Glimpse history through old images of Worthing, West Sussex, England.
Territorial Army 1928
A very short clip of silent, black and white footage shows a Territorial Army event in Worthing, including a line up of the costumes worn over time by Territorial Army volunteers.
Volunteers Through The Ages (1928) – British Pathé on YouTube
Worthing Pier 1956
A Canadian singer called Alan Hervey visited Worthing Pier in 1956, when he was working in the UK with the Mapleleaf Four singing group.
Here, with the help from some children, he demonstrates a hexagonal fishing kite. You can see lots of the seafront buildings in the background.
Kite Fishing Aka Kite Fishermen (1956) – British Pathé on YouTube
West Sussex College of Art 1959
The Worthing Museum and Art Gallery Committe donated a collection of vintage dresses, all dating from 1813 to 1890, to the West Sussex College of Art.
Students Dress Up Aka Art School (1959) – British Pathé on YouTube
Worthing Beach 1969
This 1969 newsreel item states that each year hundreds of people drowned around the UK coast.
Sussex Police Constable Dan Barker had invented a simple device to improve CPR techniques. It is demonstrated here by policewoman Jane Morse on Miranda Overington, playing an unconscious patient.
Kiss-Of-Life Invention (1969) – British Pathé on YouTube
A bit of Worthing history
Extract from: Picture of Worthing
To which is Added an Account of Arundel and Shoreham, with Other Parts of the Surrounding Country, by John Evans
Published in 1805
Pages 10 – 16
Of all the watering places in Great Britain ,
WORTHING is , on account of the recency of
its origin , entitled to special attention . It is
a circumstance which will in the course of
our narrative admit of abundant confirma
tion . We here merely state it , because we
would caution the reader against expecting
too much on the subject . No honest narra
tor will exceed his materials , though at WOR
THING , and in its vicinity , there are many
things calculated to multiply the sources of
innocent enjoyment .
SITUATION AND ORIGIN .
WORTHING is situated on that part of the
coast which constitutes the southern side of
the county of Sussex , being twelve miles west
ward of Brighton , eighteen eastward of Chi
chester , and fifty – six south of London . Not
many years ago it was an obscure fishing town ,
consisting of a few miserable huts ; the inha
bitants of which drew an uncertain sub
sistance from the ocean . None of these
houses ( as an old fisherman assured me )
exceeded forty shillings a year ; and an ad
joining spot of ground for a garden , to the
extent of an acre , might be bought for half
an anchor , or five gallons of brandy . There
are persons now living at the place who re
collect the first family coming hither for
recreation . To them , its present appearance
cannot fail of proving a subject of admi
It is amusing to hold a conversation with the
aged natives of WORTHING on this subject .
They mention some particulars which shew
that the improvements of the spot had never
entered into their imaginations . Hence it
must remind the intelligent observer , of those
wonders which decorate eastern story ; where ,
by the waving of a wand , the magician con
jures up scenes adapted to overwhelm the
spectator with astonishment . The history of
WORTHING is in fact traditional , to be traced
from father to son in succession ; and like the
inhabitants of the Antediluvian world , they
have been in the habit of relating to each other
the transactions of the times that preceded them ;
thus without a record do they hand down their
simple and unadorned tale to posterity . But we
would fain rescue it from so precarious a mode
of conveyance , for oral tradition is attended
with many imperfections .
Without detailing , however , every little
article with which tradition can furnish us ,
it may be sufficient to remark in general , that
the coast of Sussex , has for some time past ,
afforded places of resort for the summer sea
son . But Brighton , and other watering places
of notoriety becoming crowded , spots of
a more secluded cast were sought after and
obtained . Hence the origin of Bognor , Lit
tle Hampton , and Worthing . Indeed they
have arisen out of the complection of the
times , when characters of almost every de
scription sigh after a temporary retirement .
LEADING DIVISIONS .
WORTHING consists of several rows of
houses . Montague Place and Bedford Row
constitute the longest range of buildings ; the for
mer having a neat plat of ground before it ; and
both of them form conspicuous objects near the
seashore . They rear their fronts with a neatness
and elegance , which render them appropriate
habitations for persons of fortune and respecta
bility . Though raised at different periods , they
vie with each other in the beauty of their
prospects , and in the salubrity of their situa
tions . Summer Lodge , the property of Mrs.
Stringer , on the left of Montague Place , is
a pleasing object , with a lawn and paddock
running from its front to the beach . There is
also Copping – Row , from the bow – windows of
whose houses , though small , may be caught a
sight of the ocean . A little row of houses
on the edge of the beach , pleasantly situated ,
is denominated the Terrace ; though the num
ber of the houses is scarcely sufficient to merit
that appellation . The other branches of the
village are known by the names of Montague
Street , Warwick – Street , High – Sireet , to
gether with North and South , East and West
Streets . The enumeration of these leading
divisions , may enable the reader to form some
idea of its extent and prosperity . The inhabi
tants likewise , are making improvements in
the streets , having obtained an Act of Parlia
ment , in 1803 , for widening the roads , as well
as for draining and covering the ditches , so
that no stagnated water , nor indeed , any other
nuisances might be found . These improve
ments are noticed , because a want of atten
tion to them has not unfrequently frustrated
the purposes of health and recreation .
The village of WORTHING reaches a con
siderable way up from the sea side towards
Broadwater , in which parish it stands . And
in this line of buildings , though here and there
somewhat stragling , we meet with a hand
some – colonnade of houses , ascended by a
flight of steps , and commanding a truly de
lightful prospect of the ocean ! At the cor
ner , is the Colonnade Library , kept by Mrs.
Spooner ; containing a selection of books , the
perusal of which may be pronounced sub
servient to instruction and entertainment .
The writer of this narrative , aware of the usual
trash of circulating libraries , was pleasingly
disappointed in finding so many volumes
worthy of attention .
There is also another Circulating Library in
WORTHING , ( to which the above observation
relating to the selection of books , may with
equal justice be applied ) kept by Mr.Stafford ,
called the Marine Library , situated near the
beach , and peculiarly neat in its appearance .
Here is the Post – Office , for a boy passes and re
passes every day to Shoreham with letters ; com
ing in about eleven in the morning , and going
out at three in the afternoon . At both Li
braries the most popular of the London papers
are to be seen daily ; a convenience that im
parts a zest to the gratifications of retirement.