Heritage Forum members’ programmes

Events/meetings organised by members of the Forum during 2018 and 2019

Barns Green and Itchingfield Local History Society

Programme of meetings to be added.



Beeding and Bramber Local History Society

Meetings are usually held at 7:45pm in Beeding and Bramber Village Hall on the first Wednesday of the month. The talks cover a wide range of subjects relating to the history and natural history of the local area and Sussex in general.

Visitors are welcome for a £3 entrance fee.

Wednesday 3 April 2019

“An Anglo-Saxon execution burial and other discoveries from the Rampion cable route” by Matt Pope and Garrett Sheehan

Wednesday 1 May 2019

“the first Brexit- how Britain became an island and its effect on Neanderthal, Mesolithic and Neolithic men” by Bob Turner

Wednesday 4 September 2019

“The Women’s Land Army” by Ian Everest

Wednesday 2 October 2019

“Littlehampton ships and boats on postcards: sail, steam and The Black Rabbit” by Tony Pratt

Wednesday 6 November 2019

“An archaeological childhood in Sussex” by Dr Janet Pennington

Billingshurst Local History Society

Meetings are held at the Billingshurst Community Centre at 7.30 pm. Everyone welcome. Visitors £3 Annual sub £15.

Thursday 11 April 2019

“A virtual tour of Sussex Churches” by Kevin Gordon

Cowfold Village History Society

Meetings now take place in The Allmond Centre at 7:45pm for 8:00pm.

Everyone welcome. Members free and non-members £3.50 including refreshments.

Friday 12 April 2019

AGM followed by “The 50 Gems of Sussex” by Kevin Newman

Friday 20 September 2019

“Cowfold in WW2” by Michael Burt

Friday 22 November 2019

“The What-ifs of History” by Mark Perry-Nash


Henfield History Group

Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month at 8 pm (doors open from 7.40 pm) in the Free Church Hall, High Street, Henfield, BN5 9HP (via the side entrance in Coopers Way).

Everyone welcome. Admission £3 Non-Members (Members by Subscription)

Enquiries to Maureen Fletcher, Tel. 01273-492194.

Tuesday 9th April 2019

AGM followed by “30 Plus Years of Collecting Postcards” presented by Alan Barwick.

Tuesday 14 May 2019

“The restoration of Oldland Mill, Keymer” by Professor Fred Maillardet

Tuesday 11 June 2019

“Droughts, Deluges and Dust Devils- 300 years of South East weather” by Ian Currie

Tuesday 9 July 2019

“Quirky Lewes” by Kevin Gordon

Tuesday 10 September 2019

“A sporting history of Sussex from the Amazing to the Bizarre” by Matthew Homewood

Tuesday 8 October 2019

“Lives interrupted: ten young officers in the Great War” by Dr Frances Hurd

Tuesday 12 November 2019

“Fire at Uppark House” by Ken Lloyd

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Members only event. “Camisoles, Rissoles and Dover Soles” by Dan Quinn and Ian Kearney

Tuesday 14 January 2020

“Malice Aforethought- a famous English trial” by Peter Blood

Tuesday 11 February 2020

“Sussex scrapbook No 2- Miscellany of Sussex history, anecdotes and folklore” by Chris Horlock

Tuesday 10 March 2020

“An archaeological childhood” by Dr Janet Pennington

Tuesday 14 April 2020

AGM followed by a talk TBA.


Horsham District Archaeology Group

The Group meets regularly to carry out research into the history of Horsham and the surrounding West Sussex/Surrey countryside. New members are always welcome, with or without archaeological experience.


For further information on these events please contact horshamarch@hotmail.co.uk or 01903 872309


Horsham Society

The Society publishes articles in its own newsletter and has also contributed articles to the West Sussex County Times since February 2008.



Parham House and  Gardens                                            

Parham House & Gardens is closed from October 15th 2018 until Easter Sunday 2019




Rudgwick Preservation Society

Meetings are held in Rudgwick Village Hall at 7:30pm.

All welcome (Free for members and £2 entry for non-members).

Monday 29 April 2019

“Place names in the landscape- Our Saxon ancestors in their own words” by Dr Judy English

Monday 25 November 2019

“It shouldn’t happen to a Curator- Stories from Horsham Museum” by Jeremy Knight

Rusper Chronicle




Shipley Local History Society

Meetings are held in the Andrew Hall, commencing at 7.30 pm.

Membership dues remain at £10.00 per person for the entire season. Visitors are always welcome at £3.00 per person.

Thursday 11 April 2019

“The Women’s Land Army in Sussex” by Ian Everest

Thursday 20 June 2019 @ 6 pm

Summer evening walk hosted by Derek and Gina Larcombe followed by the annual social evening. Full details to be published in the Spring.

August 2019

Summer visit to a local place of historical interest is being planned. Full details to be published in the Spring.

Southwater Local History Group

Our meetings are held at 7.30pm on the first Monday of each month in the Beeson House, Lintot Square. Everyone Welcome . Non Members £3 please.


Steyning History Society

Visitors are welcome at all our meetings, for a small entrance fee of £3.00. The annual membership fee is £10 per person (and the Society year runs from September through to May).

The meetings are held in the Saxon Room, Steyning Centre, Fletcher’s Croft, Steyning, commencing 7.45 pm and running until approximately 9.30 pm with a refreshment break in the middle; we ask for a £1 donation per person at each meeting towards tea, coffee and cake, in the interval.

These are the stories of Millais and Effie Gray and Charles Parnell and Kitty O’Shea

Wednesday 8 May 2019

Annual General Meeting followed by “The Great Escape” by Sarah Green

West Grinstead Local History Group

Public meetings with a guest speaker are held on the third Tuesday of alternate months (January, March, May, July, September and November), commencing at 7:30pm, and take place in Partridge Green Village Hall, High Street, Partridge Green RH13 8HP unless otherwise stated. Members £3.50, non-members £5.00.

Tuesday 28 May 2019

“The Geology of Sussex” by David Bone

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Visit to the Blue Idol, Coolham. A talk on its history with refreshments in the gardens.

Tuesday 17 September 2019

“The Gatwick story” by John King

Tuesday 19 November 2019

“The Weald iron industry” by Jeremy Hodkinson


Museum Events

Christ’s Hospital Museum

Welcome to 460 Years of History!

The Museum has a remarkable collection of some 35,000 artefacts and archives dating from 1552 to present day. Paintings, photographs, prints, china, sculpture, costume, social history, books, medals, coins, ephemera and much more chart the history of our unique school from its founding and 350 years in London, through its time at Hertford and finally Horsham since 1902. We are staffed by a small team of curators and volunteers who regularly respond to numerous research and family history enquiries, donations, conservation and exhibitions on and off site, learning sessions for pupils across all academic departments, tours for staff, public visitors and Verrio tours.

Extensive displays occupying what used to be the old isolation wards for the Infirmary or “Sicker” allow you to explore the school’s illustrious history, boasting patronage from all British monarchs dating back to Edward VI, links with important historical figures such as Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton, Captain Cook, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Lamb, Edmund Blunden and Barnes Wallis. Yet perhaps the most interesting areas celebrate the day-to-day life at Christ’s Hospital for its many generations of pupils and staff. Where else at CH can you marvel at a perfectly preserved 1902 Nurse’s Kitchen, a “Lav End” or observe how the uniform and customs at the school have changed, yet equally some remain unchanged for over four and a half centuries?

If you’ve no idea what a “Beadle” did and you’ve never seen the “Punishment Bands” for Hertford girls, or indeed realised the devastating impact two World Wars had on CH in the 20th century or the harsh reality of life for pupils in the past….then you need to visit the Museum!

Our opening times are: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am – 4pm

View by prior arrangement: 247444; chmuseum@christs-hospital.org.uk




Henfield Museum and Friends                                             





Henfield Museum


Horsham Museum and Art Gallery                              



Below the Belt- Costume Exhibition

This event runs from 4th February 2019- 6th June 2019

Our new costume display, ‘Below the Belt’, is an eclectic selection of the many types of clothing worn below the waist, taking in underwear, footwear and most layers in between!


Ladies first started wearing knickers, initially called drawers as they were ‘drawn on’, in the 1800s. They were generally worn by girls, rather than adult women, and were usually made of white cotton. As late as the 1880s, Cassell’s Magazine recommended that closed drawers rather than flannel petticoats be worn, indicating that even at this late date, drawers were not worn by everyone. Drawers came in different guises, some with open crotches (easier to handle when worn under large skirts!), and some closed. Petticoats were worn in layers with additional cages to support the fashionable skirt shapes, such as the 17th century farthingale, 18th century panniers, and the steel-ringed crinolines of the 1850s. By the end of the 1800s the cages and petticoats became much smaller and were worn only at the rear, forming the bustle.

As fashions changed, so did underwear. Women’s suspenders were invented in the 1880s. At first they were attached to a belt and later, to the corset itself. Suspenders were recommended by the National Health Society as a healthier option than constricting garters. By the 1920s knickers had become shorter, along with skirts, and by the 1930s both knickers and stockings were made from Rayon – a fibre made from wood pulp that mimics silk. The introduction of the synthetic fabric Nylon in the mid-1930s, alongside the development of new elasticated and rubberised fibres, saw underwear beginning to look like the items that we would recognise today!


Until recently men had worn a form of stocking, or hose, since the Middle Ages. Hose were worn under tunics, padded hose and later, under breeches. Typically hose were tied onto the wearer’s over-garments, or held up by garters. In 1589 William Lee, a clergyman from Nottinghamshire, invented the first knitting machine. This impacted on the quantity of hose and stockings that can be produced as prior to this they were hand knitted and only 6 pairs could be completed by a competent knitter in a week.

As machinery improved fashions began to change rapidly. Cotton lisle, a finely-spun and durable fabric, was first produced near paisley in Scotland in the mid-1850s. Cotton lisle allowed manufacturers to produce finer stockings with a shiny texture. These were the forerunners to the fine nylon stockings that were introduced by DuPont in 1939 in America. Nylons immediately proved extremely popular, so much so that during the Second World War when Dupont turned their factories over for the manufacturing of parachutes, there was a world shortage of nylons that saw them traded illegally on the Black Market. The first appearance of tights, or panty hose, was in the 1940s when film and theatrical costume designers sewed stocking onto underwear in order to the modesty of their dancers. Commercially produced tights and panty hose were introduced in the 1960s alongside with the introduction of miniskirts.


Until the Middles Ages footwear tended to be simple and functional, but by the 13th century fashionable shoes were being produced for nobility. These shows tended to be fairly impractical, for example in the case of the modish poulaines, the longer the toes the higher the wearers social rank. The toes of these shoes could reach 18ins in length, and the ends were attached to a fabric loop so they could be held up for ease of walking. The fashions of the 18th century saw the nobility wearing highly decorated shoes made of sumptuous fabrics such as velvets, satins and silks. It was more common for 18th century men to wear heels, often painted red, than women. This was due to the belief that men’s shapely legs were a sign of beauty. Women did also wear beautiful and elegant shoes, but they were hidden beneath many layers of skirts.

Mass production of boots started at the turn of the 19th century during the Napoleonic Wars. The engineer, Marc Brunel, developed machinery for the British Army that automatically nailed the shoes’ soles to the uppers, greatly speeding up production. However, the most significant breakthrough in shoe production came in from America in 1883, when Jan Ernst Matzeliger invented a machine which could make up to 700 pairs of shoes a day.


The West Sussex County Times: 150 Years of Trusted News

This event runs from 15th February 2019 to 12th April 2019

The West Sussex County Times in 2019 is marking a milestone in the history of the newspaper and the community – 150 years of delivering trusted news.

To celebrate this important anniversary, Horsham Museum & Art Gallery will be hosting an exhibition in its Photography Gallery exploring the story of the West Sussex County Times. Using large prints of front pages detailing major events in Horsham’s history, the exhibition illuminates the impact of the West Sussex County Times, and its importance to the town and Horsham District.

Frederick Du Cane Godman

This event runs from 18th February 2019 to 20th April 2019

Marking the centenary of world renowned collector and scientist
His home South Lodge caught world attention 10 years ago when the world’s finance ministers descended to sort out the ‘crash’ of 2008, yet the former owner, Frederick DuCane Godman, is virtually unknown today outside specialist areas. In his day, though, he corresponded with scientific greats such as Darwin, collected the finest Islamic pottery in the world and sponsored major expeditions to discover lost civilisations. Today he lies in Cowfold cemetery under a simple decorative cross. However, his legacy in research and collecting lives on as last year The British Museum opened a major permanent exhibition on Islamic culture, The Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World which features his pottery. In the hall of the Natural History Museum there is a bronze plaque recording his generosity and a medal is awarded in his name each year for new ornithological work. It is fitting that in the Year of Culture, Horsham Museum & Art Gallery is holding a small temporary exhibition on him and his collections, a prelude to a larger exhibition in 2020.
With the help of the British Museum we will be showcasing specially taken photographs of some of his outstanding Islamic pottery. These will be complementing images from an unbound copy of his privately printed book on Islamic tiles that will adorn the room. They will feature alongside paintings of the family who lived at South Lodge, the home he had built in the 1880s, and where, throughout his life, he displayed his growing collection of ceramics.

Frederick was a man who was much respected in Victorian and Edwardian society gaining fellowships and recognition for his work from leading scientific and cultural societies. He was a Trustee of the British Museum, a Member of the Royal Institute, awarded an honorary degree by Oxford University, President of the Royal Entomological Society, Vice-President and Fellow of the Zoological Society, on the board and Fellow of the Royal Geographic and Geological Societies, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Secretary and later President of the British Ornithological Union, Honorary member of the American Ornithological Union and a Fellow of the Linnean Society.

He was a founding member of the British Ornithological Union and an avid collector of specimens as well as the art of the illustrator. On display will be prints from the John Gould bird books; he owned the original watercolours from the publications, which were dispersed around the world in 1994 following the death of his unmarried daughters who played a notable role, as Frederick did, in local society.

One of Fredrick’s finest achievements was the publication of the monumental multi-volume Biologia Centrali-Americana, 63 volumes of detailed research on the natural history and archaeology of Central America. Without his financial support and ambition it would not have been completed or even published. He dedicated the work to his second wife Alice with whom he set out on his original expeditions to the region. There he collected some examples of pre-Columbian pottery as well as entomology and ornithology.

Accents on the Landscape: Ancient churches of West Sussex by Gordon Rushmer

This event runs from 30 March 2019- 1 June 2019

Gordon described this exhibition as: “A painter’s rural rides in search of the hidden delights and details”. After 18 months of cycling across West Sussex capturing the essence of the ancient churches that populate the Sussex countryside, Gordon has created an artistic monument and record. Harking back 200 years when, in search of the picturesque, artists would tour the countryside recording and illustrating unknown churches, Gordon has achieved the same for the 21st century, creating ethereal, romantic, highly detailed but also majestic watercolours of churches hidden in plain sight, buildings that require the artist eye of Gordon Rushmer to uncover them in all their glory.

The Written Word: Horsham District’s Literary Life – Collected, Portrayed, Displayed

This event runs from 30th March 2019 to 22nd June 2019

Shelley, Conan Doyle, Belloc, Hornung, Brown, Pope, Lintott – this area of West Sussex has proved to be birthplace, host and inspiration (as well as tomb) of many writers spanning the last 400 years. This exhibition tells the brief stories of these and many others, illustrated with examples of their work to celebrate the literature of the district along with objects and photographs to provide a sense of place. Look out in your local Horsham district library for displays about Horsham writers produced in conjunction with Horsham Writers Circle.


Horsham District Captured by Light: A Photographic Record of the District’s Cultural Life in 2018

This event runs from 6th April2019 to 6th July 2019

With Horsham Photographic Society and Steyning Camera Club.

Working together for the first time, these two organisations have photographed amazing and beautiful scenes of the culture and place that makes Horsham district what it is. Starting on 1 January 2018 they have spent 11 months capturing the essence that makes the district. Each photograph is an individual’s response to that inspiration; cumulatively the photographs on show awaken the sense and awareness of what an amazing place Horsham District is. You will not take the district for granted again.

Beautiful Sussex by Sue Collins

This event runs from 27th April 2019 to 29th June 2019

Beautiful Sussex’ is a solo exhibition by printmaking artist Sue Collins. Sue’s inspiration is taken from her daily walks with Bella, her black lab/collie cross, in and around the South Downs. Using a combination of photography and sketching, as well as drawing on her own personal experiences and memories, Sue creates her wall art. .https://suecollinsart.com/

Adventures in Art – 90 Years of Changing Tastes

This event runs from 8th June 2019 to 20th July 2019

Founded in Horsham by Mr J T McGaw in 1928, this exhibition for the first time traces the history of the Association through the art of former members, alongside outstanding work by its current leading members.

Over those 90 years, the art world has changed with new movements shocking the establishment, only to become the establishment itself. This exhibition reveals how the artists residing in Sussex who were members of this leading County Association reacted to the changes.

Splashes of Artistic Excellence Ian Hadley, Alison Ingram & Cherry Parsons

This event runs from 5th July 2019 to 3rd January 2020

Small, bright, vibrant Splashes of artistic excellence are on show this year in the temporary exhibition space on the ground floor. Showcasing recent work by:

Ian Hadley: 5 July – 31 August https://www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/ian-hadley

Alison Ingram: 3 September – 28 September

Cherry Parsons: 8 November – 3 January http://cherryparsonsart.com/

A Garden of Botanical Art: Celebrating Original Works by Horsham District’s Leading Botanical Artists

This event runs from 6th July 2019 to 31st August 2019

For summer 2019 the Museum is bringing the garden indoors as it celebrates the artistic talents of some of this country’s leading botanical artist. All of the nine artist live and work in the district, but their art has in some cases travelled the globe, finding root in world famous collections.

Botanical art is part of the DNA of the garden as the art form that becomes science as exact colour rendition and description enabled the flora of the world to inspire and excite professional nurserymen, so populate the garden. Now that flora is inspiring a new generation of botanical artists to create a stunning visual record of the fleeting beauty of the plant.

Heritage of the District in 100 Objects

This event runs from 20th July 2019 to 12th October 2019

A major exhibition that will use objects to explore the fascinating and largely unknown heritage of the District. Ranging from a silver desk set awarded for the best sheep, a symbol of the agricultural revolution, the flag of the unknown warrior, to a Saxon buried without Christian symbols. Combining objects, photographs and paintings, it will be a real eye opener even for those who think they know the District well.

The exhibition is based on the accompanying book produced by the Horsham District Heritage Forum.

Humphrey Ocean RA – Horsham Are You Receiving Me?

This event runs from 27th July 2019 to 21st September 2019

Horsham Museum & Art Gallery are delighted that, Hardham born, artist Humphry Ocean RA is holding a solo exhibition at the Museum after his successful show Birds, Cars and Chairs at the Royal Academy this year. The exhibition will showcase some of his most recent work.

A Collector’s Passion – Scottish Oils in a Private Collection.

This event runs from 7th September 2019 to 26th October 2019

Every now and then the opportunity occurs when Horsham Museum & Art Gallery can showcase work that you will never get the opportunity to see again. This is one such event; a private collector is very kindly lending the best of his collection of Scottish oil paintings. It is different, interesting and colourful and not what you would expect in a Sussex museum – but that is what makes the exhibition exceptional in this Year of Culture.

Be Surprised – the Multi-Coloured District by Sarah Duffield

This event runs from 28th September 2019 to 14th December 2019

One of the highlights of the year will be the beautiful exhibition by Sarah Duffield whose paintings have captured in her unique way, the colour, vibrancy and picturesque scenery of Horsham District. Showcasing in public for the first time will be the four specially commissioned views of the District along with paintings and prints for sale. It follows the very successful debut show in 2017 at Horsham Museum & Art Gallery.

Post War Euphoria

This event runs from 9th November 2019 to 11th January 2020

Post War Euphoria?

2019 marks the centenary of the end of World War One. Using dress, paintings, posters, photographs and objects this exhibition looks at how Horsham District marked the end and look forward to a new beginning. Was the hope realised or crushed?

This unusual exhibition will help answer the question by revealing what went on when the bullets stopped and peace had a chance.

Alongside the exhibition a new book will be launched by local author Gary Cooper: Collyers Horsham Grammar School casualties in two World Wars. It will be sold at Horsham Musuem and a book signing event will take place, with dates to be confirmed in due course.


Steyning Museum