Mark Tristan Cooper 073


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NLHG Newsletter Archive







July 2017


















































































































































































































































CHURCHES OF ROMNEY MARSH: Thanks to Clive Richardson for his talk on the Churches to be found scattered across the lonely landscape of the marsh. It was a baking hot evening in the Methodist Hall but Clive gave us a taste of the medieval and historic churches (and church ruins) protected by the Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust. For further information look at the website


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


July 20th                 D Day Landings by Brigadier Huw Willing

August                    No meeting

September 21st      Sir John Gage: the rise of a Tudor Courtier by Helen Poole

October 19th          Archaeology of the Ashburnham Area by Lynn Cornwell

November 16th      Michelham Priory by David Swales

December 21st      TBA


Jan   2018               Henry VIII aka Tony Harris

Feb   2018               Baird, The Pioneer of Television by Geoff Hutchinson

Mar   2018              The Cuckmere River by Kevin Gordon



Good News: We are delighted to welcome Jane Dommerson to the NLHG Committee. If any other members are interested in joining us please speak to Rod.


Who Do You Think Are? We are running a family history workshop on Saturday 22nd July from 10.00 until 12.30. This is aimed at beginners who would welcome some advice and help to get started. Even if you don’t use a computer there will be some useful information you can use to find out more about your ancestors. Call John on 892248 for more information.


Ninfield Carnival: As usual we will have a table in the main tent on Carnival Day (Saturday 15th July) and we are putting on a small exhibition of some photos from The Barry Groombridge Symes collection we have in our archive. Barry published two key books in the late1980s (Olde Ninfield and The Ninfield Hundred) and our exhibition shows some of the pictures that did not appear in the books. There will be a selection of our publications and cards available too. Any members able to lend a hand on the stall please let Rod know.


Notes on old Boreham Street from the memoirs of John Curteis of Windmill Hill Place written in 1938

“The County Council are now (1938) building a new bridge over the Boreham River. This will be the third I have known. The one they are replacing was only built during the war, about 1916 or 1917. Shocking bad work it must have been to want rebuilding in just over 20 years and waste of our money. The old one that I knew was a picturesque little one arched bridge.

In 1882 or 1883 I was walking home from Battle station one night and on coming over the bridge, I suppose about 11.15, I saw a Will o the Wisp or Jack o Lantern flitting about over the field to the S. of the road and to the W. of the river I watched it for some time, a kind of bluey flame or light dodging about in an erotic way, very pretty. This is the only time in my long life I have seen this.

Boreham Hill in old days was reckoned very long and steep and we men folk nearly always got out of the carriage or down from the dog-cart at the bottom near the Lewes mile-stone and walked up, partly to stretch our legs after a long drive, but mostly to ease the horses. There was no house on the way up the hill. Now I see they are being built on both sides of the road. The first to appear was on the N. side about ten years ago.

At the top of the hill on the left or S. side stood the Dragon House, pulled down in 1932 or 33. This was a fine old house, latterly three cottages in one. It had at one time been used as a poor-house. No one knows the origin of its name. We sometimes wondered if it had ever been an inn at the sign of the “Dragon”? There are now two or three houses built about this site but set back further for the road has just been widened.

On the right was, and still is, the very nice house of the village doctor with a kind of fore-court between the garden and the road, surrounded with lime trees and little white rails. Simmons was the doctor in my early days. I think he had been there some little time – but before my time our nearest doctor was in Battle (Dr Watts) a long way to send for the doctor – no telephones & no motors then. But even I remember Dr Smith coming all the way from Battle to Windmill Hill to physic me. For a time when I was a child two doctors lived side by side in Boreham, for Dr. Wells lived in the nice house next to the west of Dr. Simmons. But he left very early in these notes and the Stollery family then lived there.

After Simmons, with a small interval, came Dr. Barnes. He was still in Boreham when I went abroad soldering in 1886. About 1894 came Dr, Garman. He attended my father and my eldest brother in their last illnesses. He left and quite lately Dr. Shillito came. He died in harness last year.

Continuing along the N. side of the road there was the chapel, I believe it was the Quaker’s meeting House, and another good house where Swanton & his family lived, then there was Avard who had the forge and Lade the saddler & harness maker and Dawes in a house down 2 or 3 steps where he had an iron foundry. And a house called King’s Well where old Tickner the father of Tickner of Boreham Farm lived.

Joining the shop on the East Side was Snashalls house. It looks very small but he brought up a big family there. He was a boot maker and used to do a lot of work for us up at the House.

The village shop was kept by Saxby. He married our family nurse. The shop remained just as I remember it when I was a boy. After Saxby came Austin & he had it for many years. The house standing back from the road at the back of the shop we never knew much about. A man named Collins lived there. He was called Egg-merchant Collins, I suppose to distinguish him from the other Collins”.


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, Janet Savage Tel: 892749, John Cheshire (Newsletter)  Tel: 892248, Jane Dommersen Tel 892428