West Sussex Unwrapped

A black and white image showing a brass marching band during a parade in Crawley
Image of a marching band from [Crawley Events], (1928-1937) – Nightingale family
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 to see what looks like the entire population of Crawley, suitably dressed in fancy costumes, celebrating the 1935 Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary with a rolling pageant along the town’s bunting bedecked streets. Imaginatively decorated two, three and four-wheeled floats of all shapes and sizes, proceed decorously along Crawley’s roads, behind marching bands and an enthusiastic local citizenry. Watch out for entire ‘houses’ on the move, a ‘walking’ traffic light, a dragon, RMS Queen Mary and m’Lady gliding majestically along the road in her colossal crinoline.


Filmed by the Nightingale family, Percy, Florence and brother-in-law Albert, scions of the influential local entrepreneur Moses Nightingale, this film is part of a record of family life and events in Crawley from the late 1920s until the Coronation of George VI in 1937. If you’d like to watch the full-length film click HERE:

Our partners at the West Sussex Record Office have also prepared a large number of Jubilee related items for you to enjoy. Starting with photographs of Chichester’s lavish preparations for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 there follow items from King George V’s 1935 Silver Jubilee, including a souvenir flag and a commemorative medal, and a mass of leaflets, posters and postcards, from Balcombe, marking the 1977 Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. You can also read several fascinating school logbook entries that cover most Royal Jubilees and Coronations from Queen Victoria’s Diamond celebration to the present day. To access these fascinating documents click HERE