Message from the Editor

Welcome to the Horsham District Heritage Forum Message Board.

This is an area where members can post notices and messages that they think will be of interest to other organisations in the forum.

They can be notices of upcoming events, suggestions for forum-wide collaborative projects or requests for help on existing or planned projects within your own society/group.

All you need to do is to email Mike Burt at:

with the notice/message, together with any images, so that they can be uploaded to the site.

Topic: Forum Publications page

Originator: Mike Burt

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 22 February 2018

A Publications page has now been added to the Forum web pages. This enables Forum members to post details of books or other published material that have been produced, for the information and benefit of other members. Where appropriate details are provided of the cost of the book or other publication and from where this can be purchased. At the moment the page carries publications by  the Cowfold Village History Society,  the Rudgwick Preservation Society, the Steyning History Society, the Southwater Local History Group and the Bramber and Beeding Local History Society.

Please send me by e-mail at: any publications that you would like to advertise on the Publications page including a narrative about the subject of the publication, and where relevant, the cost  and from where the publication can be obtained.

Topic: New Forum member

Originator: Mike Burt

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 22 March 2018

I am delighted to welcome Slinfold Local History Group  as the newest member of the Forum. The contact is Hilary Sherwin-Smith  at

The Forum’s membership now stands at 20 organisations and covers most of the Horsham District geographical area and most of its heritage interests.

Topic: Upcoming Talks for March 2018



  • 20 March 7.30pm – 9.00pm

West Grinstead Local History Group: AGM followed by “History of the Tower of London” by Alan Kingshott. Partridge Green Village Hall.


Topic: Collaborative Projects

Originator: Mike Burt

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 20 March 2018

Horsham Year of Culture 2019

I’m delighted to announce that the Heritage Forum project “Horsham District Heritage in 100 objects” has now received funding approval from Horsham District Council. However this is in the form of a loan repayable over two to three years from sales revenue of the book that will be a main output from the project, rather than via the Year of Culture funding. This actually helps a lot because the project will not now be a draw on the YOC budget which is heavily subscribed already. I have however agreed with the HDC team that any risk of partial repayment of the loan will be borne by HDC and not the Heritage Forum; conversely of course HDC will benefit from any excess sales income over the loan amount which is £8000. I would hope that any excess would be ploughed back into district heritage projects.

Aa a next early step, a small project board has been set up to take forward the work on overseeing the identification and selection of the 100 heritage objects and the production of the book and associated publicity and public exhibition between now and the middle of 2019. I am very grateful to the following for agreeing to be members of the board: Jeremy Knight, Laura Kidner (Chris’s Hospital Museum); Roger Nash (Rudgwick Preservation Society), Claire Searle (Shipley History Society); Robert Gordon (Friends of Henfield Museum); I will also be a member.

The board met for the first time on 16 March and agreed the definition of an object and the criteria for identifying and selecting them. These have been issued to all 19 members of the Forum under cover of my e-mail of 18 March with a deadline for response of 15 May. Members have been asked to submit a maximum of 10 objects, with a photograph and short justification for making the nomination from which the project board will select the 100. The intention is to complete the selection by September this year.

I am the liaison point for the nominations and am available if Members need to discuss their nominations or the process in advance of submission.

Topic: Projects

Originator: Roger Nash

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 23 October 2017

Rudgwick Preservation Society Great War Project

We are seeking any information on any serviceman/woman who may have been born in the parish of Rudgwick, and/or educated there, and/or lived or worked there, or their parents did, before during or after the 1st World War, including photographs. We already have much information which we can share and try to improve our number of those who served, or the accuracy of our information, whether they survived, or died in, the war. Please contact us via our website contact page at . We intend to publish a book in time for the centenary of the Armistice.


Topic: Exhibitions

Christ’s Hospital in the 20th Century
29 April 2017 – 29 March 2018

Originator: Laura Kidner

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 23 November 2017

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: 01403 247444

Topic: Exhibitions

Originator: Steyning Museum

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 24 November 2017

Special Exhibits
On Show from 10th November 2017

“Childhood Past”

The exhibition looks at various aspects of Childhood within our catchment area including the Workhouse, Creative Activity, Posing for the Camera (some scary Victorian adults with their kids!) and a creation of a Toy Shop window display which includes Victorian Toy Theatres.

This exhibition will run until mid May.

Coming Soon!

“Pox and Pest”

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

Topic: Exhibitions                                                                         

Originator: Horsham Museum and Art Gallery

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 8 January 2018

Topic: Information request   

Originator: Mark  Scott

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 27 January 2018

Have you any stories about Wiggonholt Common?

The Heathlands Reunited team, at the South Downs National Park Authority, is looking for interesting stories about how our ancestors used the heathland, what life was like in the past and any events and happenings that took place there.

As well as Wiggonholt, the team is also focusing on Black Down, Woolbeding, Iping and Stedham, Lavington, Graffham and Shortheath.

If you have a story, from any era, or know where one can be found, please contact Mark Scott on 07780 991913 or at and he will feed back to the project for all the focus areas.