SIASG 2

 

SUSSEX INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY STUDY GROUP

No. 2  October 1968

The Group has now been established a year this month. When we held the first meeting in the Royal Pavilion on October 14th last year and started to pool ideas, it soon became apparent that our work was going to be urgent. Unless somebody acted there would one day be no adequate record of the buildings and machinery of our more recent industrial past, so fast is destruction and clearance today. What at that point was not clear was the extent of the work that lay, and still lies, ahead. Fortunately as our work grows, support for what is being done is also increasing. Support comes from not only a growing membership, but also various local authorities throughout the county ready to assist with information and offer co-operation. Most gratifying is that the Study Group is now officially represented on the permanent Advisory Parcel to the West Sussex County Council's Coast and Countryside Committee.

As one looks back over the first year, one of the most significant points to develop is the task we have of making people more aware of the claims and interest of industrial archaeology - quite regardless of the fact of our seeking for members. With a public educated to what the subject is all about, organisations such as ours ultimately benefit in hearing of discoveries, and there is the less chance of destruction. We have bad the privilege of demonstrating what the subject is all about at two of the best attended exhibitions in the south this year - Expo Sussex '68 and the international 4th Franco-British Industrial Fair where we had a bilingual stand. Both TV networks have provided coverage as well as the radio, and we are at present supplying information on early brewery equipment and ice houses for an educational television programme. Early next year the first series of lectures specifically on industrial archaeology to be held in Sussex is being arranged to take place in Worthing.

With regard to recording, such has been the accumulation of material that a publisher has kindly offered to help by publishing some of our work in the form of a bulletin. In view of this offer and the plans now being made, the original idea that the Newsletters would contain various feature articles, as announced in the first issue, has been abandoned.

THE SURVEYS
In the first Newsletter we announced the intention, depending on the response from members, to start work on nine specific surveys: i. Natural Power, ii. Fuel Power, iii. Tollhouses and Milestones, iv. Railway Architecture, v. Warehouses, vi. Breweries, vii. Kilns, viii. Brighton and Hove, ix. Shoreham Harbour.

As a result of the response it has so far been possible to organise inaugural meetings for three of these, although this does not mean to say that work on the others has been negligible. Members are reminded that they receive information about the individual surveys as a result of the returned questionnaires sent out with the application for membership forms, or by making direct contact with the survey co-ordinators whose names and addresses are given below. Two of the surveys, for Warehouses and Brighton and Hove, are still without individual leadership, and any help in this direction would be appreciated by the Secretary.
Natural Power
The first meeting was on 14th July at Shipley Windmill, at which Mr. Gregory outlined possible lines of approach for recording water, wind and animal machinery. -It was agreed that a most important aspect of the work was not only the preparation of adequate records, but also endeavouring to ensure maintenance and preservation where possible. In fact in our case the latter could help the former, as there would be no better way to learn about mills and their machinery (as some members have requested) than by actually helping in restoration work. In any mill restoration there would probably be a place for volunteer labour - under expert supervision - as has been shown in the case of Polegate Windmill. In reducing costs considerably, some projects could be made more feasible. The building up of labour force, under Mr. Gregory, could become one of the most useful aspects of this particular survey.
The following reports have been received;

Nutley Post Mill, Ashdown Forest (TQ 451291).
This is one of the oldest and smallest windmills in Sussex, and the only example of open-tressle construction in. the county. An appeal is soon to be launched to save this mill as the framework is in a deteriorating condition; it is now underpinned with telegraph poles, and the quarter bats no longer support the structure which rests on two brick pillars. Inconnection with the appeal a scale model, one inch to the foot, has been made by Mr. K. W. Hamlin of Groombridge, and is to be seen with its sweeps turning in a shop window in Uckfield High Street.

Polegate Tower Mill (TQ 582041).
Having been restored by Eastbourne and District Preservation Society, the mill was opened for its second season on 5th May by Mr. Rex Wailes, who also opened for the first season the Milling Museum. The only specialist museum of its type in Sussex, it displays not only the milling equipment from Polegate, but also various items from a number of East Sussex windmills, including information about two unusual horizontal windmills in mid-18th century Eastbourne. These have been investigated by one of our members, Mr. Lawrence Stevens, of Hailsham. Any items of equipment or information relative to Sussex mills would be appreciated by the Museum's Curator, Miss Vera Hodsoll, 33 Central Avenue, Polegate. One item they are trying to acquire is a French burr stone to put on display. Although Mr. Gregory has managed to locate a suitable specimen in East Sussex, there is the problem of transporting the stone which weighs about half a ton. If there is anybody who thinks they might be able to assist would they please contact Mr. Gregory.

Dunnings Mill, East Grinstead (TQ 369392).
Substantial remains of a tilt hammer were located earlier this year close to the Mill. Besides the haft and head of the hammer, there is the waterwheel and shaft, what is possibly a trunnion stool, and also the anvil. These parts have been donated to the Open Air Museum at West Dean, where it is hoped they will eventually be re-erected in working order. A detailed examination is required before any conclusion can be reached as to its significance, and its relation, if any, to the Wealden iron industry. (See photograph at end of Newsletter).

Brighton Corporation has custody of two donkey wheels, at Saddlescombe (TQ 272115) and Stanmer (TQ 336096), and two horse gins, at Preston Manor (TQ 305065) and Stanmer House (TQ 336095). On the basis of reports made by Mr. J. Kenneth Major of Reading, Mr. Sheppard of Brighton Museum is investigating the possibility of certain repair work. Particular attention will be paid to the Stanmer donkey wheel and well house situated on the northern edge of the churchyard. The wheel is in a decayed condition, and the little flint house badly overgrown with ivy. Bearing in mind that this is one of only three now surviving in Sussex, where records indicate there were once a considerable number, it is to the credit of the Corp-oration that something is to be done. Some definite policy needs to be formulated for the gin and well house at Preston Manor, dating from about the mid 19th century, which has escaped much notice up to now. Although in a derelict state it requires to be treated as sympathetically and fully as possible, and being in a public park could then be put on public display. Only five horse gins have been recorded so far as surviving in the whole of the county (see Newsletter No. 1, page 2).

The reference to horse gins in the previous Newsletter prompted some further enquiries; the derivation is from 'engine'. It is rather curious that although the term 'horsepower' is part of everyday language, this particular form of stationary power is not too widely known: Because of the depth of the chalk Downland wells, many farms and mansions used a horse gin in order to raise their daily supplies in sufficient quantities. It is interesting to note that the specimen next to Stanmer House, believed to be of the early 18th century, is possibly the oldest example of a water-raising horse gin in the country. The one at Patching, dating from the middle of the 19th century (TQ 088066) is also a noted example on account of its completeness. In order to give an example of the sort of machinery that is being looked for, this particular gin Is illustrated at the end of the Newsletter. The cast iron gin operated a three-throw pump through a depth of 150 feet, and it was worked by a horse walking round a circular concrete path. There is much Scope for investigating individual farms for what might survive, especially on the Downs.
The co-ordinator for this survey is Mr. F. W. Gregory, 292 Dyke Road, Brighton, BN1 SBA. 2

Fuel Power
Although this survey group has not yet had a meeting for general discussion, visits have already been made this year to see the two beam engines at the. Goldstone Pumping Station, Hove, to-ihe Eastbourne Destructor Works, and Eastbourne Gas Works. 'Mr. Parker of Brighton College of Technology is preparing a technical report on the two Easton and Anderson engines dated 1866 and 1876 at Hove, and in view of the closure, and future demolition, of the mid-19th century gas works in Eastbourne, Mr. R. White has been investigating and recording so that at least one of the 19th century Sussex gas works will have been fully covered. The nearby Destructor Works, which in the 1890's was one of the most advanced disposal plants in the country using compressed air to work Shone ejectors, is being demolished this year to make way for more advanced equipment. This is involving the scrapping of the two semi- vertical steam engines by Hughes and Lancaster, dated 1892. These the group tried to save by finding them a museum home, but without success.

Mr. F. L. Veale, a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical Engineers and a member. of its History of Technology Group, is endeavouring to establish details about the development of electricity supply in Sussex. An initial aim is to determine a chronological sequence of the foundation of the private under takings in order to identify the earlier ones, so that the surviving evidence - machinery and buildings - might be investigated and recorded. It is worth noting that Sussex occupies a most important position in the history of electricity supply in this country. Brighton and Eastbourne were supplied by two of the pioneer power stations in the country in 1882. The Hammond Electric Light Company inaugurated a public supply from plant in Reeds Iron Foundry, Gloucester Road, offering customers lamps at 12/- each per week with current available from dusk until 11 p. m. daily. By 1887 the Company was supplying through mains with a length of 15 miles, extending 3 miles from the generating plant. In terms of power transmission, prior to the introduction of transformers, Brighton was the most successful example of long distance transmission in the world, according to R. H. Parsons, 'The Early Days of the Power Station Industry' (Babcock and Wilcox, 1939).

Mr. Veale writes that as a result of enquiries he has made, it has been possible to interview Mr. A. G. Milne of the South Eastern Electricity Board, and Mr. N. Boydell, Seeboard Manager at Eastbourne. This latter gentleman has in his possession many photographs illustrating early equipment used by Eastbourne Electric Light Company. Contact has also been made with Mr. G. A. Rogers, the Warden of the Seeboard Staff Training College at North Frith, Tonbridge. Further contacts are to be made with area managers. 

Mr. Veale, 4 Haystoun Close, Eastbourne, would be grateful to hear of any information relative to this work, or from anyone wishing to assist in the investigations.

Brighton was also the scene of other pioneer electrical experiments by Magnus Volk. His son, Mr. Conrad Volk, is gathering information for a detailed account of his life. Of his father he writes:
"Born in Brighton in 1851, he became a true pioneer of electrical engineering, and his name is still associated with the little railway along the sea front there, which, in its original form, he built in 1883. - the first public electric railway in Great Britain. He also designed the unique 'sea-going' railway from Paston Place to Rottingdean, popularly known as 'Daddy Long Legs', the rails of which, at high tide, were several feet under the water.

But apart from these railways, my father's other activities were many and varied. To give a few instances: he installed the first electric lighting in the Brighton Royal Pavilion and Dome; he equipped Brighton's first telephone exchange; in 1887 he built an electric motor car, a picture of which was seen by the Sultan of Turkey, who ordered a similar one - and my father took it out there himself, and demonstrated it in the Palace gardens. This was almost without doubt the first export order for a motor car ever received in the U.K. Since I began collecting information for my book I have heard from many kind friends who remember my father, but there are others yet with whom I still hope to make contact. I should be very grateful for any further help you could give me through the Group,"

Correspondence with Mr. Volk began as a result of our contacting the owner of an early lathe that had been removed from the Volk railway workshop at Paston Place after the last war. It was manufactured by William Astbury of Grantham, whom trade directories indicate was only in business there in 1862. The lathe, in excellent condition, might well have significant associations therefore with the construction of the country's first public electric train. Mr. G. Goldring (1 Natal Road, Brighton), who has given the Group much information on early Brighton and Have, states that this lathe was used for commutator turning, bush making, and general turning work.

Should anyone have information on Magnus Voik. Mr. Conrad Volk's address is, 5 Edenhurst, Oak Hill Road, Sevenoaks, Kent.
The co-ordinators for this Fuel Power survey are Mr. F. G. Parker, A,M,Inst.F., A.M. Inst. Plant. E., Brighton College of Technology, Lewes Road, Brighton, 7., and Mr. R. White, 4 Argyll Court, Hampden Park, Eastbourne.

Tollhouses and Milestones
The first meeting was held at Ardingly College on 13th July at which Mr. J. R. Armstrong gave an illustrated talk. He emphasised the importance of collecting records of tollhouses as they are usually in most precarious positions, and soon disappear with road widening schemes. The information from this survey would be most useful to illustrate the development of the turnpike system in Sussex at the Open Air Museum at West Dean. 'Here . eventually will be re-erected the weather-boarded tollhouse from Seeding near Shoreham, c.1847.

Another item acquired by the Museum is the wooden toll-board that came originally from the Northchapel Gate, presented by Haslemere Educational Museum. This is possibly the only toll-board to survive from Sussex, and was on display at this meeting.

The meeting agreed to compile firstly a list of all known surviving tollhouses in the county, to photograph them, and wherever possible, to prepare ground plans to indicate their size, the internal lay-out, and possible building additions that have taken place on so many of those still lived in today. What is essential is to determine what the original house was like. Even where tollhouses have been pulled down, it might still be possible to locate the original foundations, and therefore the probable layout, in some cases. It is also essential to collect early pictures of those houses demolished some years ago, and about which little evidence is available today.

The survey's co-ordinator, Mr. B. Austen B.A., 1 Mercedes Cottages, St. John's Road, Haywards Heath, agreed to prepare a list of tollhouses still surviving so that some definite scheme of work could be arranged.

Concerning milestones, West Sussex County Council removed the stone at Erringham, near Shore-ham, inscribed '54', and it has subsequently been removed to West Dean for eventual display. The finest series to survive in Sussex were erected in the 18th century, known as the Bow-Bell series, indicating the distance to Bow-Bells London. Of cast iron, and, bearing in relief, bells, a bow, the Pelham buckle and the distance to London, each one along the London-Uckfield-Hailsham road (A22) and the Uckfield-Lewes road (A26) is being photographed and recorded. Initial help in this has been given by the Surveyor's Department, East Sussex County Council.

In addition to the literature mentioned in the first Newsletter which might be useful to those taking part in this survey, the following title is recommended:
T.W. Wilkinson. 'The Highways and Byways of England', (Iliffe,n.d.)

Railway Architecture
Mr. J. M. Hoare who joined the Group in early September has kindly offered to take charge of this survey. His address is 66 Church Mead, Hassocks.

Breweries
The first meeting took place in Brighton on 13th July. Mr. P.R. White, the survey's co-ordinator, writes:
"Work has been mainly concentrated on the documentary sources which give an indication of the locations of premises engaged in brewing. A provisional list for the whole county has now been compiled up to 1915. It would appear that by this date - or rather some time before it - the number of buildings in use is on the decline. This trend is not merely due to the elimination of the smaller units, but rather it seems to be due to the influence of the means of communications through the county. There are, indeed, a number of amalgamations and take-overs among 'local' brewers, and there is more direct importation of beef from London and Burton companies. In the country, however, the small public house/brewery persisted well into the twentieth century, albeit in declining numbers.

Fieldwork has started mainly in the towns. Buildings have been located in Hastings, Battle, Hailsham, Seaford and Lewes. Work is shortly to start in Brighton, Worthing, Bognor and Arundel, but there is a need for more help in West Sussex generally, and more particularly in Chichester and Horsham. A county-wide survey of maltings is under way, as a separate exercise.

It is inevitable that most of the buildings that are located will be quite gutted of their brewing machinery etc.. and that they will be used for some other quite different industrial activity. To a large extent, therefore, the survey will be concerned, not with machinery, but with types of buildings. Photographs will form an important part of the record, but will by no means preclude the need for a brief des-cription of the immediate environment of the brewery-disposition or possibility of maltings, stables, cooperage etc., the accessibility of the site to road/river/rail (or in the case of a 'pub' brewery a note on the general and particular disposition of the buildings), and whether, as in the case of the larger units, there is any provision for the housing of the brewer and some of his staff.

Only if the examination of the extant remains is carried out with these points in mind, will it be possible, eventually, to form some picture of the relative importance of the industry.

Finally, there is another more incidental way in which we can add to our 'visual' knowledge of brewing, and this is by collecting labelled bottles, wall plaques, advertising posters and so on. Apart from providing a tangible reminder of firms since defunct, this type of material also gives a good indication of the variety of brewery products."

Mr. White, may be contacted at the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, S,W.1.

Kilns
Investigations continue to be made at the Ashbumham Brickyard (TQ 684161), In view of its planned closure, and its being one of the last wood-fired brick kilns in the country, where all production is by hand, various tests are being carried out, generously at our request, by the Redland Brick Company. The last two firings are in early October, and early November.

Any records of brick, pottery and lime kilns, should be sent to the co-ordinator of the survey, Mr. A. W. Rule, Mill House, Westbourne, Emsworth, Hants.

Brighton and Have and Shoreham Harbour Surveys.
Both these surveys are most urgent in view of re-development schemes. They have not yet been able to start as members so far have indicated a preference for the other surveys. Members wishing to help with recording Shoreham Harbour are asked to contact Mr. J.A. Mudge, 50 Lustrells Vale, Saltdean, Brighton. Someone to take charge of the Brighton and Hove survey is needed.

Other Survey Work
Mrs. M. Holt of West House Farm, Alboume, near Hassocks is investigating the tanneries of Sussex. She writes:
"My research on the subject has covered all the small towns and villages known to have tanneries in the 19th century. There are, however, many unrecorded sites, especially those which were only con-cerned with fellmongering, and I should be most grateful if the location of such sites could be sent to me.

Quite often the only indication is by name - Tannery Farm, Tan Cottage etc. - but these clues are most valuable and often occur in unexpected places. Any information whatsoever would be of great interest."

Miss B. M. Thompson is gathering information on the Wool Staple and Fellmongering business that closed down a few years ago in Tower Street, Chichester. The surviving buildings are eventually to be demolished in a future re-development scheme. Any information would be appreciated. Miss Thompson's address is 1 High Trees, Hunston, Chichester.

Mr. A. Barritt, 98 Westfield Crescent, Brighton, is compiling the history of Ashcombe post mill which was blown down in 1916. This was unusual in its having six sweeps and was one of the noted Sussex windmills.

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY
One of our members, Mr. H. Gordon, 34 Terminus Avenue, Bexhill-on-Sea, has compiled an introductory list of books relating to the subject and its various branches. One of the important points is that he is indicating the more general books which have specific Sussex references. Members may obtain the first list - free of charge - by writing to Mr. Gordon. Further lists are planned, for which be will be grateful to hear of suggestions.

18th & 19th CENTURY SUSSEX NEWSPAPERS
The industrial archaeologist increasingly finds the need to supplement recording in the field with documentary evidence, and so it is thought that it might be useful to indicate the location in Sussex libraries of the county's newspapers. The list is taken from one prepared by Eastbourne Public Library in 1950, with permission.

It should be stated that Mr. H.R.H. Harmer, West Sussex County Reference Librarian, Chichester, is at present compiling an extensive bibliography of Sussex newspapers, and their location in libraries all over the world. This will be volume 1 in a new series to be published by the Reference Librarians' Group of the Library Association. He would be grateful to hear of any information to help in this compilation.

In the following list, the underlined name indicates the library location of the deposited newspapers. 
An asterisk indicates that the series noted runs into the 20th century.

Brighton & Sussex Daily Post & Hove Chronicle, July 1876 - Feb. 1886 Brighton
Brighton Daily News, 1859-1879 Brighton
Brighton Examiner, 1853-1855/1857-1895 Brighton
Brighton Gazette 1821-* Brighton
Brighton Guardian

 

 

7th Feb. 1827 - 24th Dec. 1828/ 1834-1843/Jan.- June 1844/
1847-1850 (odd nos.)/ 28th Oct. 1863-31st Dec. 1865/1867/ Oct.-Dec. 1888/1889 *-
Brighton

 

 

Brighton Herald

 

 

6th Sept. 1806- 27th Dec. 1806/1807/
7th Oct. 1826 - 29th Dec. 1827/1828-1831/1841/ 25th. Feb. - 30th Dec.1843/ 1844-1885/ 13th Oct. 1888-*
Brighton

 

 

The Brightonian 11th March 1882 - 19th April 1884  Brighton
Brighton Patriot March-Oct. 1835 (some missing)  Brighton
Eastbourne Chronicle, 1892-* Eastbourne
Eastbourne Gazette 1896-* Eastbourne
Hastings & St. Leonards Advertiser 
1881/1884/Oct.-Dec.1885/1887-88/
1883/1895-96/1898-99
Hastings
Hastings & St. Leonards News 
1849-*
Town Hall
Hastings
Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 1873-* Hastings
Lewes & Brighthelmston Packet & Weekly Advertiser  1789-1790
Brighton
Hampshire Telegraph & Sussex Chronicle 1811-1816 (odd nos.) Brighton
Sussex Advertiser 1822-1897 Brighton
Sussex County Times various from 1871 Horsham
Sussex Daily News 1880-* 
1881-*
Brighton
Hove
Sussex Express

 

2nd. Sept.-11th Nov. 1843/
24th.Aug.-12th Oct. 1844/
7th Sept. 1861/3rd. March 1863 -
22nd. Dec. 1885/1887-
18th Feb 1890 Brighton
Hove

 

 

Sussex Times 1st July 1874-2nd May 1881 Eastbourne
Sussex Weekly Advertiser, or Lewes Journal

 

1749/1751-2/1758-1764(odd nos.) 1769-1784/1786-May1806/1807-1822 Brighton 30th Oct. 1769-28th Dec. 1818 Brighton

 

Worthing Gazette 1883-1889  
Worthing Intelligencer 1890-93/1898  Worthing
Worthing Monthly Record Sept. 1853-July 1856 Worthing


Tilt Hammer Dunnings Mill, East Grinstead
(see page 2)


Horse Gin Patching, 
near Arundel (see page 2)

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