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Facts

WEST SUSSEX

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FUN FACTS

West Sussex is the 30th largest county or metropolitan borough in England.
West Sussex has the 27th highest population in England.
West Sussex is in 24th place for density of population.

  1. The Royal Connection
  2. England has 39 historic counties. These were the ones in use in 1899. For our journey we are using the ones in use now. However for our royal connection we are combining the two Sussex counties, west and east, into the old historic county of Sussex but only for the Royal Connection. In other words whether you are on this page or the other Sussex one, for this section you will read the same story.

    This is because our royal connection is with the fact that Sussex has a dukedom. There is a Duke of Sussex. You probably know that Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, were created Duke and Duchess of Sussex on 19 May 2018, the date of their wedding. Their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born on 6 May 2019, is the heir to the dukedom.

    There was only one other Duke of Sussex and that was Prince Augustus Frederick, the sixth son of King George III. He was made Duke of Sussex on 24 November 1801. The title became extinct on his death in 1843. There are only 5 other counties who have a royal duke; Cornwall, Cambridge, York, Gloucestershire and Kent.

  3. West Sussex Eats
  4. This week we are highlighting the Sussex Plum Heavies which may well in the past have contained plums but do not do so nowadays. They are basically small white flour pastries with currants or sultanas. It is said that the local shepherds and woodsmen would carry them in their pockets as snacks and they were also given to children as treats.

    I do have to check these things out because I found a recipe that required 1lb of flour and, so it said, 4lb of butter as well as lard, sugar and currants. I think it should have been 4oz of butter although I do worry about the 1lb of sugar and 1lb of currants

  5. West Sussex VIPs
  6. Seven random people who were born in West Sussex in the last 100 years:-
    Jamie Theakston (TV Presenter), Tim Peake (Astronaut), the late Anita Roddick (Businesswoman and Activist), Romash Ranganathan (Comedian), Dan Walker (TV Presenter), Ed Speelers (Actor) and Jon Snow (Journalist and Broadcaster).

  7. Now That's Weird
  8. Littlehampton is a small, coastal town on the West Sussex coast. It has a nice promenade and along that promenade is the longest bench in England. The bench is 324 metres long and was designed by a company called Studio Weave and some local schoolchildren. It was opened on 30th July 2010. The slats of the bench are made from recycled hardwood and over 200 of them are engraved with messages and memories from visitors and local people.

    The bench runs continuously from the seafront kiosks to the East Beach café. There are two shelters where the bench curves and bends into unusual shaped seats. These shelters each account for about 83 metres of the bench. The bench can seat over 300 people.

    The bench twists and turns along the prom, meandering around lampposts, bending behind bins, and ducking down into the ground to allow access between the beach and the green. There are 9,000 multicoloured slats.

    Should the title of the longest bench ever be threatened, the promenade site and design allows the landmark bench to keep growing up to over 621 metres, seating over 800 adults.



  9. It Happened Here
  10. During the 360 or so years that the Romans occupied and ruled England they made vast changes to our landscape, our way of life and our way of living. They built large towns, long straight roads and magnificent homes for the wealthy members of society. One such home was Fishbourne Roman Palace in West Sussex. It is the largest residential Roman building ever discovered in England. It has been dated to about 75AD, only 30 or so years after the invasion of 43AD. Much of the palace has now been excavated. It is thought that the palace burnt down in about 270AD, after which it was abandoned.

    However the palace is also home to the largest collection of in-situ mosaic floors. As they were laid when the house was first built it also makes them some of the oldest ever found in England. The original palace had about 100 rooms and most of them had mosaic floors. The picture below shows a model of how the palace might have looked and, alongside that, a picture of one of the mosaics. This mosaic was laid in 160AD and, in the centre, shows Cupid riding on a dolphin. They are surrounded by semi-circles containing sea horses and sea panthers, wine vases and scallop shells. This square panel is enclosed by a series of borders. It must have taken a long time to make and is very beautiful.



  11. Richard Remembers
  12. West Sussex fills the space between East Sussex and Hampshire, Brighton and Portsmouth. Now I don't mean that in a nasty way but there are, in my memory, less places I can recall in West Sussex. Worthing is the first resort you come to and I can't remember anything about it at all. I do remember that just inland from there is Arundel, with its castle, and, rather weirdly I thought, it is the home of the Duke of Norfolk, who appears at some stage not to have made the right move. It was also, in olden days when touring cricketing teams came to England for more than just internationals, the very first fixture on their list. Bognor Regis is another resort and it was given the name "Regis" by George V after he stayed there while recovering from an illness. Selsey Bill juts out into the English Channel but fails to jut into my memory. There are two places called East and West Wittering but again they are not in my memory bank and I would just be wittering on to talk about them. I do remember that Chichester, very much the arts capital of the area, is a lovely town and it is said that Harold Godwinson left on a journey to Normandy from nearby Bosham in 1064. He got shipwrecked on the way, was rescued by William of Normandy, promised him the English throne, failed to keep the promise and changed the whole course of history.

    Oh, and West Sussex is home to the Goodwood motor racing circuit. It was from here, in 1958 on Easter Monday, that I watched my first live motor racing on television. That was the day a French driver called Jean Behra, driving a British BRM, failed to tenez enough droite as he entered the chicane. Luckily he survived but the car and chicane were a bit worse for wear. I think he was leading at the time.

    Goodwood is now famous for the Festival of Speed, usually held in June, and the Revival meeting, held in September. It is the latter to which I would like to go. If I do, you will have pictures somewhere.

  13. Owlbut's Birdwatch
  14. The redshank was cleverly named because it has bright orange-red legs. They breed in damp places like saltmarshes, flood meadows and around lakes. Durng winter you can also see them around estuaries and tidal areas. Many of these wintering birds come from Iceland. In the UK we have around 25,000 breeding pairs but 5 times this number may winter here. Redshanks eat insects, earthworms and shellfish. They find these by pushing their long beaks into soil and mud.

    Their feathers are brown, cream, grey and white and, as I said, they have long orange-red legs. Their beaks are black, orange and red, long and thin.

    Redshanks are 28 cms in length, have a wingspan of 62 cms and weigh about 110 grams for males and 130 grams for females.

We have asked the local Tourist Board(s) for a small contribution (50 pounds) to the cost of running this project and, in anticipation of their agreement, we are providing a link to their site(s) for the next five years. I can assure you we won't see anywhere near everything when we are there, so, if you fancy taking a trip into West Sussex check it (them) out for some great information. Apart from anything else it will get you out in the fresh air, walking around and one day you might be over 70 and still enthusiastically mobile.

All figures the latest available as at July 2020