Our Projects

Oral history of Lodsworth

Since the Society begun, we have been striving to record an oral history of Lodsworth. In 2012 this took off – we were approached by Sussex Wildlife Trust to be its pilot village in oral history recording.

The team has comprised Maggie Benzimra, Tony Brooks, Audrey Butler, Steven Hook, Sally Hunt, Tish Kruger, Penny Olsen  and James Tree. They have been interviewing people who live or lived in Lodsworth, recording their memories. These recordings are being stored for posterity, so later generations can listen and learn about what happened in Lodsworth in the 20th century. The team is also producing short illustrated reports based on the interviews. These will eventually be available for everyone to read. You may have seen some amusing exerts published in Outlook.

Stories of the casualties on the World War 1 memorial
A team from Midhurst U3A has been researching the family backgrounds, military service and deaths of the people who appear on local war memorials. They started with the parishes of Bepton, Cocking, Lodsworth, Midhurst, Petworth, Rogate and West Lavington, and later added Elsted & Treyford, Graffham & East Lavington, Heyshott, Iping & Chithurst, Selham, Stedham and Trotton. The Lodsworth work has been undertaken jointly with Lodsworth Heritage Society.

A visual record of Lodsworth in the early 21st century
Our photographic project has been creating a visual record of Lodsworth in the early 21st century, so that future generations can see what we all looked like, what funny clothes we wore and how much properties have changed. The photographs are stored securely and will only be shown in the shorter term at selected village events.

Our team has been visiting your street and, with your permission, photographing you, your family and your pets in front of your home. If you haven’t yet participated, please contact us to arrange for one of the photographers to visit.

Outline histories of the buildings in Lodsworth
We have been searching through our own archive, the West Sussex Record Office archive, published books and other sources to bring together an outline history of as many as possible of the buildings in the parish. There are still many gaps and differing views on the histories of some buildings. Have a look at the progress made so far – see Lodsworth’s buildings – and contact Ian Buckingham if you have additional information.

Historical articles from Outlook
Tony Brooks has completed the task of scanning and digitising the first 50 years’ editions of Outlook  and is currently adding the more recent editions. See 50+ Years of Outlook. He is also identifying material which should be indexed or republished in cooperation with the Outlook team.

St Peter’s graveyard project
This project is now complete. We have identified all the marked graves and memorials and their monumental inscriptions within the church and in the upper, middle and lower churchyards. These have been published in two fully illustrated volumes which are available for consultation in the church, the Lodsworth Community Archive and the West Sussex Record Office:

Graves, memorials & monumental inscriptions:
Volume 1 – The church, the upper & the middle churchyards & elsewhere in the parish

Volume 2 – The lower churchyard & the area for the interment of ashes

Information boards have been placed in the church, upper and lower churchyards to help you identify and find graves and memorials.

Cataloguing the material we are finding
We have largely brought the catalogue of our growing archive of documents and photos up-to-date – a  somewhat laborious but interesting and challenging process! A summary of the catalogue is available on this website, so that you can search what we have and ask to see a copy.

Your own research
Would you like to undertake a research project on your own or with a small group of family or friends? For example:

  • History of your own property or your area of the village
  • Recording your own memories of life in Lodsworth
  • Some aspect of Lodsworth’s past, e.g. farming, market gardens, orchards or cider making
  • Transport and its impact on life in the village
  • Prominent local people
  • Local businesses – shops, public houses, mills, brickmaking, etc
  • Local features such as Lodsworth’s wells.

We can provide guidance and support and help in publishing the results of your work.