Heritage Forum members’ programmes

Events/meetings organised by members of the Forum 2019 and 2020

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, High Street, Upper Beeding, BN44 3WN, on the first Wednesday of the month.

Non-members are welcome for a £3 entrance fee.

Wednesday 4th March 2020.

AGM followed by “Barns of Bramber and Beeding” by Pat Nightingale & Gerald Gazdar

Wednesday 1st April 2020

“Further Ramblings of a Railwayman” by Geoff Burch

Wednesday 6th May 2020 

“Place names in the Landscape” by Judie English

Wednesday 2nd September 2020.

“The Archaeology of the South Downs National Park” by Dr John Manley

Wednesday 7th October 2020.

“British Seaside Holiday” by Jackie Marsh-Hobbs

Wednesday 4th November 2020.

“The Battle of Hastings” by Mark Perry-Nash


Billingshurst Local History Society

Meetings are held at the Billingshurst Community Centre at 7.30 pm. Everyone welcome. Visitors £5 Annual sub £20.

Thursday 13 February 2020

“Roman Sussex” by Dr David Rudling, Director Sussex School of Archaeology

Thursday 12 March 2020

“The story of the Belle Tout Lighthouse” by Rob Wassell

Thursday 9 April 2020

A film about the restoration of the Blue Idol.


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 21st February 2020

“30 years plus of collecting Sussex postcards” including the Cowfold and Henfield area by Alan Barwick

Friday 17th April 2020

“The Veteran Car Run since the first in 1896” by David Ralph

Friday 18th September 2020

“Shepherds of the Sussex Downs- their lives and times” by Ian Everest

Friday 16th October 2020

“The story of Swallowfield” by Tony Turner


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 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. All talks start at 7.30 pm and are at the Brighton Road Baptist church, Horsham RH13 5BD. Non-members £3.

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

Wednesday 12th Feb 2020 7:30pm. Brighton Road, Baptist Church, Horsham RH13 5BD

A talk: Worms, Ashes and Bones, excavations at Cocks Farm Abinger 1872-2019: by Emma Corke, Director of Excavations

Excavations by Antiquarians and more recently by Surrey Archaeological Society have revealed not only a Roman villa but also signs of continuous farming activity and buildings from Iron Age, through the Roman period and beyond. Earlier indications of a human presence are from Mesolithic flints, Neolithic pottery and signs of activity in the Bronze Age.

All welcome, members free, non members £3. For further details contact horshamarch@hotmail.co.uk

Saturday 29th February 10am-4pm. Dial Post Village Hall, Horsham rd. RH13 8NJ

Post Medieval Archaeology. ‘Well it isn’t that old is it??

A day-school with Simon Stevens BA, MCIfA, Senior Archaeologist with Archaeology South-East, a division of UCL. Simon will look at how the archaeological study of the recent past has often been seen as something of a ‘poor relation’ in the discipline, but luckily times have changed. The Post-Medieval period offers a wide range of remains both buried and in standing structures, often, now backed-up by surviving documentary evidence. From burials to buttons and from privies to pill-boxes, there is plenty to look at in Sussex and beyond.

Members £16, non members £25.


Horsham Society

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



All events start at 7.30 pm at St Andrew’s School Hall, Nuthurst RH13 6LH. Free entry to members – £3 on the door to non-members Contact the Secretary Nick Cowley at:nuthursthistsoc@gmail.com. Tel: 01403 891266 or the Speaker Secretary Derek Bradnum at derekbradnum@aol.com Tel: 01403 891181

Friday 28 February 2020

“The Gilbert and Sullivan story” by Ian Gledhill

Friday 27 March 2020

“Coffee and London’s coffee houses” by Norman Berry

Friday 24 April 2020

“The Japanese invasion of Malaya and the consequences for our family” by Robert Arbuthnott

Friday 29 May 2020

“Treasures in store” by Nichola Court

Friday 26 June 2020

“An MP’s history of Parliament” by Jeremy Quinn MP

Friday 31 July 2020

“The mushroom industry in Thakeham” by Malcolm Linfield

Friday 25 September 2020

“Crawley: Past, Present and Future” by Helen Poole

Friday 30 October 2020

“A history of the Copsale Village Hall” by Michele Harrison and Dennis Livingstone

Friday 27 November 2020

“Mannings Heath’s Elite Garage” by Tony Turner


Parham House and  Gardens  

See Parham House web site for entrance fees.




Rudgwick Preservation Society

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

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


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.


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.

Wednesday 11 March 2020

“Human and animal locomotion (including the photographic career of Eadweard Muybridge 1830-1904)” by Sarah Green

Wednesday 8 April 2020

“Brides, booty and battles”- the Tudors and the golden age of Spain” by Helen Pool

Wednesday 13 May 2020

AGM followed by “The historic story behind The Race- based on the book by Ian Ivatt” by Ian and Mary Ivatt.

Wednesday 9 September 2020

“Sussex villages on film” by Roy Powell

Wednesday 14 October 2020

“Wiston House and the English Civil War 1642-1649” by Dr Janet Pennington

Wednesday 11 November 2020

“The way we were” by Timespan

Wednesday 9 December 2020

“Glorious Goodwood: England’s greatest sporting estate and the Dukes of Richmond” by James Peill

Wednesday 13 January 2021

“Newhaven Fort” by Ian Everest

Wednesday 10 February 2021

“Doodlebugs and Rockets” by Bob Ogley

Wednesday 10 March 2021

” Hillaire Belloc- Sussex Laureate” by Kevin Newman

Wednesday 14 April 2021

“General Wolseley- Victoria’s greatest general?” by Peter Crowhurst

Wednesday 12 May 2021

Annual general Meeting followed by “History of the Panama Canal” by John Cutting


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.


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

Current Exhibition at CH Museum: Brangwyn’s Cartoons at Christ’s Hospital

23 April 2019 – 27 April 2020

This ground-breaking exhibition is the culmination of Horsham District Council’s Year of Culture 2019 project to restore seven beautiful cartoon drawings for the mural cycle in Christ’s Hospital Chapel. Click on the left hand image to find out more. Brangwyn’s Cartoons at Christ’s Hospital also feature on Horsham District Council’s Year of Culture Events webpage: https://www.hdculture2019.co.uk/events/

In celebrating Horsham District’s Year of Culture 2019, the exhibition, Brangwyn’s Cartoons at Christ’s Hospital, displays these hidden treasures now that they have been conserved and stabilised for future generations to enjoy.

Museum Curator, Laura Kidner, says “this exhibition reveals the splendour of the cartoons to new audiences from the Horsham District and beyond. To see them in the context of the mural sequence is to understand and fully appreciate the grand scale of Brangwyn’s achievement”.

The conservation process, as carried out by a Sussex based Paper Conservator and Framer, involved careful surface cleaning of the vulnerable cartoons, their original mounts, frames and old glass as well as interleaving acid-free barrier board.

This pioneering exhibition invites comparison between the figurative, subtle sketches and the rich and decorative murals. It inevitably encourages fresh interpretation and discussion about Brangwyn’s renowned work and career. Important loans from private collections referencing the CH designs alongside original photos and letters from Brangwyn and a film about his later life serve to enrich the display.

Laura Kidner said: “Let’s not forget that Brangwyn never intended these cartoons drawings to be revered in the same way as his finished murals. They do, however, offer insight into Brangwyn’s working practices and how he interpreted and changed his
designs and subjects within the process of making. It is remarkable how they have survived so well.”


Henfield Museum and Friends                                             





Henfield Museum: Temporary exhibition


Horsham Museum and Art Gallery                              



Post War Euphoria

This event runs from 9th November 2019 to 21st February 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.

A Flock of Sparrows – celebrating the life of Dr Geoffrey Sparrow; a comic genius

This event runs from 21st December 2019 to 7th March 2020

Dr Geoffrey Sparrow arrived in Horsham 100 years ago, setting up in practice. Along with his medical skill he brought great artistic talent and flair for capturing life as lived in the District in the 1930-60s. His genius was capturing in a few strokes, on the back of napkins, envelopes and the more formal painting, the humour of life. He follows in the tradition of Rowlandson, but without the cutting edge.

Dr Geoffrey Sparrow was a well liked and respected doctor in the Horsham area and a devoted huntsman – in his autobiography Foxes and Physic he states “in such an atmosphere of red coats, horses, hounds, terriers and old sporting prints on the wall I became thoroughly soaked in the tradition of fox hunting and have always held old Jorrocks’ opinion that all time not spent in hunting is wasted”; he was also a talented caricaturist.

Sparrow was born in Devon in 1887. He studied medicine at Cambridge and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. He said that going into medicine was “something had to be chosen…I was offered the law, medicine or the church: didn’t like an uncle who was a solicitor, so that was out; our parson was rather stout and greasy and preached long and dull sermons, and away with that, so there remained medicine.” Sparrow served with distinction as a Surgeon Lieutenant in the First World War. He was awarded the Military Cross along with a number of other medals; although he wrote about his military experiences, he never gave the reason why he was awarded the MC. After the Great War, he moved to Horsham and at the age of 53, served again in the Second World War in both Europe and Africa.

In the post war years Dr Sparrow was a prolific sketcher, caricaturist, print maker and watercolour artist, his subjects largely involved hunting scenes. His fame as an artist spread, and though people knew of his medical background, few knew about his war record and achievements. The Imperial War Museum, London now has his First World War diaries in their collections illustrated by Sparrow with comic sketches. Dr Sparrow died in 1969.

John R Abbey – Horsham’s Greatest Book Collector

This event runs from 10th January 2020 to 28th March 2020

Thanks to e-books, people are discovering the book as a physical object, beautiful print, stunning pictures attractive bindings.

For over 30 years one time Storrington resident Major J R Abbey built up one of the greatest collections of books based on those attributes. This small exhibition celebrates his passion with books and photographs. Major Abbey died on Christmas eve 1969.

Causeway House, Horsham: 600 Years and Counting

This event runs from 17th January 2020 to 21st March 2020

Now home to Horsham Museum and Art Gallery this house began its life 600 years ago as an office, workshop for a medieval merchant, later in middle age becoming a tailors home, before in its more mature years helping out in the war effort, 1940s and 50s civil defence rather than Home Guard. Its rich and varied life has been etched in to its “skin and bones”.

This exhibition celebrates its 600 birthday by revealing its hidden history and just like “Who do you think you are” there are some surprises.


Steyning Museum

Special exhibits

On show now

“Have a go”– the night that the BBC broadcast (live) the popular Wilfred Pickles programme from Steyning.

This exhibit runs from 15 November 2019

“Goal” – a celebration of football in the Steyning area

This exhibit runs from 14 January to 6 May 2020

“Fares Please!” – Steyning bus services 

This exhibit runs from 14 January to 17 May 2020

Future plans

“Be my valentine” – a rare opportunity to see the fabulous historic cards from the Museum’s archive

This exhibit runs from 7 February to 4 March 2020

“Victory in Europe 75” Part One – how we celebrated the end of WW2

This exhibit runs from 9 May 2020 onwards

“Steyning Arts Trail” – the annual show by our local artists

This show runs from 22 May to 1 June 2020

“Victory in Europe 75” Part Two – including victory over Japan and Gert and Daisy Go to War

This exhibit runs from 6 June 2020 onwards

“Battle of Britain 80”

This exhibit runs from 3 July to 14 October 2020