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NLHG Newsletter Archive

November 2013


Hello All


Apologies for a slightly shorter Newsletter this month by the temporary editorial team.

NLHG Exhibition on 28th September - Those of you who missed this hugely successful exhibition may like to know that the following publications will be on sale at future monthly meetings:  

Village Historical Walks booklet (£2.50), WW1 Roll of Honour booklet (£5.00), Ninfield New Centenary Map CD (£5.00), Wartime Memories CD (£5.00), James Broughton’s booklet on Ninfield School in WW2 (£2.50), Ninfield Village map A1 size (£15.00), Ninfield Village map A2 size (£8.00), Ninfield Village map A3 size (£5.00).  To this list we are pleased to announce the publication of a

2014 calendar at the bargain price of £4.00.  The calendar contains wonderful photos of the village taken at different times of the year and chosen from our archives.  To place an order in good time for Christmas, please see Jan Cooper our Archivist at the monthly meetings or contact her by e-mail or phone (see below for details).  More information about these publications was included in the October newsletter.  


NOVEMBER 21st Talk by Nick Austin on the Battle of “Hastings” and what Ninfield did in 1066.

DECEMBER 19th  Christmas Social, Mulled Wine and Mince Pies – bring your own best home made pies!

JANUARY 16th 2014 Talk by Kevin Regan on the Old Toll Road System





Saturday 19th Oct was the Village Reunion. This proved to be a really successful event and was thoroughly enjoyed by the 100 plus who attended for an afternoon tea. The Reunion was a sell out and we at full capacity on the day.  The purpose of the event was to celebrate the success of the HLF funded project "Ninfield- The History of a Rural Village". We have made major progress with the project over the last year including: conducting over 30 interviews to gather memories from long time residents, working closely with the local school on their history project, building membership of the history group and generally raising the profile of the work we do. Lots more information came out on the day including the existence of a St. John's Ambulance Brigade and a Young Farmers group in Ninfield in days gone by. We have also been promised a recording of the old church organ and the choir from the 1960s. Further details to follow. There will be a CD of photos and a DVD of the event coming out soon.


The NLHG was delighted to assist Ninfield Primary School with their re-enactment of Evacuation Day.  A good old rummage through the charity shops and Rod, Pat, and the two Jans arrived at the church dressed in an assortment of 1940's attire.   Rod and Pat equipped themselves with gas masks too.  At 9.30am on the dot, a long procession of ragamuffins appeared led by their teacher who wore a fetching pair of dungarees and made a very passable Land Girl. The children were taken into the church where upon being seated in the pews, our NLHG members, acting as host families, picked out various children after comments like "I hope you have good Manners". Or "I hope you don't eat much, there's a war on you know" and "I need someone who is hard working."


The children were wonderful. They had made such a good effort and were dressed in short trousers and peek caps, while the girls clutched teddy bears and all wore labels and carried gas masks. Old brown suitcases were full of aeroplanes, teddy and catapults. They looked a picture. After a group photo was taken by David, everybody departed for a well earned lunch.


There have been two highly significant donations of historical materials to our group in the last few weeks:  firstly, the family of Mrs Meads came to the exhibition and brought along a collection of scrapbooks and photograph albums relating to the Ninfield Amenities Society and Parish Council in the 1970s/80s. Mrs Meads who has recently passed away, had been the custodian of this material. Much of it had been collected by Molly Hodgkinson, a Parish Councillor during that era. Mrs Meads’ family have kindly donated the books to our group and the contents give a fascinating insight into the issues affecting the village at that time. For example, instead of the threat of fracking in the Sussex countryside, they had the worry of oil exploration!


Secondly, (many thanks to Jim Hoad for drawing attention to it) we have had a similar donation from the daughter and son-in-law of Cyril Wells, one of the two Ninfield bakers. Paul & Diana Clark have given our group Cyril's photographs, slides and assorted lecture notes/documents to use as a resource for our group. Paul Clark wrote the booklet on the Bexhill-Sidley-Crowhurst branch line which was featured in the Observer recently (the booklet featured photographs from Cyril's collection. These two donations are a treasure trove for us and will be really important resource from promoting interest in the history of Ninfield and the surrounding area.


Can we remind members that we are putting together an exciting programme of events for 2014. Not only is it the Centenary of the start of World War One but it is also the 75th Anniversary of the start of WW2, the 70th Anniversary of the D Day landings in Normandy and, most notably for this part of Sussex, the V1 flying bomb campaign that saw thousands flying overhead in about 100 days. There were 12 Ninfield related people killed in WW2.  Kevin Regan has put together a Roll of Honour booklet for WW1 containing 60 pages packed with information about those who died during the First World War.  If you would like a copy (£5.00) or a CD of Wartime Memories (£5.00) they will be available to buy at our monthly meetings.  


A reminder that future projects that you can become involved in helping to organise are:

The Great Storm (no, Hurricane!) 1987 – What are YOUR memories of that day? Do you have any photos etc that we could add to our archives?

Ninfield Farms, Businesses and Servants Village life in the Victorian era.

Sports Teams: Stoolball, Football, Cricket and other pastimes.



Don’t forget to visit our website at as we are constantly putting on more information. If you haven’t already done so, please bookmark the NLHG website on your computers and frequently have a look at what we have updated! We also have a Facebook page to cater for all tastes and abilities!  



Annual Membership of the NLHG is still only £10 per person, and everyone is welcome to the regular 3rd Thursday in the month Meetings in the METHODIST HALL in Church Lane. There is a small charge of £1 for Members and currently £2 for Non Members at the door to help towards costs of refreshments and guest speakers. Our next Meeting is on Thursday 21st November at 7:30 pm at the METHODIST HALL in Church Lane.


New Members always welcome, so see you (and a friend) there!