Mark Tristan Cooper 073


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NLHG Newsletter Archive





June 2014


Greetings! The talk on Farming in the Ninfield Area by David Swales on 15th May was lively and entertaining evening. David presented research findings by Liz, Jan & John. David had also found out lots of new information from local farming families (Anne Bourner, Neil Smith and Roger & Marge Sharp). As usual it was clearly demonstrated that the knowledge we have amongst our membership about Ninfield people, places, events and general knowledge relating to the village is a really valuable resource. When people can chip in to help identify characters and places shown in the old pictures, this adds enormous value to the richness of our archive.


Forthcoming meetings: 7.30pm in the Methodist Hall unless stated otherwise


June 19th  D Day and the V1 Campaign over Sussex by Kevin  Regan    

July 12th  Ninfield Carnival: float and exhibition, still time to volunteer!

July 17thThe De La Warr Family by Julian Porter

AugustNo Meeting

September 18thMad Jack Fuller by Geoff Hutchinson

September 27th An Afternoon of Local History 2.00pm at the Memorial Hall

October 16th      Assisted Passage to the Colonies by Jan Cooper

November 20th  Tracing Your Ancestors – a family history workshop

December 18th  Christmas Social an afternoon event of fun & games.



Other Local Events


Temporary exhibition exploring Bexhill in the First World War for 2014 Saturday 1 March – Sunday 7 December 2014

A Heritage Lottery funded temporary exhibition and new accessible digital archive to commemorate the start of the First World War.

Exploring Bexhill’s contribution to the Great War, and discovering what life was like for soldiers, nurses, refugees and civilians in the resort, during the war.

The exhibition includes hands-on resources for families, children’s interpretation, film and the stories of individuals from Bexhill, and features costume, social history & military artefacts as well as local history and oral history.

A diverse programme of events will accompany the exhibition throughout the year including guided walks, lectures and children’s activities and workshops.


General News


We are planning some new publications including a set of notelets and postcards bearing photos of Old Ninfield which should be available for sale at the Carnival. Also, the 2015 calendar is being put together so if you have any suitable pictures or want to nominate any you may have seen in the archive please let Jan C know.

Plans for the Carnival float and exhibition are well underway. The theme of the float is a secret but will be in line with this years’ topic of Children’s Television. The Carnival exhibition will include a display of NATS (Ninfield Amateur Theatrical Society) photos, many new ones have been donated by Betty Clarke. So the plan is to Name that Dame! If you want to get involved in any way (even if only for an hour or so on the day) please contact a committee member.









A Photo from the Cyril Wells collection:










This lovely old picture of apple picking was found amongst Cyril’s collection

of slides without any notes to help identify the people in the photo.

However, with help from Gillian Brown (a supporter of our FaceBook page) we have been able to identify Charlie Ockenden (centre) and Nellie Ockenden (right). Gillian is a descendent of the Ockenden family and has been kindly emailing us lots of family photos. Nellie Ockenden was a teacher at Ninfield School for many years.

The Ockenden family farmed at Thorne Farm, Lunsford Cross in the 1900s so this photo presumably dates from that time.



A Walk Around Cooden Camp: organized and led by staff of the Bexhill Museum 11th May as part of their “Stepping Out” series was a stroll around the site of the military camp sited to the north of the Cooden Golf Club off Clavering Road. That area of Bexhill had been used by the military as a training/accommodation area since Napoleonic times and probably much earlier than that (Cooden Moat is a medieval fortification currently buried in trees nearby). The WW1 camp was set up to house the Lowther’s Lambs Southdown Battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiments. Initially the soldiers lived under canvas but later, 3 gigantic timber sheds were erected as living quarters on Camp Fields (see photo: aerial picture of the site as it is today from Google Earth). Later on the site became an artillery depot and finally was taken over by Canadian troops hence the current street names of Maple Walk and Maple Avenue.


I would highly recommend these walks in the “Stepping Out” series. The museum staff (Dave & Heather) had clearly put a great deal of time and effort into researching the history and they presented it all in context which brought it to life.