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NLHG Newsletter Archive

August 2013


Good News Flash!!

Our Membership has been steadily increasing and now is too large to comfortably seat all who attend at the Reading Room. With much regret, as the Reading Room has an invaluable “cosy” atmosphere, we have decided that a move to the Methodist Hall is necessary. It has the added advantages of more seats (50); a disabled toilet and easier access for those amongst us with walking difficulties who cannot manage the slope to the Reading Room.

Whilst there is an increased cost associated with hiring the Methodist Hall, the Committee will not review Membership Fees until at least the AGM. It is more probable that the admission charge for non-Members will have to be increased, especially for the more popular talks, such as the one in November. We may need to introduce a ticket system for Members and allocate any spare seats on a first come, first seated for any non Members wishing to attend.

That’s all in the future; we just need to advise you that, as from SEPTEMBER, we will be in the Methodist Hall in future. There is a break in Meetings during August due to school holidays, but we will be busy planning the September Exhibition, future events and guest speakers.

Next year we have to stand on our own feet financially, as the extremely useful Heritage Lottery Grant will have been expended.


Peter Holland, ably supported by other members of the Ninfield Bonfire Society, gave a very good talk on the Ninfield Bonfire Society, well researched and going through the origins and customs associated with the Sussex Bonfire tradition. It’s an excellent resource for the village, and deserves to be more widely supported as the costs associated with the Bonfire are quite considerable, but well worth it, for the excellent parade and display they put on, all in a friendly village atmosphere. Look at their website for info on their Michaelmas Fete on 8th September and the Bonfire which is on 12th October.


Following the success of the Carnival and the excellent weather, we had a record crowd visiting our marquee, and we want to thank all who added Names and memories of Ninfield Past for us. We really DO appreciate all these memories, as unless you tell us, they may be lost forever. We gained 4 new Members, so a warm welcome will be extended to them at future meetings.

We have contacted our friends in the Hooe History Group, who have moved their own Meeting date which will allow attendance at each other’s meetings who will be warmly welcomed. That has also added pressure to move to a larger venue.

We are having an Open Day Exhibition at the Memorial Hall from 11 am on Saturday 28th September in order to show what we have accomplished with your help in recording the many and varied aspects of Ninfield’s history.

In addition to the ever popular “Who/Where Is It?” photos section (updated thanks to all those who contributed Names and places!) we will be displaying the superb Ninfield Centenary Village Map as a companion to the 1913 Deeprose Map already on display. This will be donated to the Parish Council for display in the Memorial Hall as a record of the changes and growth in the village.

Advance Orders (with deposit, please!) can be placed by anyone wanting a Village Map for family and friends. An ideal Christmas present for those who have everything else! (hint, hint!). We will have other Maps on display showing the timeline of how homes and business spread through the village.

Next year is not only the Centenary of WW1, but also the 70th Anniversary of D Day and more relevantly, the V1 Doodlebug and V2 attacks from across the Channel. Over 9,000 doodlebugs were launched, many of which flew over Ninfield on their way towards London. So we’ll have a display of V1 crash sites around Ninfield, to which please add your own memories of what you can recall of that time.

To complement that there will be a map of air crash sites, so again, any memories will be welcome. It may be the piece in the jigsaw which allows records of the Battle of Britain etc to be updated.

You can also look up Census details to show how family surnames came and went or moved around. We have arranged for Hooe History Group to have their own display; as well as the local branch of the Sussex Family History Society, there will be 4 book sellers with their displays and also a confectionery stall.

Lastly – but by no means least – there will be a display from Year 5 at Ninfield School with their work. Some of it will be based on James Broughton’s excellent booklet on his Ninfield School Memories. We are arranging for a copy to be presented to each pupil in Year Five.

If you want to come along, dressed as a Land Girl, Home Guard or in any other wartime related clothing, please do so!


Other aspects involving the School include a talk by Brian Bird, an ex Spitfire pilot (now living at the RBL care home, Mais House, in Bexhill); a visit to Newhaven Fort, stories on children being evacuees; a discussion with several Ninfield residents on their wartime memories and culminating with a V for Victory Party as the school breaks up for Christmas.

Military History Project Next year is the Centenary of the start of the First World War. There is no need to dwell on the awful conditions and circumstances, but the fact remains that virtually every household in England was affected in some way.

One tangible and poignant reminder is the Roll of Honour in both St Mary the Virgin Church and at the Memorial Hall, showing part of the human cost for those that went off to fight never to return, and the family they left behind. Even those that returned were physically and mentally scarred by their experiences, but in the way expected those days, people just “got on with life” as best they could.

The Exhibition is an excellent way to ensure that these memories of WW1 and WW2 are recorded for their impact on Ninfield families. If you have family involved in WW1 and WW2 please come along and tell us what details you have. It’s quite impressive what additional information can often be found to bring that person back into our memories.


In addition to the Village Maps, we will also have details of historic buildings such as Luxford House amongst others. Does YOUR house have some interesting facts? What do you know of its age, and who lived there before you?

There will be refreshments available of course, and all help towards that will be appreciated, whether a member or not! Home-made cakes (is YOURS the best in the village?) scones etc can all be donated towards the event; tea, coffee and soft drinks (home-made lemonade etc) will be available at reasonable cost.


This is where our Members will be of great help, to come along and assist on the stands, help with refreshments or setting up and taking down the displays.


Future projects that you can become involved in helping to organise are:

An Afternoon Tea/School Reunion Event Saturday 19th October (at the MEMORIAL HALL – 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm)) a repeat of the very successful event held earlier this year which will be a celebration event linked into our Heritage Lottery Fund project of recording personal histories of EX Ninfield School pupils.

Those who have already participated in our recorded “All Your Memories” project will been offered complimentary tickets (on an RSVP basis) as our “Thank You”; for others (who haven’t yet made up their minds) who were pupils up to the 1970’s, tickets can be purchased by phoning 01424 892248 and they will be available at the exhibition and the village shop in the near future.


A Village Nostalgia Walk Booklet is in the throes of preparation for sale next year, providing background notes on various interesting houses and places around Ninfield. Reserve a copy at the Exhibition (or by contacting any of the Committee details in the Newsletter footer) Looking for interesting sights would give an excuse for some exercise, perhaps with photographs for posterity and comparison with ones we already have.

Coronation 1953 Do YOU have memories of the Coronation? Where and who were you with, what can you remember about it? What about previous Royal Births?

The Great Storm (no, Hurricane!) 1987 – What are YOUR memories of that day? Do you have any photos etc that we could add to our archives?

London Olympics 2012 (if you can remember 1948, that’ll do too!)


We continue to record memories of village life, which is proving a valuable record of who and what happened in the village, and we have a growing list to interview. If you know someone who has a fund of tales of village life, societies and activities, please try to get in touch, before these memories are lost forever. You could help in setting up these sessions in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, because often family or a friend will stir their memory cells. If you know a good source of memories of the village, please contact Rod or any Committee member.


If you have books, photos, newspaper articles, old Kelleys or similar Directories, for the area, please let us have first choice before you throw them out! We are interested in anything related to Ninfield, the Carnival, Bonfire or other events and happenings, please give us “First Refusal” when de-cluttering and cleaning.


You, our Members, are our lifeblood and inspiration, both for new Projects or simply to help and share the load, so can you please help promote our Group amongst your friends. If each of us can recruit just one new member, that DOUBLES our Membership at a stroke, so do try that! Give us YOUR views on what your own history interests are, what you would like to know more about, or what would be of general interest. Don’t forget to visit our website at as we are constantly putting on more information. If you haven’t already done so, please bookmark the NLHG website on your computers and have a rummage through what we have set up, for updates! We also have a facebook page to cater for all tastes and abilities!

Annual Membership currently is £10 per person, but everyone is welcome to the regular 3rd Thursday in the month Meetings in the METHODIST HALL in Church Lane. There is a small charge of £1 for Members and currently £2 for Non Members at the door to help towards costs of refreshments and guest speakers.

Our next Meeting is on THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 19th at 7:30 pm at the METHODIST HALL in Church Lane. Ninfield and other Windmills Sussex Mills Group talk. New Members always welcome, so see you (and a friend) there!