Historic recording tells of life in Horsham in Edwardian times

West Street, Horsham, pictured before 1909. Photo courtesy of Horsham Museum SUS-190121-143419001
West Street, Horsham, pictured before 1909. Photo courtesy of Horsham Museum SUS-190121-143419001

An insight into life in Horsham in the late 19th and early 20th century is contained in a historic audio recording now housed at Horsham Museum.

The recording was made by local author Tony Wales and features the voice of a Mr Garner, from Horsham, who was born in 1877. He recalls life in the town in late Victorian and early Edwardian times.

West Street, Horsham, at the turn of the century. Photo courtesy of Horsham Museum SUS-190121-144241001

West Street, Horsham, at the turn of the century. Photo courtesy of Horsham Museum SUS-190121-144241001

Tony Wales, who died in 2007 at the age of 82, gave a life’s work to publishing books on Sussex folk song and folklore and made the audio recording with Mr Garner in the late 1950s/60s.

During the 60s and 70s Tony worked for the English Folk Dance and Song Society and, while downsizing, gave his historic recording to friend Sean Goddard of Chanctonbury Ring Morris.

Amateur historian Mak Norman, from Plumpton Green, got to know Sean through mutual interests in rural folk music and traditions, and Sean entrusted Mak with Tony’s works - and gave him the OK to donate Tony’s recording of Mr Garner to Horsham Museum.

Now Mak is hoping that relatives of Mr Garner will come forward. “I wonder if anyone who is related to Mr Garner could be made aware of this recording and know that a copy now sits with the museum,” he said.

West Street Brewery in Horsham's Bishopric in 1902. Photo courtesy of Horsham Museum SUS-190121-144222001

West Street Brewery in Horsham's Bishopric in 1902. Photo courtesy of Horsham Museum SUS-190121-144222001