HLF In House Exhibitions



Throughout our Heritage Lottery Fund project we have displayed many interesting and unique exhibtions, that have been greatly enjoyed by our many visitors.

Here are some reviews of our exhibtions, if you would like to send a review about an exhibtion, local collection, open day or heritage talk please send them to kates@thespring.co.uk.


In celebration of the Nursery Rhyme Tiles. Review by Jane Gregory,  Freelance copywriter, editor and visitor to The Spring.

On Friday 6 September a special event was held at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre to celebrate the restoration of the War Memorial Nursery Rhyme Tiles.

Staff, volunteers and distinguished guests met to view the ten panels of tiles and share their memories. The Royal Doulton tiles were installed in the hospital’s children’s ward in 1936; it was named the Jubilee Ward to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary.

The tiles were designed by William Rowe, whose initials can be seen at the bottom of the ‘Little Jack Horner’ tile. Among the visitors on 6 September were Nicholas and Diana Rowe; Nicholas is William Rowe’s grandson, and he commented:

“I just remember my grandfather, William Rowe, and it’s wonderful that Havant has saved these tiles. He spent his whole life painting, both at Doultons and as a hobby, and these nursery rhyme tiles really were the pinnacle of his career. We were delighted that we were able to be here, representing a family who are all very proud of their grandfather.”

The Spring was pleased to welcome many other guests to the exhibition, including Dave Willetts MP, Deputy Mayor Councilor Marjorie Small and Mrs Virginia Wilson-Smith, Councilor Jackie Branson, and Mr Roger Harrison, Chairman of Trustees. The Spring’s Director, Ms Sophie Fullerlove, addressed the assembled guests and thanked them for their support.

Visitors to the celebration were invited to write comments in a notebook, and there many remarkable memories were shared. They included this from Mrs Ann Darby, who worked as clinical manager at the War Memorial Hospital from 1992–2000:

“Although it seemed inappropriate to have such childish images in a ward for adults and older people, many of the older people expressed what comfort the tiles brought them through their local connections and recollections.”

And from Audrey Fryer:

“In December 2011 – a very icy period – I was cared for for two weeks in the former children’s ward. The delightful nursery rhyme tiles were great joy. The elderly lady in the next bed had watched the hospital being built. She had been a Miss Carroll; her father was the architect and builder. She was sad that we were almost the last patients.”

For more related articles on the tiles please click the following link: