South Downs Scenes – Then and Now

George Garland (1900 – 1978) was a professional photographer based near Petworth. He took many thousands of photographs, capturing working life and leisure in and around the South Downs from the early 1920s until the 1960s. Here we contrast Garland’s original photographs, held at West Sussex Record Office, with ones taken by present-day Sussex photographer, Sam Hare.



Findon Sheep Fair

Findon Sheep Fair, once known as Findon Great Fair, was perhaps the single most important event in the South Downs calandar. Traditionally held on 14th September, it is now held on the second Saturday of September and, in recent years, as become far more an exhibition and pleasure fair than a working one. Sadly, due to Covid, the fair did not take place in either 2020 or 2021.

For further reading, view this extract from Chris Hare’s 2001 book, The Good Old, Bad Old Days, based on an article that originally appeared in the West Sussex Gazette in 1953, written by Wepham farmer, Laurence Graburn. Chris anotated the article with further references.





The South Downs – then and now.

In this slide show we contrast more of George Garland’s photographs, taken in the 1920s and 1930s, with those taken by Sam Hare in 2021.

Some things – as you will see – have changed more than others.