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Thursday 02 February 2012
"Flying the Flag for Haydon" exhibition

The Flying the Flag for Haydon' exhibition opened on Sunday 15 January and remains on show at the stable block in Morden Hall Park until Friday 10 February. The exhibition features flags produced by various groups including cub scouts, the inspirational High Path project, as well as scenes of the flags hanging in the Cherry Red Records stadium.

The following feature article was written by Clive Yelf, who is the driving force behind the project.

'The Heart of the Park' Living Green project in Morden Hall Park holds two unique distinctions: firstly it is by far and away the most energy-efficient historic stable block in the UK and secondly it is the host of AFC Wimbledon's 2012 'Flying the Flag for Haydon' exhibition!

This community arts project has been running for two years now and we are keen for as many people as possible to discover what it's all about. Although the schools flags have their pre-season moment in the sun, hanging them around the Tempest End will only ever allow those in the stadium to see them, which is great for the 90 minutes of that particular game, but the effort and dedication put into their production really deserves more than that. So it was a real 'lightbulb' moment when I read about a new development in Morden Hall Park that was due to include a public exhibition space!

What could be better? Morden Hall Park is a few minutes away from the Civic Centre in Morden and a short walk away from four of the schools and establishments involved in the project. With Haydon the Womble being the public face of Merton's 'Bin it, Don't Sling It' anti-litter campaign, this also fitted in well with the ethos of a Green Living centre. It seemed that AFC Wimbledon and the National Trust were made for each other!

After chatting to Zoe Adams, events co-ordinator and project manager for the National Trust, we were really chuffed when she agreed to our proposal. Not only did we have a venue but we were also to be the Heart of the Park's first public exhibition!

The next task was to decide exactly how to fill the available space. There was only room on the walls for two flags and it was decided they should be taken from this year’s entries. As classroom support had been provided for both Hillcross and Dundonald Primary schools we not only had their flags, but also the original designs and lots of photographs to illustrate their development, so they were the lucky ones chosen!

A few calculations suggested that about twenty A2 posters would fit the available wall and display space and these were then designed to illustrate different aspects of the project from press coverage, working with the cub scouts, the inspirational High Path project and scenes of the flags hanging in the stadium. The poster templates also acknowledged the funding provided by the Conference Community Club Fund which was of great help in assisting us to develop the project.

Another important aspect in such a small space was the audio/visual display, so another new skill was acquired as a narrative was produced that seemed to use up most of the remaining photographs and videos of the project. It did allow for the showing of a whole range of designs, flags and video clips though, so it was well worth the effort getting to grips with.

The morning of the launch was frantic as we laid out the exhibition. Unfortunately we were short on some display material so things weren't quite as perfect as we hoped when Haydon dropped by to cast his eye over proceedings, but with over 350 visitors on the day and everyone so positive, a few snags didn't seem to matter. A few small tweaks were made after the initial rush had died down and now visitors to Morden Hall Park are enjoying a compact, informative and (hopefully) very enjoyable experience.

The exhibition will run in Morden Hall Park until Friday 10 February and is open seven days a week.