Mark Tristan Cooper 073


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NLHG Newsletter Archive







June  2016




Sussex Gravestones: In May Kevin Gordon entertained us with his illustrated talk about Sussex Graves an Gravestones. How do you spot a church that has been built on a pre-Christian burial site?  It’s simple; the graveyard will always be round.  A good example is Berwick church, which also includes a tumulus.

Where you were buried in the graveyard would depend on your wealth and status.  The best plots were on the south-side of the church, near the church door.  If you were really important, or just very rich, you coulld be buried inside the church.

As churchyards filled up graves were put on top of graves.  This has resulted in some graveyards being considerably higher than the surrounding buildings.


Subs: Don’t forget to renew your membership subscription. Not only are you supporting our activities by joining but you get admission to our meeting for just £1 (visitors pay £3).


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


                June 16th                   Northeye Medieval Village by Leah Fusco

July 21st                      Windmill Hill Windmill by Bee

August                         No meeting                                                  

                       September 15th         Shepherds of the South Downs by Ian Everest

                         October 20th               The Battle of Hastings by Brigadier Hugh Willing

           November 17th           Inside Lewes Prison by Barry Wilkinson

December                     Christmas Social (sorry!



Group Activities


Our group is involved in a number of village events during the summer months.

On Saturday 11th June we have been asked to mount a small exhibition to mark the Queen’s official 90th Birthday. There will be a display in the Reading Room looking at 1926 and what was happening in this village/area at that time. The event will run from 10.00 until 3.00 with refreshments available.

We are also running a stall at the Ninfield Carnival on Saturday 16th July. The aim is to boost membership and sales of our publications.


Finally, there will be a second chance to hear the highly popular talk on Ninfield School that Liz and David did for us a few months ago. This time it will be on Saturday 24th September in the Memorial Hall. The event is being run jointly with the school. All offers of help with any of these events gratefully received (contact Rod).


Thanks to Esme and Jim for correctly identifying the gentlemen in last months’ photo, the missing names were Roger Sharp and Jim Broughton. The info will be updated in the archive.


Also, a new photo of the Ninfield Brass and Reed Band dated from 1909 has been donated to our archive from members of the Hooe Silver Band via the Hooe History Society. Thanks to Peter Hayward who has scanned it for us.


Another sad passing: May Jackson a group member and participant in the oral history project sadly died on 3rd May. May was an inspirational lady in her mid 90s who was born in Manchester Road, Ninfield.  Her family moved to Holmes Farm at Whydown where she grew up. May served as a Military Police officer in Hastings during the war where she met and fell in love with a Canadian Air Force Officer (Gilbert “Benny” Hyde). He was sent back to Canada suddenly and they lost touch. May married an Englishman and had a happy life with him but when he died many years later, she sought out her Canadian via his regiment and made contact with him again. He eventually came to live with her in Bexhill and they spent some precious year together (her life story is worthy of a Hollywood film script). She contributed photos and information to our archive in addition to the oral history recording and she also contributed to the Bexhill Museum collection. I will miss her a lot, coffee with May was never dull, she always had interesting and insightful stories and opinions to discuss.




A Photo from the Archive






















This photo of Ninfield High Street was donated by May Jackson. We can see the Blacksmiths Inn and the Post Office/Shop on the right with Rose Cottage and South View Cottages on the left. In the far distance you just make out the windmill. Interesting to see the hedges outside the pub, these presumably stood between the pub and the forge. The wide open spaces used for growing fruit, vegetables and flowers are quite striking.


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.