Heritage Forum members’ programmes

Events/meetings organised by members of the Forum during 2017 and 2018

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 5 September 2018

“Elizabethan Sussex” by Helen Poole

Wednesday 3 October 2018

“Subterranean Sussex” by Stewart Angell

Wednesday 7 November 2018

“Life in the Castles of Sussex” by Mark Perry-Nash

Wednesday 12 December 2018

Christmas Social for members only

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 October 2018

Short AGM followed by “The Secret Shore” by Chris Hare

Thursday 8 November 2018

“Shoreham Fort” – a talk by one of the Fort volunteers

Thursday 13 December 2018

“Nuthurst’s VC” by Tony Turner

Thursday 10 January 2019

“Brighton Rock, Brighton Crime” by Geoff Mead

Thursday 14 February 2019

“My mum was a Land Girl” by Ian Everest

Thursday 14 March 2019

“Cast Iron Firebacks” by Jeremy Hodgkinson

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 including refreshments.

Friday 20 July 2018

“The Coach Roads to Brighton” presented by Geoff Hewlett.

Friday 19 October 2018

“Sussex in the Great War” presented by Kevin Gordon.

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 12th June 2018 

“A History of the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra” presented by Nicolas Chisholm.

Tuesday 10th July 2018

“WW2 Despatches from the Home Front” presented by Chris McCooey.The war diary of Joan Strange who lived on the South Coast during the Second World War.

Tuesday 11th September 2018 

“Victorian Working Class Brighton” presented by Louise Peskett.

Tuesday 9th October 2018

“Scrap Book 1 Miscellany of Sussex History Anecdotes and Folklore” presented by Chris Horlock.

Tuesday 13th November 2018

“Saxon Sussex” presented by Kevin Newman.The story of the invaders who gave Sussex its name and the kingdom they built.

Tuesday 11th December 2018

“The Magic of Pantomime” presented by Ian Gledhill. Members only Christmas meeting.

Tuesday 8th January 2019

“Shepherds of the South Downs, their lives and times” presented by Ian Everest.

Tuesday 12th February 2019

“The Central Sussex Women’s Suffrage Society” presented by Frances Stenlake. A network of non-party, non-militant suffragists from across Sussex who campaigned for the vote, and who participated in the Brighton-London ‘Great Pilgrimage’ in July 1913.

Tuesday 12th March 2019

“Lost Ships Found-the adventure of maritime archeology” presented by
Ian Friel, who uses historical evidence to identify shipwrecks and tell their

Tuesday 9th April 2019

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


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.


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                                            

Wednesday 13th – Sunday 24th June 2018

Needlework on Display

Parham is home to possibly the finest and most important collection of sixteenth and seventeenth century embroidery in the United Kingdom. Visitors will have an enhanced opportunity to discover Parham’s needlework collection, including items that are not normally on display.

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th June 2018

The Sussex Guild Contemporary Craft Show at Parham

The Sussex Guild is delighted to be exhibiting at Parham again. The Guild is a group of professional designer makers selected for their high degree of skill and creativity. Members live and work in Sussex and the adjoining counties. Formed nearly fifty years ago, the group supports its members in a variety of ways whilst promoting public understanding and appreciation of fine craft and design.

The Guild’s Craft Show takes place in a large marquee within the famous award-winning gardens with spectacular examples of ceramics, leather, textiles, jewellery, wood, glass, metalwork and fine modern furniture on show and craft demonstrations too.

Visitors will be able to meet the designer makers, watch them at work, and view, buy, or commission an individual piece.

Monday 25th & Tuesday 26th June 2018

Photography Workshop with Elizabeth Zeschin

This introductory Garden Photography course is designed for the beginner to intermediate photographer.

Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th July 2018

Parham Garden Weekend

One of the highlights of the gardening calendar, the Garden Weekend is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Bringing together specialist nurseries from across the South East to showcase a wide variety of high quality flowers and plants, our flagship event also includes garden tours, talks and demonstrations from leading experts including, Marina Christopher, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Tom Stuart Smith and Parham Head Gardener, Tom Brown.

Monday 3rd September 2018

Garden Masterclass with Gardens Illustrated

This one day course is in collaboration with Gardens Illustrated & taught by Marina Christopher and Tom Brown.

Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd September 2018

Parham Autumn Fair

A celebration of traditional estate life and all that harvest brings, our annual Autumn Fair presents the very best of homemade food and locally grown produce as well as activities for all ages. With working horse cart rides, estate tours, deer walks, gun dogs and falconry displays, there is plenty to see and do.

Sunday 7th October 2018

Apples in the Orchard

With apple growing advice and talks from Parham’s Garden Team and guests, discover local Sussex and heritage varieties of apples. Experts will be on hand to identify the variety of apples you have growing at home and you will be able to enjoy the bounty of the season by bringing in your own windfalls for apple pressing.


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 19th November 2018

“The Great War, Changes and Service in Rudgwick, 1911-1920s” by Roger Nash


Rusper Chronicle



2018 programme of meetings to be added.


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 21 June 2018 at 6 pm

This year our local circular summer evening walk will take place from the Old Vicarage, kindly hosted by Colin and Lucy West. Our walk will take us to Shipley Windmill, along the bridle path to Whitehall and along the footpath back to The Old Vicarage where a finger food buffet will be served together with refreshing drinks. For those who would prefer not to take the walk there will be an opportunity to meet at the Old Vicarage at 7.15 pm to await the return of the walkers. Please sign up with Jean Wright for this event as we do need to know numbers. Jean’s contact details are shipley.history.secretary@gmail.com Tel: 01403 741986

23 August 2018 at 1.45pm

Visit to Parham House and Garden. Meet in Parham House car park. We will be guided by Lucy and other committee members. After a tour of the house we are free to take refreshments in the tea room and stroll around the beautiful gardens at leisure.

Cost: RHS members and those with Gardener’s World 2-for-1 cards (available in the May edition of Gardeners World magazine) pay £2.00 to upgrade a garden ticket to include the house. For those without concession cards the House and Garden ticket costs £11.00 (without Gift Aid), or £10.00 for Seniors. Please let Jean Wright know if you are coming by email at Shipley.history.secretary@gmail.com or 1403 741986.

Thursday October 11th

“Inn Signs in West Sussex” by Janet Pennington.

Thursday November 29th

AGM and Christmas entertainment with festive Fayre.

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.

Monday 2 July 2018

“A View from the Wings- Theatrical Stories” – presented by Brian Freeland

Monday 6 August 2018 

“The Great War 1914 – 1918 Home Front in West Sussex” – the county’s civilians at war, presented by Martin Hayes

Monday 3 September 2018

“Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex” – an historical look into the post of Lord Lieutenant, presented by Paul Legrave

Monday 1 October 2018 

“Brighton Rock – Brighton Crime” presented by Dr Geoffrey Mead

Monday 5 November 2018 

“Sid Cotton’s Air Force” – the story of a maverick Australian pilot who immediately before the start of WW2 was engaged by MI6, presented by Tony Turner

Monday 3 December 2018 

“Women’s Land Army- A Sussex Connection” – his mother’s personal memories and a potted history of the role of women on farms during the two world wars, presented by Ian Everest

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 13 June 2018

“Lawrence of Arabia – Hollywood fact or fiction- the story behind the film and the man behind the name” by Sarah Green

Wednesday 12 September 2018

” Sussex Coastline and its role in history” by Mark Perry-Nash

Wednesday 10 October 2018

“History of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run”  by David Ralph

Wednesday 14 November 2018

“Contrasting Sussex Communities” by Geoffrey Mead

Wednesday 12 December 2018

“Sussex Gravestones and Graveyards” by Kevin Gordon

Wednesday 9 January 2019

“Sir John Gage and Firle Place” by Helen Poole

Wednesday 13 February 2019

“The history of the Royal Observer Corps 1915-1945 both nationally and in Sussex” by Paul Norris and Paul Wakefield

Wednesday 13 March 2019

“Kipling’s Rottingdean years 1897- 1902” by Peter Crowhurst

Wednesday 10 April 2019

“Two Victorian Love Stories: Millais and Effie Gray, Parnell and Kitty O’Shea” by Ian and Mary Ivatt

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 17 July 2018

Visit to the backstage of the Connaught Theatre Worthing and a talk about its history. Starting at 11 am. Cost £10 each.

Tuesday 18 September 2018

“Newhaven fort” by Ian Everest

Tuesday 20 November 2018

“Sussex Christmases in the past” by Dr Caroline Adams


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

Christ’s Hospital in the 20th Century

29 April 2017 – 29 March 2018 -extended by popular demand until 29 March 2019.

The 20th Century saw dramatic change for Christ’s Hospital as it moved from its small London site of some 350 years to its current extensive grounds in Sussex. This exhibition explores the art, artefacts and stories behind the school, reflecting the huge social, economic and cultural changes that went on in this period.

While such a display cannot be considered a definitive guide to Christ’s Hospital in the 20th Century, it serves to highlight a modern take on the collections it holds. With so much history around us, and such rich collections, the last 100 years can easily be overlooked. The exhibition showcases recent acquisitions from this transformative era including fine art, social history, costume, photos, ephemera and personal artefacts reflecting the everyday life of pupils and staff.

While acknowledging the impact on Christ’s Hospital of two World Wars, the focus is more on the remarkable historic collections that illustrate the school’s key developments and on-going Old Blue achievements.

What was valued by the staff and pupils at Christ’s Hospital in the 1920’s? How were the school’s main events documented in the 1960’s? Why do we collect a loud hailer and which famous celebrities are associated with Christ’s Hospital in this century? The exhibition celebrates and commemorates the scope and diversity of a truly unique, and at times quirky collection, that boasts some 40,000 objects.

Christ’s Hospital in the 20th Century invites us to consider art works by two of the most significant Modern British artists of that era: Keith Vaughan (1912–77; pupil here 1921-29) and Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956; commissioned to paint the Chapel murals 1912-23) beside the work of lesser known artists Donald Towner (1903-85; art teacher here during WWII) and Nell Todd (1909-76; Head of Art here 1950-69). Equally accomplished drawings by Philip Youngman Carter (1904-69; pupil here 1916-21) of the First World War poet Edmund Blunden (1896-1974; pupil here 1909-14) make an insightful comparison with the battlefield pen and ink sketches by Second World War poet Keith Douglas (1920-44; pupil here 1931-38).
This exhibition offers a rare and intriguing opportunity to enjoy a range of objects across varied disciplines – what is often not seen and in storage – is revealed and not to be missed in this remarkable gathering!

Contact Christ’s Hospital Museum for more information:

chmuseum@christs-hospital.org.uk     01403 247444


Henfield Museum and Friends                                             

Friends of Henfield Museum

2018 on a date to be confirmed

Early afternoon visit to East Grinstead Museum.


Henfield Museum

100 years of Henfield Women & the Vote

The exhibition will open at 6.30pm on the 20th April when the Henfield Hall will be given over to an open evening for all the clubs and societies in the village. It will run until 24th August. The exhibition will include pieces on Elizabeth Robins of Backsettown who was very much involved with the campaign for the female vote, and Miss Decima Allen and Miss Ada Brown who set up and ran the successful the Violet Nurseries on Henfield Common in 1905 until it closed in 1953; they were what we would call today, feminists.

Elzabeth Robins

Miss Allen and Miss Brown









Horsham Museum and Art Gallery

 Love & Marriage

This event runs from 21st April 2018 to 7th July 2018

Never known to miss an opportunity that worldwide media events create, Horsham Museum will embrace royal wedding fever as a great excuse to bring out its fantastic collection of bridal wear and will tell the fascinating story of love and marriage from a Horsham District perspective.

From stunning hand woven silk shipped from China in the 1860s to the flamingo pink wedding dress of a fashion conscious young woman some 110 years later.

This is an exhibition that will appeal to the romantic at heart and for those interested in the rich history that this seminal event in peoples lives creates.

Raoul Millais at Horsham Museum & Art Gallery 

This event runs from 4th May 2018 to 4th August 2018

Born in Horsham in 1901 into a family of artists, John G his father and Sir John Everett Millias his grandfather, he inherited a love of painting, both portraits and equestrian subjects. This small exhibition displays a variety of his sketches collected by the Friends of Horsham Museum over the last 15 years. The exhibition also includes rare footage of a 1968 documentary interview with Raoul Millais.

The Film Photography Exhibition by NEG35

This event runs from 12th May 2018 to 11th August 2018

Paul Holmes and Sarah Ash are photography enthusiasts that like nothing more than going out and shooting on film. Together they have formed NEG35, a new photographic society where members can share their findings on all things photography, film and darkroom related.

Despite having different aesthetics, Paul focuses on portrait and street photography whereas Sarah’s passion is nature and landscapes, their society is for anyone. NEG35’s intention is to show that, no matter what you prefer to shoot, the process of using analogue cameras and black and white film, processing the negatives and developing your own prints is an incredibly rewarding craft that can easily be learnt and enjoyed. They hope that the exhibition at Horsham Museum will share the joy of film photography and dark room printing and show that these skills can offer rich rewards in this time of digital quick fixes.

Want to find out more about NEG35 – pop in and say hello on the Saturday 11th August, watch a talk on film photography, browse some old film camera classics and find out how you could join the NEG35 Society…. Open all day 10-5pm with talks held at 11am, 1pm and 3pm”

Averting a Catastrophe – the Story of Kosovo

This event runs from 1st June 2018 to 28th July 2018

This major artistic event tells the story of Kosovo through the eyes of award winning artist Gordon Rushmer.

Using the delicate medium of the watercolour, Gordon travelled to Kosovo as a guest of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines to record the military operations and the plight of the people there. Now 20 years on in this unique exhibition Horsham Museum & Art Gallery are celebrating what is undoubtedly a major achievement. It is a powerful, moving but also deeply human story that should be seen.


This event runs from 18th June 2018 to 7th September 2018

A feast for the eyes of all knitters, crochet fans, yarn-bombers and crafters, our colourful summer exhibition explores the creative ways in which people, both past and present, have made use of yarn, thread and wool.

Calling all crafters! Whether you are an arm-knitter, a crochet wizard, scarf maker or felter, Horsham Museum & Art Gallery would love to see your woollen creations. Whether they are high-art or high comedy, we would love include photographs of work done by local people. We will be taking in a selection of pieces for the exhibition! Please send digital photos of yours, or your family’s creations to museum@horsham.gov.uk by Friday 8th June if you would like to be included.


This event runs from 21st July 2018 to 6th October 2018

Our family-friendly summer exhibition will tell the story of Mary Shelley’s famous monster, a tale that still chills and entertains 200 years after its publication. Using fascinating items from the collections, excerpts from Shelley’s tale, and animatronic models, the Frankenstein exhibition should not be missed!

RA: 250

This event runs from 20th September 2018 to 17th November 2018

Art galleries and museums across the country are joining the Royal Academy to celebrate 250 years of making, debating and exhibiting art at the Royal Academy

Arts institutions across the country are joining the RA to take a look back at their history, and celebrate the artists and architects who have shaped the RA. Horsham Museum & Art Gallery is delighted to be a part of this celebration.

This exhibition at Horsham Museum & Art Gallery will explore the historic and at times uneasy relationship between the Royal Academy and the medium of watercolour, showcasing watercolour paintings by Royal Academicians past and present.

Watch this space for more information closer to the exhibition. Click here for more information on the RA250.


Steyning Museum


Coming Soon!

“Pox and Pest”

The leper colony and the former Pest House in Newham Lane will be under investigation by the Exhibition Team.