Boom and Bust: Horsham after the Great War
The first decade after the First World War was one of great change throughout Britain, and Horsham was no exception. A new exhibition at Horsham Museum and Art Gallery, Boom and Bust: Horsham after the Great War, will look at the developments and events that took place during the 1920s, and how they affected the town and the people that lived here.
After 4 long years of war, on 11th November 1918 the notification that an Armistice had been signed arrived in Horsham, via telephone. Word quickly spread around the town that the war was over, and the streets buzzed with excitement and rejoicing.
After the initial celebrations Britain entered a period of adjustment. In Horsham around 420 men aged 16-50 had been killed, a significant number for this small community. After the war there was a widespread desire to get back to normal. By 1918 people had been desperate for peace, yet the reality of the post-war world was one of continued international conflict, economic stagnation, disrupted trade, and social unrest.
The early 1920s saw increased leisure time, increased wages, cheaper goods and major changes in fashion and social permissiveness. The later years of the decade, in contrast, saw the General Strike of 1926 and the economic crash of 1929. It was certainly a time of great change and many contrasts. The wealth of items on display in Boom and Bust: Horsham after the Great War from the Museum’s collections that date from the 1920s help to demonstrate some of these developments, and highlight what life was like for the people of Horsham at the time.