West Sussex Unwrapped

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

This week we’re going back to 1959 to see one of BBC radio’s Goons, in the substantial shape of Harry Secombe, opening the Haywards Heath Hospital’s Country Market on Wednesday the 15th July. Surrounded by a phalanx of nurses, Harry, known in the show as Neddie Seagoon, gets thoroughly kissed for a press photo before he mingles with the happy crowds at this packed event. While the Royal Sussex Regimental band plays on, visitors browse amongst the various stalls, try a variety of games and contribute to a ‘Cover the Bed with Coins’ fundraiser before we end with a group of teenagers engaging in some lively country dancing.


This colourful and enjoyable film was made by Arthur Nixie, who was, until the early 1950s, a projectionist at Haywards Heath’s Broadway Cinema. If you’d like to see the full-length version of Arthur’s entertaining film click HERE  

Our partner, the West Sussex Record Office, has prepared a unique collection of photographs and documents for you to view this week. These records come from major institutions such as the pioneering Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, which developed the treatment of severe wartime injuries and Graylingwell Hospital in Chichester, which specialised in mental health. They’ve even discovered some personal records belonging to the nurses themselves, so you’ll get a fascinating insight into the past lives of medical staff on the front-line. Just click HERE to view these hidden treasures.