Worthing is a large coastal town and local government borough in West Sussex. It is a major urban area and forms part of the Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton conurbation. Situated between the English Channel and the South Downs, Worthing has a population of approximately 100,000.
Around 1750 visitors from nearby Brighton began to explore the Sussex coast and soon discovered the merits of the sheltered, sandy beaches of Worthing and thus were tempted to stay in the district. At this time Worthing and parent village Broadwater were still small and primitive settlements where local inhabitants derived their livelihood mainly from agriculture and a limited mackerel fishery. Arriving in the town London property developer John Luther immediately realised the potential of this quaint, peaceful fishing hamlet and became the first ‘speculator’ to build a large house capable of providing lodgings for the visiting gentry. The house was purchased in 1789 by the Earl of Warwick and thereafter called Warwick House. Once visitors began to take advantage of the facilities of Warwick House, the hamlet and its population increased and further building work took place. Possibly considered to be the beginning of Worthing as a resort town, it soon took its place among the group of fashionable watering places on the south coast of England.
Worthing’s first theatre built in Ann Street in 1807 by Thomas Trotter was by far the most significant achievement of the new resort, and played a key role in attracting both famous actors and patrons during the height of Worthing’s fashionable success from 1800 to 1830. The opening of the theatre coincided with a second royal visit, when in the same year Princess Charlotte, daughter of the Prince Regent again stayed at Warwick House.
In 1890 Mr T.R.Hide designed the coat of arms for the new borough of Worthing. The design included three silver mackerel, a Horn of Plenty overflowing with corn and fruit on a cloth of gold, and the figure of Hygieia, the Ancient Greek goddess of health holding a snake. They represent the health given from the seas, the fullness and riches gained from the earth and the power of healing. Worthing’s motto is the Latin ‘ex terra copiam e mari salutem’ which translated means ‘from the land plenty and from the sea health‘. Both the coat of arms and the motto of Worthing reflect the town’s history of abundant fishing and farming, having been a centre for mackerel fishing as well as one of the largest market gardening areas in the United Kingdom.
Rich in history, Worthing offers a multitude of entertainment for tourists and an abundance of facilities for the business traveller. Three theatres offer a wide variety of musical and dramatic performances to suit all tastes, with the Dome and Ritz Cinemas both offering the most popular of new film releases and a ten pin bowling alley located on the seafront. Worthing boasts a wealth of restaurants from Indian and Chinese to Mediterranean and Indonesian. Worthing also hosts the English Bowling Championships every August.