The day got off to a rather bad start when I got to Horsham railway station to find there were no trains running (engineering work), but that wasn’t too much of a problem (I suppose I should have checked online) and it wasn’t going to change my plans, it just meant I would have less time in Chichester than I had hoped, because I would be travelling halfway by bus instead of by train.
The second hitch occurred when I went to buy my ticket and realised that I had lost my rail card. I knew I had it when I got on the bus to Horsham, but there was no sign of it now. It must have fallen out of my pocket when I took my wallet out to put my bus pass away. I rushed outside and the bus was still there, and so was my rail card, hiding under the seat. Phew!
What I really missed on the journey down was being able to sit back and relax and watch the countryside rush past. Quite often I will have a whole carriage to myself for most of the journey, because it is still quite early in the morning. Whether the time is spent reading, writing or listening to my mp3 player, I find it a perfect way of starting out the day.
My first stop in Chichester was the library, the reference section (in fact the whole library) has had a makeover since my last visit and looks very nice, and crisp and clean, all in all a very pleasant environment to work in (not that there was really anything wrong with it before).
I found the information I was looking for on the microfilm of the local paper for January 1951, and printed off a couple of pages. I was looking for information on the death of my great grandfather George MITCHELL of West Dean, Sussex. Look out for details of what I discovered in a future post, also in the near future I will explain why I had to go to Chichester library to find the information.
Next stop was the West Sussex Record Office, nothing much has changed there since my last visit, except for the coating of pigeon droppings on the pavement outside, which grows thicker with every visit!
The record office seemed busier than usual today (which is pleasing to see) and perhaps this is the reason why I found it harder to concentrate and focus on what I was doing. Maybe it was the lack of a relaxing journey down or perhaps I just wasn’t prepared enough and my goals not specific enough.
Having said that I did achieve most of my goals, or at least check the records I wanted to, even if the results were negative. Tomorrow I will give you some more details on what I found, and what I did during the lunch break (other than eating my lunch!)