Welcome

What is the South Downs Schools Living History Project?

Over the next two years we are embarking on a unique partnership between The Friends of the South Downs and four West Sussex Primary schools. This project has been made possible by a £10,000 contribution by the Friends of the South Downs and a £48,700 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Our knowledge of how people lived on the South Downs is being lost. A generation who remember the South Downs prior to the introduction of intensive agriculture, hastened by the food demands of the Second World War, are now in their late 80s and 90s and these precious memories will be lost forever if they are not recorded now...

Read More


 

News

The Legend of Jack Upperton

Just off a lonely bridleway about a mile from the village of Warningcamp, stands a pole with a wooden plaque on it bearing the legend ‘J U 1771.’ This unexpected discovery puzzles all those who come across it, unless of course, they are familiar with the legend of Burpham Highwayman, Jack Upperton. In 1770, Jack Upperton was a farm labourer, ...
Read More

Rough Music 🔉

In the days before any village had a policeman, or before school education became compulsory, local communities were very prepared to 'take the law into their own hands,' whenever the need arose. A man might have been beating his wife, or parents cruelly ill-using their children, or a couple may have strayed away from the moral code of their village, ...
Read More

Manhunt on the Downs 🔉

Margaret Scourfield Davies lived at Myrtlegrove Farm and in the interview she recalls a manhunt that took place on the Downs around Myrtlegrove (between Findon and Patching) in May 1934. A burglar named Hills robbed a house in High Salvington. The police were alerted. Two policeman in a car were driving along the Long Furlong road (now A 280) when ...
Read More

More News here

Chris’ Blog

South Downs Memoirs

It is truly exhilarating to see how much interest this project is generating. We have been sent several memoirs of life growing up in the South Downs and so we have decided to create a South Downs Memoirs heading on the website. At a time when it is not possible to conduct face-to-face interviews, these personal recollections are more than ...
Read More

Memories

The last week has seen a flurry of activity concerning the project. Several people have contacted us saying how much they are enjoying the website. Richard Howell wrote, telling of his family's connection with the manhunt on the downs in 1934. Members of the Friends of the South Downs have come forward, suggesting people we could interview, or offering themselves ...
Read More

School log books

This week Jen Harvey, headteacher at Shipley School, dropped off her school archive, which contains many fascinating documents including the school log books. This will keep me busy for many weeks to come and in due course I will be uploading extracts onto this website. I have now finished going through my notes on the Ashington School log books for ...
Read More

After Easter…

It has been really exciting to see our website develop and all thanks to Roland for the time and effort he has put in to make it a success. This last week I have been in contact with all our partner schools discussing the way we can engage all South Downs generations when most children are off schools and most ...
Read More

False Start

No sooner had we held the first steering group meeting of this wonderful project than we were all overwhelmed by the coronavirus, and now with the lockdown. For a project that was supposed to be putting the meeting of the generations at its core, this was hardly ideal. No longer could we take groups of primary school children to interview ...
Read More

Home