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 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.


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 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 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  

See Parham House web site for entrance fees.

Wednesday 22 May to Sunday 2 June 2019

Needlework on display during House opening hours.This display, returning by popular request after last year, gives visitors another enhanced opportunity to discover Parham’s needlework collection, including items that are not normally on view. Season Ticket holders go free.

Wednesday 5 June to Sunday 30 June 2019

Artist in Residence exhibition. This year’s artist in residence is celebrated photographer Elizabeth Zeschin. Discover Elizabeth’s interpretation of Parham before or after exploring the House and Gardens that have inspired her work. The Seed Room 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm.

Monday 10 June to Tuesday 11 June 2019

Photography workshop with Elizabeth Zeschin. This two day introductory Garden Photography Course is based in our four-acre Walled Garden. Involving both classroom and practical work, it is designed for both amateur photographers and garden designers. £245 for the two day course. Monday 10.30 am to 6.30 pm, Tuesday 7.00 am to 3.30 pm.

Friday 14 June to Saturday 15 June 2019

The Country Bocante Summer Fair. The Country Brocante Fairs offer not only a truly independent shopping experience, but also an opportunity to immerse oneself in a quintessentially English country garden atmosphere. Visitors can browse the antique and vintage stalls in the marquee, stroll through the garden rooms and pause for a cup of tea and a slice of cake in the tea rooms. At every fair there is an abundance of interesting curiosities, pretty vintage homewares, plants and flowers, old garden tools and accessories, simple French enamelware and piles of gorgeous antique fabrics and quilts.There are also talks, demonstrations and workshops led by renowned creatives and designers. Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, Saturday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

Sunday 1 September to Sunday 15 September 2019

Gordon Rushmer One Man exhibition : “Accents on the Landscape”. As part of the celebrations for Horsham Year of Culture, Parham will be hosting a Watercolour Exhibition on local painter, Gordon Rushmer on 1- 15 September. An award-winning landscape painter, Rushmer’s work has been exhibited in collections at Tate Britain, the Imperial War Museum, The National Library of Wales and more. The Seed Room 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm.


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 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 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.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

“The pubs and breweries of Steyning” by Dr Janet Pennington

Wednesday 9 October 2019

“Secret Sussex Resistance” by Stewart Angell

Wednesday 13 November 2019

“From Sussex oxen to Fordson Major” by Ian Everest

Wednesday 11 December 2019

“A Policeman’s lot” by Neil Sadler

Wednesday 8 January 2020

“Folk songs in Sussex” by Mark Norman

Wednesday 12 February 2020

“Warrior Queens” by Tony Turner

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.


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 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

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




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.


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