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Sussex’s rare copy of American Declaration of Independence displayed for POTUS at Downing Street

The Sussex Declaration – a rare copy of the American Declaration of Independence – has been displayed in No 10 Downing Street during the Presidential State Visit to the UK.

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The Declaration is one of only two contemporary handwritten ceremonial parchment manuscript copies, the other being the signed copy housed in the National Archives in Washington D.C.

Wendy Walker and Louise Goldsmith examining the Sussex Declaration.

West Sussex County Archivist Wendy Walker will be delivering a short presentation to Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump about the document and its historical significance.

Wendy said:
“It is a huge privilege to speak to the President about this important piece of West Sussex history. It further demonstrates the close ties between the UK and the US spanning more than three centuries.”

Great efforts were taken to transport the document from the Record Office in Chichester to Downing Street this week. A conservation expert from the National Conservation Service was involved and a specially-designed exhibition case, previously used for the Magna Carta, was loaned by Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust to display the historic document.

Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said: 

“West Sussex County Council is the guardian of the county’s history and we are all so proud of the considerable work the Record Office does to protect, conserve and preserve the heritage of West Sussex. The significance of the Sussex Declaration cannot be underestimated and we are thrilled it has helped in demonstrating the country’s transatlantic ties. It’s a historical treasure that we are very honoured to house in West Sussex.”

In the event of celebrations to mark 250 years since the declaration of independence, the Record Office is keen to explore options for this important historical document to form part of the commemorations in 2026. We look forward to being part of future work with both the UK and US governments and academic institutions, to celebrate transatlantic ties and the richness of our shared heritage.

Business

Furniture Village opens its doors in Crawley’s County Oak Retail Park

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Crawley welcomes Furniture Village who will open a brand-new store in County Oak retail park this Boxing Day.

The new location offers a Carpetright concession, providing a one-stop-shop for customers looking to update their homes.

Visitors to the new Furniture Village store will be invited to create their ‘home in one’, by exploring collections for every room of the house, from sofas to beds to dining.

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director at Furniture Village, comments:

“With much of the UK under lockdown, I’m delighted we’ve been able to open our new store in Crawley. County Oak is a fantastic shopping destination and the ideal choice for Furniture Village.

“It’s been a challenging year for everyone, but I am incredibly proud of the Furniture Village team which continues to offer industry-leading quality, choice and service. As well as Family Retailer of the Year, we’ve also been awarded National Bed Retailer of the Year so I’m particularly looking forward to welcoming customers to our new bed department.”

The store will see a team of 11 expert sales consultants offering valuable insights and advice to customers, all made possible thanks to enhanced Covid-19 safety measures.

These include temperature checks, PPE for all staff and hand sanitisation stations, along with an appointment booking system which can be accessed via the website.

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director at Furniture Village, adds:

“Customer safety is still, and will continue to be, a priority for us. The feedback from all of our existing stores continues to be overwhelmingly positive, with the appointment booking system providing reassurance and exceptional service for customers.”

The store will open at 9am on Saturday 26th December 2020. Opening offers include Sale discounts of up to 50% plus an additional £50 off every £500 spent.

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