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NLHG Newsletter Archive




























February 2015


The Bluebell Railway Talk: David Jones gave us a really interesting talk on the origins and development of the Bluebell Railway. David, who has been a volunteer on the line for 35 years, described how the line was taken over by enthusiasts from the Lewis & East Grinstead Railway Preservation Society when British Railways decided to close it in the late 1950s. Their first locomotive “Stepney” and two carriages arrived in May 1960, these were purchased from BR for £750. They needed a second engine because there were no facilities to turn around at that time. The second engine was renamed “Bluebell” and this enabled them to run a weekend only service during that first summer (from August to October) between Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes. Over 15,000 people turned up to ride the trains which exceeded all expectations and the society soon realized that it was a viable proposition and well worth developing. Since those early days the line has been extended and recently they were able to reconnect to the Mainline services at East Grinstead. The work involved has been tremendous and they rely on an army of volunteers to run and maintain the railway. It was good to hear they are passing valuable skills on to the younger generation (many of whom are keen to become engine drivers!). If you haven’t already been on the Bluebell it sounds well worth a visit ( ).


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


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

March 19th 2015           Historical Winchelsea by Malcolm Pratt

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

May 21st 2015              Witches, Warlocks & Wellingtons by Dr Janet Pennington

June 18th 2015             TBC

July                                TBC

August                           No Meeting


Other Local Events

This Month at the Museum: 

Bexhill and Abroad: Exploring our World Cultures Collections and their Connections to Bexhill, 2 February – 6 December 2015. Showcasing hidden treasures, and fascinating stories about cultures and collectors. Visually stunning objects from Africa, Asia, South America and the Pacific will be displayed for the first time, demonstrating a breadth of creativity, ingenuity and diversity.


Something Old Something New: Wedding Dresses from 1850 – 1980,

2 February – 6 December 2015. This exhibition will showcase the museums exquisite collection of wedding dresses, and reveal fascinating stories about the brides who wore these dresses on their special day. (Bexhill).


At Hastings Museum (Bohemia Road)

The Munitionettes: Saturday 7th Feb 11-4pm with a performance at 2.30 (FREE). A look at women who worked in munitions factories in WW1, their stories, sacrifices and the positive social changes the war brought them.


General News 

Archaeological Survey at Ingrams Farm:

As you may already know, the fields surrounding Ingrams Farm are currently threatened by developers who want to build a housing estate there. Thank goodness that East Sussex County Council have asked for an in depth archaeological survey of the land out before any building takes place (and hopefully Wealden District Council will heed this advice). Ingrams Farm is a medieval settlement and appears in records in 1261. In 1264 a Robert and Andrew Ingram were named as jurors in an inquisition in Ninfield. They also appear in the Subsidy Roll of 1296. The farm was spelt Ingrahams in the 15th Century and as Yngrams in the 16th Century. It became a manor in 1458. Will Ingrams owned 60 acres there in 1475 but the new owner in 1571 was Gregory Fiennes and at this time the farm became part of the Herstmonceux Estates. Ingrams Farm was purchased in 1776 by Isaac Landsell for the princely sum of £1,600.

Ingrams Farm is relatively close to the 1066 battlefield and we already know there were settlements in the Ninfield area in Neolithic and Roman times. We look forward to the results of the survey (if it takes place!) because this site may yield valuable historical information and/or relics and it would be a real tragedy if this was lost.


A Photo from the Archive:



























Ingrams Farm circa 1925


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.