Worthing National Trust Association

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It all began in 1973 when a very well-known and energetic Worthing lady, Mrs Pat Baring, visited as many National Trust members as possible to persuade us to help to start a local association in Sussex.

Presumably other indefatigable people were doing the same all along the coast. As a result a large number of us met at The Dome in Brighton to form the Southdown Centre or Association, which stretched from Brighton to approximately Littlehampton in the west and northwards over the South Downs.

After a year or so Southdown had grown to over a thousand members and it was decided to divide the membership into two new centres. Southdown kept its name and its membership came from Southwick to Brighton. Our Centre was named the Adur-Arun Centre, with members from Shoreham westwards between the rivers Adur and Arun. The name was chosen partly because it meant that in any alphabetically arranged list we would be very near the beginning.

Only a few years passed before the Centre had grown to over a thousand members and it divided again, with the Arun Valley Centre forming for the western members from approximately Ferring. Of course, members could choose which centre they wished to join and we continued to have quite a number who came from outside our area.

By 1998, when we were celebrating our Silver Jubilee, we had begun to be known as the Adur-Arun (Worthing) Centre and it was then decided to change our name to the Worthing Association, to coincide with a new model constitution for Centres and Associations drafted by the National Trust. The reasoning behind the changes were firstly, that unless you were local, the name Adur-Arun meant nothing so as Worthing was the largest centre of population, as well as being central to our area, it was the obvious choice. Secondly, as a Centre people seemed to think we had a central base to put up notices, whereas an Association would be thought of as more peripatetic.

The jubilee lunch, at the Beach Hotel, was celebrated by 83 people, including the then Chairman of the National Trust, Charles Nunnerley and his wife and the Chairman and Secretary of the Brighton and Hove Association (formerly known as the Southdown).

Sadly the Arun Valley Association closed at the end of 2005 because they could not fill five vacancies on their committee, leaving us as the only support group in this part of West Sussex. As our numbers are slowly rising we hope new committee members will be forthcoming to fill our vacancies so that the Worthing Centre will continue to thrive for at least another forty years.

A brief history of

the Association

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