For a sleepy little village nestling beneath the South Downs, Glynde comes much higher in history’s batting order than you might expect.
The splendid sign pictured here (which is located within a few yards of where the telpherage terminal near the train station once stood) marks the achievement of the local cricket team in lifting the National Village Cricket Championship in a thrilling final played at Lords in 2009.
Most of the village decamped to Lords for the game along with hundreds of Sussex cricket fans. I’m pleased to say I was there not least to cheer on my daughter Helen’s beau, Stuey Mouland, who was wicket keeper. I’m pretty sure he holds some kind of record for having had his photograph in the sports pages of The Times not once but twice; on the Friday before the game and on the Tuesday pictured celebrating the victory of the previous day.
I do like the way that there are sheep featuring in the background of the sign. Glynde and the surrounding hills produced one of the world’s most successful breeds of sheep, the Southdown. Sheep and Sussex have long been associated. In the 14th century it is estimated there were over 100,000 in the county. It was some 200 years ago that John Ellman of Glynde recognized the potential for breeding a special sheep that would be good for wool but also good for meat. The initial result was a relatively small sheep but later breeders produced larger animals.
By 1813 there were 200,000 ewes living on the eastern South Downs and the English agriculturist Arthur Young remarked, “the amazing number kept is one of the most singular circumstances in the sheep husbandry of England”.
I haven’t got space to tell you more about the Southdown sheep this week but will spin another yarn in my next column. As a taster let me pose the question of who really was responsible for the American Revolution? No doubt you can guess the answer!