News from around the clubs - June 11

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Thursday, 10th June 2010, 2:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:09 pm

Bexhill Hanoverian Study Group

OUR seminar at the Northern Hotel on May 19 was a great success.

Mr Paul Chamberlain addressed a large and attentive audience with his experiences at the Time Team Investigation of the prison built at Norman Cross for the incarceration of prisoners of the Napoleonic War. Paul gave us an insight into the pre-planning of the dig as well as the progress made during the short period allowed and the restrictions that can be imposed on such excavations. He also described the life and conditions for the prisoners, including the possibility of exchange for British and Hanoverian soldiers held in France.

The Time Team programme should be broadcast during June.

This important event in the BHSG calendar concluded with an excellent lunch attended by Mr Paul Chamberlain, our surviving founder member, Mr Fred Rye together with the BHSG committee and numerous members.

The BHSG will return to the Manor Barn on June 15 at 7.30pm. On this occasion, Mr Charles Mathieson will give a talk on The KGL at Copenhagen 1807. Mr Mathieson, a retired City of London solicitor, has devoted many years to the study of military history. His knowledge of the this specific battle and its strategic importance will provide us with a very enlightening evening, especially as the Kings German Legion played such a vital and prominent role.

As always, guests are welcome. Entrance 1.

We are still trying to recruit help for our research and with our ever growing amount of correspondence and queries we receive from the international interest in our group? Volunteers would find involvement both fascinating and rewarding. Please contact Mrs Child (01424 212130) or Mrs Hemingway (01424 842785).

Bexhill and District CSMA Club

WE were entertained at our May 16 club night by Romy McCabe from Eastbourne with her talk about Old Time Musicals. She took us back to the 19th century and the Old Gaiety Theatre with shows such as The Geisha and A Runaway Girl and matinee idols such as Ellaline Terriss, Hayden Coffin and Nellie Farren.

Next came The New Gaiety from 1903-1957 and the impressario George Edwards who ran three theatres. Shows such as Our Miss Gibbs, The Girls of Gottenberg and Miss Hook of Holland were very popular, not so much for their plots, but for the extravagant costumes of the chorus girls and the songs of Lionel Monckton, the most popular song writer of his day.

With the aid of some recorded music, Romy sang several of the old songs, with our group attempting the chorus lines. It was a really jolly evening.

We had two most enjoyable visits in May, both blessed with glorious sunshine. On May 14 we visited Stone Cross Windmill and were given a lecture on windmil designs prior to a tour of the impressive advanced mechanical designs at Stone Cross. This was followed by a wholesome meal of scones and cakes made from their home ground flour.

On May 21 we visited the Brownbread Horse Rescue Centre and were able to appreciate, first hand, the hard work of Tony Smith and his wife in rescuing these magnificent animals, who have been found in dire circumstances. Again we enjoyed scones and cake. Some of our members were also introduced to the game of croquet on the Smith's lawn.

Our May lunch club meeting was held on May 4 at the Laughing Fish at Isfield. Our June lunch club meeting was held on June 1 at The Mermaid in Bexhill, a venue we enjoyed very much.

The joint visit with our Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells neighbours to the Kent and East Sussex Railway at Tenterden is on July 7. Any members who have not yet signed up for this visit should contact our Secretary, Tony Calton on 01424 434496.

Little Common Ladies' Club

AT a well-attended meeting on May 26, Mr Geoff Hutchinson gave an excellent talk about the life of Grey Owl, a colourful, enigmatic character. Born Archibald Stansfield Belaney in Hastings in 1888, he was raised from the age of two by his aunts Carry and Ada. From 1899 he attended Hastings Grammar School, where he excelled in French and English. Young Archie spent much of his time reading or exploring the woods near his home. He collected unusual animals and became fascinated by American Indians. He left school to work in a lumber company but was fired after lowering fireworks down the chimney of the lumber company's offices, nearly destroying the building. In 1906, with his Aunt Ada's approval, he sailed to Canada. In Northern Ontario, he learned to trap, canoe and survive in the wilderness. He learnt skills from Indians and adopted an Indian identity, Grey Owl. He later claimed to have been born in Mexico of a Scottish father and an Apache mother. In 1915 he joined the Canadian Army and served in France before being injured and shipped to England for treatment. Back in Canada he was registered disabled. In 1925, having already had two wives (one bigamously) and a common law partner, he met Gertrude Barnard (aka Anahareo) who played a large part in changing him from a trapper to a conservationist. She encouraged his writing. Articles and books on conservation were published and he was in demand as a lecturer, attracting large audiences when he toured Canada and England (including Hastings.) In 1937, he was invited to Buckingham Palace where he met the royal family.

Exhausted by the tours and weakened by alcohol, he returned to his cabin in Prince Albert National Park, where shortly after his return in April 1938, he was found unconscious. He died of pneumonia, aged 49.

Our chairman, Pat Grayling thanked Mr Hutchinson for his extremely vivid, informative and entertaining presentation.

The next meeting is on June 23 when Mr Michael Hoad will give a talk illustrated with slides about A Jewel in Europe. Anyone wishing to come along will be made very welcome. Meetings begin at 7.45pm at Little Common Community Centre, Shepherd's Close, Little Common. Telephone 01424 842456 for further details.

East Sussex Bridge Club

Results for the week ending June 4:

Monday May 31:

First - Patrick Hutley and Les Crawford

Second - John Clark and Inez Richards

Third - Alan Miley and Pat Neate

Wednesday June 2:

N/S First - John Hunt and Terry Hunt

Second - Marilyn Rutherford & Caroline Richardson

E/W First - Diana Hunt and Maggie Hunt

Second - Marion Bisson and Richard Beauprez

Thursday June 3:

N/S First - Janet Hipwell and Pat Beacon

Second - Josie Boryn and Ted Weare

E/W First - Carole Nicholas-Booth and Irene Heath

Second - Molly Bryant and Iris Lawrence

New Gentle, Easy duplicate session starting Friday June 25 at 1.45 pm at Grosvenor Park Nursing Home, Bexhill. Very suitable for everyone not yet experienced or confident enough to come to one of our regular sessions. Come with or without a partner. For more details please contact Barbara on 01424 422118.

Royal Naval Association, Bexhill

MAY 24 meeting, at eight bells of the Second Dog Watch:

The secretary reported on two local RN events, three forthcoming Armed Forces Day Parades, and reunions concerning 14 RN Ships '“ Glorious, Ardent, Acasta, Jamaica, Warrior, Messina, Cossack, Cook, Resolution, Salvictor, Narvik Protector, Ulster, and Diana.

He also gave notice of Sea Sundays in July in Worthing, Falmouth, and Maidstone.

After Stand-Easy, shipmate Bob Ball gave a most interesting talk on his experiences in the Merchant Navy. His family has a long local seagoing history. Indeed, three of them lost their lives in 1928, when on November 15 the worst disaster for many years occurred. The Rye Lifeboat capsized and the whole crew of 17 drowned.

During his youth Bob experienced fishing under sail, and in 1940 joined the MN, travelling to various ports in Africa, and the USA. On one voyage his ship was torpedoed on the port side but stayed afloat, but was later torpedoed on the starboard side and sank. After 11 days, the crew of one of the boats was rescued by HMSPathfinder, but the other boat was lost.

Owners stopped their seamen's pay, (then 3 per week) from the time of any sinking, and they received no compensation for loss of possessions. They also had to pay for their medals.

During the Invasion of Europe in June 1944, Bob's ship was involved in transporting Army vehicles. The ship was beached with others to provide protection whilst the Mulberry Harbour was being assembled.

No shipmate was successful in the regular monthly Name the Ship quiz, so the prize is held over until next month.

All those men and women who have served in any branch of the Royal Navy or the Merchant Navy are assured of a warm welcome as new members. In the response to duty we have found the gift of comradeship. This comradeship is in evidence not only at our branch meetings but also at our summer and Christmas socials, at our anniversary dinner, and at our annual Trafalgar dinner. Our 2010 summer social with be on Friday July 30.

Information about joining the RNA, and dates of meetings and events can be obtained by telephoning 01424 219035.

Bexhill Photographic Club

THE season finished with the print, slide, digital image of the year competition.

Each member was invited to enter three images of each medium for the judge from Kent, John Devenport FRPS,MPAGB,EFIAP.

All images were pre-judged, of which

a percentage was commented upon on the night.

The three blue ribbon winners were Vanessa Parker LRPS Print of the Year, Ray Noble Slide of the Year and Cliff Willard LRPS Digital image of the Year. These three winning images can be seen on our web site,

Certificates for other class winners throughout the whole season were presented by our vice chairman Ray Barry on the AGM night and are as follows.


General - Paul Hutchings

Small Print - Norman King

Portrait - Cliff Willard/Ken Plumb

Record - Paul Carrington


General - Dorothy Reeve

Nature - Ray Noble

Landscape- Ray Noble

Set Subject- Norman King/Sue Clarke

Projected Digital Images:

General - Vanessa Parker

Nature - Dorothy Reeve

Creative - Paul Carrington

Record - David Rossiter

Our new chairman elected for the coming season 2010/2011 was Paul Dunmall. Treasurer is Martin Haswell (who is taking over from Sue Clarke who for many years 15 in fact has been our wizard with figures and been devoted to the financial success of the club) and Mandy Willard takes on the print secretary's job. All other posts remain the same but with the inclusion of Dave Mason as a new committee member.

A very successful year was enjoyed by all members in all departments including paper, celluloid and pixels, i.e. three prints hung at the Kent County Exhibition at Maidstone County Hall, a Kent County first prize in the club slide competition, best individual slide in the Sussex Federation slide competition and a good inter club win with digital images.

Now we have the club exhibition to look forward to at the Bexhill Museum on August 20-22 and our new club venue in Sackville Road.

Any prospective new members should log onto the website at or ring Paul Dunmall, our new chairman, on 07876 593575.

Bexhill 100 Motoring Club

WE were invited to display some of our club cars at the Conquest Hospital's garden fete to add another dimension to the event.

The weather was fine and 11 club vehicles were on show including three Triumph Herald Convertibles, Aston Martin DB2, Austin Seven, MG TF and MG Maestro, Rover Convertible and Reliant Scimitar GTE.

One member decided as it was such a lovely day that instead of bringing his classic car rode his classic 1960 Vespa 150cc scooter, bought from F&E Clark of London Road, Bexhill, owned and cared for by its rider since new. The afternoon was a great success with a lot of interest shown in the vehicles.

We have been invited to the Bexhill Hospital Garden Party on June 19, so why not come along and support The League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital and see us as well?