As a schoolboy living at Yew Tree Cottage, I can remember my father serving in the Auxiliary Fire Service as a part-time fireman. The fire station was at the top of Shepherds Lane at a house then called Croft, now called Pinecroft.
This had a long wooden garage at 90 degrees to the road. At the back of the garage was a space for the crew on night watch, where they would spend their time until called out to a fire. The space at the front of the garage was where the pump was kept and the fire tender was parked on the driveway.
All the firemen had alarm bells fitted to their houses and one bell was fitted to the wheelwright’s shop so it could be heard during the day by firemen working in that area.
As there was no main’s water in the village, they had to rely on water from Smithbrook pond, which was fed by a ditch in the field at the back of the pond, running from Bexley Hill. This had to be cleaned out quite often and I can remember it being done on Sunday mornings as part of fire drill. There would also be hose pipes running from the pond right through The Street as part of the drill. The auxiliary firemen had to go to Bognor and Chichester for training.
Some of the firemen’s names I can remember: E Boxall, C Boxall, L Tooth, J Osborn, W Stratton, C Wakeford and E Haines. These men had not been called up for the armed forces, as they were carrying out essential work in the village and on the farms.
At some point in the war our Auxiliary Fire Service was disbanded and the regular fire service took over. They were moved to an outbuilding at Lodsworth House to carry on with their good work.
I visited the West Sussex Record Office in Chichester to look at the parish council minutes from 1939 to 1945 and found two things that were relevant. One was about water running down Leggatt Hill – that was in 1943 on page 63. The other one was more interesting: it was about the insurance on the Croft not being adequate in 1945 (page70). I think this is when they moved to Lodsworth House.
John L Wakeford
Fisher Street, Northchapel
My father’s aunt Mrs Ida Gill used to be the landlady, with her husband and then on her own of the Hollist Arms. I have some of the early 1840s transfer documents for the pub and some other original document which I could copy for you if they might be of interest.
We keep finding unusual, often humorous nicknames of past residents of the parish. Many of these appear strange to us today: they would certainly not be accepted as “politically correct” in modern Britain:
Tubby Rogers, who won the Everett chess cup in 1933
Winkle Ayling, the Lickfold baker, also known as the Bun King. Nicknamed “Winkle” because as a boy he was so small he had to get into the manger to put the pony’s halter on
Weary Will Hammond pictured in the Hollist playing shove ha’penny
Double Ugly Rapson, who had a long white beard
Ratty Carver the rat catcher
Bob Sixpence Tanner, carter to Mrs Rose
Were these nicknames really in common use at the time? Can anyone explain the more unusual ones? Were there any other interesting ones?
Ian Buckingham & James Tree
I notice in the recent Outlook magazine that you are looking for information about the village around the WWII years. My Mum, Audrey Webb nee Chandler, spent a lot of time with her grandparents Robert & Marie Budd in The Nurseries (now The Old Nursery), before, during and after the war. She was living in Bromley and visited regularly and remembers that “it didn’t feel as if a war was on, and was so lovely to sleep at night in a real bed”! Regarding ‘Miss O’ she thinks that her name was Osborn and that she was a teacher.
We notice from the photos on the website that you have one of her grandfather, Robert Budd and her Great Uncle Willie (Mr Lovell)! We have some more photos of the village which may be of interest, although I did send them some time ago to James Fisher and Victoria Anderson.
We keep up to date with village events via Outlook and have visited the village several times as Mum has such fond memories.
The Randalls, who ran the Lodsworth stores, were Dependant Brethren (also called Cokelers). They were members of the sect in Northchapel when James was just married to Charlotte Ayling of Wisborough Green – her father William was one of the oldest Dependants, having been born before the sect’s founder, John Sirgood, who was born in 1821.
The stores in Lodsworth became a minor centre of the sect and several of those who lived there (Mary Bridger) or visited there (Emily Hughes 1911) over the years were Dependants. It is probable that some of their elders may have preached in Lodsworth. I do not know of any other adherents in the village.
I have a delightful photo of Charlotte in her bath chair with her daughter, Jemima. (See Photograph gallery – People)
Taken from a email from:
Roger Nash, Chairman, Rudgwick Preservation Society
I believe my ancestor Mathew Nash owned Salmonsbridge Farm and other land on River Common circa 1700. He married Susanna Brown in Farnhurst (Fernhurst) in 1717 and died in Tillington in 1728. I would love to find his birthdate, birth place and who his father was. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Can you help?
A volunteer is needed to help build a record of modern Lodsworth by cutting out and saving press cuttings relating to the parish from national and local papers.
Can you help!
Daphne Luscott is researching her family tree and in particular her grandmother, Elizabeth Jane Tribe/Tooth. She knows there was a funeral service for her grandmother at St Peter’s Lodsworth on the 18 February 1982, but has found no record of a burial or cremation.