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…

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…

All aboard! Introducing the Southern England Railway Employee Cards project

One of the larger gifts to the Record Office in recent years has been from the British Railways Board in Derby. This comprises the personnel cards of all employees in its Southern Region. In the days before computers, cards were the way to store details of all the men and women who worked on the…

The Little Churches of Chichester

In the first Tuesday Talk of 2019, Alan Green will be talking about the fascinating histories of what became known as The Little Churches of Chichester. Chichester was once the most pious of cities. In Pre-Reformation times there were nine parish churches, three chapels, a cathedral and two friaries all within its walls. Of these…

Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project: a day in the life of a Preservation and Digitisation Assistant

  My name is Lucy Maguire, and I worked on the Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project as a Preservation and Digitisation Assistant between August 2016 and September 2017. As the title suggests, my job was broken up into two main parts but within each there was a wealth of surprises, which made every day its own unique…

Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project: ‘Women in the Wings’

The history of Queen Victoria Hospital and the Guinea Pigs can often seem a very male-dominated narrative. McIndoe and the other star plastic surgeons of the day were all men; the Guinea Pig Club was unquestionably a ‘boys’ club.’ Yet often behind the scenes women were making vital – and memorable – contributions to the…