feature the stories of pioneer fossil collectors in their work. The exhibition also explores the theory that each generation re-imagines dinosaurs in its own way. Visitors have until September 6 to discover the history and art for themselves.

DINOFEST2015 sees some of the world’s leading dinosaur exhibits stomp into Hampshire. Visitors can get up close and personal with awesome animatronic dinosaurs from the Natural History Museum, which are on display in both Basingstoke and Southampton. From inquisitive young minds to intrepid explorers, there is fun for all the family.

Hampshire Cultural Trust and Winchester Discovery Centre have come together to put on a programme of themed events during the DINOSAURIUM exhibition. These are:

Dinosaur T-Shirts (30 July) - Make your own roarsome printed T-shirt, Age 5+, £10 per person.

T-Rex Hand Puppet Workshop (5 August) - Drop in to the Discovery Centre and make your very own Tyrannosaurus Rex hand puppet. Suitable for age 7+. Free event and all materials provided.

Writers on the Rampage (10 August) - Working with games and prompts, in groups and alone, young writers are encouraged to create fantastic creatures and set them free to rampage in poems and stories. £10 per person.

Dinosaur Dome Show (15 August) - A 360 degree interactive dinosaur show in a planetarium setting. learn about the origin of flight, experience the thrill of gliding over the countryside and travel back in time to meet flying pterosaurs and ancestors of modern day birds. Ticket also includes access to a hands-on fossil workshop. Age 4+, £8 per person.

Tyrannosaurus Drip...and more (17 August) - An interactive storytelling based on the books by Julia Donaldson. Suitable for ages 3+. £1.50 per child, pre-booking required.

A 'Dinosaurs in Your Garden' Workshop (26 August) - Have a go at a range of hands-on activities investigating the biggest, the smallest and the fastest of the animal kingdom. Featuring some of the record-breaking dinosaurs and birds in the 'Dinosaurs in your Garden' exhibition in The Gallery and specimens from the Hampshire Cultural Trust natural science collection. Suitable for ages 4-11, £3 per child.

Feathers & Flying Dinosaurs (4 September) - This adult lecture will look at the origins of flight, pterosaurs and the evolution of feathers. 


Milestones Museum, Basingstoke, is opening its doors to the public during the twilight hours for one night only (July 16), for an exclusive chance to experience 'Night at the Museum' for real.

The museum will be open from 17:00-21:00 for an atmospheric late night viewing of DINO HUNTER, where visitors can get up close to four life-size animatronic dinosaurs from the Natural History Museum and follow in the footsteps of Victorian dinosaur hunters. Discover what happens in the museum after hours and explore the exhibits as the dinosaurs' roars echo through the Thornycroft building.

The late night opening is ideal for those who are unable to visit the museum during the day or want to avoid the bustle of the weekends. Tickets will cost half the normal entry price.

Janet Owen, chief executive officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: "We're delighted to open up Milestones Museum for a special evening of Dinosaur hunting so that even more people can experience the world-class history and culture we bring to people's doorsteps. It's set to be a truly impressive experience. Remember, wherever you are in Hampshire, the dinosaurs are closer than you might think...."

DINO HUNTER invaded Basingstoke on June 13 and parks up until September 27 as part of Hampshire Cultural Trust's wider DINOFEST2015, a series of roarsome dinosaur themed exhibitions and events across the county this year.

This late night opening is a taster of what the ultimate DINO TRACKER could win in a competition run by Hampshire Cultural Trust. If visitors collect stickers from both DINO HUNTER (Milestones) and DINO ENCOUNTER (SeaCity Museum, Southampton) they can enter into a draw to win a ticket to Dino Snores, a sleepover at the Natural History Museum. To take part, download the Dino Tracker map from www.dinofest2015.co.uk.

To find out more, pre-book tickets and download a map visit www.dinofest2015.co.uk or call Milestones Museum on 01256 477766.

Free event to help children with special needs get up close to dinosaurs

Milestones Museum in Basingstoke is putting on a dedicated event for young people with special needs and their families on July 9 to help them enjoy the DINO HUNTER exhibition in a relaxed and exclusive environment.

The museum is running a special evening for those with autism and learning difficulties as part of its DINO HUNTER exhibition. The event, which runs from 5pm to 9pm, will feature storytelling with Orange Apples’ professional storytellers, dressing up, object handing and ‘dinosaur digging’. The fossil shop and popular sweet shop will also be open throughout the evening and children will be able to see the four animatronic dinosaurs on loan from the Natural History Museum, including Terry the T-Rex.

To support those with autism, the National Autistic Society has developed a visual story, which parents can go through with their children before the event so they know what they will encounter during their visit. For more information or to request a copy of the visual story call Milestones on 01256 477766.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, which runs the exhibition, said: “History, arts and culture should be enjoyed by all and this special event aims to do just that. We hope to roll out even more of these types of events across Hampshire Cultural Trust venues.”

Jo Maxwell-Heron is from Parent Voice, the information and advice service for parents and carers of disabled children in Hampshire. She also has a child who has autism.

She said: “There are so many brilliant things to see and do in Hampshire but sometimes parents who have children with special needs can feel discouraged from visiting them because it can be quite challenging. Large crowds, queues and unexpected noises can trigger difficult behaviours, which is not only distressing for the child but the parent too. Exclusive events like this, where venues have taken measures to adapt activities with the child in mind, are fantastic and really allow families to have a good time, whatever their circumstances.”    

The event is free for all Gateway cardholders and up to four guests. To find out more call Milestones on 01256 477766.


DINO HUNTER launches at Basingtoke's Milestones Museum

Image: Children from Hatch Warren Junior School get up close to the animatronic T-Rex

There were roars of excitement and squeals of terror in Basingstoke yesterday as local school children visited the official launch of Milestones Museum's DINO HUNTER exhibition.

To mark the opening week of DINO HUNTER, one of two headline exhibitions of the county-wide DINOFEST2015, children from Hatch Warren Junior School were invited to get up close and personal with four roarsome animatronic dinosaurs, on loan from the Natural History Museum.

Over 15 pupils followed in the footsteps of Victorian dinosaur hunters and experienced the thrill of the unknown creatures, in a transformed Thornycroft Building. They came face-to-face with Terry the T-Rex, who moves, roars and stomps.

The class was also invited to see its mural – a reimagined Basingstoke in Jurassic times – on display, consisting of plasticine dino figures and a fiery paper volcano.

Janet Owen, chief executive officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said:

"It was fantastic to welcome the class to Milestones yesterday to kick off DINO HUNTER, one of the headline exhibitions of DINOFEST2015. Seeing the children’s reactions as they came face-to-face with the dinos was very special and we are so very pleased that they enjoyed it. We urge the people of Basingstoke to come along and experience the thrill for themselves. Remember, wherever you are in Hampshire, the dinosaurs are closer than you might think…"

DINO HUNTER is at Milestones Museum until September 27 and features life-size animatronic dinosaurs, a Victorian fossil shop, interactive ‘dino digs’ and talks by a leading dinosaur expert. It is part of Hampshire Cultural Trust's wider DINOFEST2015, a series of roarsome dinosaur-themed exhibitions and events across the county this year.

To find out more, pre-book tickets and download a map click here


Image: DINO ENCOUNTER launches at Southampton's SeaCity Museum

Local school children from Weston Shore Infant School came face-to-face with dinosaurs at SeaCity Museum last week (June 16).

To mark the opening week of DINO ENCOUNTER, one of two headline exhibitions of DINOFEST2015, the group was invited to get up close and personal with the large animatronic dinosaurs on loan from the Natural History Museum and learn about dinosaur bones and fossils in front of them from paleontologists from the University of Southampton's Ocean and Earth Science Centre.

The dinosaurs weren't only contained to inside the museum. The school children were shocked and awed as Blackgang Chine's roaming baby T-Rex, Shadow, stomped over from the Isle of Wight to cause mischief and mayhem whilst he checked out the exhibition for himself.  

Janet Owen, chief executive officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said:

"It was fantastic to welcome the class to SeaCity Museum yesterday to kick off DINO ENCOUNTER, one of the headline exhibitions of DINOFEST2015. Seeing the children’s reactions as they came face-to-face with the dinos was very special and we are so very pleased that they enjoyed it. We urge the people of Southampton to come along and experience the thrill for themselves. Remember, wherever you are in Hampshire, the dinosaurs are closer than you might think…"

DINO ENCOUNTER, running until September 27, tells the story of how cutting-edge science is increasing our knowledge of dinosaurs and their close relatives, challenging some of this generation's long-held beliefs.

To find out more, pre-book tickets and download a map visit www.dinofest2015.co.uk or call SeaCity Museum on 023 8083 4536.

To find out more about Blackgang Chine visit www.blackgangchine.com

Calling all knitters- Hampshire and Dorset

Dear Knitters


The Red House Museum is hosting the Intergenerational Community knitting exhibition ‘Blooming Marvellous’ in September and we would love to involve you.

At The Red House we are having a coastal theme to add to the ever growing garden, to include birds, sea shells, seaweed, rocks and anything else connected to water.


Whatever you knit will be added to the exhibition and will stay with it as it tours. We are hoping to involve as many knitters as possible to get a variety of techniques, colours and textures [crocheted items are welcome] and aim to have ‘Natter and Knitter’ workshops where non knitters can learn the craft.


Please do visit the website to see the garden as it stands now, then imagine it with your creations.


There are many websites with patterns but if you don’t have access to a computer, and would like to be involved, we can send patterns to you.

An intergenerational community knitting/crochet project, made by over 2000 volunteers, culminating in a knitted/crocheted 3D garden which climbed, creeped and blossomed over three floors of Bournemouth Library and is now on tour around the UK for its second year

Horizon 20-20 Arts Project Success

Hampshire Cultural Trust has delivered an innovative and engaging arts project in partnership with the Education Inclusion Service, match funded by Artwork’s Partnership Investment Fund. This funding has meant that over 60 vulnerable young people from four Education Centres across Hampshire have benefitted from regular, high quality arts and cultural provision.

The four participating Education Centres in Andover, Dibden, Eastleigh and Farnborough provide for young people ages 11 – 16 who have been permanently excluded from mainstream school, as well as for students who are unable to attend mainstream school for medical reasons. Their primary aim is to provide a relevant and continuing education for students with emotional, medical and behavioural needs.

As part of the Horizon project, the young people worked with professional artists such as printmakers from Red Hot Press, music practitioners from SoCo and outdoor heritage crafters and makers from Spinney Hollow. Each Centre had weekly workshops for two terms from a variety of providers. The first term consisted of a variety of arts taster workshops, which the young people commented and voted on in order to make choices for the second term. The choices young people made for longer-term work included: screen-printing, music technology, willow weaving and pottery.

Groups also went on exciting cultural trips to local, mid-scale and London arts venues including Farnham Sculpture Park, Theatre Royal Winchester and Tate Modern. Many have formed new relationships with local arts organisations which they will continue to visit in the future, for example Chapel Arts Studios and Andover Education Centre will work together on a future project and the Bridge Education Centre will now book regular trips and workshops with The Sorting Office.

Image: A student of Horizon 20:20 at Tate Modern

They have also been working on Bronze Arts Awards and much of the work has contributed to their GCSEs. Participants have grown in confidence, creativity and motivation to learn. Pupils who were previously disengaged with learning of any kind have been actively and positively participating. The original Horizon 20:20 artwork produced is even on an exhibition tour at Hampshire Cultural Trust venues:

Eastleigh Museum: 23 Jan – 22 March
The Courthouse, Eastleigh: 25 March – 22 April
Andover Museum: 25 April – 30 May
Aldershot Museum: 25 July – 23 August

Pat Cole, Deputy Head Teacher, Bridge Education Centre, Eastleigh said: “The confidence that the pupils have gained has transferred to the classroom and they are now more willing to try new things. All of the artists involved developed a good rapport with the young people and this helped our pupils to develop their own social skills.  Our young people, who often have little opportunity to take part in cultural experiences, were enthusiastic about the diversity of the skills they were able to learn. The finished works are delightful and it was heart-warming to see the pride that the pupils have in both their own pieces of work and those of others.”

A view supported by Sarah Gaiger, Art Teacher, Andover Education Centre: “This project has been invaluable to the students. To be able to access a variety of working methods with professional Arts and Design practitioners and make visits to galleries is only made possible through the project and it is likely that most of the young people would not have these opportunities in any other way.”

Due to the continued success of the partnership and on-going relationships with the Centres and Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Youth Arts Officer, the work is continuing and we hope to welcome many more students into similarly successful projects.



Dan Snow leads in championing Hampshire’s peerless arts and culture

Hampshire Cultural Trust formally launched its pledge to champion Hampshire’s peerless arts and culture assets at a starry event in Winchester last night and invited guests to give their support by becoming founding ambassadors.

Dan Snow, national broadcaster, historian and Hampshire resident, has thrown his weight behind the trust’s work and, through his filmed interview, urged the distinguished guests to join him.

In the film he said: “Hampshire Cultural Trust’s vital work can only continue with your support and contributions. Together, we cannot only safeguard but also develop our vibrant cultural scene. Play your part.”

Last night’s event saw more than 100 guests arrive at the Grade ll listed Discovery Centre on Jewry Street to be introduced to the work of the trust.

Guests, including Vice Lord Lieutenant Lindsay Fox MBE, The Mayor of Winchester Councillor Eileen Berry and chairman of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Colin Davidovitz, learned from Hampshire Cultural Trust’s chief executive officer, Janet Owen, and chairman, Alan Lovell about the vital role the trust is playing to safeguard the long-term future of the county’s cultural venues for future generations.

In the film Dan said: “The Hampshire Cultural Trust’s championship of our county’s world-class culture will be witnessed by a million people who will interact with the trust each year, enjoying live performances, discovering great works of art, learning new skills and understanding our culture. It will make a difference to the lives of thousands of people working, living and visiting the county.

“By 2025 the trust will be truly independent, delivering world-class culture to local people, as well as drawing in visitors and interest from across the globe”.

Janet Owen said: “This evening has given us the opportunity to set in front of the county’s major players the vital work Hampshire Cultural Trust has been entrusted with and to invite guests to give their support by becoming founding ambassadors.

Alan Lovell added: “The response to our plans has been astounding and it really is an incredibly exciting time for arts and culture in Hampshire.”

Included in the evening was a very special private view of Hiroshige’s Japan, 53 Stations of the Tokaido Road’ exhibition, including Utagawa, Hiroshige’s most famous series of woodblock prints depicting the journey between Edo and Kyoto.

Guests were also treated to a unique opportunity to see Jane Austen’s silk pelisse coat, with its ornate pattern of gold oak leaves, which was handed through her family until 1993, when it was given to the museum’s service.

Download the presentation from the evening.

Poetry Competition Winners Announced

At the start of this year the Hampshire Cultural Trust invited poets of all ages to enter a writing competition as centenary commemorations continued. Poets were asked to use the titles of either 1915 or 2015.

Over 300 entries were received, quite evenly split between the two age categories of Under 16s and Over 16s.

The ‘Hampshire Poet’ Joan McGavin was joined by poet and writing tutor Aoife Mannix (writer in residence at the RSC and Radio 4’s Saturday Live show) to judge the entries.

The adult winner is Mary Prior of Farnborough for her striking poem ‘Railway Bridge 1915’. The runner-up is Tamar Hodes of Southampton who chose ‘2015’ as her title.

Of the winning poem Joan commented, “it encapsulates a striking moment and uses that as a way to access emotion and ideas effectively. What starts as a careful description of a moment where some boys peer down at a passing train turns into a realisation of the effect of war both on those directly involved and on those at home. A thoughtful, well-crafted poem”. On hearing the news Mary described it as a “delightful surprise.”

Many schools sent in entries and the winning Under 16s poem was by 10 year old Archie Grieve from Shalfleet Primary on the Isle of Wight. It is entitled ‘The Great War, 1915’. The runner-up is Natalia Smithers, aged 15 with her poem ‘2015’.

Joan praised Archie’s poem saying “The winning poem used repetition very effectively, as well as other devices such as alliteration. What impressed me was how well it ‘read’ out loud. I felt here was a young poet with a real ear for language. The repeated phrases about the war helped convey the relentlessness of the actual conflict”.

We hope that you enjoy reading the winning entries. Thank you to all the poets who took part.

Railway Bridge 1915 - Mary Prior

Warm red bricks glow

in the afternoon sun.

The may blossoms quiver

and the blackbird is quieted.

The boys, intent and curious

peer down at the dull metal lines,

shadowed by heavy-leaved branches,

curving away to places unknown.

They have been shouting, pushing,

playing tag, but now they are stilled. Waiting.

Wisps of white drift in the clear, blue sky.

A distant whistle blows.

And now, in a snorting cloud of steam,

a great engine chugs towards them.

The bridge trembles in anticipation

and the boys shout with joy.

Then they are silent, staring down

at the open wagons of wounded soldiers.

Bandaged. On stretchers. Laying still.

One raises a hand in salute.

Warm red bricks glow

in the afternoon sun.

The steam has subsided

and the blackbird sings.

2015 - Tamar Hodes

The year ahead is a dark forest:

dense, wooded.

I hover at the edge,

peer timidly through shiny foliage

blinking in the sunlight

to where the ground lies mossy and warm.

For the first time

I am starting the year parentless,

a middle-aged orphan,

no-one to act as guide or scout.

Before stepping forward, I look back:

my mother, red-lipsticked,

swaying her hips to her Ella or Louis CD;

my father tall, bearded, his head bent in his first edition;

behind them a series of large-bosomed matriarchs,

offering bowls of rice pudding, smiling;

and further back, those escaping pogroms,

bagging their belongings in a rush,

and in the hazy distance, a Biblical scholar;

a cobbler; a carpenter; bakers,

their aprons floury, their faces pink.

Generations have fought

to bring me to where I am.

Sleepless nights have been endured for my sake.

Many days’ work have led me here.

A thousand wombs have swollen to carry me.

Floors have been swept,

battles have been fought;

marriages worked at; disputes healed.

There have been escapes at midnight;

near-death struggles.

My ancestors lean their hands on the backs in front of them,

as strong and fragile as playing cards,

and gently press me forward.

I turn on my torch

and enter.

The Great War – 1915 - Archie Grieve

The great war

The dreadful war

The first world war.

Howling howitzers

Blast over bloody begging bodies

Drained faces unrecognised

Lie in mangled moody piles

In the fields of the great war

The dreadful war

The first world war.

Bang, crash, boom

A plane with black and white crosses

Falls out of the billowing black

Into the merciless, murderous gun fire

The great war

The dreadful war

The first world war.

Terrible tanks trundle past

Shell shocked soldiers missing their family

Trudge through the treacherous trenches

Where rats run wild and lice and mice roam

In the great war

The dreadful war

The first world war.

Whilst the brave larks fly over the football game

Four long years of fighting almost over

The war at an end

A beautiful end

The German powers beginning to bend

The great war

The dreadful war

The first world war.

2015 – Nathalia Smithers

“There are tragedies far greater than yourself and I.”

Whispered the old man, gazing up at the starless sky,

“Lonely deaths of men amongst thousands, crushed by noise

Of war. I have dug trenches, graves for restless boys.”

I point straight ahead to a lost refugee,

Shut eyes filled with horrors she can never unsee

The old man nods, for he knows this pain too.

You do not have to look far to see what men and monsters do.

We silently salute before continuing our separate ways,

Unmoving yet moved stands a nation on Memorial Day.

We died the same death a century apart; we shall never again walk free.

I stare forward and wonder, in a hundred years will he remember me?

Future of Hampshire's Historic WWI Warship Secured

The Deed of Gift that will secure the future one of the UK's few surviving WWI warships has been signed, launching HMS M.33 on its homeward voyage that will see it preserved for future generations.

Hampshire County Council has officially transferred HMS M.33 to the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

Last year, the County Council, with the National Museum of the Royal Navy successfully bid for £1.79 million Heritage Lottery funding towards the preservation of HMS M.33, one of the UK's most significant surviving First World War warships. Since then, the partners have been putting together detailed plans to make it possible for members of the public to go on board for the first time and fully appreciate her contribution to the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915.

HMS M.33 was saved by Hampshire County Council in 1990 in order to preserve her heritage for future generations across the county, and the nation. Currently in a historic dry dock in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, alongside the new Mary Rose Museum and Nelson's flagship HMS Victory, there are plans to complete her preservation and interpretation in time to be part of the centenary commemorations for the Gallipoli Campaign in 2015.

HMS M.33 had been built in 1915 as a coastal bombardment vessel. She served in the Dardanelles Campaign between 1915 and 1918, including providing support for the Gallipoli Campaign during 1915. In 1919 she was refitted and returned to action in the Russian Civil War, where she covered the withdrawal of Allied and White Russian troops from North Russia during the Dvina River Campaign. Following her return from Russia, she spent the rest of her active life in Portsmouth Harbour.

Councillor Keith Chapman, Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside at Hampshire County Council, said:

This warship is hugely significant for the region, the UK and indeed nationally as one of the last remaining World War I warships. Now that her preservation can be completed and people will eventually be able to visit her at the Historic Dockyard as part of the National Museum of the Royal Navy's collection, her story, and those of the men who served on her, will never be lost.

Dominic Tweddle, Director General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy said:

M33 is an astonishing survivor from the Gallipoli campaign, indeed from the First World War as a whole. She has been well looked after by Hampshire County Council and it is a pleasure and privilege to work with them to open M.33 to the public for the centenary of Gallipoli in 2015.

For more information, contact: Jo Bailey (jo.bailey@hct.org.uk 01962 826700)

Exhibitions commemorating Hampshire’s role in the First World War open across Hampshire

Throughout 2014 our venues have arranged a staggering programme of exhibitions to commemorate the First World War.

We’ve got an extensive exhibition programme taking place all over Hampshire throughout the year, with a special finale planned for Winchester’s Great Hall in early 2015.

Whether you’re interested in history, art or fashion, you won’t want to leave the county while we present this impressive programme.

For more information visit the Hampshire 1914 Big Theme website

Hampshire cultural trust

The Hampshire Cultural Trust operates and funds Hampshire and Winchester’s council-owned museums, galleries and arts centres. The trust proudly champions world-class culture and exists to showcase, connect and empower Hampshire’s creative economy.

The independent charity works collaboratively to bring organisations, people and ideas together for greater impact, with customer focus at its core.

Venues operated by the Trust

A full list of venues that are now operated and funded by Hampshire Cultural Trust is as follows:

Aldershot Military Museum, Aldershot
Andover Museum, Andover
Basing House, Basingstoke
Bursledon Windmill, Bursledon
City Museum, Winchester
Curtis Museum, Alton
Eastleigh Museum, Eastleigh
The Gallery at Gosport Discovery Centre
Museum on the Mezzanine at Gosport Discovery Centre
SEARCH at Gosport Discovery Centre
Milestones, Basingstoke
Red House Museum, Christchurch
Rockbourne Roman Villa, near Fordingbridge
Westbury Manor Museum, Fareham
Westgate, Winchester
Willis Museum, Basingstoke
The Sainsbury Gallery, Basingstoke
Allen Gallery, Alton
City Space at Winchester Discovery Centre
The Gallery at Winchester Discovery Centre
Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham
Forest Arts Centre, New Milton
West End Arts Centre, Aldershot

Venues that Hampshire Cultural Trust will work in partnership with other bodies and organisations to support are:

Wessex Dance Academy
St Barbe Museum, Lymington
The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, Havant

Hampshire cultural trust is launched

Councils hand over keys to county’s arts and museum assets as new trust pledges to make Hampshire a world-class venue for culture.

A significant change in the way Hampshire’s council-owned museums, galleries and arts centres are run is set to take place on Saturday 1 November 2014.

From that day, Hampshire Cultural Trust will take over the operation and funding of all venues in order to boost the county’s cultural offering and make Hampshire a world-class destination for art and culture. Buildings, assets and collections belonging to the Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council will be leased to the Trust

It is anticipated that the move will not only safeguard the long-term future of Hampshire’s cultural venues for future generations, but also help Winchester City and Hampshire County Councils to save money by placing responsibility for all sites under one charitable trust. As a larger organisation, the Trust will be able to generate significant additional investment, have access to external grants and donations and therefore reduce dependency on local authority funding.

Hampshire Cultural Trust champions world-class culture and exists to showcase, connect and empower Hampshire’s creative economy. The independent charity works collaboratively to bring organisations, people and ideas together for greater impact.

Hampshire Cultural Trust will work with all individual venues, which include Winchester’s City Museum, Milestones in Basingstoke and The Forest Arts Centre in New Milton, to boost their offerings, increase visitor numbers and make them more profitable. All staff will be transferred to the employment of the Trust.

Janet Owen, Executive Officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said:

This is an incredibly exciting time for arts and culture in Hampshire. The county has so much to offer culturally, both to residents and visitors, and our aim is to build on the fantastic success of what is already on our doorstep and elevate our portfolio into something world-class that has the power to transform people’s lives.

Councillor Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said:

We are very proud of Hampshire’s heritage and all that our museums service has achieved in looking after its world class collections and unique heritage.  I am truly delighted that Hampshire’s museums, arts and cultural services have this opportunity to grow and flourish, bringing in more visitors to the local economy at the same time as being able to offer more for Hampshire’s residents.

Councillor Rob Humby, Leader of Winchester City Council, said:

Museums and art galleries are a key element of Winchester’s and Hampshire’s visitor economy and the new Hampshire Cultural Trust is set to boost their contribution still further.  In the Winchester district we had 5.5m visitors in 2013 and the economic value of tourism has grown by £100m over the past five years - the cultural sector is a major contributor to these figures.
Councils hand over keys to county’s arts and museum assets as new trust pledges to make Hampshire a world-class venue for culture

A significant change in the way Hampshire’s council-owned museums, galleries and arts centres are run took place on Saturday 1 November 2014.

From that day, Hampshire Cultural Trust took over the operation and funding of all venues in order to boost the county’s cultural offering and make Hampshire a world-class destination for art and culture.

Launch of Hampshire Cultural Trust

It is anticipated that the move will not only safeguard the long-term future of Hampshire’s cultural venues for future generations, but also the Trust will work with all individual venues, which include Winchester’s City Museum, Milestones in Basingstoke and The Forest Arts Centre in New Milton, to boost their offerings, increase visitor numbers and make them more profitable.

Janet Owen, Executive Officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for arts and culture in Hampshire. The county has so much to offer culturally, both to residents and visitors, and our aim is to build on the fantastic success of what is already on our doorstep and elevate our portfolio into something world-class that has the power to transform people’s lives.”

Launch of Hampshire Cultural Trust

Archive Deposit at the Willis Museum

At the request of David Wilson Homes, they formally handed over some of the archaeological archive from Marnel Park and Merton Rise, Popley, Basingstoke, at the Willis Museum recently. Excavations by Wessex Archaeology (between 2004 and 2008) revealed evidence for Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman activity. Particularly significant were the 15 timber-built roundhouses dating to the Bronze Age/Iron Age transition. Other finds included Roman pottery from a variety of sources, jewellery and a Kimmeridge shale bracelet.

Archive being deposited at the Willis Museum

Simon Kirk, David Wilson Homes; Lorraine Mepham & Catherine Coates, Wessex Archaeology; and Dave Allen from the Trust complete the handover.  
Photo © David Wilson Homes

A Tasty New Partnership

On December 11th 2014 Hampshire Cultural Trust announced it is in partnership with Hampshire Fare, the county’s local food group. The partnership will see the organisations working collaboratively, through practical projects, to champion Hampshire as a world-class county.

Hampshire Cultural Trust, which was launched on November 1, operates and funds Hampshire’s museums, galleries and arts centres. It exists to showcase, connect and empower Hampshire’s creative economy and works collaboratively to bring organisations, people and ideas together for greater impact, with customer focus at its core.

Hampshire Fare aims to promote the wide range of local food, drink and craft in the county, supporting and developing those businesses, including farmers, producers, retailers and hospitality providers, who contribute to Hampshire’s rural and local economy.

Both independent organisations share the same vision and belief to champion Hampshire as a centre of cultural excellence and activity.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce our new partnership with Hampshire Fare. We both promote the rich tapestry of culture in the county – from food and art and crafts, to architecture and heritage - and we are very proud to collaborate with an organisation who shares the same fundamental beliefs and vision as us.”

Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager at Hampshire Fare, added: “At Hampshire Fare we consider this partnership to represent a very exciting opportunity. We are both promoting the abundance of good things about Hampshire, and in terms of attracting visitors and interest, Hampshire’s heritage, varied landscape and excellent food and drink are all essential components of the county’s appeal both nationally and internationally. We are therefore looking forward to a very productive and proactive partnership; we already have many interesting and exciting plans in place.”

To find out more about Hampshire Fare visit www.hampshirefare.co.uk  

Soldiers' Journey Exhibition Prize Draw Presentation

Yesterday at Winchester Discovery Centre, it was our great pleasure to present the winner of our Soldiers' Journey exhibition prize draw, Tracie Knight, with her prize of a solid silver stirrup and webbing and leather pouch.

Presenting prize

Presenting prize

This solid silver stirrup and presentation pouch was designed by leading British jeweller Sian Evans to symbolise a fallen soldier and his horse abandoned on the battlefield. We're sure that Tracie will cherish it as a permanent reminder of the role of the horses in the First World War and that it will become a family heirloom.


Bricks in Motion aircraft lands at Southampton Airport

A Flybe Q400 Dash 8 aircraft was brought to life from 26-30 January at Southampton Airport.

Lego model at Southampton Airport

Bright Bricks, the UK based professional LEGO building company, in collaboration with Hampshire Cultural Trust's - Milestones Living History Museum, Southampton Airport and Flybe, used over 15,000 LEGO bricks to build a model of the iconic Q400 Dash 8 aircraft in the airport's passenger terminal for 5 days. The airplane model is at 1:20 scale, measuring approximately 1.8 m long with a wingspan of 1.4m.


Neil Garwood, Head of Customer Service at Southampton Airport, said

"We are honoured to be working with Hampshire Cultural Trust, Bright Bricks and Flybe on this unusual project. Our passengers are bound to be fascinated by the live build and we are delighted to be able to support and promote this wonderful attraction in our region"

This live build marked the start of the Hampshire Cultural Trust's latest event 'Bricks in Motion: The history of transport in LEGO (R) bricks', which will take place between February 25 - April 26 at Milestones Museum, Basingstoke.

As part of the trust's commitment to bring culture and heritage to new audiences, visitors to the event will have the opportunity to see a wide variety of scale model icons of transport in LEGO bricks, from both the past and future. The event will even see a giant, live build of a space rocket - built by Bright Bricks - come to life alongside the vintage cars, trucks, buses and steam engines in the collection on the period streets of the museum.

Janet Owen, Chief Executive Officer of Hampshire Cultural Trust, said:

"We are very proud to work collaboratively with such great organisations for this project. We urge Hampshire residents to visit and get a sneak-peak of what's in store for the Bricks in Motion event that kicks off in February"

The finished LEGO aircraft model will be on display at Southampton Airport's passenger terminal until Sunday 22 February and then can be seen at Milestones Museum at the Bricks in Motion event from 25 February to 26 April 2015.

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