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I consider Breathing Space to be a real treasure in my life. I so appreciate the natural lie of the land carefully and unobtrusively managed to allow a safe home for birds and wildlife. The paths meander delightfully around the beautiful living willow and hickory Bower where l to sit and meet with my friends. Plus other smaller enclosures and arbours, l love it all.
My great grandfather was Spencer Mugridge
Charlie and Alice lived in one of the Upper Lodges whilst Jim and Betty Driver had the other. They were the last dwellings in Brighton to be connected to mains electricity in 1974. Every day Charlie took his storm lanterns out to one of his sheds to refill them with paraffin and trim the wicks; Alice cooked using bottled gas and I think they had one gas light; their radio and black & white television (a very small screen I seem to remember, about 6 or 9″) were powered by accumulator batteries that he took down to Stanmer Stores for recharging! He was the most contented man I have ever known.
In 1977 SPS opened a Tree Fund for the public to buy a tree for planting that Autumn or following Spring alongside the main drive. We have our certificate for tree No. 75. but can’t remember where ‘our’ tree is.
There were three Stanmer Fayres held during August of 1978, 1980 and 1982. It was their huge success that killed them off – the numbers swooping in from Brighton became unmanageable for Stanmer’s small population and the SPS. Charlie Yeates was the inspiration that was enthusiastically taken up. Johnny Gapper and myself had to take several days off work prior to and after the Fayres to handle the nuts and bolts for the weekend. Johnny had to borrow a Parks & Gardens lorry as the task facing us was so huge. Johnny also sat up all night tending his pig roast. Helen Lynham of Stanmer Stores hired as many freezers as she could cram in for ice cream sales with four deliveries over the weekend. My wife Marilyn spent months beforehand finding and cajoling stallholders and entertainers and endless other jobs during and after. Everyone in the Village and SPS pulled out all the stops to make them memorable Fayres.
In the early 1980s Ann Markwick, Churchwarden and Organist, (also Caretaker of Stanmer House) arranged a Christingle service every Advent. All the children carried decorated oranges. The orange represented the world, the red ribbon Christ’s love and blood, the four sticks the four seasons, the sweets and dried fruits all God’s creations and the candle Christ’s light to the world bringing light to peoples darkness. I’m not sure what Paddington, Ann’s inseperable dog, represented!
The removal and transport of the Tyreing Dish was ‘interesting’. Albert West, the farmer of Home Farm, came to the forge with his tractor and front loader. He lifted the dish upright and it was manhandled on to the front loader, strapped down and lifted into the air in a leaning position slightly off vertical. Then off he went down the old A27 to enter Stanmer Park at Lower Lodges. What a sight! This was told me by Charlie Yeates but unfortunately no photos appear to exist.
Betty was also a valued member of Coldean Women’s Institute established in 1969 by a group of Coldean residents of which I was one (the original secretary and later president). She wrote lovely poetry – I wonder if she ever had any published? She also gave interesting talks to our WI with her 78 collection of gramophone records.
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