Tag Archives: horsham

You wait ages for a bus to come along… then dozens turn up at once

13 Jun

Modern buses

I am not really what you would call a bus enthusiast, but being someone who relies on public transport and someone with an interest in many aspects of history I was delighted excited to attend the bus rally at Madeira Drive, Brighton, East Sussex.

The bus rally was to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company. Madeira Drive is right on the seafront at Brighton and the buses looked great in the sunshine. There was a large selection of "vintage" and modern buses and several stalls selling all sorts of bus related merchandise.

Brighton Hove & District FUF 63

I think the bus above was one of the oldest on display today, being built just before the Second World War. There was quite a variety of "vintage" buses and I could easy imagine some of my relatives and ancestors climbing aboard buses like these when they needed to go into town.

Some of the "vintage" buses weren’t that old, or at least they didn’t seem so to me because they reminded me of the buses we used to take into Horsham. I think the buses (like the one below) may have been replaced by the time I was old enough to travel on them on my own, although I can’t remember at what age that would have been.

Southdown RUF37R

Walking back to happiness

16 Apr

Last year I used try and walk home from work on a Friday evening, it was a wonderful way to start the weekend. Today it was the other way around, I was making my way into Horsham to pick up some shopping. I also had a couple of other things to do on the way.

This week I have been sorting through GASSON files and came across a monumental inscription which I had transcribed back in March 2003. I discovered that I didn’t have a photo of it, and I am not even sure that I had a digital camera seven years ago.

Not only that, my transcription was different from that provided by the Sussex Family History Group. I felt I should visit Nuthurst, Sussex and get a photo of the headstone and check the inscription. Whilst I was in Nuthurst I also wanted to take a look at New House Farm, where my ancestors were living in the 1841 census.

I had a nice walk, the weather wasn’t brilliant to start with, lots of cloud with the occasional break that let the sunshine through (at least there wasn’t any volcanic ash!). The route was a bit further than my walk home used to be, about 10 miles in all, and I didn’t quite make it all the way to Horsham (I caught the bus for the last little bit).

It was good to get out and forget about job hunting for a few hours, enjoy a bit of sunshine and do a bit of genealogy as well. Just the sort of thing a wandering genealogist should be doing. Plus I got plenty of photos and things to write about along the way, like the one below of the primroses along the side of the disused railway line south of West Grinstead.

Primroses on the Downs Link

The chemist shop at Horsham Museum

18 Mar

My current obsession with chemists and druggists reminded me of a display in Horsham Museum. Amongst their many wonderful exhibits and displays they have a recreation of a local chemist’s shop.

The chemist shop in Horsham Museum

I took the opportunity this week to pop into the museum and have a quick look at the ‘shop’ and try and imagine my 6x great-grandmother standing behind a similar counter in Hailsham, Sussex.

In my imagination the GEERING’s shop in Hailsham had once looked like this, neat and tidy, clean and with a highly polished counter, but I imagine it didn’t last long and over the years it became more and more neglected. I might be doing my ancestors an injustice but the situation described by Thomas Geering in his book was not one of a pristine, well maintained shop.

Horsham is in Sussex not Surrey

4 Dec

One thing that really annoys me is when I find references to the town of Horsham being in the county of Surrey, it’s not, it is in Sussex. I should know I have spent most of my working life there, and it is the closest town to where I live.

I saw another example this week, the December 2009 issue of the Family Tree Magazine (the UK one) has an interesting article on sources available for researching postal ancestors. It includes a photo of postmen trying out a new type of cycle, known as the pentacycle or Hen and Chickens. The British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA) have the same image in their Moving the Mail: Horses to Horsepower online exhibition.

The BPMA have got their facts right and have put Horsham in the correct county, but Family Tree Magazine has moved Horsham into the neighbouring county of Surrey. Family Tree Magazine are not alone, because I have seen many examples of Horsham, Surrey.

Out of curiosity I asked some of my work colleagues about the subject, they too had noticed it in the past, but were obviously not as concerned as I was.

I would love to find out where this all started, who first thought Horsham was in Surrey not Sussex. I suspect people might be confusing Horsham, Sussex with Hersham, Surrey. Although they are about thirty miles apart geographically, they are only one letter different in spelling.

Interestingly when I search on just birthplace in the 1901 English census on Ancestry.co.uk, it gives me 322 results for Horsham, Surrey compared to 11,159 for Horsham, Sussex. Hersham, Sussex comes up with 269 results and Hersham, Surrey comes up with 2,227. Clearly many of these are probably transcription errors, but it could still cause confusion if you are not sure which county you should be looking in for your ancestor’s birth, especially when the error is repeated elsewhere off the census.

Are there any place name confusions or mistakes that get you angry or annoyed? Have you come across any in your research? Let me know in the comments.

Feeling sorry for myself

22 Jun

I was feeling very sorry for myself last night, I suppose you could call it a case of “Sunday night blues”, tomorrow would see me back at work again and I felt like I hadn’t really achieved anything this weekend.

Now don’t get me wrong, it had been quite a productive weekend, but you couldn’t really call cleaning the fridge and oven and mowing the grass achievements. Sunday was father’s day, so I had also spent some quality time round my parents house, enjoying dinner.

I suppose my problem was that I hadn’t actually found out anything new on my family tree, in fact I had done very little research during the previous week.

There were other factors, like the headache I had been unable to shake off, the aching shoulders (probably from cleaning the oven), the fact that Sunday was the longest day and although summer had just begun the days would soon be getting shorter and of course the feeling that in terms of walking I was probably not going to be able to beat my Sussex Day walk in terms of distance or enjoyment.

All this was conspiring to make me feel quite miserable!

The problem with my family tree is that my main projects all require a visit to the archives to make any more real progress, something which I don’t have the time and money to do. What I really needed was to focus on something I could do at home, between visits to the archives.

With access to ancestry.co.uk and various Sussex resources courtesy of the Sussex Family History Group, virtually any of my Sussex ancestors would be fair game.

Ideally I would like to find a family line with very local roots, preferably in the Horsham district, so I can use the resources of Horsham Library during my lunch break or after work. The added bonus of a local family is that it would be that much easier for me to visit their ancestral homes or search graveyards.

I can think of one or two families that might fit the bill and one in particular (the FAIRS family of West Grinstead) which I know I have quite a bit of research material on already.

I will keep my other projects active, and will fill in what details I can, but I won’t be able to make any major advances until I have visited Winchester, Carlisle or London again.

A view of Horsham: then and now

1 May

This is the latest addition to my collection (another eBay purchase), not that rare but it is a view that I have been after for a while, and this was at an excellent price so I couldn’t resist. It is postmarked 8pm December 24th 1903, and was sent to a Mrs Banks at ‘Newlyn’, Jarvis Brook, Sussex.

The Path From Deene Park, Horsham

The Path From Denne Park, Horsham

This morning was bright and clear, so before work I decided to head up Denne Hill and check out the view for myself. Sadly the fence across the middle of the picture has grown into a substantial hedge, so whilst the tree is still there (with a few bits of seating still attached) the view has been obscured. The photo below is the view from the other side of the hedge.

The Path from Deene Park, 2009

The Path from Denne Park, 2009

The two spires are St Mary’s Church on the left and St. Mark’s Church on the right, in fact all that is left of St. Mark’s Church is the spire. I think the original photographer may have taken a few liberties with the original image and moved Horsham a lot closer to Denne Park!

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