Author: Roger Davey
Volume: Volume 87
ISBN: 978 085445 054 1
The infrastructure which makes possible many of the conveniences of modem life is often taken for granted: water supply, electricity and gas, harbours, docks and navigable rivers, the road, railway and former street tramway networks, and so on. Many of these, however, were only made possible by the inventive genius and initiative of the 19th and earlier 20th centuries, and even long-existing provision (such as for water and roads) was transformed in the same period.
This volume describes in detail one of the principal sources for tracing the history of this crucial and wideranging provision – the series of 586 East Sussex plans which accompanied Bills to Parliament to authorise the various schemes put forward, and which in many cases resulted in Acts. Copies of the plans had to be deposited locally, and it is this series, complete from 1799 to 1970, which is listed here. Of particular interest are the plans for schemes which were promoted, but which never came to fruition.
East Sussex in this context means primarily the pre-1974 county, including the `Mid Sussex corridor’; but because many schemes (e.g. those for railways) overlapped the boundary, some plans feature parts of West Sussex as well. West Sussex plans (with some East Sussex overlap) were described in an earlier volume published by the Society in 1968 (66), but for either area the full indexes provided with the volumes enable the user readily to identify plans covering particular places. Every local town (notably Brighton and Hastings), and almost every rural parish, was affected by works proposed at one time or another. The work of national and local surveyors can likewise be traced here, and the maps contain much useful topographical information, with details of the owners and occupiers of land and buildings in the areas affected by potential schemes.
Roger Davey was County Archivist of East Sussex from 1982 to 2000, and is the editor of a previous Record Society volume: East Sussex Land Tax 1785 (77, 1991).
Cover illustration; Volk’s Electric Spider Seagoing Car at High Tide, Brighton. (Reproduced from the Shephard Collection by courtesy of the County Archivist of West Sussex)