Historical Research

Historical research into the area of Weeke found three areas of interest and relevance to the project.  Firstly its life as a medieval manor farm, specifically a diary farm; secondly, the toll road that would have run through the community in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; and finally the post war housing development, some of the original inhabitants are still living in the houses they moved into in the early 1950s.

Through talking to local residents who have lived there for many years, valuable information has been gathered about the area. Some remember when it was farmland. Many people remember the shops and the changes in occupancy that have happened over the years. Many remember moving into houses without central heating but that this was the first house they had lived in with bathrooms and separate toilets inside.  The housing estate at the time of its construction won architectural awards.  The houses are spatial with large gardens, which is interesting when compared to today’s housing estates which are smaller in both respects.

Old photographs and maps show the estate when it was first built, although much of the documentation was lost in a fire.  There was also a Bronze Age beaker from the area, dug up in Rowlings Road in the 1950s, showing that people have inhabited the place for many thousands of years.

Stories were gathered at some of the events that took place, including the launch and creative workshop.  Also two oral histories were taken, and a list of more people willing to do oral histories has been collated.

Many thanks to Cheryl Barge, Bill Doherty and Tim Wiltshire for taking the time to tell us more about the history of Weeke

Creative Workshops

Windows to the Past Creative Workshop

This workshop was held in November 2010 with eight participants taking part.  Some of the older people were able to share stories and think about Weeke as it is now in relation to the past.  The participants created collages, to replicate stained glass, which related to particular features of the Weeke Estate that they valued having lived there for a long time.

Where we live creative workshop in Weeke Primary School

January 2011 - Working with Year 4 pupils artist Alex Hoare talked to the pupils about the early days of the estate, sharing with them maps and aerial photographs of the estate.  She asked them to think about their walk to school, the colours and shapes that they saw and relate them to the historical information that they were being shown.

The pupils created abstract art works using a selection of colours that related to the buildings and environment of their home and school.  They worked very well with a difficult task to create wonderful pictures which were exhibited in the Discovery Centre as part of the exhibition. 

Weeke Primary School visit to Discovery Centre

April 2011 - Maple Class visited the Discovery Centre to see the Past Matters exhibition and take place in activities designed to engage them with the artefacts on display.  They were also able to visit an exhibition including contemporary craft works and heritage items made from recycled materials.

Reminiscence session with Help the Aged at St Barnabus Church Hall

June 2011 - A reminiscence session was held at the lunch time meeting of elderly people from Weeke.  Old photographs were shown to the participants and notes taken of their stories from the past.

Community Spirit event

September 2011 - Past Matters was part of the ‘Community Spirit’ event organised in conjunction with North Winchester Your Community Action Group and Winchester City Council.  The intention of the event was to bring the disparate communities of St Barnabus and Harestock wards together and consult with them about the community plan.  Past Matters helped on the environmental issues relating to the area, and particularly in looking to people’s memories of Weeke to think how they could shape the future.

Two ideas gained particular support, the idea of a community orchard to reflect the orchard that had been lost to housing and the prospect of children being able to play safely in the streets again.  The notion of car free zones was introduced to the visiting public, alongside documentation and photographs from the project.  A creative workshop engaged children in weaving baskets from old plastic bags, and had over 30 participants.

Legacy Artwork

The artwork for Weeke is installed temporarily at Weeke Primary School, until the new Community Centre is built.

The graphics on the artwork depict scenes from the history of Weeke, as a bronze age settlement, medieval dairy farm, a post World war II housing estate.  Quotes from residents remembering the orchard, the different shops that have been in the row of shops there and the farm before the estate was built are included.

Weeke artwork

The artwork by Ian Kirkpatrick