West Sussex Unwrapped Week 2: Nursing

Arguably, the profession of nursing offered the same essential experience for every nurse. Yet, it was the experiences born from a specific place and time which gave each nurse their own unique story, and West Sussex has been home to a number of historically significant institutions. From the medieval hospitality of St Mary's Hospital in…

West Sussex Unwrapped: A Sussex Summertime

With around 50 miles of picturesque coastline, it's no surprise that West Sussex has been a popular summer destination since the 1700s. As a result, resort towns like Bognor, Littlehampton, Worthing and the Witterings developed rapidly and have all been home to beachfront villas, donkey rides, boarding houses, bathing machines, and of course ice cream!…

Diary of a Horsham Land Girl: 1939-1942

By Alice Millard, Research Assistant Doreen Peskett (née Strange) was an avid diary keeper throughout the Second World War. So avid, in fact, that this blog focuses on her entries up to December 1941. She was one of many thousands of women who joined the Women's Land Army and provided much needed agricultural support. The…

Five Weeks Working From Home: An Update

By The Staff of West Sussex Record Office Photograph by Abigail Hartley. Featuring trusty coworkers Mr Brown and Rex the Dog. Last week Immie gave a wonderful update to what she had had been working through in the time since the Record Office staff have been working from home. We thought we would give other…

‘Snapping the centuries’: the photographs of John Smith

By Nichola Court, Archivist West Sussex Record Office is fortunate to hold the collections of a number of professional photographers and studios, including those of George Garland, Walter Kevis and Chichester Photographic Studio. These collections provide an immediate visual representation of the past, albeit – usually – a carefully managed and planned representation, according to…

History in the Making: Help to play your part and add your story to the West Sussex Archives

This is such an extraordinary period in our recent history with events impacting on our lives in ways that we could not have imagined. West Sussex Record Office has had to close its doors for the first time in over 70 years but our work goes on. We are keener than ever to document the…

The Railway Card Project: F surname cards

By Katherine Slay, Archive Assistant, and Graham P, Project Volunteer. Graham P, one of the volunteers working on the railway employee cards project, listed all the cards where the surname began with the letter ‘F’. He did an extensive analysis of the results, and also picked out some noteworthy entries. Extracts appear below; the longer…

‘We’re going on a Lion Hunt’… in Bognor.

By Imogen Russell, Searchroom Assistant Bognor Observer, Wednesday 11th October 1933. This year marks my tenth anniversary of working at the Record Office and for this blog I thought I'd review one of my most memorable cataloguing projects.  I could have chosen AM 760 – letters of Admiral Sir George Murray, the subject of previous…

The Railway Card Project: C, D and E surname cards – Rising through the ranks

By Katherine Slay, Archives Assistant In our latest blog post, Katherine Slay gives brief stories of three employees of railway companies in the south-east of England, drawing on the information on their railway employee cards. Edwin Charles Cox was born in 1868, and joined the Operating Department of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway in…

Three safety pin badges from the Ancient Order of the Froth Blowers, one a bubbly tankard of beer, the second a red nosed and hat wearing man with a dazed look and a substantial beard, and thirdly a traditional pint glass filled with frothy beer.

‘Lubrication in Moderation’: Ye Ancient Order of Froth Blowers (A.O.F.B) in West Sussex

By Dr David Muggleton of the University of Chichester My introduction to the collected story of the A.O.F.B. was through the 2005 self-publication by David Woodhead entitled Of Fripp and Froth Blowers. David went on to become Chairman of the tribute organisation, Friends of the Froth Blowers, but had initially been sceptical as to the authenticity…