Trafalgar Day 2021

By Imogen Russell, Searchroom Supervisor https://youtu.be/L_dGs0xVM9o Battle of Trafalgar in the Archives: West Sussex Snippets by Imogen Russell AM 760/1/126: Letter from Lady Hamilton written some time after the Battle of the Nile, 1798. ‘Lady H hopes to have the happiness and honour of your company’ Lady Hamilton wrote some time after the Battle of…

Every Picture Tells a Story: Worthing Library Photograph Collections, 1850s to date

By Martin Hayes, County Local Studies Librarian Over the past couple of years some remarkable and extensive photograph collections have been deposited at the Record Office, prompted by a refurbishment project at Worthing Library. Photographs and postcards have been collected by West Sussex CC Library Service for over 100 years and include some of the…

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…

West Sussex Unwrapped II: Month 8 – Sussex Cinemas

PH 30788/112 - The Olympic Theatre in Chichester occupied what is now a warehouse on Northgate. Defining the first ‘film’ to be shown in West Sussex can be tricky. Nowadays, many of the earliest films put on display would be the equivalent of our modern-day computer gifs – short in length, no sound, and playing…

Colour photograph of five jars of Shippam's spread (chicken, salmon, sardine, crab, beef).

The Story of Shippam’s: so much more than paste!

By Nichola Court, Archivist Shippams 4/1/2, export price list (c1900) Acc 16974, advertisement for Shippam's meat and fish pastes (c1955) One of our county’s best loved brands, Shippam’s enjoyed international fame thanks to its immensely popular, high quality potted meat and fish pastes. However, Shippam’s pastes were only a small part of its business and…

West Sussex Unwrapped II: Month 7 – Shoreham Harbour, The Liverpool of the South

Sitting at the mouth of the river Adur in West Sussex, Shoreham is today a well known and established harbour but when the below article was written in 1872, the port had a long way to go to be the ‘Liverpool of the South’.                                        The Brighton Gazette in 1872 Shipping records indicate that the port,…

West Sussex Unwrapped II: Month 6 – Ancient Fairs

What separates a fair from a market? The two terms can be used interchangeably. For the purposes of this blog, markets are a monthly, weekly, or in some larger cities a daily event, dealing in fresh produce from the local area. On the other hand, fairs are traditionally cyclical and annual and tended to target…

THE CORFIELD PAPERS – A New Accession: Part Two

By Kim Leslie (with an Introduction by Nichola Court) In his first blog, Kim Leslie introduced us to some of his more colourful ancestors, whose lives – at times, dramatic - are revealed in his family papers – The Corfield Papers. In his second blog, Kim focuses on his grandfather, Dr Carruthers Corfield, whose papers…

West Sussex Unwrapped II Month 1: Crawley New Town

Today Crawley is a thriving town of over 110,000 people and is the largest inland town in West Sussex. However, what is now a bustling metropolis started life as the quiet rural villages of Crawley, Ifield, and Three Bridges. Read on to find out how and why this changed. Crawley on Film Queen Elizabeth II…

Mapping West Sussex – Part Two: County Orienteering and Plotting Estates

By Abigail Hartley, Searchroom Archivist Maps are one of the most useful resources for family, local, and house historians. They can tell you about the age, changing shape and structure of properties, as well as shifting land usage and ownership. They are also worth looking at in more depth as records in of themselves. Moving…