History Group News

The most important reference work for any would-be Westbourne historian is a book published in 1913 by Rev. J. H. Mee entitled “Bourne in the Past”.

It has been out of print for many decades and available copies are extremely rare.

The Group has scanned the entire book with its associated maps and copies are now available for purchase on a CD for viewing on a computer screen.

One warning – the pdf file containing the book is some 400 MB in size thus ancient or very simple computers may struggle.

Hot off the presses is the news that the group has a new recruit, Jim Clarke, and he has  taken on the task of producing a book, project name, “Westbourne’s Lost Shops & Businesses”.  The idea is to show the history of the many businesses and shops that Westbourne used to have, now largely converted into dwellings, as well as the history of current shops whose usage has often changed over the years.  More news as it emerges.  Jim would welcome contact with information and sight of old photographs.

Rather colder news is that Roger Wilding has been working on a project “The Watermills of Westbourne” for some time.  He admits to making slow progress as other interesting smaller projects (like updating this part of the village website) keep arising and distracting him.  Anyone with documents, photos or any other information regarding waterways, mills and the like in the immediate Westbourne vicinity is most welcome to make contact.  In particular Roger and the Group would love to see a full copy of a small booklet:-

“Valley of the Ems”  1863 by C J  Longcroft   of Havant.

Part of the booklet has been published more recently, but it is just a part of a  printer’s draft with many hand amendments.  Even the eminent Rev. Dr. Mee did not own a copy  – on page 12 of “Bourne in the Past” he thanks Mr John Cuttle for sight of his copy.