Wednesday, January 22, 2014


The Plough at Plumpton and Chailey Airfield.

After a stroll around the hamlet of Streat, we wanted some lunch.
The Streat walk is also featured on this blog - the very next posting.
Our choice of pub led us to good food and a few hours learning some history.
We have driven by The Plough many times before and, regretfully, I thought the building looked rather uninteresting.

It was built shortly after WW2 - early 1950s.
Now I know of a much older Plough pub which had been demolished during the war to allow for an Advanced Landing Ground - Chailey airfield.
The landing strip was chosen - The Plough and 2 cottages sat at one end and had to go.
The airfield was operational from 1943 to 1945 and allowed Spitfires and some other planes to cross the channel to support the D day Landings and the route through France.
Chailey was almost entirely manned by Polish pilots, who were well respected by the local community.
A temporary pub was opened in an old army hut and thus social life continued for all.
Pilots enjoyed their life in peaceful Sussex.
But it was not all peaceful and some few planes were hit and pilots injured.
Two pilots were never to return alive.
All the men are remembered at The Plough, in particular those who gave their lives.

Kurowski had to make a forced landing in France, whilst badly injured.
He hit the ground too hard and the plane exploded.

Adamek's death moved me. He had been hit over The Channel and was flying home, wounded. The plane was losing height and he was instructed to bale out.
His parachute caught on the tail of the plane and he went down with it.

But let's go inside the pub and cheer ourselves.

What could be more cheering than a half of Harvey's Old Ale?

And a sandwich thick with sausage and chutney......with masses of salad and red cabbage cole slaw.

And a roaring fire.

The pub is 1980s tarting up!
Wooden floors, basic furniture (though we were glad to sink into the old leather sofa), very little ornamentation - but good food and ale.
It seems to be popular with locals.

The dog is Zeena.

Zeena pleaded for a bit of our food - didn't get any. Sorry, Zeena.

After a good while of eating and drinking and relaxing, it was time to make our way home.

Beautiful pub sign.

Of course after almost 70 years the airfield has reverted back to farmland.

Looking south from The Plough to The Downs.
There is a big garden and a children's playground - ideal for family visits in the summer.

Winter afternoon - Downland View.

January 2014.