The Golden Years
The Sussex Players who died for their Country
The Modern Era
The main focus of Gallery One is the Golden Years of Sussex Cricket, 1895-1905. These were the years of Ranji and Fry when Sussex supporters were treated to a batting feast. With small boundaries and for the most part a good batting wicket, opposing bowlers must have dreaded coming to Hove. Opposition bowlers would toil all day long to try and get first Fry and his opening partner, Joe Vine, out, before Ranji himself came in lower down the order. The term, Golden Age is not only used to describe a wonderful era for Sussex but also describes an era when cricket came of age and when at a time of New Imperialism, the British Empire occupied a fifth of the world’s territory. Cricket was synonymous with empire and the game was used to transmit the values of the empire as well as unite the empire together.
The focus of Gallery Two is the contribution that Sussex players made to World War One and Two, and in particular to those who made the ultimate sacrifice: their lives. There are photographs of all those who died in the two wars and a display about General Dempsey, who served in both wars and who in between played two matches for Sussex in 1919.
Gallery Three’s main focus is on the modern era but there are several cabinets of exhibits which trace the early story of the Sussex club. As you enter the gallery, on your left hand side there are cabinets on ‘The Founding of the Club in 1839’, the ‘Brunswick Ground’ and ‘The Lillywhite Family’. On display are artefacts linked to the founding of the club in 1839, photographs of the Brunswick Ground and a rare photograph of a Sussex group of players from 1864.
On the left hand wall there are cabinets on Aubrey Smith, David Sheppard and Tony Greig. Boots and pads from Aubrey Smith are on display, as are the jackets that Sheppard and Greig wore on their respective tours to Australia and New Zealand.