A Call to Arms! – The Royal Sussex Regiment Heritage Project

West Sussex Record Office are developing an exciting new project to catalogue, digitise and provide access to the historic collections of The Royal Sussex Regiment dating back over 260 years. This will be a ground-breaking opportunity to use the combined collections to develop innovative ways for people of all ages across the UK and beyond…

Historic baking – 18th Century Sponge Biscuits

At West Sussex Record Office, our aim is to make our extensive archive collections ‘come alive’ for our researchers, and engage them with the history of the county they call home. Many records create a vivid image of what life was like for our ancestors, but none do the job quite like the commonplace books…

100 years of the RAF – Staff Stories

The Royal Air Force (RAF) was formed on 1 April 1918 and was the world’s first independent air force. It was the result of the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service which was deemed to be necessary due to the growing importance of aviation in the war. The Women’s…

International Women’s Day: West Sussex Women and the Centenary of Suffrage

Between the centenary of the Representation of the People Act on 6th Feb 2018, which granted the first women the right to vote, and International Women's Day on 8th March, we have been using Twitter and Instagram to share some of the notable West Sussex women involved in the campaign for suffrage. Using the tag #WestSussexWomen you can follow…

The Women of Bishop Otter College and the University of Chichester

The University of Chichester (previously known as Bishop Otter College) has a rich history of female leaders - starting with Sarah Trevor, the college's first female principal in 1873, to Professor Jane Longmore, the University’s present day Vice-Chancellor. Sarah Trevor (1873-1895) became principal when the Bishop Otter College reopened as one of the country's first…

Queen Victoria Hospital Archive Project: the history of the hospital

      The story of Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH) begins in 1863 with its founding as a cottage hospital on Green Hedges Avenue, East Grinstead, in the home of Dr John Henry Rogers. It was only the fifth cottage hospital to be established in England – from its earliest days the hospital was a…

A Slice of Life – The Quarter Sessions records

Back in January 2012, West Sussex Record Office Conservator Simon Hopkins and I thought up a plan to make the Quarter Sessions rolls more accessible. These are local government records: essentially the business of the courts which ran the administration of the county before the advent of the County Council.  The earliest ones are fascinating…

Queen Victoria Hospital Archive project: Introducing the project

        As regular readers of this blog will be aware, since 2016 WSRO has been engaged in a major project involving the archive of the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, which became known during the Second World War as the centre for the treatment of the ‘Guinea Pig Club’, the RAF…

Women’s Suffrage in West Sussex

This month sees the centenary of a major success for women’s suffrage. When the Representation of the People Act became law on 6th February 1918, women over 30, who were occupiers of property or married to occupiers, became entitled to vote for the first time in British history. West Sussex Libraries have been finding out…