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 publish its history.

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. Some of the subjects initially suggested are still to be investigated, so there is ample opportunity for any budding historian, and new members are welcome. The Group meets bimonthly to discuss progress and share information in informal surroundings.

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.  The Group’s latest product is a CD containing scans of the three and the first version of “Trades People”.

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.2Out of Print Booklets – a scan of our four out-of-print booklets   £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 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, Peter Wilkinson will advise on whether the West Sussex Records Office might help.  Peter was a senior officer at the Office prior to retirement and continues an involvement.

“The Westbourne Story”

This excellent publication is not the work of the Group.  It is a very professional full colour guide to the village including much history.

The Group would recommend purchasing it as a good all round introduction to the Village.  Copies are currently available only from Collins Garage in East Street, Westbourne.

Price £12.

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Group Members:

Not least following the History Day earlier this year the Group has experienced a significant and very welcome increase in membership.

The members listed below are the longer standing ones. When life returns to normal and face to face meetings are possible we will discuss and determine a revised format for this page.

Peter Wilkinson – 01243 575414 wilkinsonhjp@btinternet.com

Nigel Peake –       01243 372718 nigelpeake29@gmail.com

Roger Wilding –   01243 374502 roger_wilding@yahoo.com

Jim Clarke –         01243 373788 jim@clarkeuk.net

Clive Pugh – 01243 372400 ashley.pugh1@btopenworld.com

We report with sadness the loss of two of our longstanding members, Peter Barge and Tom Edwards.  See our News Page for more.

Their images will remain in our circle for an appropriate period.