The Village Scene

I have commented before that during my early childhood my dad was a student on a tiny grant. We were poorer than I ever knew for I was given a really lovely childhood. But entertainment came free and what better than to watch the local cricket team? And that, clearly, is what is going on here.


Well my big brother and I actually have our backs to the cricket as we line up for a picture being taken by my sister. The camera she has must belong to the man half in the picture. He was a friend of my dad called Fred Ansell. My dad took this picture of us, the cricket, and a little bit of our village which was Ifield in Sussex.

I can’t of course tell you anything of the cricket. This was 1951 and I’d have been approaching the age of three. Ifield cricketers became friends and heroes of mine later but back then I hadn’t grasped what the game was about. But that backdrop – which was just part of the scene for me – is now full of interest.

Just off the road on which I lived, there was a bumpy, non-surfaced track called Mill Lane. There had been a windmill there – it would have been a post mill – and I can still remember the round house at the base standing gaunt, forlorn and roofless. What happened to the mill, I don’t know, but a big steam mill, not dependant on the vagaries of the weather had been built with its tall chimney to help provide a draught for the boiler fire. That, too, in my memory, had fallen into disuse. In fact I was very proud of the fact that the actual engine had become an exhibit in the London Science Museum.

This extract comes from the site .

A portion of Ifield green was granted before 1837 to James Bristow, miller and farmer, who by then had built a windmill on it. A steam engine had been added by 1855. The Wood family, at one time of Ifield Court farm, operated the mill in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The upper part of the windmill was dismantled in 1898, and in 1928 the steam engine was acquired by the Science Museum; in 1985 it was on permanent loan in Berlin. The mill building was converted before 1965 for a youth club.



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2 Responses to “The Village Scene”

  1. The Moon is a Naked Banana Says:

    It’s a beautiful thing to capture a moment forever in a photo. A flash goes, a shutter clicks, and the moment is over – but frozen, missing only smells and sounds.

    • locksands Says:

      Nice comment, thanks. Smells and sounds are missing. So, too, are taste and feel. A picture only uses sight and allows us to imagine the rest. That’s something I often prefer to multi-sensory films.

      Thanks for reading this blog.

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