Mark Tristan Cooper 073


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NLHG Newsletter Archive






1066 and all that: 

Plans for the 950th anniversary for the Battle of Hastings are under way in the town linked to the most famous conflict in English History. The anniversary will be taking place on 14th October 2016 and the organisers have said they are planning several events including a military parade through Battle. Thousands of people are expected to take part in this event, including dignitaries from Normandy. The events aim to mark the significance of the battle which altered the course of history in medieval England and led to the Norman Conquest.

We are pretty sure that William landed in the Pevensey area and will have marched his troops up Standard Hill and through Ninfield to the battlefield at Senlac Hill. Maybe it would be appropriate to mark the anniversary here in Ninfield too?


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

February 18th                     The History of Ninfield School by David Swales and Liz Darbyshire

March 17th                          A History of Sussex Trug Making by Sarah Page

April 21st                             AGM

May 19th                             Sussex Graveyards and Gravestones by Kevin Gordon

June 16th                            Northeye Medieval Village by Leah Fusco

July 21st                              Windmill Hill Windmill by Bee Frost

August                                 No meeting, maybe a group outing?

September                          Shepherds of the South Downs by Ian Everest


Other Local Events

Lecture: Wed, 3 February, 14:30 – 16:00 'The Story of Ixion' speaker Dave Masters. On the wall of St Barnabas Church is a blue plaque commemorating Canon Basil Davies, Priest there between 1926 and 1940. He was also a pioneering motorcyclist who wrote many books on motorcycling and contributed to 'The Motor Cycle' under the pseudonym 'Ixion'.

St Augustine’s Hall, Cooden Drive, Bexhill. £4 per person, £3 for museum members, including refreshments


At the Redoubt: Bronze Age Eastbourne - Living on the Edge. 21st March to 13th November 2016 at the

Pavillion, Eastbourne. “An immersive exhibition revealing the previously untold stories of Eastbourne’s internationally important Bronze Age discovery. For the first time, the ground-breaking discoveries in Shinewater Park will be explored, giving the public a chance to travel back in time to walk alongside the astonishingly rare Bronze Age trackway built by Eastbourne residents in the distant past. Uncover the mysteries of the incredible people living in Eastbourne over 3000 years ago, see some of their treasures and realise what made Eastbourne so special! Put the pieces of the prehistoric puzzle together to discover the tales of international visitors and human inventiveness”.


Battle Museum: The centenary of the Women’s Institute this year is an opportunity to re-examine the role of women in the town of Battle over the last 200 years. The exhibition will examine the stories of Battle-area women whose lives have reflected the changing role of women over the years. Founded nationally in 1915, the Women’s Institute played an important part in these developments. 17 Battle Women signed the first petition to Parliament for Women’s right to vote in 1866 and several of these women featured in our exhibition last year. This new exhibition will run for most of 2016.



A reference to “kilk pulling” has been spotted in the school log books in the 1890s. Many children were absent from school to take part in this activity. Does anyone know what this agricultural practice could be?


The Country Chemist

The Country Chemist was built in the High Street, Ninfield around 1960 as a sub-branch of the Pharmacy at Herstmonceux.  It was quite a modern facility for a small village like Ninfield and stocked a wide range of goods. In addition to supporting Dr Graham who used a room in High Knoll as a local surgery (he was based in Boreham Street) by providing prescription medicines, it was also a veterinary chemist and was very well stocked with over the counter medicines, toiletries, baby foods and even gardening supplies.

Pharmacists included Mr Kitchen who didn’t stay very long and Mr Cooper who lived above the shop and stayed many years.

Paul Goodyear worked at the Country Chemist from when it opened until its closure. Paul remembers delivering the prescriptions far and wide and also taking them to a storage rack at High Knoll where patients could collect them at leisure.  A far cry from today’s rigorously controlled procedure and confidentiality issues.

Liz Darbyshire also worked there for a time and says “I had a Saturday job at the Chemist in the early 1970s, when prescriptions only cost 20p.  I worked there on Saturday afternoons filling shelves and putting price labels on newly delivered goods”

The chemist closed in 1978 soon after Mr Cooper retired. What with massive inflation and a change in people’s shopping habits (growth in car ownership etc) the business became unprofitable and it was decided not to appoint a replacement Pharmacist. The shop building was converted into two flats.


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.                  


February 2016