The joys of sea training and vary-coloured horses

Rouser 2012

Rouser 2012

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ANYONE with a passing affection for Seaford should read a new book by Diana Crook about the seaside town’s quirky past. A Seaford Anthology (Dale House) is a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of lost tales of the community and its neighbours.

Rouser was particularly fetched by a Gallaher cigarette card illustration (shown) of horse remedial treatment at the nearby Tide Mills.

The card caption reads: Sea air and sea bathing are good for horses as well as humans, and exercising in shallow sea water is especially good for horses with weak legs.

These are a common and serious defect with racehorses and the trainer David Dale has cured many apparently hopeless cases of leg trouble by sea treatment at Seaford.

The sands are still used for an occasional irregular race meeting and regularly for training during the hard weather.

And on the subject of local characters:

William Coombs, 18th century miller at Blatchington - William once swore that if something he had said proved to be untrue, he would never set foot in his mill again. He was as good as his word.

More eccentric still was his habit of not only painting his horse, but painting it in different colours. One week he would be seen riding down Blatchington Hill on a yellow horse, the next on a green horse.

He even coloured his horse for visits to Lewes where he might be seen on yellow, green or blue.

Another character Lewis Crook was a beloved Seaford character. He could often be seen in town on his horse Philosopher - sometimes with a tame raven called Jack perched on his shoulder.

He ensured that his family observed Sabbath, not only by attending church three times every Sunday but also ensuring that they did not ride a bicycle or take out a boat on that day.