Trafalgar Day 2021

By Imogen Russell, Searchroom Supervisor https://youtu.be/L_dGs0xVM9o Battle of Trafalgar in the Archives: West Sussex Snippets by Imogen Russell AM 760/1/126: Letter from Lady Hamilton written some time after the Battle of the Nile, 1798. ‘Lady H hopes to have the happiness and honour of your company’ Lady Hamilton wrote some time after the Battle of…

Every Picture Tells a Story: Worthing Library Photograph Collections, 1850s to date

By Martin Hayes, County Local Studies Librarian Over the past couple of years some remarkable and extensive photograph collections have been deposited at the Record Office, prompted by a refurbishment project at Worthing Library. Photographs and postcards have been collected by West Sussex CC Library Service for over 100 years and include some of the…

Stories from the Parish Registers: Black residents of West Sussex

By Alice Millard, Research Assistant As part of West Sussex Record Office's Transatlantic Ties project, and ongoing work surrounding intersectionality in the archive, a survey of the county's parish registers for individuals of African, Asian, and Caribbean heritage is underway. London Metropolitan Archives undertook a similar project which began in 2000, the results of which…

Stories from the Surgeon’s Table

By Jennifer Mason, Assistant County Archivist (Collections Management) Acc 14373 - Guinea Pig Club Christmas Magazine, 1948: Drinks with McIndoe! ‘The entrance fee is something most men would not care to pay and the conditions of membership are arduous in the extreme’ These words from renowned plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe describe the famous Guinea…

West Sussex Unwrapped II: Month 8 – Sussex Cinemas

PH 30788/112 - The Olympic Theatre in Chichester occupied what is now a warehouse on Northgate. Defining the first ‘film’ to be shown in West Sussex can be tricky. Nowadays, many of the earliest films put on display would be the equivalent of our modern-day computer gifs – short in length, no sound, and playing…

Colour photograph of five jars of Shippam's spread (chicken, salmon, sardine, crab, beef).

The Story of Shippam’s: so much more than paste!

By Nichola Court, Archivist Shippams 4/1/2, export price list (c1900) Acc 16974, advertisement for Shippam's meat and fish pastes (c1955) One of our county’s best loved brands, Shippam’s enjoyed international fame thanks to its immensely popular, high quality potted meat and fish pastes. However, Shippam’s pastes were only a small part of its business and…

West Sussex Unwrapped II: Month 7 – Shoreham Harbour, The Liverpool of the South

Sitting at the mouth of the river Adur in West Sussex, Shoreham is today a well known and established harbour but when the below article was written in 1872, the port had a long way to go to be the ‘Liverpool of the South’.                                        The Brighton Gazette in 1872 Shipping records indicate that the port,…

West Sussex Unwrapped II: Month 6 – Ancient Fairs

What separates a fair from a market? The two terms can be used interchangeably. For the purposes of this blog, markets are a monthly, weekly, or in some larger cities a daily event, dealing in fresh produce from the local area. On the other hand, fairs are traditionally cyclical and annual and tended to target…

The Remarkable Research Journey for Highdown Gardens

By Hamish MacGillivray, freelance heritage consultant Anyone for tennis? During the autumn of 2019 I spent many wow moments in the WSRO reading room discovering forgotten stories about Highdown Gardens and its original owners. Did you know that Highdown Gardens started because of a tennis court in 1909?  New plants were purchased by Sir Frederick…

Transatlantic Ties: A Juneteenth voyage to Ghana

By Jo McConville, Project Archivist Please be aware that this post covers topics that may be distressing. The original 18th century documents discussed here also contain archaic racial language and terminology which is now considered unacceptable. "Black Unity Juneteenth Celebration" by dsgetch is licensed under CC BY 2.0 If you’re reading this on Saturday (19th),…