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FROM: THE AMOS FAMILY
We had a very enjoyable visit to the museum this morning. The staff were friendly and gave us some demonstrations and challenged us to find things as we went round. They were also especially accommodating with our baby needs. Would recommend a visit to anyone as there was lots to see and do in a small space. Shame we are not in the area on Thursday for the Victorian Day.
Daniel (age 5) adds
Thanks for a good time. Flushing the toilet and looking at the top hats were my favourites. We had a good time.
Thanks for your lovely feedback. We hope you had a wonderful visit all the way from Gloucester, with no problems caused by the St Jude's Day storm.
Daniel, please come back again one day. When a tall person in a top hat walks through a small door, what do you think might happen?
FROM: MARK & JANET
I have just come back from visiting your museum & would like to congratulate you on an amazing place & extremely helpful staff. On arrival we were greeted by a lovely lady who gave us a guide & explained to us different bits & pieces we would have probably missed if they hadn't been pointed out.
On leaving there was another lady who was just as informative and friendly. We were invited to sign the visitors book which we did but I just felt that this was not enough as we have visited many museums in west Sussex & this museum is the best by far & its staff do you proud.
Thank you all for a fantastic experience.
Many thanks for your positive feedback. The museum is run by volunteers alone, many of whom give up one morning or afternoon each month to be stewards. Now we can have fun trying to guess who the "lovely ladies" were. Or maybe it would be more diplomatic to say "all our ladies are lovely".
What a delightful website! I have taken on the Rye Museum website http://www.ryemuseum.co.uk/ as webmaster and am recommending all my fellow directors have a look at your site and suggest what we might learn from it.
My husband and I are staying in Steyning tomorrow night and the next (proximity to a U3A course on Saturday in Pulborough) and are looking forward to spending much of tomorrow afternoon at your museum!
Well, thank you very much indeed - can a museum website blush? I hope some of our readers will keep up with your Rye Museum website via the link. It looks as though we could learn from you too. Your local history pages are especially good, with some great illustrations. There is an ancient link between Steyning and Rye - Fecamp Abbey in Normandy once owned both. Have a lovely visit to Steyning. Do tell our stewards where you are from.
FROM: GABE "CHARLIE"
I've visited your web site a few times recently, and found it well organised and informative. It's a delight to negotiate around. Thank you.
I attended the Grammar School in the 1950s, and have fond memories of my time there. I'm now retired and living in Australia, but have revisited the UK a few times, and have always gone back for a browse around Steyning.
Thank you very much for your appreciation, which was lovely to receive. You must let us know when you visit again, so that we can dig out a few things from our archives that might interest you from the time when you were at school in Steyning.
High Salvington, UK
Young in website expertise but ancient in cunning, I have had to wend my way painfully through websites mysterious, cobwebby, and labyrinthine: yours is none of those. I stumbled across it while checking a date for a meeting and have just had a joyful time exploring its treasures. So very welcoming: easy to navigate; full of information cleanly presented. And kept up to date,
too! My congratulations to add to the others.
Thank you so much for your delightful comments. We couldn't hope for a better response to our website. It was very kind of you to write on this cold winter day to give us a happy smile and a warm glow.
Thanks for assistance above and beyond . . .
My great-grandmother, Ellen Verney, was buried in Steyning
Churchyard. As I live near Inverness (rather a long way from
Steyning) one of your volunteers was kind enough to find the stone,
and take photographs of it which were emailed to me. This will help
me fill in some gaps in my family history. Many thanks, and a
donation cheque is on its way. . .
It was a pleasure to be of help and to know that your family history in relation to Steyning is progressing well. Thanks for recognising our needs as an entirely voluntary and self-funding museum. Your donation really will be very much appreciated.
FROM: THE VIRGOE FAMILY
Welland, Ontario, Canada
You have a terrific website. I stumbled upon it by accident whilst wondering what my Grandmother's birthplace looked like. (Amelia Rose Virgoe nee Ives b1878 Steyning d1953 Toronto, Ontario.) I'll continue to visit and hopefully one day in person. Thank You for your time and effort.
It's great to receive a message like yours. It makes the website seem all the more worthwhile. We look forward to seeing you at the museum in the near future!
Thank you very much for your email in reply to my query regarding Frank Mercer who lived at 'Clovelly', Steyning in the 1920/30s.
Your information has been helpful and spurred me on with my research. Thank you again for your help. I am posting a cheque by way of a small contribution towards museum funds.
Thank you very much for your contribution. We are a voluntary organisation and rely entirely on the generosity of visitors and friends.
Thank you so much for taking the time to look up the valuable information about the Oakshette family. It has added some more knowledge for us. We so appreciate your effort.
Glad we could help!
Hi, well fingers crossed I am buying a wacky, wonderful cottage in Steyning and being an archaeologist and lover of history I shall want to find out as much as possible about its history and dwellers, so shall be popping in next week to start my investigations! Your site looks most captivating, well done, kind regards.
Good luck with your purchase and we hope to see a lot more of you at Steyning Museum in future.
A few years back I recall reading on a tablet mounted at a small intersection near the edge of the village along Mouse Lane en route to Wiston House a very moving short poem recalling memories of the serenety of the local landscape in comparison to the awful conditions in the trenches of Flanders during WW I.
I can't recall the title, but would very much like to receive a copy.
The tablet you mention had an accident with a reversing lorry a couple of years ago. It is now mounted safely (with its crack!) at the museum entrance. A new tablet has been installed in Mouse Lane. The poem, Chance Memories, reads:
I can't forget the lane that goes from Steyning to the Ring
In summer time and on the Downs how larks and linnets sing
High in the sun. The wind comes off the sea, and oh the air!
I never knew till now that life in old days was so fair.
But now I know it in this filthy rat infested ditch
Where every shell must kill or spare, and God alone knows which.
And I am made a beast of prey and this trench is my lair -
My God I never knew till now that those days were so fair.
And we assault in half an hour, and it's a silly thing:
I can't forget the lane that goes from Steyning to the Ring.
Written by John Stanley Purvis under the pseudonym Philip Johnson,
5th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment on 2nd December, 1915, in a trench behind the Somme
UPDATE: There is now an article about the poem and the author on our history pages (link left).
Shiels and Read Family
Fortunately for our family we discovered that we had relatives who originated from Steyning back in the 16, 17 and 1800's. What a joy when we visited the museum to discover so much information contained in one building. I would like to thank Chris Tod the curator for his enthusiastic help and for getting lots of details out for us when we visited. We had a thoroughly good day but with hindsight we should have visited for about a week. Everyone there was so friendly and helpful and full of information which they were happy to share. Needless to say we shall be returning as soon as we can.
It was a pleasure to be of help. We look forward to seeing you again.
I have always loved the history of the Steyning area, and enjoy visiting whenever I can. To think that Steyning was a flourishing port in Anglo-Saxon times, and important enough for Alfred the Great's father to be buried there (before being moved to be reburied at Winchester), is quite something. Steyning Church, with its fabulous Norman architecture, is a real gem - and looks as though it were constructed only yesterday. Bramber is naturally very much a part of Steyning. What a picture it must've been, when the castle was at its height (literally!) and ships docked at the busy ports of Steyning, Bramber, Shoreham and even Botolphs, before the silting began. I'm sure much is still hidden somewhere beneath this historic part of Sussex, and more and more history comes to light with each new generation.
Everyone involved with Steyning Museum will agree with you. Local history is all around us and it's part of what we treasure about being here. Thanks for your picture of times past. You will have us all 'building castles in the air' for a few moments.
(previously of Shooting Fields)
Christchurch, New Zealand
I am delighted to have discovered this web site.
I moved with my family of 4 from Steyning to Christchurch, New Zealand as a child (9 years of age) in 1955. Apart from occasional visits home to Steyning I like to search the internet for news about the town and the surrounding villages where I spent my early childhood. Sadly my Dad (Harry Phillips) died aged 86 last July, throughout his life we always enjoyed reminiscing about our family and the great times spent walking our dog across the beautiful south downs. Dad played football for Steyning Town in the fifties and also turned out for the cricket team. Mum (who is 87 this year) also played stoolball for Steyning during the early fifties.
We still have family who live in Beeding, Steyning and surrounding area and always enjoy our visits. Unfortunately on every occasion we have never been to visit the Museum but will most definitely will do so next time we visit.
I enjoyed reading details about Potters Museum which my brother Adrian and I spent many a happy hour at when we were little. I dare say there's a newspaper clipping somewhere of my Cousin Judy Yardley and myself who won the fancy dress at bonfire night probably about 1954?
Many thanks for a walk down memory lane.
The Stewards at the Museum will certainly be pleased to see you and may even have memories to share. Ask to see some of the archives, particularly the newspaper cuttings and photographs. There is bound to be something special for you and maybe even that picture of your cousin. Thanks for a wonderful email.
Orpington, Kent, UK
Steyning is a lovely place, spent many of my school holiday years there, coming to Steyning in March, hope to visit the museum.
We're sure you will enjoy your visit to Steyning. It is probably still very much as you remember it. The museum stewards will be pleased to welcome you. Do ask the stewards if there is anything of particular interest. Some of them have a lifelong connection with the town and may be able to share memories with you.
Erith, Kent, UK
A very enjoyable read, and I must say Steyning is a beautifull place as I spent 16 years of my childhood on holiday there.
Thanks for your note. It sounds as though you have happy memories of Steyning. You must come back for a 17th holiday some time.
Lovely extension page!
It's great to get some feedback. The extension pages (two now) are thanks to Tony Kitson and his digital camera.
What an excellent site - Congratulations. It really is very comprehensive and so attractive to read/see. I'm sure it has taken a lot of work - but it is well worth it.
It's a real pleasure to know the site is appreciated. Thanks Jo.
Congratulations . . . the page is delightful and should bring even more people to your lovely museum and beautiful Steyning . . . .
Thanks Marilyn. We hope so.
At the risk of clogging up your Guest Book with congratulatory messages I can not let the moment of the start of the website go by without telling you my opinion of it in superlatives - it is technically and artistically a superb creation with immediately relevant links logically and visually inviting and easy exploration to information about, inside, and of the world around the museum and further. It also says a great deal for the quality of the ideas of the people running the museum. CONGRATULATIONS.
Oooo, we're blushing !!! Thanks Martin.
Upper Beeding, UK
I have just looked at the Steyning Museum website. Congratulations on an easy-to follow site with beautiful illustrations. I loved the first one with the assembly of views of Beeding, Bramber and Steyning. We always appreciate it when Beeding is not left out!
Thanks Pat. Beeding will NOT be left out !