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NLHG Newsletter Archive





December 2013




Hello All, May we wish you a very Happy Christmas!


We had a very good talk by Nick Austin on the Battle of Hastings at our last Meeting on 21st November. There was a tremendous turnout, so “Thanks” to all our members (and newcomers) who attended. I think Nick enjoyed the Questions & Answers session at the end too! He certainly sold all the copies of his book that he brought with him, I think the first time he’s had a “sell out”.


DECEMBER 19th FROM 2 PM. Christmas Social with Mulled Wine and Mince Pies

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

February 20th                      Jan Cooper & Liz Darbyshire are presenting a show on the Lost Shops of Ninfield with help from

                                              Vernon Cornford and David Eldridge

March 20th                Talk by Ian Everest (to be confirmed)

April 17th                              Annual General Meeting with talk by John Cheshire on Cyril Wells’ photos

May 15th                Talk on Farming in the Ninfield Area

June 19th                 Provisional talk on 70th Anniversary of D Day and the V1 Campaign over Sussex.

July                                         Possible Hooe and Ninfield joint meeting.


            As you can see above, 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, which led to the evacuation of children from the major cities to more sheltered locations. It will also be 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 of V1 buzz bombs or “doodle bugs” flying overhead just in the space of 100 days. There were 12 Ninfield-related people killed in WW2.


           Don’t forget that your friends and family may want a special Christmas present this year. Our latest publication hot off the press is 'Ninfield's Oldest Houses' at £4 compiled from details in A. Ridel's book and the Deeprose map.  Or how about sending them a copy of the NLHG 2014 Calendar? It is packed with  photographs, topically aligned with the month or season concerned.

Get in touch for your copy soon! Check the website for all other available CD’s etc BUT do it soon or it’ll be too late!  December’s Christmas Social on the 19th  will be the best chance to get those last minute presents.


            You will of course know how successful our summer Exhibition was, but since then we have held the Village Reunion which was a great success with over 120 attending. Our Chairman Rod Ffoulkes then had a trip out with the children of Ninfield School to Newhaven Fort. It was very good with around 30 kids, 3 parents and Lorna, their teacher. The fort is definitely worth a visit especially if the weather is as good as it was on the day they went. There was lots to see and plenty to remember. The kids were very good and it was a great day out.


            The NLHG invited the youngsters who play football to come and meet the “old stars” such as David Eldridge and Vernon Cornford from the 1951 Ninfield Football Club. It was very interesting; one does not appreciate how things have changed over the years. All the shouting and swearing were definitely not allowed when they were players. The biggest match was the local derby between Hooe and Ninfield but all played with good will and sporting behaviour, unlike now.


           Whilst we are looking forward to what 2014 holds, as befits a History Society, we want to look back on our achievements this year, and hope that you can feel as proud as we are that we have used the Lottery money to the advantage of all in the Village and that a great deal of knowledge and information has been preserved by our actions, that otherwise stood at risk of being lost.


          As the year draws to a close so does our project “Ninfield – The History of a Rural Village”. The key aims of the project (which was part of the Heritage Lottery ‘All Our Stories’ programme) were:

• Gathering memories, life stories, photographs and documents to help people understand how life in Ninfield has changed over the years;

• Communicating what we found out to the wider community (especially the younger people);

• To build an archive to be used as a resource for the Group and other people with an interest in our local history both now and in the future;

• To stimulate a wider interest in the history of the village and the surrounding area.


               We think we have done a pretty good job on those counts so a big “Thank You” to everyone who has helped with organising events, donating photos/documents (such as the Cyril Wells and Mrs Meads families, amongst many others) or letting us record your memories and life stories. A special “Thank You” to Cathy and Ian, the new licensees at the Blacksmiths who, whilst closed for cleaning the kitchens (food now reported to be delicious) donated many photographs of the village that they found when clearing out the cellars.

              We have built up a great archive already and we will continue to add to that over the years to come. The interviews will continue to be recorded (any more volunteers please get in touch) and we now have the job of sifting through the 38 recordings we already have to document characters and events mentioned in each one (Jan Savage is doing a great job with this!).

             I think we can safely say we have stimulated a wider interest in the history of the village. This is witnessed by the growth in membership we have seen over the last year. Our work with the school children and the youth forum has been a lot of fun. The Year 5 kids have been so enthusiastic with the World War 2 work we are doing with them and the final events of the Project are part of this work. We have arranged a “living history day” when three local residents who lived in Ninfield during the war years went into the School to answer questions about what life was like at that time. Following on from that, all who helped with the school project have been invited to join the Year 5s for a Victory Party!!

            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!  All our publications are available from the website, at our monthly meetings or from Jan Cooper by telephone (see below).  


Contacts: Acting Chairman:               Rod Ffoulkes       Tel: 893635

               Secretary:              Janice Wood Tel: 892895

               Membership:              Corinne Gibbons Tel: 892612

               Archivist:              Jan Cooper                 Tel: 893381

               Media & Miscellaneous    Kevin Regan                 Tel: 893867

               Research             John Cheshire                 Tel: 892248