Copthorne Archive February 2017
Copthorne Village History Archive CD (Vol 1) is now on sale. Please contact us if you’d like a copy (email as above, or 01342 713807). £5 collected or £6 including postage and packing.
Into the Archive
Janet Sneidze-Hamilton (nee Charlwood), a great-granddaughter of William and Alice Snelling who farmed at Akehurst Farm from the early 1900s, kindly donated a 100 year old ledger recording the work carried out at the farm by W Snelling & Sons during 1916 and 1917.
The ledger records each day’s work: ploughing, planting, sowing, harvesting, livestock sales and purchases. Also, at this time, William and sons Albert, Ernest and Frank were kept fully occupied with forestry work, contracting for the War Office, and removals and deliveries – using horse drawn carts, wagons and a truck – with up to 4 more casual labourers employed in busy times.
Continuing with the ‘farming in Copthorne’ theme, Thelma Foreman (nee Twose) has donated to the Archive some lovely photos and her memories of the family farm, Stonelands, Copthorne Bank. In the early 1930s Dick and Jessie Twose moved to Stonelands Farm from Devon, later followed by Dick’s parents who came to live in Shipley Bridge Lane.
Thelma says “they were devoted to their life on the farm where they lived for over 50 years, working extremely hard hand-milking the cows twice a day, bottling the milk and making cream and butter, which they delivered daily by bicycle to the residents of Copthorne. Two large cart horses, Boxer and Turpin, were used to work the fields, ploughing, tilling, haymaking, etc. The farmhouse had a thatched roof, as did the hay and corn ricks, which were regularly re-thatched by Dick. Electricity wasn’t installed to the farm until 1953, so oil lamps, candles, and hurricane or tilley lamps were used.
They had three children, one son and two daughters, who attended the local school and were baptised, confirmed and married at St John’s Church, where they were also choristers. The family was very involved with village activities and the annual Rogation Service was held at Stonelands, where the vicar blessed the crops and hymns were sung in the fields. On one occasion the cows were curious with the singing and started to dance and jump around, which frightened some of the congregation. Dick supplied the local school canteen with potatoes and swedes, and a sheaf of wheat and produce from the farm for their Harvest Festival.
The Rev Stafford Young was always invited to special parties at Stonelands Farm, where he sat at the head of a long table laid with delicious bread, cakes and pastries baked by Jessie.
Progress at the Archive
Our team of volunteers continues to be busy sorting, scanning, and adding to the database the various photos and documents received from local residents. The database categories include village life, Copthorne Silver Band, Schools, farms, WI, Church and shops. Please do get in touch if you would like to donate, or lend for scanning, any photos, documents, deeds etc, or if you would like to talk to us about your memories of Copthorne.