'Chichester: Murders and Misdemeanours' by Philip MacDougall 

Chichester M.M M 1

Picture L to R:Talks organiser Wendy Bright, Chairman Tony Stimson, Co raffle organiser Maureen Barratt and our Guest speaker Dr. Philip Macdougall.  

On Monday 16th, undeterred by the January weather and an unfortunate traffic jam on the A27 last night the 59 people in the audience of members and non members were entertained with a fascinating illustrated talk by this much published local historian Philip MacDougall. Philip gave an account of a number of notorious crimes through the years that beset Chichester. The ‘Morning Drop’ attracting 10,000 people to Chichester in 1818 for a public hanging of a soldier Private John Holloway, the activities of Swell Mob and organised crime at Goodwood Races in the1860’s were described. Then there was the unsolved murder of little Vera and the incompetence of the County Police Force. It was interesting to learn about early policing methods together with the laxity, inefficiency and crude blundering with which it was often accompanied. In his book of the same title, can be found, more detailed accounts as well as an article about the decomposed decapitated frogman’s body dredged up out of the harbour waters close to Thorney Island. At the end of the evening there was an opportunity to purchase his book on this compelling subject.