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Villagers revel in local history

By This is Sussex  |  Posted: October 28, 2009

  • The Ashurst Wood Historians are 30 years old

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PAST treasures were unveiled as a village history group reached its 30th anniversary.

Archive material including scrap books, maps and photographs were presented before visitors by the Ashurst Wood Historians.

More than 100 people gathered at the village centre on Saturday October 17 to view the exhibition in celebration of the landmark occasion.

Chairman Keith Stacey said: "It went very well. We had about 130 visitors and have had a lot of positive feedback. People spent quite a lot of time looking at things and some people said they wished they could have stayed longer."

The group was formed in 1979 by villager Arthur Hunt, who developed an interest in local history and is still an active member.

He began by researching secretary Wendy Stacey's maiden name - Bowrah.

Mrs Stacey, who was born in the village along with her mother and grandfather, joined the historians as a founder member 30 years ago.

The history of people, houses, places and other information was compiled into two books, which were displayed on the day.

A third book, which concentrated on the 20th century, was professionally printed in 2000 and Mr Stacey is keen to continue documenting the village.

"I want to keep it going and we are hoping to produce another book," he said. "We will concentrate more on the history of the village and the buildings.

"In the new year we are going to make a concerted effort to get more people involved."

Ashurst Wood Historians began with about 30 members, but is now down to a dozen.

Nevertheless, the group is still keen to get more people involved.

To learn more about joining the group, call 01342 323880.

Some historical facts about Ashurst Wood:

- Lewes Road, Hammerwood Road and Cansiron Lane previously formed a ridgeway track, used by man and animals for at least 5,000 years.

- Brambletye and Shovelstrode estates were both mentioned in the Dooms Day Book.

- There has been a public house on the site of The Three Crowns since at least 1725.

- The Ashurst Wood bypass, also known as the Brambletye Bend, was built in 1826 at a cost of £12,000.

- In 1841 the population of Ashurst Wood was 651 and now stands at approximately 1,800.

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    Juan Martínez de la Colina, A Coruña, Spain  |  October 28 2009, 12:40PM

    I am interested in interchange information, by email, with Ashurst Wood Historians or any one, about Richards of Brambletye House. juan@juandelacolina.com