Banner featuring a flag with the Holocaust Memorial Day logo and the text: We're marking Holocaust Memorial Day. Read more in our blog. #HolocaustMemorialDay / 27 January

Holocaust Memorial Day – Ordinary People, Bulldogs Bank and the Dann Sisters

By Abigail Hartley, Searchroom Archivist The topics and contents of this blog contain antisemitic and xenophobic attitudes prevalent in 20th century Europe which are outdated, offensive, or discriminatory. This content has been included  to authentically represent the original documents and the experiences of those involved and is not an endorsement of these views. On the…

Coffee Time? The Re-launch of workshops for family and local historians

By Matthew Jones, Assistant County Archivist I'm delighted to say that the Record Office has launched a new programme of “coffee time” workshops for 2023, beginning in January with a session on how to start your family tree As with so many things, the workshops scheduled for 2020 were interrupted by the pandemic and we…

Tuesday Talk: Rails to Midhurst – A tale of a Wild Iron Horse

By Bill Gage, Guest Speaker Add Mss 26499 - Poster for the opening of the Chichester and Midhurst Line, 1881 In the 1960s I would always listen to the Saturday morning radio programme “Childrens’ Favourites”. One song, featured regularly, was the “The Runaway Train went over the hill and she blew”. Yet I wonder how…

MacDonald Gill: Charting a Life

By Caroline Walker, Guest Speaker This autumn the West Sussex Record Office is celebrating the life and work of Sussex-born artist MacDonald Gill. 'Max' - as he was known to friends and family - was an architect, mural painter, letterer, and graphic artist in the first half of the 20th Century, best known for his…

Two sepia photgrpahs side by side. They are of penguin colonies on an icy beach. White mountains are visible in the background.

It started with a Penguin…!

By Imogen Russell, Searchroom Supervisor Penguins and Glass EP I/98 Aldingbourne Faculty, 12th May 1954 A little curiosity we have in Aldingbourne Church is a stained glass window located in the Lady Chapel. This is not your typical stained glass window depicting saints, sinners and heroes, but something far more intriguing: a submarine and –…

Photographic Survey of West Sussex: Rediscovering an overlooked collection during the time of Covid

By Nick Corbo-Stewart, Volunteer Coordinator and Archivist Front cover of the EAHY photographic survey booklet The outbreak of Covid-19 and the introduction of lockdown in March 2020 saw a radical change to how staff at West Sussex Record Office (WSRO) worked. Normally based in the office full time, we moved to working from home. The…

“The best bunch of lads possible”: Anthony Antunovich and his war time photography

By Abigail Hartley, Searchroom Archivist. It is often the most unexpected searches that lead one down a rabbit hole. In my recent search for a suitable image for Canada Day (i.e. the anniversary of Canadian Confederation on the 1st July 1867) I came across and – in a phrase – fell in love with two photograph albums which had recently been catalogued under PH 29950 and 29951. The albums cover a short period in the life of a naval pilot during the Second World War through photographs of his friends, his training, and his travels.

Cropped image of the note written by the vicar about what happened to the register during the war.

Parish Registers of West Sussex: Finding the Rich and the Unknown

By Abigail Hartley, Searchroom Archivist On the 23rd of May, the county's baptism, burial and marriage registers were scanned and uploaded to the family history website Ancestry, opening up many doors for local and family historians wanting to learn more about West Sussex. With baptisms from 1538 to 1920, burials from 1538 to 1995, and…

National Volunteers Week 2022: Volunteers at West Sussex Record Office

By Nick Corbo-Stewart, Volunteer Coordinator and Archivist Volunteers working in the searchroom once more! In April 2022, after two years of having been kept away from the Record Office due to social distancing restrictions imposed by the pandemic, volunteers were allowed to return. Many of our volunteers have supported the Record Office throughout this difficult…

The Boy in the Painting: Marcus Thomas, b.1768-d.1816

By Alice Millard, Research Assistant Please note that some of the language used in the original records includes offensive and insensitive terminology. The inclusion of these terms is not an endorsement of such language, but are there to authentically represent the original document. In August 2021, I began trawling through the transcripts of baptisms, marriages…