Thank goodness for taxation - is not a usual cry but as this truly fascinating exhibition shows, without it we would not have the fantastic maps that reveal Horsham in Edwardian times.
Thanks to the Lloyd George's People's Budget the government required detailed maps of all property to know who owned what and where it was. The Ordnance Survey had mapped the country in great detail – such as listing post boxes, showing defaced milestones, where pubs were, the type of trees and wasteland.
Now thanks to Horsham District Council’s building department no longer requiring such maps Horsham Museum have created a wonderful exhibition that allows the visitor to get up close to Horsham in 1909.
The exhibition though is not just maps, but full of objects from the Edwardian era including a YMCA bazaar banner that has been signed by the shop traders and those signatures have been embroidered. Whilst the costume on display are those worn by refined ladies and gentlemen who built the Empire – intricate dresses, fine tailoring and strong colours. Along with costume will be photographs and paintings of the era which will be supplemented by modern technology that allows us to show one of Cecil Cramps famous slide shows of Edwardian Horsham and the celebrated film of 1913 Horsham Cricket Week.
Using documents and surveys the exhibition explores the town’s rich history. From school medals issued not for any academic achievement, but just for turning up to the amazing array of clubs and societies that flourished in the town including many charities to help the poor- whose need was supposedly diminished through Lloyd George’s social reform. And to pay for those reforms the maps were drawn up.