The Ninfield Local History Group has held its first exhibition of local and family history having been awarded a £5,000 grant to collect local life stories, documents and photographs.
The event, which attracted over 800 visitors, featured a variety of topics related to Ninfield such as maps with the 1842 tithe map, the 1913 Deeprose Map and a new original Centenary Map. There was also a display of historic houses, and a photographic archive. The public was invited to help identify people and events depicted in hundreds of old photos collected since the project began.
The group is working on a joint project with the Ninfield primary school on WW2 and has given each child in year 5 a copy of the book Ninfield School in World War 2, written by resident Jim Broughton who was at school while the war was going on. It details a number of incidents that took place and the children produced some “wonderful” work including news reports, diary entries and pictures of life at school in Ninfield in the war period. This complemented a display by the History Group on Allied aircraft casualties around this part of East Sussex together with information about the local defence installations at RAF Wartling and Raf Pevensey. More work with the school is planned including an Evacuee Day and Victory Day party. The History group is taking residents into school to talk to children about life during the war. It is hoped this living history event will help them understand what grandparents lived through. Oral history is central to enabling stories to be saved for future generations. Using recollections from over 30 local residents the group has gathered Wartime Memories and a CD of these was played to visitors.