Cataloguing Crawley New Town: The Team Behind the Corp.

By Alice Millard, project archivist Behind the development of Crawley New Town was a phenomenal group of people. As well as the ten or so members of the executive committee, there were more than 100 employees across planning, estate, legal, administrative, financial and housing departments. These employees were some of the best architects, engineers, town…

Where did your ancestors go to school?

By Matthew Jones, Assistant County Archivist If you're someone who enjoys researching your family history, there is a huge amount of archive material available at West Sussex Record Office and it's not unusual for people to trace their roots back to the 1700s or earlier still. Boys at The Lancastrian School, Chichester, 1914 (WSRO E35/19/20)…

Cataloguing Crawley New Town: What is a ‘new town’?

By Alice Millard, project archivist With funding granted by the Wellcome Trust, nine organisations across England, Wales, and Ireland have embarked upon a major project to catalogue and make accessible the archives of 11 post-war new towns. These new towns are Basildon, Bracknell, Crawley, Cwmbran, Newton Aycliffe, Peterlee, Redditch, Runcorn, Shannon, Stevenage and Warrington. WSRO…

West Sussex Unwrapped IV: A County Celebrates – Coronations Past and Present

With May's Coronation on the horizon, a first for many in the country, it seems only fitting we look back through the years and see how the County celebrated the formal accession of King Charles' mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and his grandfather, King George VI. To help mark this occasion, West Sussex Record Office and…

An introduction to the ‘Documenting the HIV/AIDS epidemic: a survey of HIV/AIDS archives in England and Wales’ project

By Chris Olver, Project Archivist Until 2020, many people living in the United Kingdom had not experienced living through a pandemic. In a bid to understand Covid-19, many media outlets drew comparisons to the Great Influenza epidemic of 1918-1920, yet it was a pandemic from more recent history which showed how an emerging disease could…

Achieving equity: celebrating the life and work of Madge Turner, suffragist and campaigner

By Nichola Court, Archivist This International Women’s Day 2023, we celebrate the achievements of the Chichester-born suffrage campaigner, Ethel Margaret ‘Madge’ Turner, a woman who spent her adult life campaigning for equity and whose efforts to achieve this have recently been recognised in the city of her birth. The Market House (Butter Market) in North…

Laid out side by side metal blocks.

Sussex Coat of Arms: Martlets (not) in Flight

By Abigail Hartley, Searchroom Archivist West Sussex County Council Logo It’s hard to miss the numerous badges and arms of a blue shield with yellow birds dotted around West Sussex. You may be surprised to learn, however, that no English county had any arms officially granted to it until after the 1889 Local Government Act.…

Banner featuring a flag with the Holocaust Memorial Day logo and the text: We're marking Holocaust Memorial Day. Read more in our blog. #HolocaustMemorialDay / 27 January

Holocaust Memorial Day – Ordinary People, Bulldogs Bank and the Dann Sisters

By Abigail Hartley, Searchroom Archivist The topics and contents of this blog contain antisemitic and xenophobic attitudes prevalent in 20th century Europe which are outdated, offensive, or discriminatory. This content has been included  to authentically represent the original documents and the experiences of those involved and is not an endorsement of these views. On the…

Coffee Time? The Re-launch of workshops for family and local historians

By Matthew Jones, Assistant County Archivist I'm delighted to say that the Record Office has launched a new programme of “coffee time” workshops for 2023, beginning in January with a session on how to start your family tree As with so many things, the workshops scheduled for 2020 were interrupted by the pandemic and we…

Tuesday Talk: Rails to Midhurst – A tale of a Wild Iron Horse

By Bill Gage, Guest Speaker Add Mss 26499 - Poster for the opening of the Chichester and Midhurst Line, 1881 In the 1960s I would always listen to the Saturday morning radio programme “Childrens’ Favourites”. One song, featured regularly, was the “The Runaway Train went over the hill and she blew”. Yet I wonder how…