From Charters to Cheese: Our 70th Birthday Open Day and Reception

After publishing a booklet featuring our 70 favourite records on Sussex Day (16 June), and posting each of those 70 records on this blog over the past 6 months, our 70th Birthday celebrations culminated on Saturday 12 November, with our public Open Day and evening Reception. The day was a great opportunity to get a…

70th Anniversary Open Day Celebrations

In 2016, West Sussex Record Office has been marking its 70th Anniversary. In celebration, we asked our users, depositors, volunteers, supporters and staff to explore the archive and nominate their favourite document. We published a booklet featuring these 70 archives on Sussex Day (16th June) and here on this blog, we offered a little more…

Great War memoir, 1914-1917 (Add Mss 25001-25006)

Chosen by Sue Hepburn, researcher In five manuscript volumes and an edited typed text, entitled 'A March with the Infantry', the memoirs of Ralph Ellis are a powerful and compelling record of the life of a soldier serving in the Royal Sussex Regiment on the Western Front in the Great War.  Ellis, an artist and inn-sign painter, lived in…

1768 Map of Woodmancote and Albourne (Add Mss 17101)

Chosen by Frances Lansley, much missed late member of staff This is a map of Wick Farm in Woodmancote and Albourne , part of the estate of Sir Merrick Burrell of West Grinstead Place. The map, dated 1768, is painted in oil.  As well as being a map it is a work of art.  There…

Potter’s Museum of Curiosity, 1977 (Lib 12426)

Kate Mosse, novelist, playwright and researcher I first hit the Archive in 2013, researching for my Gothic thriller - The Taxidermist's Daughter - which is set in Fishbourne and Chichester in 1912.  I needed maps, I needed information, but I mostly needed to connect with the texture of the period. I love research, so I pored…

Letter from Nelson to Murray, 1803 (AM 760/1/134/3)

Chosen by Richard Plowman and Barry Aldridge on behalf of The Murray Club   Lord Nelson sent a letter to the then Captain George Murray on 13 April 1803 telling him he was ‘fixed as fate’ his first Captain, with the original intention that Murray should be Captain of the Victory. In the event Murray…

Map of Worthing, late 1820s (PM 929)

  Richard Howell of West Sussex Archives Society (WSAS)      I love old maps. I love poring over them and imagining a landscape that has probably long since been changed beyond recognition, yet at the same time being able to pick out features which still exist. They provide a juxtaposition of past and present,…

Sugar thermometer, early 20th century (AM 930/3/1)

Chosen by West Sussex Federation of Women’s Institutes (text by Holly Wright) This sugar thermometer, deposited by Singleton WI, is certainly an object which embodies the traditional (and stereotypical) ‘Jam and Jerusalem’ image of the Women’s Institute. However, current members of the WI would no doubt be quick to emphasise that it is so much…

Memorandum book of Thomas Osborn of Tangmere, 1797-1807 (Add Mss 48413)

                      Chosen by Gillian Edom, former member of staff When I was searching for material about the history of Tangmere parish for the Joining up our Heritage project I came across a brief entry in the WSRO catalogue. All it said was Memorandum Book of…

Wyatt and Son valuation book no 41, 1914-1917 (AM 692/112)

Chosen by Keith Lawson, volunteer I have volunteered at West Sussex Record Office for a number of years now. A couple of years ago, I was asked to catalogue a collection of 116 valuation books compiled by Wyatt and Son, who were Agricultural Valuers and Auctioneers. Established in 1826, Wyatt and Son moved to Baffins Hall, Chichester,…