Mark Tristan Cooper 073


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NLHG Newsletter Archive

October 2014




Mad Jack Fuller: Geoff Hutchinson’s talk on Jack Fuller on 18th September provided us with a really entertaining evening. Dressed in costume and in the character of Jack (with a glass of port to hand) Geoff gave us a fascinating biography of the man who inherited wealth from the local iron industry but then went on to amass a fortune from several sugar plantations in the West Indies. He was the MP for Southampton and then Sussex and later became the Paymaster General for Sussex. Probably best known for building follies around his Brightling estate, there was an altruistic side to this as the building work provided much needed employment for local men returning from the Napoleonic war. Jack was a supporter of the Royal Society in London and sponsored the first Chemistry Professorship for Michael Farraday.


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

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, time tbc

January 15thThe  History of the Bluebell Railway

February 19th      Sussex Characters-Wacky, Weird & Wonderful by Chris McCooey

March 19th          TBA

April 16th 2015    AGM


Other Local Events


Lecture: 'Sussex Connections with the Houses of Parliament and the Gunpowder Plot'. The gunpowder plot may seem familiar to us but Speaker Kevin Gordon is able to throw new light on the story through his intimate knowledge of the Palace of Westminster. He can also reveal unfamiliar links with Sussex.

Wed, 29 October, 14:30 – 16:30 at St Augustines Church Hall, off Cooden Drive, Bexhill TN39 3AZ


A short course by Dr Graham Whitham (University of Kent) entitled “A Critical History of Design”. Covering the history of design since the mid-19th century until the present day and how the appearance and function of everyday things is considered and achieved, from furniture to fashion, cars to computers, kitchens to curtains. The course will be illustrated by a broad range of both well-known and lesser known examples.

6 Nov Arts, Crafts and Design c.1850-1914

13 Nov The Rise of Modernism c.1900-39

20 Nov The Advance of Modernism c.1935-70

27 Nov Design, Consumerism and Popularity c.1925-60

4 Dec Design in an Age of Affluence c.1955-1980

11 Dec Postmodernism and Beyond c.1975-2014

£13 per session (you can book them individually) or £65 for the whole course.

at the De La Warr. For enquiries call the Pavillion on 01424 229111.


General News

Afternoon of Local History: Our afternoon event was a great success! We had over 90 people come along to hear the talks given by Liz and John. The exhibition of the Wells photos drew a lot of interest too. The work done by Year 6 at the school on the Victorians was put on show and clearly, these children under the guidance of Miss Watson are really very talented!  They have produced some terrific art work and lots of interesting factsheets. We will show this work again at the next group meeting.



Hop Picking: many local families spent time out in the local hop gardens during the late summer months in years gone by, harvesting this important crop. The whole family would take part with the adults pulling down the ripe vines and the children, under close supervision by their mothers, would pull the florets off into the collection bins ready to be put into sacks. Our archive contains some lovely photos of this work, including some donated by Ann Barker and May Jackson of their families at work. Our member May, remembers her whole family walking over to a hop garden in Penhurst (possibly at Hill farm?). They would spend the entire day harvesting the hops and this hard work would be followed by a meal at a huge table in the farmhouse kitchen. They then had to walk back home, a long and tiring day for sure! Have a look at their photos on the Notice Board page of the website.






Sparke Pavillion: was opened on 30th April 1938 with a cricket match. The Sussex County Eleven led by Flight Lieutenant A J Holmes came to play the Ninfield team. The county team was comprised of: JP Papillon, T Bruce, J Nye, J Cornford,

C Oakes, JH Barnes, J Parks, H Parks, W O’Byrne, RG Stainton, J Langridge (their photo hangs on the wall inside the Pavillion). Do you know of anyone in the Ninfield team? Please let us know some names and it would be great to identify a team photo from that time, so we will display some cricket photos at the November meeting for identification.

We know that it was built by Ninfield people including Mr Lesley Spandley but do you know the names of anyone else who helped build it?

Sadly the Pavillion is scheduled for demolition in 2015 and will be replaced by a larger building, the central core of which will be based on the original and beautiful example of an English pre-War village sports pavilion.
























                                                         This month the photo is donated by Pat Eldridge:



Group Contacts:


Rod Ffoulkes (Chair)  Tel: 893635, Janice Wood (Secretary) & Martin Wood (Treasurer) Tel: 892895,   Corinne Gibbons (Membership) Tel: 892612, Jan Cooper (Archivist)  Tel: 893381,

Liz Darbyshire Tel: 893575, Janet Savage Tel: 892749, John Cheshire (Newsletter)  Tel: 892248.