Tag Archives: sussex day

What a way to spend Sussex Day!

16 Jun

Phew! Even by my standards that was quite a walk. Sitting on the bus on the way home my pedometer had registered 38,731 steps, that’s just short of 19 miles. Just to round things up I got off the bus a stop early and made it up to 20 miles with an extra little walk.

Sitting on the bus my legs were beginning to ache, not a lot of leg room. I just hoped they would still move when it was time to get off! Still nothing that a nice long soak in the bath won’t sort out.

My digital camera must have very nearly reached it’s capacity, although I did have a spare memory card with me, and spare batteries which I needed. So expect to see plenty of photos on this blog in the next few days and weeks. They are mostly of the Sussex scenery, but there are several churches and several ancestral connections.

I will try and plot my route on a Google Map, but for those interested the key places were: Henfield (starting point), Blackstone, Sayers Common, Hurst Wickham, Hurstpierpoint, Wolstonbury Hill, Clayton and Hassocks (finishing point). I will give a full description when I have recovered (an early night tonight I think) pointing out the genealogical highlights along the way!

I am really pleased I went walking, it was a beautiful day, perhaps a little warm at times (and a bit of a rush to get back home). I visited several areas I had never been to before and reacquainted myself with some I haven’t visited for a long time. Most of all however I enjoyed being out in Sussex, in what I would consider typical Sussex countryside, on Sussex Day.

Here is one photo to be going on with, Sussex stretched out beneath me, as I surveyed the countyside from the vantage point of Wolstonbury Hill.

Sussex as far as the eye can see (although there may be some Surrey tucked away right at the back)

Sussex as far as the eye can see (although there may be some Surrey tucked away right at the back)

Sunshine and Sussex Day, a perfect combination

15 Jun

The weather forecast for Sussex Day is looking good, and I am shocked that for once the weather appears to be in my favour. So all being well tomorrow I will spend the day walking in Sussex. Of course I am a bit disappointed not to be spending time in the archive, but that can be saved for another day, and at the moment I would much rather be out enjoying the sunshine.

I haven’t decided exactly where I shall be walking yet, but the current favourite at the moment seems to be to head for Mid-Sussex, around Hassocks and Hurstpierpoint, and then head south from there, possibly following the Mid Sussex Link for a while, following the border between East and West Sussex, maybe all the way down to the coast.

So long as the weather stays fine, like the forecasters promise, I don’t really mind where I go. I barely have to step outside my front door to find ancestral connections, so it would be nice to include my ancestors in the walk as well. Now, I just need to pull out a couple of maps, and find out where I put the bus timetable (I think it ended up in the “crate of shame”) because I don’t want to miss the last bus home from wherever I end up!

What if I have to spend Sussex Day indoors?

11 Jun

If the weather is appalling on Sussex Day, which is looking quite likely at the moment, then I need to have an alternative plan in place, to make the most of my day off.

The plan was always for the wet weather option to be researching at a Sussex archive. As none of my main research projects are really Sussex based I need to find another little project to keep me on topic for Sussex Day.

I think this could be the ideal opportunity to dig deeper into the parish registers for Preston, Sussex and try to uncover some more details on Henry BATEMAN and Dorothy Isabella KINGHORN.

I don’t know the exact date of their marriage, because I haven’t ordered their marriage certificate. Neither do I know where their children were baptised, and two of them buried (although I think that is probably going to be Brighton Cemetery).

Really the only hard evidence I have for their time in Preston (or Brighton) is from the census. I have a rough idea of when they married and when the children were born from the GRO BMD indexes. It will be good to fill in some details without spending money on the certificates.

From the limited research I have done it appears to be a rather tricky little area to research. There appear to have been several boundary changes and several parish churches, and even the registration district appears to have changed over time. It should prove to be an interesting challenge.

How am I going to spend Sussex Day?

10 Jun

Sussex Day is under a week away, on the 16th June and to celebrate my Sussex ancestry I have booked the day off work and plan to explore my Sussex roots.

Whether this exploration is in the archives, or in the countryside will depend a lot on the weather on the day. Despite a promising start to summer the weather at the moment has turned quite showery, which isn’t very encouraging.

So if the weather is good I have the question of where to walk?

If I can get organised enough I might try and see how many churches that feature in my family tree I can visit in the day, but that would be a bit of a rush and I want a relaxing day, taking my time enjoying the landscape, not constantly jumping from buses and trains.

Nothing says Sussex to me like the South Downs, so perhaps I will spend some time walking on the hills. Then again there is always Sussex by the sea, and perhaps it would be nice to spend some time at the seaside.

Perhaps I could combine the two, spend the morning on the Downs, then drop down off the hills and find a country pub for lunch, and then continue to the coast and cool my feet with a paddle in the sea!

What is Sussex Day?

7 Jun

I have been thinking quite a bit about Sussex Day on the 16th June, and about what I am going to do to mark the day. I thought perhaps it would be a good idea to explain what Sussex Day is, just in case you wonder what it is I am going on about.

Perhaps the best way to describe Sussex Day is as a more localised version of St George’s Day, a chance to celebrate what makes Sussex special. Just like St George’s Day don’t expect to hear about any major celebrations or public holidays (that is why I have had to book a day off work).

The West Sussex County Council website describes Sussex Day as

an excellent opportunity for everyone who lives in the county to celebrate its rich heritage and to share a sense of immense pride in where they live.

The West Sussex County County have included a short film on their website entitled Spirit of Sussex Day which shows some of the varying scenery you will find in Sussex, as well as some of the residents of Sussex.

The 16th June is St Richard’s Day, St Richard was Bishop of Chichester, and you can find out more about him on the Diocese of Chichester website.

Sadly there is not much happening on the 16th June this year, although there is a presentation at the Marlipins Museum, Shoreham entitled The Story of Shoreham Film Studio which sounds quite interesting and a couple of other talks at libraries in the county.

The idea of Sussex Day is relatively new, only three years old, and it doesn’t appear to have found much support in East Sussex. Being on a weekday this year probably hasn’t helped, but I will be doing my bit to celebrate my Sussex ancestry.

What I shall be doing is largely down to the weather, if the weather is good then I shall spend the day walking and enjoying the Sussex landscape. If it is wet then I shall take shelter in one of the county archives!

Happy St George’s Day and looking forward to Sussex Day

23 Apr

Happy St George’s Day to all my readers.

Personally I didn’t do anything special to celebrate St George’s Day, and I think that is probably the way most English people celebrated it (or didn’t). There are a few special events planned across the country, but for the most part they are at the weekend because today is not a public holiday.

I wondered whether I should do something special today, but in true English style, couldn’t be bothered! There were no special events nearby, and it was just a normal working day. In a way it is quite sad that we don’t make more of a fuss about St George, but I also think it is quite good that it hasn’t become commercialised, like St Patrick’s Day for example.

I feel it is a very English way of saying to the greeting card shops and novelty souvenir manufacturers, “You’ve taken over Christmas, Easter and just about ever other special day, but we are not going to play ball with you on this one!” I am sure eventually the tide will change, but not just yet.

What I am more excited about is Sussex Day on the 16th June. This is a very new addition to the calendar, and the number of supporters are growing every year. I am certainly going to make an effort this year (I have already booked a day off work) to do something special, I will let you know when we get nearer the time what I have in mind.

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