Local History Group News


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.