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HSDC Exhibition opens on history of Hayling holiday camps

May 23, 2023

Written by Film and Media lecturer Steve Murray.

A NEW exhibition created by A Level students at HSDC has opened at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre in Havant.

The History of Hayling Island Holiday Camps, funded by the National Lottery’s Heritage Lottery Fund, traces the history of Hayling Island’s five major holiday camps from the 1930s through to the present day.

Film and Media students at the college’s Havant Campus have researched the history of the camps and interviewed former visitors and staff as well as historians such as Kathryn Ferry, the country’s foremost expert on the history of British holidays.

The students have also written a book in conjunction with Year 9 pupils at Hayling College and shot a documentary film with Emsworth-based film production company Millstream Productions. The film will premiere at The Spring on 20 June and then feature as part of the exhibition until it closes on 15 July.Exhibition Hayling

HSDC Film and Media lecturer Steve Murray said:

“The students have enjoyed interviewing and filming people with memories of their time at the camps and unearthed some interesting stories. One of their key discoveries has been that information online relating to the holiday camps is not always accurate and mistakes are often repeated by other websites. This has highlighted the importance of not relying on a single source but verifying information across multiple sources.

Thanks to the generosity of the National Lottery’s Heritage Fund, the students now know much more about life in Britain across the five decades from the 1930s to the 1970s and appreciate how important Hayling Island was to the British holiday industry.”

The first holiday camp to open on Hayling was the Civil Service Camp in 1930. This was followed by Harry Warner’s Northney Holiday Camp in 1932. Two more holiday camps opened on the island in the 1930s – Sunshine Camp in 1936 and Coronation Camp in 1937. The Civil Service Camp became Southleigh Holiday Camp after being bought by Warner after the Second World War and Sinah Warren became the fifth major Hayling camp when it opened in 1958.

To visit, come along to The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, East Street, Havant – running from 23 May to 15 July 2023.

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