West Sussex Airfields and the Battle of Britain 1940

By Alan Readman and Martin Hayes The Battle of Britain, fought mainly in the skies above Sussex and Kent, took place between July and October 1940 and this month marks its 80th anniversary. September 15th has been designated Battle of Britain Day to commemorate RAF Fighter Command’s decisive victory over the German Luftwaffe. Key events…

Little Pretty Housewife – Add Mss 2330

By Imogen Russell, Searchroom Assistant Alice, one of our Social media fairies, posted images of this document at the beginning of lockdown. Click here for the original post on Facebook. I managed to gain copies before beginning to work from home, allowing me to write about the subject of this week's blog post - The…

VE Day in West Sussex – Part Two: Records

By Martin Hayes, County Local Studies Librarian, with thanks to Christine Kilby for document transcriptions On this 75th anniversary of VE Day, not only do we wish to celebrate the  day, as best we can during lockdown, but also let us remember and give thanks to all those who served, died and suffered, overseas and…

VE Day in West Sussex 8th May 1945 – Part One: an Overview

By Martin Hayes and Alan Readman As we approach the 75th anniversary of VE Day, not only do we wish to celebrate that day, as best we can during this challenging period, but also we remember and give thanks to all those who served, died and suffered, overseas and at home, in the Second World…

‘Snapping the centuries’: the photographs of John Smith

By Nichola Court, Archivist West Sussex Record Office is fortunate to hold the collections of a number of professional photographers and studios, including those of George Garland, Walter Kevis and Chichester Photographic Studio. These collections provide an immediate visual representation of the past, albeit – usually – a carefully managed and planned representation, according to…

A Journey into the Past: Exploring Historic Diaries

By Jenny Mason, Senior Archivist Last week we asked if you might consider keeping a diary of your experience of the Covid-19 pandemic and how it is affecting you – recording your experiences, thoughts and feelings. We thought this would be an appropriate time to share some of the hundreds of diaries we hold at…

Historic records and architectural histories: Petworth

By Tim Hudson (guest blogger) What types of historic documents do architectural historians use? Continuing with our guest written series, the once Editor of the Sussex Victoria County History and co author of the updated Pevsner guide to West Sussex, Tim Hudson, will be exploring the types of records used when researching built heritage. Each…

Transatlantic Ties: An Introduction

By Jo McConville, Heritage Project Manager: Transatlantic Ties Followers of this blog and WSRO news will almost certainly be familiar with the story of the Sussex Declaration (if not, click this link to see our previous blog posts on this great record), the rare contemporary copy of the American Declaration of Independence housed at the…