Famous faces in new exhibition at Rustington Museum

From looking at the old postcards, you would be forgiven for thinking that Rustington was a sleepy little village by the sea.

Not so long ago, however, this was far from the case.

Julie Covey, administrative assistant at Rustington Museum, with the new exhibition showcasing the celebrities of Rustington

Julie Covey, administrative assistant at Rustington Museum, with the new exhibition showcasing the celebrities of Rustington

Many famous people spent time there, owning or renting houses, particularly along the seafront, making the village a hotbed for a variety of creative people.

The most well-known of these were Sir Hubert Parry, J M Barrie, and Graham Sutherland, all of whom are commemorated by blue plaques, but there were many more.

Perhaps lesser known now, but hugely famous in their time, the new exhibition in Rustington Museum showcases some of them.

Entertainers and artists all feature, from The Crazy Gang, Teddy Brown, Michael Flanders (of Flanders and Swann fame) and Mabel Constanduros. Composers George Posford and Cyril Ornadel, and opera star Conchita Supervia all lived in the village, as did author William Plomer.

If you don’t know the story of our famous faces, head along to the museum and learn all about them.

You will be amazed how this lovely little village attracted so many celebrities.

Another exhibition recently opened at the museum looks at an event that occurred in Rustington during the Second World War.

Peter Skilton, an Angmering resident and former member of the Royal Navy, visits St Wilfrid’s RC Cemetery in Angmering every November 11 to leave a wreath for the unknown Royal Navy sailor buried there.

He became curious about a nearby grave which belonged to Madame Jadot, aged 73, wounded in an air raid on May 8, 1942.

Intrigued, Peter began his journey into Madame Jadot’s history.

Through his research he discovered that the air raid in question was that of Seafield Road, Rustington, with two fatalities and many wounded.

Madame Jadot, a Belgian refugee, was one of the two women killed.

The small display at the museum tells the story of that day through newspaper reports and pictures.

Rustington Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 4pm, at 76-78 The Street, Rustington.

The exhibitions will be on display throughout the summer.

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