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...

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‘Skeleton Army’ riots

Chris was interviewed by BBC News about the 'Skeleton Army' riots and the following article is available of the BBC News website ...
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D-Day Remembered 🔉

George Geere was one of thousands of troops who took part in the D-Day landings of June 1944. In this interview extract George explains how he was camped at Waterlooville in Hampshire, waiting for the orders to disembark. Suddenly an opportunity presented itself for George to get back to see his wife and son in Worthing before the invasion. George's ...
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Beggars of the South Downs 🔉

How tempting it is to imagine that life in South Down villages a hundred years ago or more was something of a rural idyll: yet for many people life was very hard, work was scarce, poorly paid, and unemployment a constant fear and possibility. The very poorest took to tramping the roads, seeking what work and charity they could find ...
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Chris’ Blog

Upwaltham and Slindon

We were all so lucky during the first lockdown to have beautiful sun-soaked days and gloriously warm spring weather. It seemed way too much to expect that lockdown 2 could be anything other than dull, dark and wet. Yet yesterday (Thursday 5th November) was a brilliant, crisp and wonderful day. Early mist over the South Downs soon gave way to ...
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Chris and Ann Monarch's Way Sept 2020

The Monarch’s Way

During September - just before the weather broke - Ann and I walked a 75 mile section of the Monarch's Way. We got the train to Romsey from Worthing and then joined the trail at Mottisfont Abbey. In the grounds of the abbey is one of the oldest Plane trees in Europe, dating back - appropriately - to the era ...
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Continuing to work despite of Covid

It is disheartening to see an upsurge in cases of Covid 19, but we can be pleased that the South Downs region has not (thus far) been badly affected. I am also pleased to report that despite all the challenges facing our partner schools it has still been possible to continue working with them. Apart from the threat of the ...
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Winner of our Schools’ Oral History Competition

We are really delighted to announce the winner of our schools' oral history competition. Ten-year-old Buddy Liszka from Chesswood Primary School was our winner with his highly engaging interview with his former neighbour Rosie Slough. Buddy was able, in a few, well directed questions, to elicit a host of wonderful memories from Rosie. Buddy told us, "I have known Rosie ...
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Interviews and a Competition

What glorious weather we have had this week - perfect for doing outside interviews. This week we travelled to Stedham, outside of Midhurst, to interview John and Bernie Hills, whose memories go back to the Second World War. They described with both love and humour the village of their birth and the changes they had seen over the decades. We ...
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