Local History Group News


The History Group’s Exhibition at Emsworth Museum (above the Fire Station) will close on Sunday September 5th.   The Exhibition can be seen on Saturday 10.30am – 4.30pm and on Sunday 2.30pm – 4.30pm. Thus the weekend is a last opportunity for viewing if you have not managed it so far.


HURRAH !!!!!!  JULY 2021

Some 15 months later – the repeat of our Parish Hall History Exhibition is to take place at Emsworth Museum (above the Fire Station). Some new photos and material will be on display, in addition to the material that was well received in 2020.

The Exhibition can be seen from July 17 until 5th September on Saturdays and the August Bank Holiday Monday 10.30am – 4.30pm and on Sundays 2.30pm – 4.30pm.

Thus plenty of opportunity for a first viewing if you missed it or a leisurely second look.

As our friends the other side of the Pond say – “Enjoy”.



A new page has been added to this site.

It shows a massive piece of work done around 2000 to record the position and detail of each gravestone/tomb in the Churchyard.

The full Index of names is included and the full set of Maps showing the position of each memorial listed in the Index. Images of a selection of interesting gravestones are also shown.


We are pleased to announce the return of a mail order service for our publications.  Thankyou, Nigel Peake.

See the Publications page for details.

Both of our CDs – “Bourne in the Past” and “Out of Print Booklets” are now available for purchase at The Village Stores, via Mail Order or by Internet File Transfer.


–    for a long quiet period. We have had some technical difficulties.


A second CD !  Or it will be.

Out of Print Booklets – Scans of our four out-of-print booklets   £5.00 (when available)

Currently only available via Internet File transfer – £3.00

These four booklets have been out of print for some time. In order to make them available again the Group has scanned them and offer all four for sale as a package.

The quality is not wonderful but they are legible. As it is said “Better than nothing !”.

Full details on our Publications page


We are very sad to report the death of two of our long-standing members, Tom Edwards and Peter Barge.

Tom died in April, having been in poor health for some time. He will best be remembered for his detailed and enjoyable memories of Westbourne during WWII when he was a young teenager and a number of these formed the basis of one of our publications, “Westbourne’s War 1939-1945”. He left Westbourne at the end of that time to join the Navy and never returned to live in the village, but remained very fond of it.

Peter died in May after a relatively short period diagnosed with a heart condition. He had been involved with the Group since it’s inception but his local history interests were wide and he has been involved with (amonst others) Emsworth Museum and the Havant History Group. He acted as Secretary to the Group and controlled the sale and distribution of our publications.

Tom and Peter were knowledgeable, generous with their time and lovely people. We shall miss them badly.


A number of people asked at our Local History Day to join the Group.

After some difficulties finding a venue for a group more than double our previous size (we used to meet in Peter Barge’s front room) we managed two enjoyable meetings of the enlarged Group before lockdown intervened.

We very much look forward to continuing with our new blood when times permit.


Our repeat of the Local History Day was, of course, cancelled. The Museum has asked us to retain the material in case a space falls open when the re-open and we have done this.


The History Day went well. We had lots of visitors, lots of interest and some nice compliments, which made all the hard work worthwhile.

The news is that we have committed to do the show again at Emsworth Museum. This will be for a much longer period thus Group members may not always be available but Query Forms and Museum Stewards will be. The scale may be slightly reduced due to space constraints, but will include as much as we can possibly squeeze in.

The dates are April 4 to 23, at weekends, a Bank Holiday and St. Georges Day. Details will appear here and on the Emsworth Museum Website as confirmed.



SATURDAY 18 JANUARY 2020, 11.00 – 16.00.

The Westbourne Local History Group presents a working exhibition of its interests in uncovering and recording the history of Westbourne, featuring

“Old Maps, New Names – The route to Emsworth and Westbourne via Cinsworth and Eastbourne”.

“The Lost Shops and Businesses of Westbourne”.

“The Watermills of Westbourne”.

Help chronicle the Watermills that existed in Westbourne, and help record the existence and demise of other businesses of Westbourne through old photographs and other media. Bring anything that you wish to be identified, and contribute your knowledge about the extensive collections on view. 

Free Entry, Publication Sales, Light refreshments, Free (limited) parking


We have just completed a major upgrade of the PHOTOS section and there are many new photos to view, comment on and add information about.  Please have a look.

There are gaps and weaknesses in the collection.  Please let us copy any old photos that you have so we can improve the collection further.

NEWS FLASH –     Wednesday 16 Jan 2019

(CATCH-UP) –    If you missed it – the article is available on Facebook:-


The Group will feature tonight on local TV Station “That’s Solent” – Freeview Channel 7.

Filming took place today prior to the normal Group meeting and highlights our latest project “Lost Shops and Businesses”.

The clip will be part of the News program which commences at 6.00pm and repeats throughout the night


A little time ago the Group took over responsibility for the Westbourne Past Photo Gallery section of this website.

Our first task was to add a descriptive label to each photo. This is done.

And we have added a few.

Now, Dear Readers, it is over to you. Please have a look at the page. You will see that we ask for comments, particularly where we have no knowledge to hand.

There are clear areas where we have gaps. The Chantry, the Rectory, the houses in Rectory Close before the new estate come to mind. And we are very short of pictures of shops and businesses that no longer exist.

Our next aim is to structure the photos so that we have them gathered into sections. A little more learning how is needed !

Photos >


Jim Clarke is making good progress in tracking down details of the many shops and businesses that have disappeared from Westbourne over the last 80 years or so for our next publication.

However what has proved very illusive is getting original photographs of these. 

Jim begs everyone to allow him to see/copy any relevant old photos.


Jim Clarke, Wentworth House, North Street, Westbourne, PO10 8SP Tel. 01243 373788

Email jim@clarkeuk.net

Another New Recruit

The Group is delighted to have a further new recruit. Clive Pugh has joined and is most welcome. Many people may know Clive already as an active member of Emsworth museum and an expert on maps of the area.

New Publication

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.

A New Recruit

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.

“The Watermills of Westbourne”

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”

HELP – find a copy of the “Valley of the Ems”

Please seach your bookcases for a copy of the 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.