West Sussex Unwrapped

A black and white image of pair of railway carriages at a platform
748 at a platform on a line in West Sussex

Welcome to West Sussex  Unwrapped – the ten-part series that takes you deep into the collections of Screen Archive South East and the West Sussex Record Office

Climb aboard, settle into your seat and look out of the window because this week we’re going on a nostalgic steam-hauled journey through the countryside of West Sussex – starting at Pulborough and calling at all points west towards Midhurst. Sadly, this picturesque line was an inevitable victim of Dr Beeching’s axe but you can still get a glimpse of what life on the railway was like in the days of steam.


This film was made by the late Eric Sparks, who happily for us today, was an enthusiast for both railways and film making. The full-length version of this film features many other now-vanished lines as well as a variety of locomotive types, station buildings and even a train carrying giraffes! To view this enjoyably nostalgic film click HERE

Our partner, the West Sussex Record Office, has a wealth of nostalgic railway material for you to pore over and enjoy.  There are posters advertising various West Sussex seaside resorts, a postcard showing the ‘Selsey Express’, tithe maps showing how the county’s railways were planned and developed as well as a unique account from William C Shorto, who, in 1881, was a surveyor involved in the planning and construction of the Midhurst to Chichester Railway. Also available are a number of railway blogs and an assortment of railway images from across the county. To see these fascinating items click HERE