The first-ever Worthing Heritage Festival set to open

The first-ever Worthing Heritage Festival takes place this June, organised by the Worthing Heritage Alliance, an umbrella organisation for all the heritage societies and groups operating in the town. Worthing Heritage Festival runs from June 10-18.
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Chris Hare, currently chairman of the Worthing Heritage Alliance, said: “By happy coincidence, Worthing Borough Council decided to hold a Worthing (Arts) Festival this year, and we have worked with them to ensure the two events are coordinated. All our events appear on the Council’s Time for Worthing website, as well as our own –”

Chris is offering two guided walks and two illustrated talks. He will be leading a Smugglers’ Trail walk around Worthing town centre and a walk around the prehistoric Highdown Hill, which will also include discussion of the rich folklore of this site. One of his talks will look at some of the town’s most dramatic historic moments, in a talk entitled It Happen in Worthing. His other talk looks at Magic and Mystery in Worthing and the surrounding countryside. This talk will include nucker hole dragons, witchcraft, and ghosts and the influence of mystical writers who lived in Worthing or visited the town and neighbourhood, including Mary Shelley, Richard Jefferies, and William Blake.

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The Worthing Society is putting on two talks and one walk. The walk will visit all the blue plaques in the town centre. There will be a talk about the Society’s conservation battles, considering buildings lost and saved and another talk about Jane Austen’s time in Worthing, that will include a lunchtime buffet. Worthing Archaeological Society will be displaying recent finds in Worthing Museum while museum archaeologist, James Sainsbury, will be talking to Sussex Family History Group about some of the most notable artefacts donated to the museum over the years. Martin Hayes, who for many years was the principal local studies librarian for West Sussex County Council, will be giving two illustrated talks, one looking at historical archive photographs of Worthing, and the other at old moving films, some going back to the Victorian era, including the launching of the Worthing Lifeboat in 1898. The Friends of Broadwater and Worthing Cemetery will be holding a special open day when they will be visiting the oldest burials in the cemetery and talking about the lives of those buried there.

Chris HareChris Hare
Chris Hare

Leigh Lawson, who lives in one of Broadwater’s oldest houses, has a secret delight in her back yard – the village’s old bakehouse that she, and her husband, Dick, have lovingly restored. The Bakehouse is open to the public rarely, so this is a special opportunity to step back into Victorian times.

The Ardington Hotel will be holding a special lunch to celebrate Sussex Day on June 16 when Chris Hare will be discussing why Sussex is such a special county revealed in its long and eventful history. Worthing Geological Society are offering a walk and a talk and hope to show the vital role that geology plays in the development of a town like Worthing.

You can find details of all the events at All events can be booked and paid for online. Most of the events cost less than £10.