The Archives Story to date – February 2019

Reaction to Alan Green’s excellent work as our archivist and in particular for his history of how we managed to acquire and maintain such a magnificent collection at the West Sussex Record Office.

From Geoff Wills:

Words and thoughts fail me in expressing my appreciation of your input in the production of not only the catalogue itself but also in the amendments. Apart from all OCs (members or not!) having something of a solid nature on which to base their reminiscences, the newly found school will have a hard act to follow when relating to the achievements in every respect of their predecessors. 

Very simply – well done!

From: John Child

 “Great work Alan, you have created an excellent archive of so many varied articles, photographs and items related to the School over many years. Whilst Chichester High School for Boys has now moved into history but its near 90 years of achievements are there for all to see and appreciate.

Great work on your part!”

From Alan Green:

Thank you for your praise of my work which is much appreciated, but I should point out that I am only continuing the work of others. At West Sussex Record Office(WSRO) the School has the most comprehensive archive of any Chichester school, but most of it was already there when I took up the reins as Archivist. Until the late 60s, in accordance with good practice, the School regularly deposited its non-active records at WSRO, but this stopped in the chaotic 1970s when much was thrown away. When Andrew Berriman arrived in 1982, being a good historian, he collected all archive material together in his office. It was not catalogued but he knew where everything was and when I was writing my 1960s CHSB monograph I had access to it. As his retirement in 2009 approached he realised that no-one on the history staff was interested in continuing his work, so he ‘liberated’ the archive. Since then it has passed across my desk.

After Andrew left, interest in the School’s records declined.

Lastly, Martin Dawes-Chew was the archivist for the OC’s from 2001 and when I was appointed archivist, he dumped several boxes of uncatalogued records including some school archive materials on me and went away relieved.

All I have done is catalogue the material received from Andrew, Martin Dawes-Chew and others, plus all the stuff that was donated as a result of CHSB90 and taken it all to the record office. Material still comes in and I will continue the process.

WSRO will eventually renumber our archive E35N, which is the ‘official’, CHSB archive, but they are seriously short-staffed, and this is unlikely to happen in the near future. Until that time any member of the public can visit WSRO, call up ‘our’ material by using my cataloguing and view it.

As for the new school, they will have to start from scratch, but being so new all their records are still active and unless someone on the inside is interested, in a few years’ time an archive will not be available.


From the Archivist…

February 2019:  This includes material amassed since 1 December 2018, much of which came from John Child
November 2018:  The response to the appeal for memorabilia in the run-up to CHSB90 was excellent and this not only enabled me to put together the exhibition at the event it also bolstered our archive as much of the material was donated to the Old Cicestrians. It has all been added to the catalogue which can be accessed using the link below. The whole archive is now at West Sussex Record Office in Chichester where it can be consulted.
Alan Green