Tag Archives: Worthing Museum

End of Project: party and legacy

End of Project Party
22nd September 2015: We held an End of Project Party last Tuesday, generously hosted by the Sussex Archaeological Society’s Marlipins Museum in Shoreham. As our exhibition is currently up at Marlipins it was the ideal venue for a wrap party.

We were joined by our volunteers, supporting partners, such as Jason Lee from Worthing College and Justin Russell from Archaeology South-East, private and family collectors and many more of the great people who have helped make this project a success.

Emma O'Connor, Sussex Archaeological Society's Museum Officer and Chairman Carson Albury, delivering thank you speeches.
Emma O’Connor, Sussex Archaeological Society’s Museum Officer and Chairman Carson Albury, delivering thank you speeches.

Carson Albury, Chairman of Adur and Michael Donin, Mayor of Worthing kindly joined us and delivered excellent speeches.

Worthing Mayor Michael Donin and Chairman of Adur Carson Albury holding up our latest find, a 1918 pick head found on Slonk Hil.
Worthing Mayor Michael Donin and Chairman of Adur Carson Albury holding up our latest find, a 1918 pick head found on Slonk Hil, presented by Worthing Museum, Curator Hamish MacGillivray.

And Caroline George from the Heritage Lottery Fund also popped in to see how we had got on.

Caroline George (left) from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Gail Mackintosh, Project Coordinator.
Caroline George (left) from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Gail Mackintosh, Project Coordinator.

It was a great event thanks to the volunteers and staff at Marlipins Museum and gave us the opportunity to thank everyone involved.

Archaeologist Justin Russell (middle) talks to local landowners, Christina and Rob Keith.
Archaeologist Justin Russell (middle) talks to local landowners, Christina and Rob Keith.


The project is now at a close but we have left some important legacies for the future.

The exhibition will remain up in Marlipins Museum, Shoreham, until 3rd October. The display panels will then be used as part of our ongoing schools education programme at Worthing Museum http://www.worthingmuseum.co.uk/education/ .

As for all our research it is now accessible to all though our new website:


Please do spread the word!

We have created a final publication – a ‘Behind the Scenes’ Booklet showing all our work along the way. Copies of the booklet will be available at Worthing Museum, Marlipins Museum and around the local libraries.

The many objects loaned  to the project will be returned to their owners but Marlipins Museum would be happy to take in any more collections relating to the Army Camp in the future.

So, it is goodbye for now, we hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have.



On This Day 1914: Thousands of tents spring up on Shoreham’s Downs.

“Our final On This Day story from Shoreham Army Camp takes us right back to the beginning, 101 years ago when the local papers were discussing the new Camp that had sprung up on the Downs above Shoreham . . .”

One hundred years ago, when Napoleon was threatening these shores, the coasts of Sussex became an armed camp. Today history is repeating itself.

Thousands of tents have appeared on the slopes behind Shoreham housing a ‘motley crew’ of volunteers for Kitchener’s Army. They are training there under Divisional Commander Major General Sir J. G. Ramsay, K. C.B.

Image Courtesy of Graham Booth.
Image Courtesy of Graham Booth.

This ‘hatless brigade’, with no uniform and little equipment, have come from the four corners of England with one determination in common – to make themselves efficient in the quickest possible time. Squad drill and Swedish exercises keep them ‘as fit as fiddles’. They wash their own clothes in cold water and many have named their tents with wonderful titles such as, ‘Haunted Castle’, ‘Dreadnoughts’ and ‘Humming Birds’.

Check out the full story in the West Sussex County Times:

West Sussex County Times 19140926-006

(West Sussex County Times, 26/9/1914)
West Sussex County Council Library Service www.westsussexpast.org.uk

Guided walks: stories, sunshine and surprise ants.

Friday 21st August: 

“Dear Mother, I feel strong and well, the army is making a man of me. I have learnt what rough life is, I shan’t know how to feel when I sleep in a bed again and have my meals off a table, after sleeping on the floor and having my blankets for a chair and my knees or the floor for a table. You would laugh to see us sitting round the tent, laughing and talking, all as happy as can be”.

17 year old Arthur Goodchild writing home to his mother from Shoreham Camp in October 1914 (Courtesy of Henry Finch, www.goodchilds.org).  

Arthur’s story was just one shared on our guided walks through Shoreham on Friday following the old paths of the Army Camp.

meeting-pointAt 11am and 2pm we set off led by Curator Hamish MacGillivray and Project Coordinator Gail Mackintosh from outside the Cafe in Buckingham Park. Our walk took us up through the park, along Downside and over the A27 onto Slonk Hill. This route travelled from where the South edge of the First World War Camp used to be up into the North East corner.


Along the way we stopped regularly to explore stories from the Camp illustrated by dramatic readings from Joanna Wilkins to bring the history to life.


We brought with us a detailed map of the Camp discovered in West Sussex Record Office by local researcher Brian Drury, a selection of images associated with Army Camp life and even a number of archaeological finds uncovered as part of the project.

inspecting-mapView the map on our new project website. 


On Slonk Hill visitors could view our mini-exhibition table and British Pathe Newsreel footage of the boxing in Camp.


But the big attraction was the bell tent kindly donated for the day by Lancing 3rd and 5th Sea Scouts.

bell-tentinside-the-tentAlthough the ants’ nest we discovered after lying down inside was not so welcome . . . . Thankfully our patient visitors saw the funny side and declared it ‘added to the living history experience’.

Finally, thanks to the generous efforts of our hosts, Christina and Rob Keith and their family, there was shade and refreshments on hand for our walkers.

slonk-hill2We are very grateful to our volunteers Debbie and Nicola who supported us throughout the day, to Joanna Wilkins for her excellent readings, to the 3rd and 5th Lancing Sea Scouts for the loan of their tent, to the Cup Cake Cafe for helping promote our event and most importantly to Christina and Rob Keith and their family, not only for their efforts on the day but for allowing us access to their land and supporting us throughout this project – thank you!

Shoreham Market Day

8th August: Curator Hamish MacGillivray, Project Coordinator Gail Mackintosh and volunteers Debbie and Nicola manned a pop-up exhibition at Shoreham Market – and what a lovely day it was.shoreham market 3

Our aim was to get the locals excited about the upcoming showing of our full exhibition at Marlipins Museum from the 2nd of September to the 3rd of October and for our walking tour on Friday 21st August.

shoreham market 1We brought with us some of our display panels showing our behind the scenes work and the local reaction to the Army Camp 100 years ago along with the British Pathe newsreel footage of a boxing match taking place in Camp. But what really drew people in were our maps showing the size of the Camp and where it is located on a modern map. It was really great the number of visitors who could point out which army hut would have been in their back garden.

Shoreham market curator 1shoreham market volunteer 1

Whilst we had plenty of stories to share we were delighted to also hear stories from locals who knew a bit about the Camp already or had family who had trained there. shoreham market 2

Many thanks to David Steadman who organised our space in the market, our dedicated volunteer researchers Nicola and Debbie, our volunteer photographer Janet and the many local people who made our Saturday very enjoyable. We hope to see plenty more on our walk on Friday and at the Marlipins Museum in September.

WW1 Archaeology Open Day

Saturday 18th July:

As part of the 25th anniversary of the Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology we hosted an event at Worthing Museum to help visitors discover first-hand the objects and clues archaeologists use to find out about the First World War.

Our expert archaeologists Justin Russell from Archaeology South-East and Luke Barber from the Sussex Archaeological Society, who had provided training for project students and volunteers, were on hand to share their amazing collections. They brought objects from the British, German and French armies that they had collected and in some cases dug up on the Front Lines in France.

Highlights of the collections included:

Some scary shell fragments from the Front Lines,ww1 objects

A practice grenade like those used by Shoreham Army Camp recruits in training,grenade

A pocket camera carried by a soldier,Camera

And a Lee Enfield rifle that was issued to British soldiers,rifle

Also on display were objects uncovered as part of our two metal-detecting training sessions and one mini-excavation on the site of Shoreham Army Camp with Worthing College students and volunteers.nails

The day also featured the chance for our visitors to do some metal-detecting in a mini astro-turf field.metal-detecting

Many thanks to Luke Barber and Justin Russell for their time and sharing their amazing collections with us.

On This Day 1915: Those dreadful cinemas!

The Assistant Provost Marshall’s application for Worthing to open its cinemas on Sundays to soldiers from Shoreham Camp has been turned down again. Fears include the ‘horrible suspicion that a few Tommies actually swap albums of picture post-cards and cigarette cards on Sundays!’

Local papers mocked ‘Worthy Worthing’ and this ‘mid-Victorian’ attitude to the cinema. In comparison Brighton cinemas are open on Sundays and a popular place for soldiers on leave.

Check out the full story in the Worthing Gazette:

Worthing Gazette_19170725-002

(Worthing Gazette, 25/7/1915)
West Sussex County Council Library Service www.westsussexpast.org.u

On This Day 1917: British troops entertain the Canadians.

The talented troupe from the 1st “B” Reserve Brigade of the RFA Camp visited the Canadian Camp at Shoreham. Well over 1000 soldiers were delighted by the high-class entertainments held in the YMCA Cinema Hut with many calls for encores.

Over two and a half hours of entertaining acts from the party included music by banjoist Gunner Lintott, comedy from Bomb. Herd and conjuring by Corporal Summers. Canadian Capt. Clarke introduced each performance with witty jokes that were heartily applauded.

The Concert Party were called upon to return soon and offered their service to any war charity or fellow soldiers who were interested.

The Canadian troops from Shoreham Camp also entertained the British as shown in this 1916 poster.
Courtesy of Worthing Museum and Art Gallery.


Check out the full story in the Horsham Times:


(Horsham Times, 16/06/1917)
West Sussex County Council Library Service www.westsussexpast.org.uk

On This Day 1919: Saturday Cricket defeat for Shoreham Camp Soldiers.

The Worthing Cricket Club engaged in a thrilling contest with the soldiers from Shoreham Camp. The Soldiers, captained by J. K. Matthews, were decisively defeated by the Worthing team with a final score of 282 to 73.

Photograph of Potter and Bailey’s local Worthing Cricket team (1904-1914) showing the type of kit that would have been used by the Worthing Cricket Club.
Courtesy of Worthing Museum and Art Gallery.

Check out the full story in the Worthing Gazette:


(Worthing Gazette, 04/06/1919)
West Sussex County Council Library Service www.westsussexpast.org.uk

On This Day 1916: Military honours for Canadian soldier’s funeral.

Private Archibald Lea of the Fifteenth Canadian Highlanders, who died in the London County Council’s Military hospital at Epsom, was buried locally with military honours attended by many soldiers from Shoreham Camp.

His father was a local Worthing business-man but Archibald was in Toronto when war broke out and immediately signed up to the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

In July, 1915, he was wounded but recovered and went back to the fighting line in November. He remained abroad until the 28th of April 1916 when he was wounded again in the fighting at St. Eloi. Unfortunately, on this second occasion this more serious wound led to tetanus to which he succumbed.

His funeral was well-attended with a firing party and gun carriage supplied by the Royal Fusiliers from Shoreham Camp and accompanied by every indication of widespread respect and esteem.

Section of a First World War toy gun carriage. Courtesy of Worthing Museum and Art Gallery.
Section of a First World War toy gun carriage.
Courtesy of Worthing Museum and Art Gallery.

Check out the full story in the Worthing Gazette:


(Worthing Gazette, 17/05/1916)
West Sussex County Council Library Service www.westsussexpast.org.uk

Project website underway

This week we have opened the basic version of our website to the public. You can visit it through the Worthing Museum and Art Gallery website here:

website screen shot

Over the next three months we will be adding our research  and films created by Worthing college students to this site. Each time a section is complete look out for an announcement here on our blog.