Wednesday, August 07, 2013


Newick Sussex. Family and friends.

Today we have been in Newick - now a fairly large village in Sussex.
It surely was much, much smaller when it was the home of my Gr Gr Gr grandparents - William and Sarah Peirce.
They lived, at some point, in Wood Cottage with their 9 children, including Helen my Gr Gr Grandmother.
As with all agricultural labourers at the time, the family moved about a bit and not all the children were Newick born - but Helen was.
The family were back in Newick at the time of the 1941 census.
Maybe the reason for their return was a sad one. Maybe William Peirce needed to spend his last days "at home".
Father Peirce died very early in 1842 - before the birth of his last child.He was aged 40.
I didn't expect a grave.....but here is one that I enjoyed photographing. It is far far grander than any of the Peirces could afford.

I can imagine the Peirce family and others, huddled together with sadness and cold, following the coffin into church and back out to the open grave.

I then concentrated on their daughter, Helen - my Gr Gr Grandmother.
She was baptised in the church at this font in 1829.

In 1848 she married Harry Stevens - maybe the first of a long line of family bearing the name Harry.

Helen would have walked up the aisle - maybe her elder brother, William gave her away.
She would have stood alongside Harry Stevens to be married and then moved to Isfield - home of the Stevens.

Here is Helen towards the end of her life.

I wonder what she would have made of these three - her descendents; three generations of her descendents.

We enjoyed a look round the church and Clare serenaded us on the church piano.

A window designed by the artist Byrne  Jones.

I don't know who designed the wall tiles by the altar - but I love them.

A lovely modern window.

Now, you might be thinking that our visit to Newick was a genealogy jaunt.
Not so.
We had gone to see a friend to collect her wonderful painting that I was buying.

It is very close to the exact view that my family had each summer when camping on Beddingham Hill in the 50s and 60s.
The artist is Paula Oakley - a native of Newick.......though the like those agricultural people of my family, her family have moved about a bit.

We walked from her house to the pub......not the one you see from the A272 as you whizz by.
But I did photograph it because Helen Peirce's mother lived and worked there as a charwoman - was still charring, aged 77 in 1881.
My photo was weak.
But the painting Paula O has recently completed is really strong.

We headed for The Royal Oak - perhaps 100 yards away.

We had beers and ciders and felt pleased with life.

There is a small portion of the medieval wattle and daub wall on display.

Back at Paula O's house a very happy young E posed in a hat.
Paula had made it specially last autumn for the Newick Bonfire Association parade and celebrations.
It has a very steam-punk air, which suits E very well. Her mother has long been involved with the steam punk style.

And finally a picture of the Newick Bonfire Society parade.