ST LAURENCE CHURCH: Annual Lecture. We were so very pleased to have Ian Everest back in Falmer especially at this time of remembrance. Ian came to talk about Sussex in the First World War to a very receptive audience. Ian’s presentation is superb with his illustrations and stories. There were so many facts but three stand out for me one was that Conan Doyle, who at the time lived in Crowborough volunteered himself for active service but because of his age was turned away. His loyalty to his country inspired him to form a group of volunteers to act as a local defence corp for the area. This idea was then taken up by other areas but the government were disturbed to think of these ‘private armies’ out of the control of their jurisdiction and ordered them to be disbanded. Later during the war this idea was reconsidered and the Home Guard was formed. Secondly I was interested to hear that Count Munster who owned Maresfield Park and for many years had supported many local charities and donated monies to worthy causes, suddenly felt the hostility towards German Nationals and with his wife and family moved to Germany to work as a volunteer in the ambulance brigade. Thirdly due to so many farm horses being conscripted during that war mechanical means were introduced, but one picture Ian showed us from the Pathe News (not in Sussex) were circus elephants being put to use pulling the plough and loading hay onto a cart. The evening was well appreciated by those attending.
REMEMBRANCE DAY: On Sunday at St Laurence’s after the main service the names of those who are named on the two war plaques were read out by members of the congregation telling us where they had died and where they and their families had lived in Falmer and Stanmer villages. It was a very moving moment.
I went back to the church in the afternoon to see some very dear friends of the church who had come to visit the exhibition of Falmer Families in the Past. One of the names that was read that very morning was the father of Diana who had come to visit with her husband and her son and his son; three generations of that one man Leading Aircraftman Frederick Bentley aged 41 Son of Walter and Rachel Bentley of Park Street Falmer husband of Ivy Kate Bentley and father of Diana Morgan, Royal Air Force died 11th August 1945 in France.
NO WATER: On Saturday the whole of BN1 postcode was cut off without water from approx 6pm to sometime in the early hours of the following morning. I had no idea and really thought that my washing machine had broken when I went to turn it on and nothing happened. Calling for my husband he began to investigate, looking to see if there was anything blocking the pump with residue water spilling out onto the floor, when I went to the tap and realised there was no water coming out, then we knew it wasn’t the machine but somewhere a water break. We have very good neighbours who were concerned for us and as they were going out to buy bottled water bought some for us. It made me very aware just how lucky we are just, without thinking, turn our taps on at will to wash and drink. I had only just been watching an advert on the television for Water Aid.
CHRISTMAS FAIR: Remember tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday, Falmer Christmas Fair in the village hall, full of craft work, cards and interesting gifts to buy for Christmas. From 10am to 5pm. Do come and be surprised.