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…

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…

West Sussex Unwrapped II: Month 4 – A Look at Warnham Court

PH 949 - Warnham Court, c1906 Big houses are expensive. Expensive to purchase, maintain, and even sell. Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, large country homes, built in the Victorian era or earlier and serving as countryside getaways for the rich and noble, were becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. Famous for its deer…

Working From Home: One Year Later – Collections

By the staff of West Sussex Record Office Did any of us expect the new decade to start off in such a manner? It has now been one year since the first announcement of lockdown was declared. Last year, staff put together a blog outlining what we had been working on from home. In hindsight,…

Working From Home: One Year Later – The Searchroom

By the staff of West Sussex Record Office Did any of us expect the new decade to start off in such a manner? It has now been one year since the first announcement of lockdown was declared. Last year, staff put together a blog outlining what we had been working on from home. In hindsight,…

Mapping West Sussex – Part Two: County Orienteering and Plotting Estates

By Abigail Hartley, Searchroom Archivist Maps are one of the most useful resources for family, local, and house historians. They can tell you about the age, changing shape and structure of properties, as well as shifting land usage and ownership. They are also worth looking at in more depth as records in of themselves. Moving…

Mapping West Sussex – Part One: Military Maps and Tithe Tiffs

By Abigail Hartley, Searchroom Archivist Maps are one of the most useful resources for family, local, and house historians. They can tell you about the age, changing shape and structure of properties, as well as shifting land usage and ownership. They are also worth looking at in more depth as records in of themselves. Moving…

West Sussex Unwrapped Week 10: Chichester

We have reached the final week (for now...) of Sussex Unwrapped! It is the turn of Chichester this week, and we thought it would be a great idea to run through the centuries to sum up the history of Chichester as a a market town and cathedral city. Let's see what has changed shall we?…

West Sussex Unwrapped Week 8: Shippam’s

You may know Shippam's as the purveyors of meat and fish pastes which are sold in supermarkets to this day. They carry a strong nostalgic connection to those who grew up enjoying their products. The company has always had very close ties with Chichester, and had brilliant marketing to help them dominate the market. This…

West Sussex Unwrapped Week 7: Country Life

John Smith PH 10/56 - View of South Harting from Petersfield Road It's difficult to look at old photos of the countryside and not get nostalgic. Even for city dwellers, images like blackberry picking are only associated with happy, warm days in the open air. Country life has certainly changed over the past century, so…