Mark Tristan Cooper 073


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NLHG Newsletter Archive






November 2014



Assisted Passage to the Colonies: For our October meeting, Jan Cooper presented a lively and informative illustrated talk on the history of emigration from England during the Victorian Age with particular reference to members of the Crouch & Brook families from Ninfield in the 1840s.  For many young and fit people with good skills to offer, emigration to Australia, America, Canada & New Zealand offered adventure, the chance to make your fortune and an escape from poverty, particularly for those working in rural communities and on the land.  Jan unfolded this interesting and well-researched story starting with the transportation of criminals to Australia, the sailing of the Pilgrim Fathers for America in the 1600s right through to the last incentive by the Australian government to persuade people to emigrate between 1945 and 1972, these last immigrants earning the title of ‘£10 poms’.  The talk was brought to a close by Jan reading an extract from a family reunion held in Australia in 2000 and sent to the NLHG by Patricia Button whose husband is a descendant of the Crouch family.  


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


December 18th      Christmas Social an afternoon event, 2.30pm

January 15th         The History of the Bluebell Railway by David Jones

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

March 19th             TBA

April 16th               2015AGM with a talk by Kevin Gordon on “The Lost Village of Tidemills”


Other Local Events


Events to mark World War One: There are a host of events including talks, and exhibitions on this East Sussex County Council website run in conjunction with the Keep (records office). It also features photos and stories posted by a wide range of people.


Fundraising for Windmills:

A talk by Peter Hill on Friday 14th Nov, 7.30pm at Herstmonceux Village Hall entitled “Pills, Potions and Patience” in aid of Windmill Hill Windmill £6 includes tea/coffee.

Sunday 29th Nov, 10am to noon a Winter Fair in aid of Stone Cross Mill at Westham Village Hall. Also on the same day, a Christmas Bazaar in aid of the Polegate Mill, held at St. John’s Church Hall, Polegate.


And from the Bexhill Museum....

Wed, 26 November, 14:30 – 16:30

St Augustines Church Hall,off Cooden Drive, Bexhill 'Edward Wadsworth, Painter: From the Slade to the De La Warr and beyond' Speaker Dr Graham Whitham.

Wadsworth, a contemporary of Stanley Spencer at the Slade School of Art, was a staunch modernist, contributor to the war effort with his vorticist camouflage 'dazzle' ships and, after 1918, a supporter of the British and European avant-garde alongside Ben Nicholson.



General News

2015 Calendar: This year our calendar features village life and characters in Ninfield during the last century including:    Priced at only £5 the calendars are selling fast, contact Jan Cooper if you would like to order one.

Thank You to Sophie: On behalf of the whole group I would like to express our appreciation to Sophie at the Village Post Office who helps us so much by selling tickets for our events, displaying posters and stocking the NLHG publications.



Heavy Horses: Ninfield was an agricultural community and the larger farms relied on  heavy horses to get the farm work done. A team of Shires (the number of horses depended on the nature of the soil) was usually run by a Ploughman and Plough boy. The Ploughman needed to keep control of the direction and depth of the blade which required great strength and concentration for hours on end. This must have been back breaking work. The Ploughboy was in charge of steering the lead horse to assist the ploughman in getting the right general direction.

Reputations depended on well turned and even furrows (vurrs) and skill in this area ensured even growth of the crop in the Spring, any mistakes were visible for all to see for several months (wiggly furrows and patchy germination).

The horses were used for all manner of jobs on the farm that needed the pulling of heavy loads or machinery, including haymaking, harrowing, grass cutting, general carting etc. The teams of horses were usually beautifully turned out and the Carters and under carters who cared for them took great pride in showing them at the local heavy horse shows (e.g. Polegrove in Bexhill). The men who fought in World War One commonly learnt horsemanship, shoeing and general horse care skills because horses played such an important role in the warfare at that time. These men were then well placed to take on the care of these magnificent animals on local farms if they were lucky enough to return from the conflict. Keeping horses supported many other businesses too e.g. harness makers, farriers, wheelwrights etc.


A Photo From the Wells Collection:

Ernie Brunger with Rodney & Prince at a show somewhere on the Downs.


























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.                  





























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.                  


0535 PASHLEY horses