The Firle Calendar – 2001

I didn’t visit Firle, in the 21st century, until 2003. I think (memory does fail at times) that I bought the 2001 calendar very cheaply at the village shop. It contains twelve pictures of old Firle and one, in particular meant something to me.

But let’s start with the front cover.


Firle Beacon is the high point in this part of the world. It’s a nice image, but it was one of people that particularly interested me.


This is the Firle School football team of about 1952. I am related to one person in the photo and I knew another. Here’s the caption with the photo.

A Firle school football team c 1952.
Standing, 1 to r: Roy Quick, Ron Jordan, John Backshell, Mr Sheather, Roger Clayton, Cyril Toms, Dave Jones.
Front Row: Brian Ness, Ron Crouch, Ray Gravett, Mick Botting, Maurice Boxall, Emie Kemp, Julian Freeman.

I am related to Cyril Toms. He was the grandson of my Great Aunt Nellie


Cyril lived with his mum, dad and a couple of brothers at Crossways in Firle  but his mum died in the early 50s and his gran moved from her Wick Street house to help raise the family. I can’t say I knew Cyril well. He was ten years older than me and a 6 year old me had little in common with a 16 year old youth. His interests were normal for a person of his age but they meant little or nothing to much younger me.

The other person I knew was Julian Freeman. In fact he has featured before on this blog (click here).


Julian was the son of George Freeman, farmer of Glynde. He was part of the dynasty that had both Station Farm and The Furlongs – as tenant farmers.

Julian was always a rather quiet and shy youngster and although he must have been a similar age to Cyril, I felt more at home with this sensitive person who seemed to live for farming. Like his dad and his uncles, Dick and Harry, Julian has now died. He was very much part of the scene when we had our annual family camp at Furlongs.

As an aside, we can notice how much printing has improved in the 21st century!


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