HISTORY: Find out about West Sussex’s great estates at the record office

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IT WILL be coffee time for the curious at the West Sussex county record office, in Orchard Street, Chichester, on Wednesday, June 1.

It was once said to be possible to walk right across West Sussex going from one great estate to another. Now anyone can find out more about the county’s great estates, from manorial accounts to servant’s photographs, at the record office.

The office holds sessions on the first Wednesday of every month, from 10am-midday, for people wanting to learn more about family history from experts, in a relaxed atmosphere over a cup of tea or coffee.

Sessions so far have included learning how to read old handwriting and introducing computer sources for family historians. Future sessions include reading old school records and general advice for beginners.

Senior county councillor Deborah Urquhart, said: “Many West Sussex residents will have ancestors who lived or worked for one of the great estates in the county, such as Petworth, Goodwood or Cowdray.

Tickets are £7.50 and need to be booked in advance. Call 01243 753602 or email records.office@westsussex.gov.uk