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Roadshow Tuesday 19 March, Velmore, Eastleigh

The Tornados lived in Eastleigh and had held a big party once with famous guests such as Billy fury and Marty Wild.

The Road Show really enjoyed catching up with First Wessex Sheltered residents from the Velmore area in Chandler’s Ford, many of whom had stories to tell about the local area. 

Emma gave a demonstration of the website focussing on the Days Out theme, but before long people began reminiscing about the two large WWII camps that had existed in the area. 

Local resident, Ivor, shared his memories of living in the Velmore Camp as a child after the war. From information available today the background to the Velmore estate is unclear but it is believed to have been built originally to house people that were drafted in during the war to work on Southampton docks.  After the war it had then been used to house displaced Polish families but then Eastleigh Borough Council had renovated the huts and used them as council houses and Ivor’s family had lived there for a few years, at number 36.  He moved away from the area as an adult but has now moved back just a stone’s throw away from where he played as a boy.


Talk moved on to cars with people sharing their memories of how driving in the 1960’s had been “a piece of cake!” compared to nowadays.  One man told how when he was 21, he had bought his first van from Monks Garage, which still exists today.   The men talked of how cars always used to break down and it was quite usual for them to have to spend the weekends doing car maintenance and repairs just to keep their car on the road.  Everyone carried a tool kit of spare parts which included a tyre lever so you could change the tyres yourself.

Looking at the smart vintage cars on the National Motor Museum page of the website reminded Ivor of the fact that Heinz Burt, a member of the pop group The Tornados had lived in Eastleigh and once whilst the group were playing at the Gaumont, had held a big party which was attended by famous guests such as  Billy fury, Marty Wild and Carl Denver. 
People reminisced quite a bit about the different ways they had tried to make a bit of money when they were young such as collecting jam jars and taking them to the pickle factory which gave them a farthing for a jar.  Ivor told how he had once been given 144 jam jars and had counted himself as rich!

This was a group that was not very computer literate or particularly familiar with museums but people really seemed to enjoy talking about past local history and sharing their memories about their home area. 
Everyone enjoyed reminiscing and agreed that they would like to meet together again to share stories about old times.


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