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Current events   The Crowborough & District Historical Society Program of Events
7:30pm for 8:00pm start at Crowborough Community Centre, Crowborough

11th Jan 2005The History of Nutley Mill and other Sussex Mills
by Bob Bonnet

8th Feb 2005Brighton, Brighter Brighton, The Making of a Seaside Town
by Christopher Rudd

8th Mar 2005The Victorian Ashdown Forest
by Brian Short

12th Apr 2005Memories of a Wartime Childhood
by Hugh Miller

10th May 2005Oast Houses in Sussex and Kent
by Gwen Jones

14th Jun 2005The Wealden Iron Industry
by Jeremy Hodgkinson

12th Jul 2005The Air Wars over Sussex
by Philip Baldock

9th Aug 2005Society Outing

Mayfield Palace

13th Sep 2005Sussex Women: Digging History
by Sharon Searle

11th Oct 2005The Tanning Industry in Sussex
by Lawrence Stevens

8th Nov 2005Walshes Manor and Sir Henry Fermor
by Steve Hackworth

13th Dec 2005Annual General Meeting

10th Jan 2006Sussex Characters - Wacky, Weird and Wonderful
by Chris McCooey

Saints and sinners, rogues and rascals, cons and icons including an officer and a gentleman who turned himself into a circus freak, Grey Owl the Sussex-born "Red Indian', Pauline Grant who devotes herself to rescuing animals and Dolly Shepherd, the Edwardian aeronaut who gave parachute displays.

14th Feb 2006Prevention and Cure
by Pat Mortlock

A survey of health and hospital provision from the 1870s to c.1939 and looks at hospital provision, isolation and cottage hospitals and the general background in an age dominated by contagious disease.

14th Mar 2006The Hop Industry and its Workers
by Gwen Jones

Continuing on from last year's fascinating talk about the Oast house buildings.

11th Apr 2006Kipling's Boy, Jack?
by Hugh Miller

The story of the world famous author and poet, his strong ties with Sussex and the mystery surrounding his beloved only son. The talk begins with the question: Is the mystery solved?

9th May 2006Passports, Traitors, Assassins and Spies
by Martin Lloyd

An intriguing probe into the passport stories behind history - assassins who caused the rules to be changed forever, a spy with a mysterious passport and a traitor hanged by a passport he should never have had.

13th Jun 2006Sussex Agricultural History
by Geoffrey Mead

The prosperity and decline of Sussex agriculture in the early 19th century and the factors that brought about the change and its subsequent revival

11th Jul 2006John (Mad Jack) Fuller, and his follies
by Geoff Hutchinson

A talk delivered in the first person, in costume, about the life of the eccentric Georgian squire.

12th Sep 2006The Long Man of Wilmington
by Chris Butler

An update on the research and excavations by the Mid Sussex Field Archaeological Team, on the Long Man.

10th Oct 2006Churches in Sussex
by John Vigar

A chronological study of the wonderful legacy of ecclesiastical architecture in the county.

14th Nov 2006Moving Images of Sussex
by Dr Frank Gray

Early film material, moving on to video and then to digital, by the Director of the South East Film and Video Archive, at the University of Brighton.

12th Dec 2006Annual General Meeting

9th Jan 2007Meet your Medieval Ancestors
by Patricia Wright

Patricia is currently a NADFAS lecturer, and an author of many books, both fiction and non-fiction. This talk tells of fashion, feasting and flirting - all bringinging our predecessors to life.

13th Feb 2007The Work of the East Sussex Record Office
by Elizabeth Hughes

Elizabeth is the East Sussex County Archivist and will talk to us about the function and value of our very busy Record Office, and how we can make best use of it.

13th Mar 2007Timber-Framed Buildings in Eastern Sussex
by David Martin

David Martin, F.S.A., M.I.F.A., is an Associate Tutor with the University of Sussex, and both he, and his wife Barbara, are leading authorities on Vernacular Architecture.

10th Apr 2007Society Outing

8th May 2007Barcombe Roman Villa
by Chris Butler

This villa has been excavated over the last six years by UCL Field Archaeology Unit and the Mid Sussex Field Archaeology Team, under the directorship of Chris Butler, who will talk to us about this large and fascinating site.

12th Jun 2007The History of Charcoal Burning
by Alan Waters

Alan Waters will be talking to us on the subject of charcoal burning which was fundamental to life for so many people, for so many purposes, and for such a long period of time in this area of the High Weald. He has given charcoal burning displays at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum for over twenty years.

10th Jul 2007Glyndebourne - a great opera house
by Elizabeth Muir-Lewis

Elizabeth is a professional singer and her long association with Glyndebourne Opera makes her talk on this opera house very personal and interesting.

14th Aug 2007Society Outing

11th Sep 2007"One day I wil …." (Family Research History)
by Lady Teviot

Lady Teviot is the President of UK Federation of Family History Societies. 'Census Searches' is a family business, established by Lady Teviot who has been involved in family history research for over twenty-five years.

9th Oct 2007Sussex Dinosaurs
by John Booth

John Booth is the exhibition manager for the Brighton and Hove Museum and the keeper of the Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton

13th Nov 2007Crowborough - living on the edge
by Pam Combes

Pam is going to repeat the extremely interesting talk on the history of Crowborough that she gave at Beacon Community College for the Town Council centenary celebrations.

11th Dec 2007Annual General Meeting

8th Jan 2008The Sussex Archaeological Society’s Properties
by Helen Poole

Helen Poole is the Senior Museum's Officer for the Society

12th Feb 2008The Balcombe Tunnel Murder
by James Gardner

James Gardner, a local historian and author, tells the true story of a notorious murder on the Brighton–London line. He looks at the fascinating character of the man executed for the crime, Percy Leroy Mapleton.

11th Mar 2008Leave No Stone Unturned
by John Vigar

An amusing look at the burial places of the famous and the infamous with anecdotes from their lives by John Vigar, who talked to us two years ago about Sussex churches.

8th Apr 2008Society Outing

On the 8th April there is no meeting in the Church Hall so we are going to FLETCHING where we are to be given a tour of the ancient church, St Andrew and St Mary the Virgin.
We plan to meet outside of the church at 1845 with the tour commencing at 1900. The tour will last for about an hour and afterwards we are going to the Rose and Crown in the High Street for a drink/meal/snack. If you plan to dine at the Rose and Crown you can make a table reservation by telephoning the pub on 01825 723468
There will be no charge for this Event and the Committee hope as many Members as possible will be able to come along.

13th May 2008Smugglers in Kent
by Chris Wade

Smuggling stories hold a fascination for us all and here in the southeast, with its proximity to London and the Continent, smugglers were leaders in their field.

10th Jun 2008Eastbourne: the site of a water logged Bronze Age Treasure
by Chris Greatorex

The Shinewater Park site was excavated in the summer of 1995 by South Eastern Archaeological Services under the direction of Chris Greatorex.

8th Jul 2008From Ela to Vita – 900 years of the Sackvilles
by Peter Macleod

The marriage of Ela de Dene to Jordan de Sackville in 1140 began the Sackville dynasty in Sussex at Buckhurst. The talk covers them and their descendants who have had a material impact on Withyham, East Grinstead, Crowborough, Sevenoaks and the Ashdown Forest over the next 900 years. The talk finishes with the remarkable Vita Sackville-West and Sissinghurst

9th Aug 2008Society Outing to Bayham Abbey

Meet at 11:00 am on Saturday 9th August at Bayham Abbey on the B2169 between Tunbridge Wells and Lamberhurst.
Please note that this is a free event for members with non-members paying £3.
There will be a second outing to Bayham Abbey on Saturday 16th August at 14:00 pm

16th Aug 2008Society Outing to Bayham Abbey

Meet at 14:00 pm on Saturday 16th August at Bayham Abbey on the B2169 between Tunbridge Wells and Lamberhurst.
Please note that this is a free event for members with non-members paying £3.

9th Sep 2008The Manor of Rotherfield, 1066-1925
by Christopher Whittick

Christopher Whittick is the Senior Archivist at the East Sussex Record Office, and probably the only man with sufficient knowledge of this subject to give this talk.

14th Oct 2008Sussex Folklore: Traditions, Customs and Superstitions
by Chris Hare

What were the beliefs of Old Sussex? Learn about witchcraft, omens and charms, while exploring the ritual year. Particular attention will be given to the writings of the 19th century folklorist Charlotte Latham.

11th Nov 2008Doodlebugs and Rockets
by Bob Ogley

Bob Ogley, a former journalist, is now the author of more than twenty books and a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio Kent.

9th Dec 2008Annual General Meeting

13th Jan 2009The Sussex Story
by David Arscott

David was a former newspaper journalist and BBC producer/presenter and has worked for some years as a freelance author, broadcaster, publisher and editor. He has written some 30 books on Sussex. His talk will take a questionnaire format, which should keep us on our toes!

10th Feb 2009Sussex by the Sea
by Geoffrey Mead

Geoffrey lectures at the University of Sussex and has a wealth of knowledge about life in Sussex.

10th Mar 2009A History of St Francis' Hospital
by James Gardner

James tells the story of this hospital and its superintendent who was described as the greatest medical superintendent of the nineteenth century. He will refer to his book "Sweet Bells Jangled out of Tune"

14th Apr 2009Society Outing to Withyham Church

Please meet at St Michaels Church at Withyham at 6:30 p.m. for a tour and talk about the Church. The society will meet socially afterwards at the Haywaggon Inn.

12th May 2009East Sussex Under Attack
by Chris Butler

Chris is the Director of the Mid Sussex Field Archaeological Team. His talk will tell us of the archaeology of the many surviving military sites in East Sussex.

9th Jun 2009Who lived in a house like this?
by David Martin

David has talked to us in the past about timber-framed buildings in Sussex and will now ask us about who we think may have lived in some of these houses.

14th Jul 2009The Turning Year
by Dr Mick Lynn & Dr Geoff Doel

Mick is a lecturer on environmental science and Geoff lectures on literature & cultural studies at several universities. They are both gifted musicians with a wealth of knowledge about folklore. We can look forward to a lively and entertaining evening!

15th Aug 2009Society Outing

Anne of Cleves House, Lewes on Saturday 15th August. Please meet there at 10:30am.

8th Sep 2009Annual General Meeting

followed by a Slide Show

13th Oct 2009Wind of Change
by Bob Ogley

Bob Ogley, a former journalist, is now the author of more than twenty books and a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio Kent. This talk is about the 1987 'hurricane' and how it led to the producing of his own book. I am sure it will be as well received as his talk last year about Doodlebugs.

10th Nov 2009The Sussex Bonfire Riots
by Chris Hare

Chris will tell us about the Sussex bonfire traditions and the conflicts that arose from the attempts to restrain the excess of the celebrations.

8th Dec 2009Christmas social

12th Jan 2010The Secret Sussex Resistance - 1940-44
by Stewart Angell

Stewart has written this fascinating book about an important aspect of Britain's wartime history

9th Feb 2010Historic Sussex Industries, a different approach
by Geoffrey Mead

Geoffrey lectures at the University of Sussex and has a wealth of knowledge about life in Sussex. We have enjoyed his previous talks about Sussex agriculture and the south coast resorts.

9th Mar 2010Sussex Village Life in the Middle Ages
by Mark Perry-Nash

This talk about the challenges and chances of life in a 14th century village is given by Mark, a popular speaker and well respected educational lecturer.

13th Apr 2010Strange Goings on in a Sussex Borough - Winchelsea in the 18th Century
by Malcolm Pratt

Malcolm has been the town clerk of the ancient town of Winchelsea for many years and his talk is based on one of his books, 'Winchelsea - The Tale of a Medieval Town'

11th May 2010Ellen Terry and Smallhythe Place
by Heather Woodward

Heather is a prominent member of Wadhurst Historical Society and an excellent speaker on a wide range of topics

8th Jun 2010Despatches from the Home Front 1939-45
by Chris McCooey

Chris is a popular local speaker and this talk is about the war diary of Joan Srange, who lived in Worthing, and it is a heart warming and sometimes heart breaking account of her experiences.

13th Jul 2010Beneath City Streets
by Peter Lawrence

Peter is an ex-police officer who gives a fascinating talk based on research into the buildings of tunnels, pipes and buildings under London

14th Aug 2010Society Outing to Winchelsea

Following our April talk by Malcolm Pratt about 'Winchelsea in the 18th Century', we have arranged our August outing this year to visit Winchelsea, with a guided tour by Malcolm. We will meet him at the Court Hall in Winchelsea at 10:30 am, with a preliminary talk and a viewing of the old prison, followed by a visit to the museum and then to the church. We will break for lunch at 12:45 (either your own packed lunch, outside if fine weather, or at the Court Hall if wet, or at the New Inn close by). The afternoon, 2:00 -3:30, will be taken up by the cellar tour, visiting a wonderful group of Medieval vaulted undercrofts, some difficult to access so a torch and sensible footwear would be needed, followed by complimentary tea and biscuits back at the Court Hall. A contribution of £5 each will be given to the Winchelsea Corporation Ancient Monuments Fund. The Court Hall donation will be paid by the Society.
Please contact Jenny Scott or a Committee member if you intend to come on this outing.

14th Sep 2010AGM, followed by a Quiz using local photographs
by Paul Scott

12th Oct 2010Baby Farming and the Scandal it was in the 19th Century
by Lady Teviot

Lady Teviot is an expert family history researcher and very entertaining speaker.

9th Nov 2010LiDAR and the Ashdown Forest
by Lyn Palmer

Lyn is the Historic Environment Project Officer for the Weald Forest Ridge and will talk to us about how LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) aids her work on the Forest

14th Dec 2010Christmas social

11th Jan 2011Life in the Nursery and Schoolroom
by Heather Woodward

Heather makes a return visit after fascinating us with Ellen Terry and Smallhythe Place last year.

8th Feb 2011'The Secret Sussex Resistance 1940-44'
by Stewart Angell

Stewart has written this interesting book about an important aspect of Britain’s wartime history.

8th Mar 2011Tonbridge Castle: its History and Conservation
by Pat Mortlock

Tonbridge castle is the best remaining example of a motte and bailey castle in the county and it has probably the strongest gatehouse in England, dating from the 1260s.

12th Apr 2011An evening outing to St. Margaret the Queen's Church, Buxted

St Margaret's was built around 1250, the year that Margaret, Queen of Scotland was canonised. It is a Grade 1 listed sandstone building in the Early English style, with the majority of the building remaining unaltered since the 13th century, although the tower is a later addition.
The church is situated in Buxted Park, to the west of the village, and in the grounds of the Buxted Park Hotel. The village was originally based around the church until, in the 19th century, the 3rd Lord Liverpool, became the owner of the Park House and landlord of the village. He allowed the housing to deteriorate and encouraged the population to move away to the other side of the valley!
We plan to meet outside the church at 6.30 pm. There is ample parking space. The tour will last about an hour and afterwards we are going to the Crow and Gate for a drink/meal/snack. Please make your own reservation at The Crow and Gate if you are planning to dine there.
There will be no charge for this event, as the Society will be making a donation to the church from our funds. The committee does hope you can come to this event.
Please ensure that Jenny Scott knows that you intend to attend.

10th May 2011The Crop Circles Mystery
by Andy Thomas

Andy has given this talk to many societies locally but the subject never fails to amaze us.

14th Jun 2011Diaries and Journals Revealed
by Jennifer Goldsmith

Jennifer will talk about diary keeping and tell us of some of the interesting diary entries of Walter Gale (schoolmaster of Mayfield), Thomas Turner (shopkeeper at East Hoathly), Sarah Wells (of Uppark) and Lillian Elliott (of Petworth) – if she has time!

12th Jul 2011The History of Sussex Inn Signs
by Janet Pennington

Janet’s doctoral thesis was on the architecture and social history of Sussex inns and taverns and I know no-one better, or more entertaining, to give a talk on this particular subject of inn signs.

13th Aug 2011Society Outing – A Visit to Tonbridge Castle

Tonbridge boasts Kent's best example of a motte-and-bailey castle. The mighty gatehouse, built between 1220 and 1260, is amongst the finest in England. For our tour of the gatehouse we plan to meet at 10 am at the Castle. There is ample car parking space close by. Pat Mortlock, who gave us a talk about Tonbridge Castle in March, will be our guide for the morning. Depending on numbers, we may need to be guided round in two parties, each taking just under one hour, one group in the gatehouse and one group going round the grounds. You can climb the motte if you are feeling energetic! The Tonbridge Tourist Information Centre is also in the castle grounds.
There will be no charge for members for this visit but you will need to pay for your car parking.
Weather permitting, we will have a picnic lunch in the castle grounds and take a walk along the River Medway in the afternoon.

13th Sep 2011'A Stitch in Time' - Costume and Textile conservation at the National Trust
by Emma Slocombe

Emma lives locally and is a curator for the National Trust, based at Scotney Castle

11th Oct 2011A Ramble through the Victorian Weald
by Peter Gillies

Peter has put together a presentation, using black and white photographic slides and an original magic lantern.

8th Nov 2011The Rye Harbour Lifeboat Disaster of 1928
by Geoff Hutchinson

November 15th is the anniversary of one of the worst UK lifeboat disasters, when the Rye Lifeboat, 'Mary Stanford' capsized and the whole crew of 17 drowned. Geoff (of Mad Jack Fuller fame) will tell us more of this distressing story.

13th Dec 2011AGM and Christmas Social

10th Jan 2012Brighton Beach Kaleidoscope
by Geoffrey Mead

It is a collage of images, historic and contemporary of the area of the  beach between the piers.  Taken at random, they are a microcosm of Brighton's history, culture and landscape.

14th Feb 2012Lady Arabella Stuart, the "lost queen"
by Heather Woodward

Once thought a successor to Elizabeth I, she lived most of her life in the protective isolation of Hardwick Hall but met her demise in the Tower of London.

13th Mar 2012Murder, Sex and Mayhem in Sussex Churches
by John Vigar

John talks about medieval murals and stained glass windows, illustrating the martyrdom of saints, miserichords showing seamier scenes, and memorials depicting scenes of murder and mayhem.

10th Apr 2012An Evening Outing to St. Margaret's Church, Isfield

We plan to meet outside the church at 6:45pm. The church is down a small lane just before you reach Isfield, the village and there is adequate parking by the church. The tour will last about an hour and afterwards we are going to the Laughing Fish public house for a meal, or just a drink. Please let Jennie Scott know if you are coming on this outing.

8th May 2012The Strange History of Buckingham Palace
by Patricia Wright

This local author's talk links well with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in 2012.

12th Jun 2012Wartime Radar in the Pevensey Area
by David Calvert

David tells of the groups of tall steel and wooden pylons, that were part of the wartime CH (Chain-Home) RADAR (RAdio Direction And Ranging) system built around the coast in 1938-1945.

10th Jul 2012History of Lewes Prison
by Colin Bagnall

Colin is a prison officer at the Lewes Prison and will tell its history since it was built in 1853. He will use interactive means to give his talk, giving us a choice in the content.

4th Aug 2012Guided Walk in Brighton
by Geoffrey Mead

4th Sep 2012Down Memory Lane
by Don Dray

This talk is given with music, humour and a large number of photos, looking back with nostalgia to the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, decades which influenced the lives of so many of us.

2nd Oct 2012Vita Sackville-West's Library
by Emma Slocombe

Emma has been working on Vita Sackville-West's letters and books in her library at Sissinghurt - and assures us she will tell of many new discoveries.

6th Nov 2012Historic Sussex Gardens
by Jennie Starr

Jennie will talk about the wealth of historic gardens and designed landscapes in Sussex, the people who inspired and created them, and the role of Sussex Gardens Trust in their conservation.

4th Dec 2012AGM and Christmas Party

5th Feb 2013Sussex Literary Landscapes
by Geoffrey Mead

William Camden, antiquarian and topographer wrote and drew as he walked across Sussex in the 16th century. Geoffrey retraced his steps, with a camera, pondering continuity and change.

5th Mar 2013Grey Owl – the Hastings Indian
by Geoff Hutchinson

Archibald Stansfield Belaney, born and brought up in Hastings went to Canada to become a fur trapper, a conservationist and later claimed to be a native American Indian.

2nd Apr 2013Chanctonbury Ring: the story of a Sussex landmark
by Dr Janet Pennington

A history of this iconic site on the South Downs, its Iron Age Hill fort earthworks, Roman occupation, up to its devastation by the 1987 storm and gradual restoration.

7th May 2013The 'Lost' village of Tide Mills
by Kevin Gordon

This derelict village near Newhaven consisted of a large tide mill and many workers' cottages.

4th Jun 2013A Policeman’s lot .. .. .. can be quite an interesting one!
by Neil Sadler

When is a bomb not a bomb? Searching for missing persons? Football match policing? The stowaway to freedom? The very expensive 'sleep-over'? An audience led talk about a policeman’s lot.

2nd Jul 2013Scandals - Sensational, Salacious and Sad
by Chris McCooey

Please note change of talk and subject

10th Aug 2013A walk around Norman Lewes
by Jenny Scott

I would like to take you on a guided walk around Lewes looking at the Norman features of Lewes. It will be about 2.5 miles and last about two hours. We will mainly be walking on roads and I have to warn you, some of them are quite steep! We will stop and talk about many sites and visit the ruins of Lewes Priory, Southover Church, Southover Grange gardens and there will be an optional visit to Lewes Castle and Barbican Museum at the end of the walk.

We will meet at 10.00 am at Lewes bus station. I will be going in on the 29 bus which leaves Crowborough Cross at 9.02 but there are plenty of car parks (all a bit expensive) in Lewes if you want to go in by car.

Please note there will be no charge for this event, unless you wish to visit the castle. (Admission price £6.60 adults / £5.90 for senior citizens).

Please let Jenny Scott if you intend to come on this walk

3rd Sep 2013Churchill's Secret Army
by Gilly Halcrow

The Special Operations Executive, or the 'Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare' - a history of the brave men and women agents who were parachuted behind enemy lines to 'Set Europe Ablaze'.

1st Oct 2013The History of British Broadcasting
by Don Dray

Concentrating on the first 60 years of the BBC - its development, sounds, voices, events, comedy and music of the period - a nostalgic look back on the glorious days of British radio.

5th Nov 2013A History of Herstmonceux Castle
by David Calvert

A history of this grand, brick castle and the families who lived in it from 1441.

3rd Dec 2013AGM Cheese and wine and a surprise speaker!

7th Jan 2014A Wealden Woman’s War
by Penny Harris

This is a talk about WW2, Spitfires and WAAFs, running a village pub in war-time and the joys of hop picking – in short, a talk about nostalgia.

4th Feb 2014A history of Saddlescombe Farm
by Charlie Cain

This working farm, at the base of the South Downs, listed as a working farm in the Domesday Book, was once owned by the Knights Templar and has a wealth of historic buildings.

4th Mar 2014The Acid Bath Murders
by David Briffet

David, a journalist for 45 years, tells the bizarre and disturbing story of the serial killer, John George Haigh, that took place the 1940s in Crawley, West Sussex.

1st Apr 2014The Roaring Twenties
by Don Dray

An exciting decade that included the motor car, aviation, fashion, the 'flappers' and Art Deco.

6th May 2014The Women’s Land Army
by Ian Everest

The story of his mother’s memories and the role of women on farms during two world wars.

3rd Jun 2014Anne of Cleves and her Lewes House
by Joanna Wilkins

This intelligent and not unattractive lady was to outlive all Henry’s wives and loved, and was loved by, Mary and Elizabeth.

1st Jul 2014Scotney Castle
by Ray Shayler

A history of Scotney Castle and the families who lived in it.

16th Aug 2014Outing to Saddlescombe Farm

2nd Sep 2014Sussex Graveyards
by Tristan Bareham

Tristan is the CEO of Sussex Archaeological Society and has a wealth of knowledge and understanding of Sussex graveyards. He has run excellent courses on recording and interpreting graveyards.

7th Oct 2014Ashdown Forest – an ancient landscape of Sussex
by Dr Geoffrey Mead

Geoffrey returns to tell us more about our historic locality.

4th Nov 2014Ightham Mote: Life upstairs and downstairs
by Heather Woodward

A history of the building and its occupants, depicting the lives of the servants 'downstairs' and their masters - the family 'upstairs'.

2nd Dec 2014AGM with cheese and wine to follow

6th Jan 2015'Put that light out!'
by Imogen Corrigan

This NADFAS speaker who served for twenty years in the Women's Royal Army Corps talks about the 93rd Regiment Royal Artillery (all-female, apart from the Commanding Officer)

3rd Feb 2015Backstage Brighton
by Dr Geoffrey Mead

A theatrical tour of the city, a tale of famous actors in Brighton and the start of music halls

3rd Mar 2015Whatever happened to Christopher Robin?
by Gilly Halcrow

Was he a happy child and adult, or did that small bear overshadow his life?

7th Apr 2015Travel in the Past
by Dr Janet Pennington

The problems and pleasures of the journey - and much about getting stuck in that Weald Clay!

5th May 2015Smuggling in Sussex and Kent
by Geoff Hutchinson

A lively insight into the phenomenon of smuggling, from days gone by to present times

2nd Jun 2015Collecting Postcards
by Kevin Gordon

A history of postcards, collecting them and their value, with many local views

7th Jul 2015William de Warenne – the man behind Lewes Castle
by Joanna Wilkins

One of William I’s foremost supporters was responsible for Lewes Castle as well as the Priory

8th Aug 2015Society Visit to Rye

For our outing this year we have arranged a visit to Rye. We are travelling there in Paul's old South Downs bus as we did last year. We will set off from outside Waitrose where we will meet at 9.00 am, for the visit to start at about 10.30am. The Society will pay the £11.50 for the cost of the coach travel (£10) and the Sound and Light Show set within the Rye Town Model (£1.50). All other visits that you make will be at your own expense. The plan is that we will watch the sound and light show then I will take you on a tour of Rye. You can buy the guide and take yourselves round if you wish, but I will have done some extra research on the places we will visit! This walk will take about two hours stopping for coffee as we go round and isn't too strenuous, and then you could find a place for lunch and go back to visit some of the places that we passed that interested you and spend more time at them, such as Lamb House (NT/ £4.55), the Church of St Mary and its grave yard (plus a climb up the tower for £3.50 for a good view of Rye or climb the stairs at the Ypres Tower and Rye Castle Museum for nothing after entry of £2.50. I will give you all a map and you can plan it out for yourselves. Allowing an hour for lunch and an hour and a half to do your own thing, we will leave about 3.30 to be home about 5pm. Raincoats needed, dependant on the weather (we will go whatever the weather — there is no such thing as bad weather, just badly chosen clothing!) and sensible shoes for the cobbled streets. The committee does hope you can come to this event. Please let Jenny know if you intend to join the trip.

1st Sep 2015Saxon Sussex
by Chris Hare

Isolated and inward looking, Sussex was once a kingdom in its own right, from 474 -825

6th Oct 2015Lewes Priory: the site and its people
by Helen Poole

This once glorious Cluniac building flourished in Lewes from 1080 until the Dissolution – now attractively restored with excellent interpretation panels

3rd Nov 2015The History of the British Seaside
by Don Dray

This should brighten our gloomy autumn nights! – nostalgic, musical and light-hearted

1st Dec 2015AGM with cheese and wine to follow

5th Jan 2016Newhaven Fort - then and now
by Ian Everest

Built in the 19th century, this fort was the largest defence work ever built in Sussex. Ian was at one time the manager of the Fort.

2nd Feb 2016Titanic - the shp that never sank
by Tony Harris

Everyone knows about the Titanic, - but did it really hit an iceberg and sink on 15th April 1912?

1st Mar 2016The Value of Oral History
by Chris Hare

A talk on oral history, playing excerpts from interviews that he has recorded over the years and the value of this type of research to the historian.

5th Apr 2016A talk about our twinning with Montargis
by Friends of Montargis

This year is the 50th anniversary of the twinning of Crowborough and Montargis.

3rd May 2016A Child’s life in the Middle Ages
by Imogen Corrigan

Where are the children in Medieval art? Although so often missing we know they were hardworking and cherished, loving toys and games but sadly often doomed to an early grave.

7th Jun 2016Brighton’s West Pier
by Jackie Marsh-Hobbs

The story of Britain’s first Grade 1 listed pier, looking back on its heyday of entertainment. Now just skeletal remains but soon to be the site of the i360 tower (574ft high) - a pier in the sky?

5th Jul 2016The Kings' Supporters
by Pat Mortlock

Tales of the ladies of the Early Tudor Court – how important were they?

13th Aug 2016Society Visit to Newhaven Fort

For our outing this year we have arranged a visit to Newhaven Fort. We are travelling there in Paul's old South Downs bus as we did last year. We will set off from outside Waitrose where we will meet at 9.30 am, for the visit to start at about 10.30 am. Entrance to the fort is £5.80 for adult group rate and £4.60 for senior citizens concessions. The Society will pay for the cost of coach travel. There is a café at the fort for teas and coffees, and also for light lunches.
There is so much to see and read about there in the many exhibitions and a very cleverly constructed air raid simulation.
The committee does hope you can come to this event.

6th Sep 2016Birds, Beasts and Bacchanalia
by Chris McCooey

Back by popular request, this lively speaker talks about a range of creatures and humans, with delicate and indelicate histories.

4th Oct 2016West Firle: Gentry in the Landscape
by Dr. Geoffrey Mead

Geoffrey returns to tell us about the historic village and country estate, where he is a tour guide.

1st Nov 2016A View from the Tower: Edward Sackville-West at Knole
by Emma Slocombe

Emma is back to talk about one of the projects she is responsible for, as a Curator at the NT, based at Scotney Castle.

6th Dec 2016AGM with cheese and wine to follow

3rd Jan 2017The Palace of Westminster
by Kevin Gordon

The intriguing and colourful history of the Palace of Westminster and the Houses of Parliament

7th Feb 2017The History and Management of the Tunbridge Wells Commons
by Steve Budden

7th Mar 2017Aspects of Shoreham
by Dr Geoffrey Mead

Looking at the changing fortunes of this coastal community and how its appearance today shows its historic evolution

4th Apr 2017Henry VIII
by Tony Harris

Tony, dressed in full court costume, will give us his hilarious, and sometimes provocative, version of life in the Tudor Court, with his portrayal of Henry VIII

2nd May 2017Limeburners, Lords and Ladies
by Richard Howell

The story of the chalk and lime industry in the Arun Valley

6th Jun 2017Here be Dragons . . .
by Imogen Corrigan

A tale of fabulous monsters and mythical beasts on manuscripts and church buildings, some funny, some downright disrespectful, illustrating devotion with a mix of piety, fun and profanity

4th Jul 2017Shepherds of the South Downs
by Ian Everest

The story of the shepherds who spent their solitary lives caring for their flocks of sheep, grazing on the Downs, once central to the economy of the area

12th Aug 2017Brighton Prom and Beach Walk
by led by Dr Geoffrey Mead

Down to Brighton on the 29 bus and a stroll along the promenade, briefly on the shingle, to see the Fishing Museum, the piers, and other historic features plus the i360

5th Sep 2017Bye Gones in your Attic
by Joanna Wilkins

A wide range of period artefacts from her collection to illustrate the wealth of history hidden in our attics - a chance to reminisce and examine household objects from the past

3rd Oct 2017The Bloomsbury Group
by Dr Geoff Doel

The story of an influential group of writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists in Sussex

7th Nov 2017Remember, Remember, the 5th of November
by John Davey

5th Dec 2017AGM with cheese and wine to follow and a 'show and tell' session

2nd Jan 2018Sherlock Holmes solves the Jack the Ripper Case!
by Tony Harris

The story of Sherlock, our local hero, - and a dastardly murderer.

6th Feb 2018The Glories of Anglo-Saxon England
by Imogen Corrigan

Many people have wanted to claim England as their own over the centuries.
Imogen tells us about who came and some of the reasons why.

6th Mar 2018A Landscape passed by
by Dr Geoffrey Mead

A talk about the Pevensey Levels, one of the largest lowland wet grassland systems in southeast England. Designated an SCI, an SSSI and an NNR with a rather limited history - Geoffrey tells us more!

3rd Apr 2018Attack and Defence: Castle Technology
by Joanna Wilkins

A look at how castles revolutionised warfare in medieval times, with references to Pevensey Castle.

1st May 2018Pevensey Castle
by Alan Starr

This medieval castle and former Roman Saxon Shore fort with its history dating back over 1600 years.

5th Jun 2018The Lost Industries of Lewes
by John Davey

Lewes was formerly a hive of industry and its river banks were once lined with cargo docks and warehouses. John illustrates his talk with a collection of photographs amassed by his father.

3rd Jul 2018A Sussex Scrapbook
by Chris Horlock

A miscellaneous collection of Sussex history, anecdotes and folklore.

25th Aug 2018Pevensey: its Castle plus Court House Museum and Gaol – on our Southdown Coach

4th Sep 2018Bridge Cottage, Uckfield
by Mick Harper

The story of a 'Wealden' hall house, dating from its 1436 beginnings to its 2016 restoration.

2nd Oct 2018Sussex during the First World War
by Ian Everest

A look at aspects of daily life in front-line Sussex - a county within the sounds of guns on the Western Front. A significant talk, this year being the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War.

6th Nov 2018Women's Suffrage
by Frances Stenlake

A story of women’s campaigning, law-abiding and non-violent, with reference to Crowborough, Uckfield and Heathfield, this year being the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote.

4th Dec 2018AGM with cheese and mulled wine to follow

5th Feb 2019"Kiss Me Goodnight, Sergeant Major"
by Tony Harris

WW2 D-Day, a sargeant's tale, a poignant story in memory of his father.

5th Mar 2019The Vikings are coming!
by Imogen Corrigan

We think of them as ferocious fighting men, plundering, wrecking and desecrating our green and pleasant land, but are there other aspects to these invaders? Who were these people, why did they come here and what did they hope to achieve?

2nd Apr 2019Mad Jack Fuller
by Geoff Hutchinson

John Fuller, 1757-1834, was the eccentric Squire of the hamlet of Brightling, in Sussex, and politician. He was a builder of follies, philanthropist, patron of the arts and sciences, and supporter of slavery.

7th May 2019Hastings - Old and New
by Dr Geoffrey Mead

A story of Hastings, setting the scene, for our visit in August. It gave its name to the battle taking place in 1066, became one of the medieval Cinque ports, a popular seaside resort in the 19th century with the coming of the railway and now a fishing port with a beach-based fleet.

4th Jun 2019Sussex Witchcraft
by Chris Horlock

Chris looks at the historical aspects of witchcraft in Sussex and witch trials. He tells of locations relating to witchcraft, and old cottages where many anti-witchcraft charms can still be found, plus the legacy of witchcraft in modern times among the Wicca movement.

2nd Jul 2019The Bayeux Tapestry
by Joanna Wilkins

Who made it, where and why? Was it made in Bayeux or by English seamstresses?

10th Aug 2019Outing to Hastings

Castle ruins, cliff railway, St Clement's Caves (Smuggling), Shipwreck Museum, Fishermen's Museum

3rd Sep 2019Victorian London Street Life
by Delia Taylor

An insight into how the poor of London lived and survived in the late 19th century

1st Oct 2019Tales from the Riverbank
by Ian Everest

A glimpse of past life in the R.Ouse valley, using old photographs and cine film, to illustrate its heritage

5th Nov 2019"Those were the Days"
by Don Dray

Don returns to present an audio visual programme of 'An hour of glorious social history nostalgia', stories and personalities portrayed in the music of the 1920's , 1930's and on to the 1940's

3rd Dec 2019AGM with cheese and wine to follow

7th Jan 2020The Dregs of the People Remain
by Imogen Corrigan

The Black Death and its aftermath, with 50% or more of the population of Eurrope and beyond perishing, reactions to this disaster can be seen, particularly in our parish churches.

4th Feb 2020Sussex Scrapbook 2
by Chris Horlock

A miscellaneous collection of Sussex history, anecdotes and folklore.

3rd Mar 2020"What is landscape?"
by Dr Geoffrey Mead

Is it the shape of the land we inhabit? The natural world that develops upon it? The place where we live? Artists, geologists, gardeners, photographers all have different views! - Geoffrey seeks to clarify some of these factors in this talk.

7th Apr 2020Gideon Mantell : the Dinosaur Hunter of Lewes
by Ray Hale

Gideon Mantell started life as a Lewes doctor and became a famous writer and lecturer but his life was tinged with scientific rivalry, family misfortune and a crippling accident that led to his premature death.

5th May 2020Kent in the 19th Centiru
by Bob Ogley

This is a talk about notable events and people of the 19th century, by a delightful story teller.

2nd Jun 2020Medieval Portraits: Reality or Political Spin?
by Joanna Wilkins

An investigation into what some medieval portraits are trying to tell their audiences

7th Jul 2020Steyning Scandals: The Secrets of a Sussex Market Town
by Dr Janet Pennington

Janet tells of these scandals which take place between 1547 and 1947. Some are a bit naughty she says! It is a while since Janet came to tell us about Sussex Inn signs and Chanctonbury Ring. She was the archivist of Lancing College and is a considerable expert on inns and taverns along with a great many other areas of local history!

8th Aug 2020Outing on the bus to Ightham Mote/Hastings

1st Sep 2020Knole
by Gilly Halcrow

This was the home of the Sackvilles with its fabulous collection of Royal Stuart furniture and paintings.

6th Oct 2020Sir Winston Churchill and Chartwell
by Heather Woodward

Chartwell was Churchill’s home for 42 years and often his refuge when life became too difficult for him.

3rd Nov 2020A Sussex Farm during the 1950s
by Ian Everest

At what was thought to be an idyllic time on the land, life was actually tough on this farm in the 1950s. The war was over but the battle was still on to feed the nation.

1st Dec 2020AGM with cheese and wine to follow