Hampshire Cultural Trust

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

We will showcase, connect and empower its creative economy


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

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