Spooner family – Can you help?

My grandfather (Arthur Norman Cork) married Evelyn Spooner in December 1912 in Lodsworth church. She was the daughter of Henry and Ellen Spooner of Snapelands farm, her siblings included Ellen, Harry, Frederick O, and John Edward, all born during the 1880s.

They went on to have one child (my father) who was born in 1913 in Midhurst. I would be interested to know what became of the Spooner family over the years, and indeed are there any direct descendants of Henry and Ellen Spooner alive today or living in the area. I would also be interested to know if Snapelands farm is still in existence. I know that Frederick Spooner is buried in Lodsworth churchyard, in what appears to be a military grave, having died in 1915.

I don’t have any articles or artefacts directly related to Lodsworth, but should I discover any during my family research, I am quite happy to share them with you. Excellent website, most informative and helps to paint a picture of what life was like in the village a hundred or more years ago.

Best wishes to the group, and grateful for any information that you can share.

Pete Cork

Holly Cottage to Kozy Cott – Memories of Smithbrook by Cherie Corley née Smith

A chance encounter between Ian Buckingham and two cyclists last summer led to one of them, Cherie Corley née Smith, recording her remarkably detailed memories of life in Smithbrook between 1954 and 1967.

As promised I attach my childhood memories of life pre “Kozy Cott”. I have been surprised firstly at how clearly I remember life in those days and secondly how much the world has changed since then. Who would have guessed that a chance encounter after nearly 60 years would result in all those happy days being recorded? I hope that what I’ve written will be of interest to the Heritage Society and especially to James Tree. If you think I may have the answers to any missing details, please feel free to contact me

Cherie Corley née Smith

Stevens and Carver families – Can anyone help?

I have just retired to Fittleworth and am interested in my family roots. My great grandfather married his wife Martha Stevens who was born in 1846 in Lodsworth. She was the daughter of William Stevens and Jane Carver. They married in Tillington but lived the rest of their lives in Leggatt Hill, William being a gamekeeper there. They are buried with headstones in the Lodsworth churchyard. William Stevens had a brother James who was married to Mary Ann Boxall and married in the village in 1853. The family lived in Church Lane and Vicarage Lane.

I have an old photo taken c.1901 showing James Stevens at a family gathering at Lodsworth. He is holding a ladder up the side of his house whilst his son-in-law is picking his ‘Violet Pator Plums’.

Thus I am related to the Stevens and Carver families and would love to be put in touch with anyone who might remember the families. The Carver family I know is very large but I do have George Thomas Carver known as ‘Ratty’ in my tree. I have a picture of him drinking at the bar in the Hollist Arms.

Carol Twite
(Contact Carol through Leave a Reply below)

Haines & Foale families – Can anyone help?

I am researching my father’s family. My grandfather was Robin Haines and my grandmother was Adele Irene Haines. My father, Eric Haines, died 11 years ago and his mother Irene (apparently that is what they called her) died when he was 18 years old and that was 6 years before I was born, so I never knew her. I have found out that my grandmother had two sisters, Edna and Charlotte. I think that Charlotte went to Lodsworth village school, but sadly died at the very young age of 10 years old. I would like to know why she died so young and also where she is buried. My grandfather and grandmother are buried in Lodsworth churchyard, but I don’t know exactly where, as there is no gravestone. My Uncle Dave and Aunty Nell Haines are the only ones left in that family and they are also my godparents. I would appreciate any information you may have.

Pauline Martin née Haines
(Contact Pauline through Leave a Reply below)

Harry Carver

Can anyone identify the people in this wedding photograph and the date?
Can anyone identify the people in this wedding photograph and the date?

I have been preparing a family tree for my brother-in-law,  Mr O Carver. His father Harry Carver had a piece printed in Outlook showing who lived where in Lodsworth in 1912. He loaned me a photo of a wedding. I can put a name to some of the people but it would be nice if someone could identify anyone else in the photo, even if it is only the vicar. Any other information would be a nice. If you can help in anyway it would be nice to hear from you.

Brian Bales

Reply from LHS

The articles Harry Carver wrote for Outlook magazine in 1977 entitled Lodsworth in 1912 are reproduced on this website: click on the link to see them.  We also have scanned all the editions of Outlook from 1974 – soon this will extend to Outlook’s launch in 1963. A quick scan of these produced the following references which should be of interest:

  1. October 1987 edition – ‘Congratulations to Mr Harry Carver for being such a good artist’s model that his portrait ‘in little’ has been accepted for the Royal Miniature Painters’ Society Exhibition in London in October.’
  2. January 1889 page 2 and February 1889 page 4 The Memoirs of Harry Carver – see 50 Years of Outlook for the full articles.
  3. February 1997 edition – ‘We are sorry to hear of the death of Harry Carver whose funeral took place in Lodsworth on Friday, 17th January. His brother-in-law writes that he was one of the greatest fellows I have ever met. I knew his mother, she was a lovely lady, his father was a great character and kept what is called a Trencher-fed pack of Beagles. They lived on Lodsworth Common on the edge of Lords Wood in the cottage where Richard Dimbleby’s widow, now Mrs Travers, used to live. Harry had all the best genes of his parents and I felt honoured telling people he was my brother-in-law. F.G Ayling’

RNAS Cowdray Park

RNAS Cowdray Park at South Ambersham
RNAS Cowdray Park at South Ambersham
Photo by James Tree

Firstly, I would like to say how much I enjoyed Mr Kingshott’s wartime memories posted on your site.

Secondly, I wonder if someone might be able to ask him if he remembers a fete held at Hurlands Farm during WWII which was interrupted by an air raid. I am writing up the history of RNAS Cowdray Park and this raid is relevant as some locals I have interviewed thought at the time that the Luftwaffe may have been looking for the air station. Unfortunately no one can put a date to the raid and I cannot find any obvious mention in the ARP reports. Would Mr Kingshott know when it occurred?

I would also be interested to know if Mr Kingshott recalls when the searchlight battery in the item posted moved, as three Wrens helping me with research, based at Selham Place (Milburgh Hall) around D-Day, do not recall seeing any searchlights. Mind you, they don’t recall the air station either – after all, it was a long time ago, and there was a lot else going on!

Posted by Tania Pons

I was born in June 1938 and so I am not a totally reliable source. Much information came from my mother. Hope this helps:

1.       She frequently spoke of the fete at Hurlands, which was organised by Mrs Meriel Koenig whose husband (German) ran the farm. I am not sure the fete was interrupted by a raid, but I understood the RAF insisted it was brought to an early end. I am not sure that RNAS Cowdray Park was there at the time (1940 I think) but you will have the dates. Mrs Koenig later became a noted organiser of Young Farmers’ activities. My mother played the harmonium in Selham Church for several appropriate services. Mrs Koenig dragged along a wide cast of characters who lived in the farm which also housed Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries offices.

2.       There was a great deal of Luftwaffe activity over Lods Mill.  My mother claimed to have been machine-gunned with me in her arms. Some of the Morley lorry drivers came back from Portsmouth and Southampton with graphic tales of the bomb-damage.

3.       I have strong memories of the searchlight battery and certainly saw its beams in the night sky. It was on the edge of the woods just down the hill from Selham Place, opposite the garden entrance to Selham House (then occupied by Dowager Lady Cowdray). I think it moved out before the war ended, but cannot be sure.  I remember rummaging in the remains on a family walk. It was along this same road that I picked up strips of “window” which were dropped as part of pre-D.Day practice. There was a slit trench guarding the junction of the Graffham and Duncton Roads.

Posted by Brian Kingshott

Thank you so much for answering my request so speedily and for your helpful reply. I must say, other contributors also put the fete in question as happening earlier on in the War. So far I haven’t ascertained the exact date the Navy commenced putting up hangars etc at Cowdray Park, but we believe the air station was commissioned in March 1941; the first rent came in from the Admiralty in June 1941 and we know that the first contingent of air mechanics arrived in October 1941. So I wonder if that particular raid could have been as late as the summer of 1941?

Anyway, on the subject of the searchlight battery, somewhere in my records I have a photocopy of an aerial photograph taken by the RAF in 1945 of the area near Selham Place/Selham House/The Three Moles. I did take a walk there some two years back with a local gentleman, Ron King, who sadly passed away not long ago, and he showed me a concrete strip which was put down to prevent wheel erosion for vehicles entering the searchlight battery site. However, I never really gleaned on that visit where the actual lights were so if you wouldn’t mind taking a look at this shot, and if it is obvious, mark with an X where the lights were, I would be very grateful.

Incidentally, I am still in regular contact with John Moffat, a wonderful man with an astounding memory. Lots of very funny stories to tell: it seems clear to me he really enjoyed his time at Ambersham. I emailed him a link to your article, as I know that he will enjoy reading your recollections enormously. He too is a fan of Foyle’s War and was delighted to learn it was filmed in Midhurst.

Posted by Tania Pons

Donald Ashley Birkinshaw archive

Deryck Hamon recently purchased 40 photographs of the Lodsworth area taken by Donald Ashley Birkinshaw. We are grateful to him for making these available to Lodsworth Heritage Society and we will be adding some of them to this website.

Lodsworth Arms beer house & Bakery 1949 by Donald Ashley Birkinshaw
Lodsworth Arms beer house & Bakery 1949 by Donald Ashley Birkinshaw

The photographs come from an extensive archive of over 15,000 images, taken between 1938 and 1956 covering Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Somerset, Dorset, Isle of Wight and the Isle of Scilly. The archive lay undiscovered for many years until 1997, when it was purchased from the Birkinshaw family.

Donald Ashley Birkinshaw was born in 1922 and attended Nottingham High School and Whitgift Grammar School, Croydon. From an early age the countryside, photography and classical music were his hobbies. His photographs were accepted for county magazines as early as 1938.

He joined the civil service in 1939 working for the Home office, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Agriculture until 1946, the following year he produced his “Ashley Series” of postcards and calendars. He stopped production in about 1953 as purchase tax made his profit margin too small to continue. From 1953 onwards he only took photographs for his own pleasure.

The Old House

Naldrett sketch of Old HouseI visited Lodsworth recently and while in the shop near the Hollist Arms learned about your heritage society.

My grandfather (father’s father) lived in the large, square Georgian house opposite to the lane leading down to the church and members of both my father’s and mother’s families (Naldrett and Latham) are buried in the churchyard, immediately up on the right once one enters the churchyard from the lane and before one gets to the monkey-puzzle tree.

On looking through her effects my sister Frances discovered a pen and ink sketch of the house made by my father in 1923. It shows the upper windows bricked-up. I can remember this from when I first saw the house, although they have since been unblocked.

You would be welcome to have a high quality copy of the sketch, and perhaps it would be useful for us to meet with someone from your society, so that you could pick our brains for anything else that might be interesting.

Neither of us met our grandparents because they died around 1930, and I was born in 1933 and my sister in 1935.

Professor Anthony J Naldrett

Lodsworth Auxiliary Fire Service during World War II

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

The Hollist Arms, Lodsworth

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.

Dudley Read

Exploring the history of our village