‘PROGRESSIVE’ farmers in Sussex were nearly all for mechanisation on the eve of World War Two.
As Peter Brandon put it in his The Discovery of Sussex (Phillimore):
‘.....the farrier having to turn himself into a mechanic and the carter into a lorry driver; saddlers’ premises had become tea shops and other tradesmen disappeared.
‘Yet villages were still recognisably agrarian communities. Few of the old farmhouses had yet been sold off and the hop oasts had not been turned into residences. Water courses, filled with reed, were running clear ....
‘Although company water pipes were being laid, there were still a large number of wells. The old men would tell you the depth of the wells, who dug them, what mishaps accompanied their building, and how the water in some wells would suddenly go bad for no discoverable reason.
‘At Ditchling, the poet Habberton Lulham knew it was time for tea when he heard villagers drawing up water for the kettle.’
Pictured, a Punch cartoon of 1934, illustrating the problems in perceiving the rural way of life of the time. What it should be and wasn’t. A motor car is disguised as a hay wain in a pathetic attempt to recover Olde Sussex!