Bobservation No. 87: Village Times & Politicians

Collage for Bobervation 87

The Changing Times of Fulking & Edburton Vol 2 2007-2015 by Tony Brooks
Tony’s son Trevor has uncovered some 25 copies of this remarkable history that Tony created. He has requested that these be sold for a donation to be given to the Alzheimers Society. I do highly recommend this to villagers for a donation of £5 cash. Please give me a shout on 271 or email me if you would like a copy. If you know someone who has Vol 1 this would make a very nice stocking filler!

National Governance
Believe me this is an apolitical opinion. Over the course of my long life I have at various times supported and voted Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal and Social Democrat. I just feel so aggrieved at the attitude and performance of the current Government that I had to express my thoughts. I have seen countries governed by political clowns such as Mussolini, Berlasconi, Trump and Bolsonaro and it saddens me to see my own country falling into the same political cesspit. The awarding of peerages for personal favours and to chums has reached a ludicrous level and greatly diminished the standing of the House of Lords, not that it was ever particularly very high! I do hope that the electorate will take on board the criticisms by John Major about the appalling Owen Paterson scandal. As villagers we take part in the first rung of the ladder of democracy in appointing Parish Councillors and subsequently District and County Councillors and lastly Members of Parliament to represent us at the highest level. I do beg you, when the appropriate time comes, to cast your vote thoughtfully and with consideration for the immediate past. It is correct that Governments and Councils should be held to account for their performance while in office.

Christmas Party
It had been intended to have the usual village Christmas party in the village hall on Saturday 11th  December. The Fulking Social Committee decided not to go ahead with the event due to the difficulty of complying with basic Covid precautions. An outdoor event will be held in the North Town Field taking its place. Please do not relax your caution in fighting this pandemic.

Bobservation No. 86: Tony Brooks

Image of Tony Brooks at Fulking FairSadly, Tony Brooks passed away on Sunday 17th October as the result of a stroke and after some 5 years of Alzheimers, the latter eighteen months of which were spent in a nursing home. He was 89.
His total involvement with Fulking was greater than any other villager in the thirty years I have been in Fulking. His advice and help was always available and his engineering background very useful.
Tony and Doris first came to Fulking in 1965 when they purchased the nursery garden at Hillbrook. Over the next 50 or so years he was involved, one way or another, with everything in the village. Having lived in a mobile home on site for 5 years he obtained planning permission to build a bungalow and proceeded to build it himself! The nursery closed in 1998.
Tony’s activities included being elected to the Parish Council and subsequently becoming Chair, and being a backbone of the village Social Committee. He was very active in the Village Hall Action Group improving and maintaining the village hall.
The author of a most comprehensive history ‘The changing Times of Fulking & Edburton 1900 to 2007’, which details the history of practically every house, the profit from which (several thousand pounds) he generously donated to the St Andrews restoration fund. Subsequently he wrote a Volume 2 covering 2007 to 2015. He also wrote a history of the Shepherd & Dog pub. Copies of these books may be available in due course for a donation to the Alzheimers Society.
While his death does not come as a shock it does bring back many memories of what, in these troubled times, seems to have been so satisfying.
The funeral will take place at the Downs Crematorium, Bear Road, Brighton on Thursday 4 November at 1pm.
Lastly, Doris we are thinking of you and send you all our love.

Edburton Tithe Map

This website frequently makes use of clips from the Edburton Tithe Map of 1842 to illustrate posts. Not a lot has changed hereabouts in the last 180 years so the map is still both useful and attractive. If you have ever wondered how such a map came to be, then the West Sussex County Record Office has an interesting recent post by Abigail Hartley, their Searchroom Archivist. She uses Edburton as an example of a tithe map that is still in superb condition. The map shows the ecclesiastical parish of Edburton, the area served by St. Andrew’s, and thus shows all of Fulking, together with Edburton proper.

The map is still available from the Record Office (details via the link above). Local walkers are probably best advised to order the JPEG version and copy it to a tablet or mobile phone for consultation in situ. Unlike a large scale OS map, the tithe map does not mark the status of routes as ‘bridleways’, ‘public footpaths’, etc. If you are relatively new to the area, and plan to use the map for walking, then you may want to use an image editor like Photoshop to copy those indications over from OS Explorer 122.

A tithe map, like the Domesday Book, is ultimately about taxation. To that end the Edburton map uses colour to distinguish between the buildings then used for human habitation (red) and all the others (grey), typically agricultural buildings for animal accommodation or feed storage. That distinction alone tells us quite a lot about mid-C19 activity in the central section of The Street (between the pub and the building now known as Yew Tree Cottage).

Another feature of the tithe map, not shared with any of the various iterations of OS maps, is that it records the names of (all!) the fields. These names are often full of information, thus ‘Fulking Mills’ is located just where two of the local spring streams merge, an ideal location for fulling mills; ‘Coneybeare’ and ‘Upper Coney Burrow’ were probably both once sources of rabbit meat, the latter conveniently placed for the Perching Manor dinner table; ‘The Rookery’ and ‘Hog Pasture’ need no translation; and nor does ‘Boggy Lagg’ if you make the mistake of traversing it in mid-February with the wrong shoes on.

Fulking Conservation Area Reprise

Conservation Area
This document will soon be plopping onto your doormat. If you live in the conservation area (current or proposed), please review it carefully. Mistakes have already been spotted. Send any that you notice to Trevor so that he can collate them for the Parish Council’s response.

The history of the issue is described here but you will need to respond to the new SDNPA document, not the old MSDC one.

The Women’s Land Army

The Women's Land Army
A talk by Ian Everest to Beeding & Bramber Local History Society at 7:45pm on Wednesday 4th September 2019 in the Village Hall, Upper Beeding. There is a hard-to-detect car park immediately opposite.

The talk covers the role of women on Sussex farms and their vital contribution to feeding the country during both WWI and WWII. Their efforts only gained official recognition many years after they were disbanded in 1950. The speaker was brought up on a farm near Lewes and his mother was one of 80,000 Land Girls during WWII. The talk will include some of her personal memories as a ‘Cinderella of the Soil’.

The Dyke: a 1949 retrospect

Devil's Dyke in its day
In its C19/C20 heyday (see above), the Dyke was a magnet for summer day visitors. They even overflowed into the tearooms that both Poynings and Fulking then had to offer. But, by 1949, the hotel was a ruin, the area desolate, and there were no tourists or day-trippers. In February of that year, an unidentified writer looked back at the history of the site in the Evening Argus. The article was then reprinted by St.Andrews Quarterly in July of the same year.