The Birth of Crawley; Master plan for Crawley New Town, 1947 (Par 60/26/4)

Chosen by James Gaffney, member of staff This is the original Master Plan for Crawley New Town, one of eight new ‘satellite’ towns created by the Government in the late 1940s on the outskirts of London. The aim of these new towns was to encourage people to relocate from an over-crowded capital, which had been…

Plan of East Preston workhouse, 1872 (WG9/56/1/2 no.3)

Chosen by Nichola Court, member of staff The 1601 Poor Law Act created a national system for managing the poor. It was superseded in 1834 by the New Poor Law, which compelled unions of parishes to build that most Victorian of institutions: the workhouse. In a bid to keep the poor rate to a minimum,…

Oral History Interviews – Peter Baker Collection of Great War veterans, 1983-1985 (OH 454-471)

Chosen by Martin Hayes, County Local Studies Librarian, West Sussex County Council Collected as oral history, the memories of those who have lived through fascinating times offer personal and individual first-hand experiences of events that provide us with a unique window into the past. This collection of interviews with veterans of WW1 is therefore of great significance,…

Ballooning incident in Horsham Police Occurrence Book, 1891-1899 (Pol/W/H/1/1)

Chosen by Andy George, member of staff Police occurrence books were daily diaries containing a record of every official occurrence reported within the Division. The books contain reports of enquiries and observations made by the police whilst out on patrol; incidents attended by the police; attendance of person at a police station, and many notes.…

1610 Map of the Moon (PHA HMC 241/9 f.17)

Chosen by Alison McCann, former member of staff Wednesday 20 July sees the 47th anniversary of the first manned mission to land on the moon. However, West Sussex Record Office has connections to lunar exploration centuries before Neil Armstrong took his famous steps, with a map drawn by a British astronomer in the seventeenth century.…

Petworth House Laundry and the Kevis Photographic Collection, late 19th century (Acc 18163)

  Chosen by Diane Ladlow, member of staff This is a photograph by Walter Kevis who worked as a photographer in Petworth from c1877 to his retirement in 1908. I like this picture because it gives an insight into the immense amount of work that goes into servicing the needs of the family above stairs.…