Havant Past and Present

HaylingBillyOn Monday January 18th, the Emsworth Community Centre was full to capacity for an illustrated talk,given by Michael Edwards. As a professional photographer for over fifty years Michael has been well-placed to capture on film the town's many changes, and his selection of more than one hundred photos jogged the memories of most of the ninety-plus members of the audience.


Many of the black-and-white "past" photos were of parts of the town on the verge of demolition to make room for modern development. The two-toned pictures emphasised the smallest architectural details of private houses, shop-fronts, municipal buildings, as well as the minutiae of public works such as repairing railway level-crossings -- where the chaotic building site would make today's Health and Safety officials weep!


In comparison, the coloured "present" photos showed comfortingly familiar scenes......although there were remarks such as " I remember that house - when I was a kid old Mr.X lived there!" and " It's such a pity that lovely old building had to come down". There were also photos of communal occasions, such as the Youth Club party in 1960........and a member of the audience recognised himself in it!


Michael's relaxed, informal commentary bridged the gap between then and now, allowing us not just a pleasant trip down Memory Lane but, perhaps more importantly, a chance to appreciate that communities must move with the times if they are to survive.


A few people arrived to find that tickets were sold out. There may be another chance to see this presentation. Watch this space!