Caricatures to delight Littlehampton

DESPERATE spinsters and the "Nosey Posey" family are just a few of the caricatures captured in watercolour by a regular visitor to Littlehampton a century ago.

Elizabeth Blackbourne headed along the coast to Littlehampton from her Eastbourne home to spend holidays here for about 20 years ,from the 1890s.

And to while away her time, she painted more than 100 witty watercolour sketches of the characters '” residents and visitors alike '” who caught her eye beside the seaside.

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The pictures were later pasted in an album, which was donated to Littlehampton Museum in the 1990s, and they are now on display again at the museum until the end of this month, in the Lens Room Gallery.

Mrs Blackbourne's sketches take a comical look at the town in the early 20th century and feature characters such as the husband hunting Harris sisters and the "Nosey Posey" family taking a dip in the sea.

Scenes from the museum's photographic collection, showing just what life was like for the hoards of holidaymakers and daytrippers who flocked to Littlehampton a century ago, record real life alongside Mrs Blackbourne's colourful images.

Mark Butler, chairman of the town council's community resources committee, commenting on the exhibition, said: "It is wonderful to have such an insight into how a visitor saw our town all those years ago."

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"Mrs Blackbourne: Caricature of a Town" continues at the museum until Friday, May 29.


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