ITS HISTORY from the STONE AGE to the 21st CENTURY
ITS BUILDINGS AND LANDS, THE FAMILIES THAT OCCUPIED THEM,
AND THE ACTIVITIES THAT WENT ON THERE
The High Hurstwood Silver Jubilee Day
The arrangements for, and the events of the actual day, at High Hurstwood in calibration of Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee were very ably recorded by an anonymous author in the July 1977 edition of the High Hurstwood Parish Review:
The Queen’s Silver Jubilee.
7th June 1977.
So the great day has come and gone. The national and county events will be adequately reported in the Press, but this note records High Hurstwood’s acknowledgment of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.
The actual arrangements were in the capable hands of Mr. G. Baldry, who was assisted by a numerous body of helpers. Planning, somewhat lukewarmly, took place in the early part of the year, but already the Jubilee Mugs (all 180 of them) had prudently been bought, and the next move was to find the money to pay for them. A house-to-house appeal was launched, asking for the names of children born on or after 7th June 1965, living within the Parish Boundaries, who would receive a mug, and at the same time asking for money with which to finance the celebrations and to pay for the mugs. Money came in steadily, and in the event more than £400 was generously given by individuals, ranging from 50p to £10, and house-to-house and pub collections also yielded their worth, and a jumble sale was hold realising £70.
Suddenly, a week before the Day, things came alight and enthusiasm became unbounded. A massive bonfire was built at the far end of the recreation field. It was decided that the 12-16 age group should have crowns, but none were available as there had been complete under-estimation by those responsible of the demand. An order has been placed, however, and with luck and persistence we may see the coins in July or August.
A flagpole was generously given and erected by Arthur Dudman. A car park was marked out and the Women's Institute very nobly and generously offered to provide free teas to the whole populace - an offer which was promptly accepted. A Treasure Hunt was devised, and members of the Jubilee Committee trudged round the parish footpaths assessing a suitable route - all away from traffic- and route sheets clearly marked were prepared. Many other arrangements not known or noticed by the writer were made. Chicken legs, crisps, rolls and vegetables (are tomatoes a vegetable or a fruit?) were ordered, buttered where appropriate and the ingredients inserted. Tables and chairs were set out.
Finally the Day came, after an anticipatory trepidation, both in regard to the weather and also in the hope that ‘things would be alright on the day’. In the event, the whole organisation moved smoothly into action and there appeared to be no hitch whatsoever.
Promptly at 10.15 a.m. the Revd. W. P. Webb, Vice Chairman of the Buxted Parish Council, made a short speech extolling (and rightly so) the virtues of the Monarch, the Union Flag was hoisted to cheers, ‘God Save the Queen’ was sung and three hearty cheers were given for Her Majesty.
The Treasure Hunt started, all the contestants found their way round and by lunchtime all had been safely gathered in, with only one minor mishap. In the afternoon a comic football match took place. There appeared to be no winners or losers, there were about 25 per side, girls took part (and gave good account of themselves) and at least one peculiarly shaped ‘girl’ was noticed playing a masculine type of game. There were sports for the children and then a magnificent tea. We’d no idea there were so many children in the village. They filled the large hall and ate off Jubilee paper plates and drank from Jubilee paper mugs - an imaginative move by someone. The noise was deafening. There was tea for the adults as well - all efficiently dealt out by our Women’s Institute. After tea a stoolball match, about which no comment can be made.
By seven thirty once again the population had gathered for the Barbecue. Again it was issued out very methodically, with the ‘cooks’ nobly keeping abreast of the customers, and a very tasty meal it was.
Mick Barr and Alan Tickner had very kindly come from Uckfield to set up the barbecue grill and show how to work it, but they became so enthusiastic that they stayed till the end of the day. Whilst the adults were eating, attempts were valiantly made to encourage country dancing, and this was most successful although it entailed some pretty hard work by the instructor and her assistant. Nevertheless, with a sprinkling of adults, some of the older children took part and made a good showing at what seemed, at least to one observer, some pretty complicated movements, Finally the bonfire was lit, but the previous day’s rain had done damage, and the material did not blaze up as it should have done - at least not until 3 a.m., when it was at its best.
All in all a very happy and memorable day. The whole village turned out, friendliness was spontaneous and tribute must be paid to the very many workers for their often unobtrusive but effective efforts. It seemed as if for one day we were all forgetting the sometimes questionable activities of the politicians and had gathered not only to enjoy ourselves but also to pay tribute to a Queen who has set an example in family life and true Christianity.
The High Hurstwood Village Sign
In 1977, as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations, the village hall committee decided that a Village Sign, which the village had never had, should be purchased. But first a design was need and to that end a competition was launched. The winners of the competition were announced in the June 1978 edition of the High Hurstwood Parish Review, they were Mr John B Holmes in the adult section and Adrian Turner in the children’s section.
The design by John Holmes was used by Ashurst Wood blacksmiths, Ken and John Grantham, to make the sign in wrought-iron. It has the Silver Jubilee dates 1952-1977 and ERII in a crown at the top. Below this is a maypole and its ribbons that refer to the Maypole Farm and Maypole Inn, together with two large trees to represent the well wooded landscape of the village, and the three-circle symbol of the Holy Trinity to which the parish church is dedicated. All surrounding the village name.
The sign was mounted on an oak post and erected on the edge of the recreation ground opposite the Maypole Farm barn. It was unveiled at 3 p.m. on Sunday 6 May 1979 by the May Queen, Rachel Tidy, as part of the Maytime Revels that were reported on in the June 1979 issue of the High Hurstwood Parish Review:
Sunday, 6th May, was the first day for some weeks without either rain or snow and the village turned out in strength to see the choosing and crowning of our May Queen, Rachel Tidy. It must have been a difficult task for Mrs. Adam and Mrs. Davey to make their choice from the attractive, if shivering, contestants, and also for Mr. Squibb and Dr. Winter to choose the winners from a strange variety of decorated vehicles. First prize here went to Martin Copeland for his ram/bicycle. Runners up were Rachel Pointing with a floral wheelbarrow and Oliver Meades with an unidentified multi-wheeled object and they led the procession with the May Queen and her two attendants, Tessa Pointing and Audrey Edwards bringing up the rear on a decorated trailer.
This cavalcade cane to a halt at the new village sign, where Mr. John Sharpe, Chairman of the Village Hall Management Committee, called upon Rachel to perform the unveiling ceremony and we were all able to see, for the first time, the sign designed by Mr. John Holmes, representing the Silver Jubilee, the Maypole, Holy Trinity Church and the wooded countryside of High Hurstwood.
These events were followed by country dancing, the Draw, won by Mr. Mark Phillips and a stoolball match in which the Youth Club beat the Parents by 123 – 33.
Tea was served in the Hall, and the organisers are most grateful to all those who contributed so generously and helped with this and the produce stall, to the judges of the competitions, to Mr. Lusted for organising the dancing, Mr. Butler and the Horseshow Committee for the loan of their amplifying equipment and indeed to everyone who took part and helped to make this an enjoyable occasion. £168 was raised for Village Hall Funds.
In 2013 it found that the oak post holding the Village Sign was rotten and needed replacing, and at the same time as this was done the opportunity was taken to move the sign to the corner of the recreation ground opposite the Maypole Inn that had by that time changed its name to The Hurstwood.