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: West Sussex Archives Society Annual Conference

Originator: Mike Burt

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 23 May 2018

Saturday 8 September 2018 at The Steyning Centre, Fletchers Croft, Steyning, BN44 3XZ


9.30 for a 10.00 am start – conference ends at 4.30 pm

Speakers at this important Annual conference are:

Peter Crowhurst: Olaf Caroe and The Great Game

Dr. Janet Pennington: ‘Walter Gibraltar’: from Sussex to the Bishop’s Palace, Malta (1804 – 1877)

David Randall: Local History and the National Curriculum at Steyning Grammar School

Professor Brian Short: The Middle Adur Valley and Beyond: A Farming Dynasty in Two World Wars

Chris Tod: Archives at the Steyning Museum

The British Association for Local History and Friends of The National Archives will be in attendance with their publications, as will local history societies

Members £15 Non-members £18 includes tea, coffee and biscuits

Please bring a packed lunch, or wraps will be available for purchase and there are pubs nearby

A booking form can be downloaded from the West Sussex Archives Society website or send an email

Enquiries email


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 Rusper History Group, 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 and Events for July 2018

West Grinstead Local History Group

Tuesday 17 July: Visit to the Connaught Theatre Worthing

Cowfold Village History Society

Friday 20th July: “The Coach Roads to Brighton” by Geoff Hewlett


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 received approval from Horsham District Council.

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 am also a member.

I’m delighted to report that just under 170 nominated objects were submitted by Forum members, the majority being either man made artefacts or buildings. So that was a great response and thanks to all of you! At the project board’s meeting on 8 June, the focus was on brainstorming and agreeing 14 heritage themes that will be used to structure the illustrated book and a start was made on identifying subthemes and gaps in those, and on placing the nominated objects under those themes- as well as whilttling down the nominations to 100. The agreed themes are: Pre-history, Religion, Conflict (primarily military buildings or objects associated with military personnel), Home and Hearth, Local Government and Justice, Politics, Transport, Agriculture, Industry, Trade, Local Services, Education, Sport and Recreation, and Celebrities (objects associated with well known people). Some of these titles might change during the process of editing.

The board meets again on 20 July when the aim will be to finalise the themes and sub-themes, and the allocation of objects under those. In the interim board members will be considering the themes and relevant objects and submitting their thoughts to me to coordinate by the beginning of July.

The project is currently well on track to complete by end May next year following which the illustrated book will be published and a public exhibition held between July and September as part of the Horsham Year of Culture 2019 celebrations.


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

Originator: Christ’s Hospital Museum

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 3 April 2018

 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:        01403 247444

Topic: Exhibitions                                                    

Originator: Steyning Museum

Posted by: Mike Burt

Date: 24 November 2017

Special Exhibits

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:  2 April 2018

Raoul Millais at Horsham Museum & Art Gallery

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.

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

The Film Photography Exhibition by NEG35

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”

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

Averting a Catastrophe – the Story of Kosovo

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 1st June 2018 to 28th July 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 by Friday 8th June if you would like to be included.

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

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


RA: 250

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

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