Fletching

CHURCH SERVICES: Church of St Andrew and St Mary the Virgin, Sunday, 10am Parish Communion. Wednesday, 10am Holy Communion.

ART GROUP: Meets on Wednesday at 1pm.

BEAVERS: Cubs and Scouts meet on Wednesday at 5pm.

FORGET-ME-NOTS: Meet on Thursday at 1.30pm.

MARTIAL ARTS: Kobudo Martial Arts meet on Thursday at 5pm

OPEN GARDENS: Fletching and District gardens open for charity, including the NGS. Clinton Lodge: Monday (NGS), Monday July 30 (NGS). Open 2pm to 5.30pm. Admission £6, children free. Teas. Plant stall. Off-road parking (weather permitting). No dogs please.

100 YEARS AGO: Sussex Express 12 July 1918. Woman’s Tragic End. Drowned in a Well at Maresfield. Exceedingly sad are the circumstances of the death of Mrs Sarah Savage, of Nursery-lane, Nutley, who was drowned in a 70ft well at Batts Hill Cottage, Maresfield, on Sunday morning last. The deceased, who was 48 years of age, was the wife of Mr. Alfred Savage, clerk to Messrs Turner and Co timber merchants, of Nutley, and at the time of her death was on a visit to her sister.

An inquest was held by Mr G Vere Benson on Monday, when the widower said that himself, wife, and family came to stay with Mrs Matthews on account of his wife’s health and mental depression which came on rather suddenly about a month ago. She had no particular worry, but was medically attended. On the previous Saturday night she was worried over somebody coming whom she would rather not, and he wired to stop them, after which she appeared all right. They slept together, and he heard nothing at all till her sister called out and said deceased was in the well. Going there at once he persuaded her to hang on to the bucket, and she did so, but the chain at the end came away from the rope. The rope was lowered, but she had not strength to hang on, and sank.

Alfred Matthews brother-in-law of deceased said that he had noticed that she was strange. She had never threatened to destroy herself, but appeared to be worrying, though he could not get her to say what the worry was. She was on good terms with her husband, and seemed cheerful when she went to bed. Early on Sunday morning he heard a scream, and his wife exclaimed, ‘Sally’s down the well.’ He went out at once just as he was and let down the bucket, with the result already indicated, but witness could not say whether she actually took hold or whether the hook caught her clothes; she was partially dressed. He heard her making a noise whilst down the well, but could not hear what she said. Dr H M Sydenham said he had attended deceased professionally. Latterly she became very anxious about her health, and feared consumption. He never could find any disease but she became thin and melancholy. He thought her age could have something to do with her mental depression. When he arrived, the appearance of the body was consistent with drowning. He tried artificial respiration without avail. The Jury returned a verdict of ‘Suicide whilst of unsound mind’.

The 1911 census has Alfred Matthews, gamekeeper, and his family living at Batts Hill, Piltdown, presumably the property now known as Keeper’s Cottage.