In February 2017 the Transition Team were awarded a Heritage Lottery Grant in order to expand on the oral history project carried out by Padmini Broomfield in 2013, where some 52 Ford workers were interviewed just prior to the factory closure.

The ethos of the project was to engage with the local community to explore the history of the Swaythling site, from the time when it was simply fields through the various stages of industrial development up to the building of the logistics park.

As the Ford factory has to date been the most enduring industrial activity, employing thousands of people, much of the project focused on the factory and its workers. However, that is not the whole story.

Memory Sharing Cafes

The project really began in early April 2017 with the first of a series of memory-sharing sessions held at the Round About Café in Swaythling.

The sessions immediately attracted ex-Ford workers who were more than happy to talk about their memories of the factory. One week, guest speaker Laurie Gresty, who had worked at Ford in the noughties, shared some often hilarious stories of her years…

More details

Community Museum Trips

During August 2017 the project ran three coach trips to Hampshire museums, the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, the Watercress Line and finally to the Milestones museum at Basingstoke.

The aim was to engage the community in the work of the project and, importantly, give people who may not usually have the chance to visit some of the more expensive museums an opportunity to do…

More details

School Workshops

In Summer 2017, the Project engaged Year 6 children in carrying out reminiscence sessions with local elders to explore their memories and views about the area. In a ‘Word Cloud’ exercise, the children discovered that their favourite place was McDonalds but elders preferred the Church or the Shops – all agreed that the river and the woods were nice.

We returned to Mansbridge Primary School…

More details

Dance Workshop

In January 2018, the Project linked with acclaimed choreographer Zoie Golding of Fuzzy Vision who created a six-week dance workshop engaging pupils from Cantell Secondary School in exploring the experience of working on the Ford Production Line through dance and movement.

As part of their research, the group invited Ex-Ford worker Bob Painton to visit a rehearsal and demonstrate through action the journey of a…

More details

Enterprise Initiative

In October 2017, we recruited an event management team who as part of completing an ASDAN accredited 60-hour course in Enterprise would plan and deliver the pop-up museum in April 2018.

The three-strong group of volunteers took modules in Entrepreneurial Skills, Enterprise Planning, Enterprise in Action and Evaluation. Together they managed the stewarding, engagement activities and retail offer of the pop-up museum.

Not only this, but…

More details

Curation Team

A team of committed and resourceful volunteers supported the development of the Ford Transition pop-up museum by joining a Curation team from October 2017 to March 2018. Following ideas-sharing sessions and museum interpretation training, members of the curation team contributed by researching, creating content, planning and building the exhibition.

We think the strength of the pop-up museum is that it was a collective endeavour, evolving…

More details

The project culminated in a week-long pop-up museum in early April 2018.

Housed in three shipping containers sited at the Ford Vehicle Repair Centre in Wide Lane, the exhibition explored the history of the site from its days as Cunliffe Owen Ltd manufacturing wartime aircraft through to its new life as a modern business park.

The exhibition used oral histories recorded for the project…

More details