BYGONES is returning to the Herald, thanks to Shoreham historian Roger Bateman.
He has agreed to write a monthly history column for the Herald, following in the footsteps of Ted Heasman, who retired from the role in May last year, having written 102 Bygones articles.
Mr Bateman has written a number of articles on the Shoreham History Portal at www.shorehambysea.com.
He said: “I think it was in 2009 that Pete Farrington and Paul Osborne, the two leading lights at the community website Shorehambysea.com, offered to set up a separate history portal providing a platform for aspects of Shoreham’s past to be included.
“I had previously carried out a lot of scanning work for the Marlipins Museum of their postcard collection, which they kindly allowed us to include on the website.
“This was a huge job, editing and loading all the images with the hours and hours of work involved. Seeing these online, though, others came forward offering their collections for copying and now we have more than 3,000 photos altogether.”
Mr Bateman’s research and articles were then added, which prompted contributions from others.
“Through the site’s lively forum, members recorded their reminiscences so that we ended up with a fascinating first-hand record of life in Shoreham during world war two.”
Over the years, more research has followed, including digital copies of ephemera and memorabilia.
In co-operation with the West Sussex Library Services, the portal now has censuses, parish transcripts and street directories online for anyone interested in Shoreham ancestry and, unlike most other sites, access is free.
A fascinating collection of paintings of Shoreham’s past has been built up and recent innovations include an oral history section featuring old radio programmes and interviews with past residents, a ‘Ghost’ gallery showing Shoreham buildings and people from the past in their current day settings, and ‘Moving Images’ – a collection of ‘videos’ providing tours through long-gone streets and places.
Mr Bateman said: “Although all this has created a lot of interest, I came to realise that not everyone has, or even wants, a computer, so the Herald stepping in to include the research and articles on a monthly basis is great opportunity to bring Shoreham’s amazing history to an even wider audience.”
Bygones will feature in the last edition of each month, with next week’s article covering William Edward Winton, the organiser of the Shoreham regattas and carnivals of the early 1900s.