History Uncovered of Parker Pen Factory in Newhaven

The historic Parker Pen factory in Newhaven is going to be highlighted by Historic England.

The MP for Lewes Maria Caulfield has welcomed the news.

The project is one of 56 that Historic England will be funding over the next two years, celebrating working class histories.

Parker Pens: The Working Class Oral Histories of Newhaven Town, Press Play Films, East Sussex 

Press Play Films will bring together different generations to record community oral histories and create short stop-motion animations in clay to uncover the rich working-class history of Newhaven’s renowned Parker Pen factory. Having started life in a few ex-army huts, it gradually became one of the largest and most technically advanced pen factories in Europe. The once-thriving site had a 1,200-strong workforce, but after gradual dismantling, the factory was demolished in 2014. The project will encourage intergenerational understanding of Newhaven’s community heritage and industrial past, with pupils involved in interviewing people who worked at the factory before these memories disappear. The project will involve ex-Parker employees, local primary and secondary school students, Newhaven Museum volunteers, Hillcrest community centre and the town’s wider community. 

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “There are so many hidden histories to uncover here in England. Every community has a story to tell and we want to hear them. This is the strength of our Everyday Heritage grant programme, which funds projects that are community-led and really engage with local people by empowering them to research and tell their own stories. I’m excited to learn more about these fascinating projects as they shine an important light on our working class heritage.” 

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