A newsletter for the Sussex Family History Group

SFHG on the road

Over the next few weekends SFHG will be travelling the highways and byways attending these events.

 First port of call will be Storrington Museum for their Family History Day on Sunday 5 October, 10am to 4pm. The museum is at The Old School, School Lane, Storrington.

 The following weekend (Saturday 11 October) finds us at an exhibition covering aspects of local and family history being organized by Southwater Local History Group. This is being held from 10.30am to 3pm at Beeson House, Lintot Square, Southwater.

 On Sunday 19 October SFHG will be represented at Hastings & Rother FHS’s Family History Fair. This is at the Horntye Park Sports Complex, Bohemia Road, Hastings from 10am to 4.30pm. This comes at the conclusion of ‘Hastings Week’ which includes various talks, walks, events and exhibitions throughout the week.

 Then a week later we again take part in East Grinstead Museum’s Local History Fair. This is on Saturday 25 October from 10am to 4pm. Note that this is being held at East Grinstead library (32-40 West Street).

 Finally – phew! – it’s West Surrey FHS’s Family History Open Day. This takes place at Woking Leisure Centre, Kingfield Road, Woking from 10am to 4.30pm on Saturday 1 November.

If you’re in the vicinity of these events do come along to meet us – and to see what we, and the other participants, have on offer.

Reaching out

The above conclude a busy year of outreach – representing SFHG at various external events.

Our travels have also been to Barking, Crawley, Cuckfield, Eastergate, Horndean, Littlehampton, Olympia, Seaford, Sompting, Southwick, and Worthing (twice).

At these various fairs and open days, etc we get to introduce SFHG both to established family historians and to those new to the hobby.

Many thanks are due to those volunteers who set up and man our stand answering questions and giving advice. Could you help present the ‘friendly face’ of family history at some of the events we’ll be attending next year?

Profile raising

There seems to be a theme developing here! SFHG gained some useful coverage in September’s Sussex Life magazine. The six-page feature entitled ‘All our yesterdays’ included contributions from ESRO and WSRO as well as from our Chairman, Colin Excell.

Over the past year or so Roy Winchester, our publicity guru, has been busy raising our profile. Items in the local press regarding our local meetings and, specifically, the Annual Conference have boosted attendances. Laminated posters have also been produced for display at the venues of our meeting centres.

Our new light-weight display stand has been taken to various events where SFHG has had a presence. And the new name badges and the new sweatshirts have given our team a unified look – even if some unkindly referred to us as looking like canaries!

Have you any suggestions of further opportunities for promoting the study of family history in general, and the Sussex Family History Group in particular?

The Times of My Life

Until the coming of the internet all our memories have been stored in personal diaries or simply just kept in our head. By creating The Times of My Life website, Sussex man Mark Hickman hopes to change the way we record our historical past. It is designed to allow users to record first-hand accounts of their lives through text, images and video.

The Times of My Life is, in effect, a social networking site and historical reference library rolled into one. It is to be a place to keep in touch with friends and for sharing present and past experiences.

In the future the learning process will not just involve dull monologues in textbooks; TTOML will allow members to read real first-hand accounts and experience history from the perspective of those who actually witnessed it. Access to information of this kind helps break down cultural and political barriers by encouraging members to empathise with those involved in historical events.

Initially invited as this website launches are memories about 11 major events in recent history – the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of World War 2, the release of Nelson Mandela, the death of Princess Diana, the Boxing Day Tsunami, Hilary and Norgay climbing Everest, Thatcher becoming the first female Prime Minister, the Moon Landing, the application of Penicillin, the attack on the World Trade Centre, and the 1948 Olympics.