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Welcome to the Westbourne Local History Group


The Westbourne Local History Group was formed in 1978 by a few like-minded individuals with an interest in the lives and times of the village of Westbourne and a determination to record and make public its history. Until recently, this was done principally by publishing booklets on specific topics.

The Group has published 17 books of which 12 are currently available as hardcopy and are listed below. Generally each book represents the research of an individual member, and so far ten authors have seen their efforts in print. Three recent additions have been made in the form of CDs containing files in pdf format. There are always subjects worthy of investigation, and approaches from budding (or practised) historians are welcome.

The Group used to meet, extremely informally, bimonthly to discuss progress and share information. The core members have now decided that it is time for change and the Group should reach out more and more often by organising public open events, as well as continuing it’s traditional practice of publications. Thus a more formal “committee” structure has been adopted to drive this forward. See the News page for continuing updates.

News Flash

Click here for Site Update News.

Our menu bar was struggling
to cope with extra pages.

Most history items have now been
gathered under a menu bar item –


as above.

This includes –

“The Westbourne Story

Click here to see the latter.

Group Membership


Peter Wilkinson, our Chairman for many years, has decided to step back from the role and we are delighted that he has accepted the position of President. Thus we hope to continue to benefit from his massive knowledge and experience. Peter was a founder member of the Group and a senior officer at the West Sussex Records Office prior to retirement.


Chairman – Nick Rule

We are deeply saddened to report that Nick passed away on November 17th.
His image will remain here for a time as a mark of our respect and affection.

Secretary – Nigel Peake
01243 372718

Treasurer – Roger Wilding
01243 374502

Publicity – Jim Clarke
01243 373788

The Committee will meet as and when necessary, at this moment, more frequently than in the past. Jim and Roger are also working on the Groups next two publications.


Membership will be open to all at no cost. We are beginning a more formal membership list. The advantage of membership will be notification by email (or phone if not possible) of changes and forthcoming events. Contact Nigel, our Secretary to be included or sign up at any future event.


And now back to our fundamental stuff !


The publications which are no longer available are the first five, but two of these have been updated and reprinted. The other three are:-  “The Poor of the Parish and the work of the Select Vestries, 1819-1835”; “Westbourne Then and Now” and “The Westbourne Union, Life in and out of the New Workhouse”.  Copies of these may be found in some local libraries, in Emsworth Museum and the West Sussex Records Office has a full set.  Alternatively, a CD containing scans of the three as pdf files, together with the first version of “Trades People”, is now available.  The Group’s latest product is a CD containing scans of a unique collection of Property Sales documents from the early 20th C.

Current Publications – click on number for details

No.6  – Westbourne Church Guide, by Lindsey Fleming (reprint)   £3.50

No.7– Cleaning up  Westbourne, by David Hogg £3.50

No.8– Westbourne Worthies, by David Hogg £3.50

No.9– The Bastards of Westbourne, by Peter Ellacott £3.50

No.10– Westbourne’s War 1939-1945, by Tom Edwards £3.50

No.11– A Millennium  in Tandem , Westbourne and Stansted, by David Hogg £3.50

No.12– Sindles Farm, a story of a Farm and its Farmers, by John Veltom £5.00

No.13– Westbourne Memorials, Church & Churchyard, by Jill Storer with Keith Linder £4.00

No.14– Cottage Economy. by Augusta Ann Pitney, edited by Denise Thain £3.50

No.15– The Village Schools 1819-2011, by Nigel Peake (updated and revised)  £3.50

No.16– Westbourne and the Great War, by Nigel Peake  £6.00

No.17– Tradespeople of Westbourne 1845-1838, by Peter Ellacott. Updated 2015.  £4.50

The latest additions:-

CD.1– Bourne in the Past – a 2017 reproduction on CD of Rev. J. H. Mee’s book.  £5.00
Via Internet File transfer – £3.00

CD.2– Out of Print Booklets – a scan of our four out-of-print booklets   £5.00
Via Internet File transfer – £3.00

CD.3– Property Sales – a unique collection of early 20th C. sales documents £5.00
Via Internet File transfer – £3.00

All available from The Village Stores,  Monks Hill, Westbourne.

The Group is delighted to confirm the restoration of our mail order service.  See the Publications page.

Visitors from afar

Readers may be interested to know that there has been interest in the Group and its publications from far-flung corners of the Globe.

Requests for information and for copies of our publications have come from South Africa, Portugal, Belgium, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Belgium to name a few. Added to these are the many enquiries from within the U.K. reaching from Cornwall to Edinburgh, Kent and East Anglia.

We are proud to be able to help our contacts (as best we can) in their search for lost relations.

Visitors to the village have been given walkabout tours when our legs permit. The visitor that everyone of the time remembers was an Australian family history enthusiast.  He was so enthusiastic that the visit ended with a working meal (strangely at the Barley Mow – Walderton)  with a number of the Group members of  the time.

Of the history of family names sought some are of long association with the village for example: Covington, Goddard, Goble, Guyatt, Barwell, and many more

The Internet, more than ever before,  ensures that Westbourne Past is known  across the globe.


The Group would very much welcome donations of old photographs and documents, or the opportunity to view same.  If you have material that you would like to find a safe and worthwhile home for, for posterity, we can connect you with the West Sussex Records Office who will doubtless be able to advise

“The Westbourne Story”

This amazing publication is now out of print.

The Group is working with the original publishers with the aim of continuing it’s availability, with additions.

Please see our news page for more, including how to contribute information.