Hampshire Genealogical Society

*ARCHIVE* HGS Bookstall’s visit to The Spring at Havant on February 25th

On Saturday February 25th, the HGS Bookstall paraphernalia was dusted off, loaded into the car and taken to the Old Town Hall in Havant where The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre is situated.

This was our first ‘live’ show this year and, in fact, our first ‘live’ show since September 2022. That February Saturday was the day of “The Spring Heritage Festival”; the Havant Museum was also open to the public and, upstairs in their Theatre and the Harrison Room, there were speakers and further events going on – some of them into the early evening.

Our Chairman, Paul Pinhorne, and volunteers Sue Stannard, Jane Painter and Chris Pavey all arrived an hour before the show’s start to help the Bookstall Manager, Tony Sinclair, set up our ‘pitch’ on the two long tables provided. We set out the “HGS” table cloths, our 2-metre high “HGS” pop-up banners at each end of our pitch and a display stand behind us on which we put the boards advertising what HGS does.

We set up a table-top stand for the Village Booklets and then, on the tables, we laid out our Alan Godfrey Maps, Eve McLoughlin Guides and WEA Books plus a varied selection of Family History-themed books which we sell at every opportunity!

The entrance into The Spring building was very bright and welcoming, leading into a larger foyer with an excellent cafeteria, although signs to the Saltings Room were sadly lacking. We had to be shown to the Saltings Room at the back of the building which was, unfortunately, not as bright and welcoming as the rest of the building. Once there, however, we cheerfully set everything up and running and met the other exhibitors, including our very own Fiona Ranger, who was there as an exhibitor in her own right as The Curious Custodian!

There were few visitors at first, which we all felt was due to the lack of signage at the event because there were lots of people elsewhere in the building. The event organisers were spoken to and signs did then appear, showing people where the Family History and local organisations’ exhibition stands could be found.

Visitor numbers then picked up and we had a more or less constant stream of people coming into the room for most of the day. We managed to sell quite a few items of stock and visitors enjoyed looking at the HGS Display Boards, with a few remarking on how many Groups we have!

Taking the HGS Bookstall to ‘live’ Family History Shows makes for quite a long day in total and I am extremely grateful to have a core of volunteers I can call on and who give up their Saturdays to come with me and help put HGS into the public eye at these events. Family History Shows are usually well attended which does make the effort well worthwhile.

The next ‘live’ event we shall be attending will be Dorset Family History Society’s Family History Day on Saturday April 22nd at St George’s Church Hall, Darbys Lane, Oakdale, POOLE, BH15 3EU. More details can be found here.

Tony Sinclair, HGS Bookstall Manager

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