Capturing the story of the former Ford site in Swaythling, Southampton

'Transition: from Fields to Ford and beyond' is a community project exploring the cultural and industrial history of the former Ford site on Wide Lane in Swaythling, Southampton.

Since 1939, the Swaythling site has produced aircraft parts, motor parts and transit vans. Now in October 2017 it is reopening as a logistics park, home to businesses attracted by Southampton’s status as ‘Gateway to the World’.

Thanks to National Lottery players a team of trained volunteers is carrying out archive research into the changing land uses of the site and interviewing people who remember working at the site when it was Ford Assembly Plant (1953-2013) or even further back, when it was Briggs Motor Parts or Cunliffe Owen making Spitfire parts during WWII. 

The project will involve the whole community through educational workshops in the local primary school and family coach trips to other museums which focus on Southampton's transport manufacturing history running through the summer holidays 2017. Through these activities we hope to generate interest and excitement about Swaythling's unique contribution to Southampton's industrial heritage and gather new volunteers along the way. 

Volunteers will research, gather, curate and create content for a pop-up museum and educational website launching in Spring 2018.

If you'd like to get involved in any of the project activities please get in touch by email or telephone Emma on 023 80 262629.

Former Ford Assembly Plant workers and members of the
Swaythling community celebrating the launch of the
Heritage Lottery funded Transition project, March 2017.

Transition: from fields to Ford and beyond is funded by the Heritage Lottery and run by a partnership of Now Heritage CIC, Cosmic Carrot and freelance oral historian Padmini Broomfield. 

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