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EAST DEAN & FRISTON LOCAL HISTORY GROUP

WE HOPE that members will feel inspired to contribute some local history items that they have discovered. To get them published here, please contact us

MEMBERS of EDFLHG have contributed towards the restoration of the Village War Memorial. The cracked greenstone base has been replaced by more substantial York stone structure. The railings, forged by our last local blacksmith, Luther Hills, are also scheduled for restoration. And hopefully, someone will root out those weeds too.

Then we will have a monument fit to last another 100 years.

THIS OLD POST CARD, sent in 1924, shows Wish Hill in Willigdon. The shops on the right are long gone but Red Lion pub (the half timbered building on the left)  is still there.

A SEAFORD DISCOVERY

EVIDENCE THAT LIGHTHOUSE EXISTED

Was there ever a lighthouse on Seaford Head? For a number of years this question has been debated by the inhabitants of Seaford and district. Now there seems to be definite proof that at one time a lighthouse did stand on Seaford Head.

A few days ago Mr. R. Fairley, of 8. Esplanade, Seaford, was cleaning on old mezzotint engraving he purchased with a number of other pictures at a sale in Kent eight years ago. On examining the frame, he found the picture was backed with a stiff fine texture board, on which was an old engraved map of Sussex and part of Kent. He found that Eastbourne or Brighton are not even marked as villages, but Seaford is plainly marked as a port with a lighthouse on the Head, and on the left of it facing south is a large tower for beacon lights.

The picture in which this map was discovered was an engraving by Val Green of the original print of “The Tribute Money,” painted by J. S. Copley, R.A. Val Green must have had an intimate knowledge of Seaford district, for he was a native of East Dean. He was engraver to the King, and was born in 1739 and died in 1818. The map is a Government engraving, and, although there is no name of the engraver on the map, it can be safely assumed is the work of Val Green, who made the engraving of the picture, “The Tribute Money,” in the year 1783.

Newspaper report, January 1936

UNVEILING the Eastbourne War Memorial, South Street, in November 1920. The memorial is of a bronze winged victory, holding a laurel wreath and an inverted sword, to resemble cross. It is set on a granite pedestal with a surrounding plinth of steps.

The title of our September talk was "A sporting history of Sussex from the amazing to the bizarre", presented by Mathew Homewood.  We heard that, in the C18th, horse racing in Lewes was set to coincide with the Assizes - a great day out for all concerned!  The late C19th saw the rise in popularity of football; Brighton United was formed in 1897, becoming Brighton & Hove Albion in 1910.  Cycling, too was enormously popular although the advent of the cinema detracted somewhat from its popularity.  Stoolball is almost unique to Sussex, having started here in probably C15th; it was popular because it could be played anywhere, by anybody, with very little equipment needed.

Among the "bizarre" sports Mathew mentioned were jingling matches, piano bashing, dwile flonking, and menagerie races when participants could include hedgehogs, ferrets, partridges and frogs - all with appropriate handicaps.  Altogether a most entertaining talk!

 Christine Reid

Stoolball being played in East Dean as part of the 1977 Jubilee Celebrations.

Here is something for the genealogists among you. Below are the secretary's notes for the Granville House Old Girls’ Association from December 1930. Lots of names are mentioned, together with a summary of what some of them were doing. If you had a relative at this Eastbourne school during the 1930s, it could be a useful document for your family researches.