Rodmell and Southease

RAFT RACE: I was so pleased that Sunday, the day of the raft race down the Ouse from Lewes to Newhaven, was such a lovely day. I did not go to it this year, but, I know it is usually a great fun day and I hope everyone enjoyed it.

BEAGLES: I was horrified to see on the news this week that Beagles are still being bred for vivisection. As a Beagle lover who keep Beagles for well over 40 years, it horrifies me that these lovely dogs who mostly have loving but very independent natures, are being kept for research. The sad thing is it’s probably because of their good natures, their short coats and their willingness to eat everything put in front of them that makes them the ideal subject to do research on. I realise that research has to be done to help cure some of the dire diseases of the human race but surely there is a better way. Rodmell was a Beagle village at one time, sadly they’ve all gone now.

SUNDAY OPENING: The subject of Sunday opening has come up again in the media and I know these days that so many people love to shop at the weekends, you only have to see how busy Lewes is. Times are now so different to the tome I grew up, when I was not allowed to play out on a Sunday and people were given black looks if they put out washing no a Sunday. As a child my Sundays were set to a routine. My father had usually set up a shooting party that went off early in the morning and came back for a huge breakfast at our house which my mother and grandmother would have prepared. Afterwards, whilst the men sorted out the proceeds of the shoot, cleaned guns etc. My grandmother, who was a great cook, would bake trays of cakes and prepare a great Sunday lunch. In the meantime Mum would dress me up in Sunday best clothes and dress herself up to the nines for the Sunday jaunt to Brighton seafront. One week we would go on the Palace Pier then walk along to Black rock and back and the next week we would go along to Hove and go to the West Pier, then we always ended up with my mother meeting her brothers for a drink at the King and Queen pub, which had a lovely outside area where I was put with my orange juice. Sunday lunch was quite an occasion with the most lovely food and afterwards we were all taken out in the car to the countryside to have a good walk and plenty of fresh air and get an appetite for the lovely tea which my grandmother had previously prepared. This of coursed was in the 40’s and 50’s so different to today’s times. I can remember the Punch and Judy shows beneath the piers, I hated them, they were so violent and I could never understand why people laughed at them.

CONTACTED: I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had been contacted by someone from Heir Hunters about a great aunt of mine. She had died some years ago and there is a small legacy to sort out. I never knew her as there was a family scandal (quite a few in the Berkeley family, very Downton Abbey). To cut a long story short, I now find this aunt had a daughter also named Pauline, who died tragically young and had three children. Through a cousin in Australia, I found an address, wrote to Susan who now lives abroad and explained who I was. The result was an excited phone call from Susan who was back in the country for a holiday at her house in Cambridge. We set up a meeting with me, her brother Nigel and her sister Angela in our pub and had a wonderful lunchtime getting to know each other. They had no idea of the elite and colourful background they had originated from and were astonished when I gave them the family history and copies of the family properties. The strange thing is Nigel lives in Worthing and Angela in Henfield so we have all been living very near each other for all these years and knew nothing about each other. Life is strange. I feel another book coming on for this year’s winter project.

COFFEE MORNING: Wednesday is the popular coffee morning in the village hall from 11am.

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