Mark Tristan Cooper 073


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NLHG Newsletter Archive







August 2016






Windmill Hill Windmill: The talk by Bee Frost and Martin Mitchell last month on the restoration of the windmill drew a good crowd despite the heat. Bee told us how she had bought the Old Bakery at auction in 1993 for her family to live in. The house happened to have a derelict windmill in the garden! After consulting the Sussex Mills Group, English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund they set up a charitable trust with the aim of restoring the mill. After many years of painstaking research, surveys and repairs to the structure (piece by piece repairs to the structural components were mainly done off site by a specialist company at Burgess Hill) the complex and delicate operation to reassemble took place. A group of very dedicated volunteers have been central to the restoration and they continue to work on maintaining the mill and explaining the workings of the mill to the public. Much of the work has been by trial and error as very few people know how some of the components work however they have incorporated 21st century technology too, the turning device which keeps the mill facing into the wind, is computer controlled and fully automatic.


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

August 5th             Trip to Seaford Museum Car share leaving Ninfield at 1pm. Contact Rod if you can offer/or     need a lift.

September 15th      Shepherds of the South Downs by Ian Everest

September 24th      2.00pmThe History of Ninfield School by David Swales and Liz Darbyshire

In the Memorial Hall

October 20th           The Battle of Hastings by Brigadier Hugh Willing

November 17th        Inside Lewes Prison by Barry Wilkinson

December 15th        Christmas Social

January 19th            The Crystal Palace by Ian Gledhill

Feburary 16th           TBA

March 16th                Martello Towers (& William Pitt the Younger) by Geoff Hutchinson


Frog Alley

The dreadful state of the latest “development” in Ninfield i.e. the eyesore in the layby opposite the garage is not a new phenomenon. In NINFIELD IN THE NINETIES Alfred Ridel mentions the following: “The Local Government Act of 1894 caused a great deal of interest and speculation in the village. We were to have our affairs managed by representatives directly elected by popular vote” then, “on 4th December 1894, the first Parish Meeting called for the purpose of electing our first Parish Council filled the big room at the school. The Chairman was the Rev R.A. Bennett and there were 12 candidates for the 7 seats on the Council. The election, by show of hands, went in favour of Bill Simmons, Sir J.W.M. Ashby, George Sargent, Edward Hobden, Jesse Russell and Jim Munn”.

“The first Parish Council Meeting was held on 31st December 1894 at 6.00pm. The Assistant Overseer R.W. Hayward was appointed Clerk as no member of the Council was prepared to undertake the work which in the case of a Councillor would be unpaid”.

“An early action of the council was a protest to the Sanitary Authority at Hailsham regarding the unsanitary condition of a row of jerry-built houses, erected by a certain speculator on the roadside at the foot of Moon’s Hill. There was a complete absence of either drinking water or drainage. The houses, known locally as Frogs Alley were eventually condemned, became vacant and totally disappeared. Bricks slates and timber simply melted away and no one enquired as to the source of new pig pounds, sheds etc in the village. It was voted a very satisfactory ending to a rather disreputable building venture”. How little has changed in 120 years!


Photos from the Archive

This photo has recently been donated to our archive by members of the Hooe Silver Band. Dated 1909 it shows the Ninfield Brass and Reed Band at the Denbeigh Sports Ground. We have been given a couple of names for these gentlemen i.e. on the far right at the back is Harley Smith and the trombone player infront of him is a Mr Catt. Let us know if you recognise anyone else.













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.