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Southbourne Pictorial History

Just after the first Sussex Day Fete in June 2009, whilst talking to a friend,  the question arose as to why Southbourne didn't have a book.  Everyone else had one, indeed some have many books about their locality.  Jackie then decided to sort out her family photos and started bringing them to me to be scanned.


We then advertised in the September Downland Village News (as it was then) and waited.  Nothing much happened, and I kept scanning Jackie's and then David's photos etc.  We discussed what we wanted to end up with and decided we didn't want a wordy social history, what we needed a photographic record.


I had continued to advertise and put up posters around the village, then, early  in October, I was contacted by Geoff Bell, who told me he had been collecting photos of the area for years.  We met a few times and by March had decided that we would go ahead principally because Geoff had so many photos, he had a book all on his own. 


He then had to sort them out of course, and put them into some sort of order and

 this took some time.  In June 2010 he gave me the file.    My initial reaction was, how on earth am I going to do this.  The file was basically a scrap book of items with captions. There were photocopies, newspaper cuttings, laminated pictures (can I scan laminated pictures?) and very old faded and damaged photos and postcards.  I had absolutely no experience of scanning or improving photos, so everything had to be learnt as I went along.  I had Publisher software but I hadn't used it for anything other than a few words on a poster. I contacted printers for advice and was told that it would be better, easier and therefore cheaper, if I did all the layout myself and when I'd finished,  to save it all on a memory stick, as a PDF.  What's a PDF I thought?   Something else to learn.       


I started scanning Geoff's photos.  They were of varying qualities set out as he wanted them on each page, which was fine until I had to scan them to straighten them and improve their quality and change them all into greyscale.  Every picture had to be saved individually so that I could handle it separately, and then put it onto a page and type the description.

I scanned over 400 photos, all needing some attention, and so we ended up with over 200 pages, totally impractical and much too expensive. So I then had so rethink and resize.  This took as much time again and I ended up with a 180 page book. 

As the majority of the pictures were Geoff's, it became his book, he had overall control of what was included and the colour of the cover.  He said “I've always been interested in motorcars” so hence it is British Racing Green.   


The printers designed the cover and I took the completed book, saved as a PDF on a memory stick into them on 5th September with a request that I would like it by 5th October as that was Bourne Community College's open evening and I had been invited to sell it there.  I took delivery of 1000 copies, over 55 boxes and they were heavy.  In order to sell them we had to do a lot of promotion and after BCC we went to the Junior School and Infant School open events, local WI's, Dragons and Sea Scouts.  I gave out over 30 complimentary copies, all with a label saying they were on sale at the Farm Shop and at Southbourne Garage.  I got the printing costs back in a month and the rest has gone into the community.  Donations to the Village Hall refurbishment, Sea Scouts, Guides as well as the £1 per copy going directly to the seller to donate to the charity of their choice. 

We have found a few errors and these are listed, but I don't think we did too badly for amateurs that just wanted a book.                                                                                                                     






"Southbourne Pictorial History" is now out of print and no longer available


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