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Worthing Heritage Trails Project Launched  NLCA member Sue Wellfare contacts to say "Had this email today from Sussex Family History Group, and just wondered if any of it might be of interested to our members .. the volunteering as guides part .. or just for information as a website is quoted at the bottom" Thanks for this Sue

"An exciting new project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to create a series of heritage trails around Worthing, has just been launched. The project is being run by the Worthing Heritage Alliance (WHA), a network of Worthing-based organisations and societies, all dedicated to promoting an awareness of Worthing’s rich historical and cultural heritage. The project received a grant of £47,500 from HLF.

The project has two main aims: firstly to create a series of heritage trail leaflets that will enable residents and visitors alike to navigate their way around the towns’ heritage, and secondly, to train local people as guided walk leaders. Richard Childs, former West Sussex County Archivist, and Chairman of the WHA believes that the Worthing Heritage Trails Project offers a unique opportunity for local people to get involved in researching and promoting Worthing’s heritage: “This two-year project is a great opportunity for Worthing people to find out more about their history and then to pass on that knowledge to others by becoming guided walks leaders.”

The WHA recently appointed professional historian Chris Hare to manage the project and train volunteers as guided walks leaders. Chris is well known in the town for his books and articles on Worthing history, as well as for the guided walks he has been leading in the town for over 20 years. Chris has previously managed other HLF-funded projects in the town, including the Worthing Village Heritage Project, which will culminate this summer after two years. Chris wants to promote the Worthing Heritage Trails project to all the people of Worthing, whatever their age of interests. He is keen to stress the diverse nature of the project: “These heritage trails are not just about the old buildings of Worthing – important as they are,” says Chris, “We will also be looking to create heritage trails in Worthing’s glorious Downland countryside, including Highdown and Cissbury Ring. Other trails will celebrate Worthing’s five miles of coast and seashore.”

Organisations that are currently members of the WHA include the Worthing Society, Friends of Worthing Museum, Worthing Downlanders, and Friends of Broadwater Cemetery and the Sussex Family History Group. The WHA are looking to increase their membership and invite representatives from other societies and voluntary groups in the town to join them. It is expected that individual heritage trails will be ‘adopted’ by local organisations and that this will help promote awareness of the town’s amenity societies as well as its heritage. For more information about the Worthing Heritage Alliance and the Worthing Heritage Trails Project contact Chris Hare on 07794 600639 or email him at worthingheritage@yahoo.co.uk The WHA website is http://www.worthingheritagealliance.org.uk/ 

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