This film is part of Free

Horsham Magazine

Wartime Horsham is just one part of this epic film about the Sussex town - with everything from lidos, traffic, air-raid shelters, navvies, cyclists and even circus elephants!

Amateur film 1934 32 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


This epic compilation starts with a skid and the construction of a new lido in 1934. Look out for the ARP recruitment posters as we see a demolition just before wartime scenes showing Horsham packed with shoppers. Policemen direct traffic while the Odeon is closed. Air-raid shelters are built and then demolished in 1946. Watch the town change as its streets are pedestrianised and roadworks clog up the streets. Elephants walk through the town as we end with more road mayhem.

Cecil Cramp was an opthalmologist and local historian, who ran his family's optician business in West Street, Horsham. Called Jury Cramp's Jewellers and Opticians, the shop, opened in 1872 by Cecil's grandfather, was a local landmark due to a giant pair of spectacles displayed on the shop's exterior. The business closed in 1985. Cecil, who died on 16 February 2007, lived in Horsham all his life and was passionate about the historic town. He amassed what is considered to be the largest existing collection of historical postcards, films and slides that map the town's history. Aware of the changes occurring in his beloved town, Cecil, luckily, was able to capture them on film for us to enjoy.