Then & Now . . . . . .
Anyone visiting Horsham in West Sussex after a gap of 60 years is in for a considerable shock, especially if they are driving a car. The town centre has changed out of all recognition and without an up- todate sat nav the unwary traveller could end up anywhere!
West Street, an old traditional shopping street, once met in the town’s central Carfax with East Street, South Street, North Street and Middle Street. Each, however, is now a shadow of its former self, emasculated by new roads, dual carriageways and pedestrian precincts.
The older picture was taken in 1951, when cars turned into West Street heading for the town centre but a decade later were driving the other way. Four lady cyclists are in evidence, while the schoolgirls on the right are walking away from the former High School located a short distance out of picture behind them.
The Black Horse Hotel was known as “the old kicker” while adjacent to it is the Italianate corn exchange and market hall erected in 1868. Next to that is a highclass men’s outfitters called Apedaile and
then an ecclesiastical looking shop front advertising Atlas lamps. This building still survives.
In the foreground, probably about to turn right at the traffic lights, is a Fordson van belonging to Gilbert Rice, the town’s Ford main dealer whose workshop was just behind their showroom. The ironmonger, on the corner, J. H. Stephens, has disappeared, as has all the traffic.
Both pictures are taken from the Bishopric directly opposite West Street , both now pedestrianised with office blocks, McDonalds, concrete flowerpots, benches and a controversial water feature called “The Rising Universe”. The images are from Horsham, Then & Now by David Arscott, History Press, 96pp, £ 12.99.