By Kim Leslie
• Hard labour in Petworth Prison meant ‘grinding the wind’ – ten long hours of useless labour a day on the dreaded treadwheel.
• Five hundred years ago Chichester streets ran like a sewer and householders threw their ‘fylthy watter’ and ‘doungs’ straight into the streets.
• Bare-knuckle prize-fighting was illegal – the all-England championship was won in a field at Birdham after seventy-seven punishing rounds and a vicious ‘blow on the smeller’
• A country parson from Harting dubbed his parishioners ‘aboriginals’ – they told him of their superstitions and the black arts.
• Two centuries ago Brighton was urged to stop the spread of street lighting as ‘a violation of the order established by Providence … night is appointed for darkness.
• Britain’s first motorway was planned to run through Sussex a hundred years ago – in 1906
These are just a few of the extraordinary stories to emerge from this chronicle of Sussex life told from original documents, contemporary newspapers, books and maps, all lavishly illustrated in full colour. They tell of a world far removed from our own when life might have been slower, but it was rougher and tougher – and yet – before motor cars and the builders arrived – it was one paradise on earth, according to Hilaire Belloc who sung the praises of Sussex like no other. This is the face of Sussex through many moods, over many years.
241 pages, over 350 colour and black & white photographs/maps/drawings and engravings.