Local history group Pastfinders was formed in 1996 after Philip Fry, Bob Brown and Michael Prince met in the Gardeners Arms in old Sompting village and concluded that very little research was being carried out, historical memories and records were being lost and key past events were going uncelebrated.
One of the three founder members, Philip Fry, who has produced two books of old photographs (long out of print but occasionally available online) will be in attendance.
Since its humble beginnings Pastfinders has gone from strength to strength and an amazing amount of research has taken place.
Over the past 20 years hundreds of old photographs, maps, ephemera and other items of interest have been collected.
Did you ever wonder why Mill Road, Lancing, was so called? Do you know exactly where the Lancing Mill was situated and when it was demolished? Were you aware that one of the Lancing millers was called John Oliver and had the same name as the “Mad Miller of Highdown”, near Ferring?
At the exhibition, visitors will find the answers to these questions and knowledgeable people will be on hand to answer any other questions people may have.
There will also be:
• A large display of historic photographs as well as some of our previous exhibitions including Lancing “Then & Now”, Victorian Sompting, Village Life in 1914 and Villages at War. Also an exhibition covering Lancing Mill based on mostly new research.
• In the Lounge area, a “Bombs and Sirens” Second World War video will be run on a loop alongside “Coastal Plain”, a series of maps showing the story of our changing coastline going back to the Domesday Book in 1086. There will also be maps and archives to look at.
• Other local groups will be joining the exhibition with displays by Friends of Lancing Ring, Worthing Archaeology Society, Friends of Shoreham Fort and Bungalow Town, once a part of Lancing, now known as Shoreham Beach.
• A large number of booklets to browse detailing the history of the villages, copies of which can be obtained at the exhibition for a small donation. A detailed list of the booklets can be found here.
Pastfinders is appealing to the residents of Lancing and Sompting to bring along any old photographs, postcards, letters or documents of local interest to the exhibition to be scanned and then returned to the owner.
As the exhibition will demonstrate, there is more to Lancing and Sompting than meets the eye when driving along the A27.
Admission is free and refreshments will be available.
If you would like to know more about Pastfinders please visit their website: www.lancing-sompting-pastfinders.org.uk.
For further information please call Pat on 01903 750609.