Non-conformist records: Bosham Congregational Church Book (NC /C1/2/1)

  Chosen by Imogen Russell, member of staff Those tracing their family history within the Church of England will find that it is fairly straightforward, discovering baptisms, marriages and deaths in the parish registers held at the Record Office. However it is not always clear how you search for families who subscribed to a religion…

Court book for the Manors of Woolavington, Wonworth and East Dean, 1597-1620 (Lavington Mss 2)

Chosen by Richard Mant, researcher This is a copy in English of the entry for 12 March 1611 in the Court Book for the Manors of Woolavington, Wonworth and East Dean, dealing with the surrender of land by Edmund Maunt at the court baron in East Dean. The book covers the period 3 Oct 1597-28…

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…

Worthing coaching poster, c1828 (MP 17)

Chosen by Kim Leslie, former member of staff This coaching poster is dated about 1828, when Worthing was an important coaching centre between Brighton and Portsmouth. Stage coaching was at its peak between 1820 and 1840, a time when many coach proprietors were locked in furious competition to outbid each other’s reputation for speed, comfort…

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 It was superseded in 1834 by the New Poor Law, which compelled unions of parishes to build that most Victorian of institutions: the workhouse.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.…

Worthing Home for the Blind Management Committee minutes, 1937-1960 (WOC/CM64/5)

Chosen by Chris Hare on behalf of Worthing Society for the Blind Worthing's 'A Journey in Time' project is a lottery-funded project being run by Worthing Society for the Blind to fully explore the fascinating history of the sight-impaired community in Worthing and record this heritage for posterity. Volunteers are undertaking archival research and recording…

Manuscript music book of John Walter, Chichester Cathedral, 17th century (Cap/VI/1/1)

  Chosen by Anthony Cane, Chancellor of Chichester Cathedral The Archive of the Cathedral and Diocese of Chichester, dating back over 1200 years, is a rich and varied collection. The action of the Dean and Chapter of Chichester in depositing its archives in the Diocesan Record Office followed the establishment of that Office by the…

Concession map of Sena Sugar Estates in Portuguese East Africa, c1920 (Acc 15353)

Chosen by Rhodri Lewis, former member of staff In 1890, a young British man named John ‘Pitt’ Hornung decided to try his luck at founding a sugar cane plantation on the banks of the Zambesi in Portuguese East Africa. Battling setbacks such as flood, drought and plagues of locusts, Pitt succeeded where others had failed…