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Flying the flag for Sussex Day 2012

16 Jun

The Argus (Brighton’s local newspaper) was right when they said that Sussex Day had failed to capture the imagination.

It was also right about the lack of events taking place today to mark the occasion, but that is really nothing new. At the present rate it seems likely that the idea of Sussex Day will be all but forgotten in a couple of years time.

I marked Sussex Day in my usual way, by going for a walk. I had many options for where to walk, the weather wasn’t very promising and I am really out of practice for any long distance walking, but all in all it turned out to be a memorable walk, which I will tell you more about later.

Sussex Day wasn’t completely forgotten, it was good to see at least one village flying the flag for Sussex, although I suspect if they hadn’t already put up the flagpole for the Diamond Jubilee they wouldn’t have bothered.

Flying the Flag for Sussex Day 2012

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Spare a thought for Sussex Day

1 Jun

As Britain gears itself up for the long Diamond Jubilee weekend please spare a thought for Sussex Day.

Saturday 16th June 2012 is Sussex Day, a day to celebrate everything that is great about Sussex. You can find out more about Sussex Day on the West Sussex County Council website.

Hopefully because Sussex Day falls on a weekend this year there will be more events celebrating Sussex than previous years, although I have found a few events on the 16th June this year. It has quite clearly not made it as a major feature of the calendar yet. Don’t expect it to be celebrated by a Google Doodle any time soon.

This week has seen a steady increase in the amount of bunting and number of Union Flags that have taken hold on all manner of public and private buildings. It is great to see the country getting in the spirit of the occasion, if only some of that spirit could be bottled and kept safely for the 16th.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Sussex Family History Group Annual Conference

14 Apr

Today was the Sussex Family History Group Annual Conference and AGM at Clair Hall, Haywards Heath, West Sussex. The location and format were the same as previous years; three presentations and a handful of stalls providing a complete contrast to Who Do You Think You Are? Live.

Clair Hall, Haywards Heath, West Sussex

The three presentations were a good mix of subjects:

  • Jayne Shrimpton: Understanding and dating old photographs – Although I have attended a couple of her presentations before and have a couple of her books, I never fail to learn something new and to be inspired to get my own photographs sorted and dated.
  • Jean Hopkins: Brighton’s Chain Pier – Some excellent historic images and some superb 3D modeling of this long-lost attraction, although the presentation was a little erratic and disjointed with some technical issues.
  • Lars Tharp: The Foundling Museum of London – This was an excellent presentation, I have heard about the Foundling Hospital on several occasions, but this talk really showed just how little I really knew. It was a fascinating talk and even after the talk it felt like we had still only scraped the surface of the history of this remarkable institution and the people involved.

Attendance appeared to be down slightly on previous years and despite my fast approaching fortieth birthday it seemed to me that I was still the youngest one there, which was a little surprising (and another contrast to WDYTYA? Live) although something I have got used to over the years. I know there are younger family historians out there, but I wonder where they were today?

Another great conference and I can’t wait for next year when the SFHG marks it’s fortieth birthday, apparently special events are being planned to mark the occasion.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Postcard Album: To Greet You at Eastertide

8 Apr

However you spend your Easter (I think this Sussex Vicar might be onto something), I wish you all the best at this special time of year.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Titanic this, Titanic that ….

5 Apr

If it wasn’t the 1940 US census, then the main topic for discussion this week seems to have been the anniversary of sinking of the Titanic, and it can only get worse as we approach the actual day of the anniversary next week.

As you might have guessed from the tone of the previous sentence I am not particularly interested in the Titanic (although possibly slightly more than the 1940 census), whether it is films, television programmes, books, passenger lists or crew records.

One thing I did find interesting however was this article from the BBC News website, Five Titanic myths spread by films, which takes a more skeptical view of some of the myths that have arisen around the Titanic.

Whilst on the subject of the BBC, you might want to take a look at the BBC Archive’s Survivors of the Titanic collection, which gives a taste of the organisation’s output over the years, including interviews with survivors.

In the meantime I will try to summon up some enthusiasm for the anniversary between now and the 14th April.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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