‘A Fine Manuscript Journal’ – AM 70/1

By Abigail Hartley, Searchroom Archivist AM 70/1 - The first entry of 1870 AM 70/1 - Front cover of the diary Purchased for the record office in 2008, the diary of John Donald Warren covers 27 September 1869 to 3 June 1871. It’s a fantastic little diary which required some digging from staff in order…

West Sussex Unwrapped III: Spring – Wishing You Were Here at Worthing!

“A small agricultural and fishing hamlet of lesser importance than the neighbouring village of Broadwater” is how Worthing was best described pre-1800, or at least, according to the Victoria County History. No church, no market, and with land split across several different manors and lords, Worthing sometimes does not even feature on the County’s oldest…

A West Sussex Winter Wonderland

By Jennifer Mason, Assistant County Archivist (Collections Management) It’s definitely feeling wintry in West Sussex as we head towards Christmas. Today’s blog looks back at past West Sussex winters and celebrates a variety of cold weather activities. View of snow on the Downs at Fittleworth, 1947 (John Smith PH 13/156) We’ve had quite a mild…

Once Upon A Time… a 75th anniversary retrospective of the places we have called ‘home’

By Nichola Court, Archivist 2021 marks the 75th anniversary of West Sussex Record Office [WSRO]. Although we now occupy purpose-built premises in Orchard Street, Chichester, the Record Office has had a number of other homes – not all of which have been very glamorous! Read on to discover more about our former homes… Door plaque…

Logo for International Men's Day, November 19 2021

International Men’s Day 2021: a celebration of Charles Corbett, campaigner for women’s rights

By Nichola Court, Archivist The theme for 2021’s International Men’s Day is ‘building better relations between men and women’ and few men embodied this mantra more than the barrister and one-time Liberal MP for East Grinstead, Charles Corbett. Today’s blog explores the life and work of this now little-known campaigner and politician. Portrait of Charles…

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…

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…

The anti-slavery movement in West Sussex

“Father came, in a great bustle for some slavery papers which he has to distribute,” wrote Rhoda Hack, from Chichester, in April 1824. This domestic update in her surroundings came as she penned the latest letter in her regular correspondence with her sister-in-law, Priscila Tuke (nee Hack). “What are you doing with this subject at…

A is for…

In two earlier blog posts we talked about the ongoing project to catalogue Southern England Railway employee cards. We're very happy to announce that the railway employment cards for employees whose surname begins with the letter ‘A’ are now online in the Record Office catalogue http://www.westsussexpast.org.uk/searchonline/default.aspx and can be found by typing SEREC into the…

The train now leaving…

In September 2017 I was asked if I would like to be involved in a project to catalogue information about Railway employees. As someone with a lifelong interest in and passion for the Railways, initially as a young trainspotter at Surbiton on the Southern Region of BT and then at various times during my professional…