The Fernhurst Society
Newsletter no 27, April
“It is with sadness we report that Nick Unsworth, a member of the
Executive Committee and enthusiastic supporter of the Fernhurst Society,
died suddenly on the 12th February, aged 54. Nick had been through both
leukaemia and blindness from shingles over the past three years, yet through
this all he retained his good humour and positive attitude to life. Forced
to retire early from his medical career Nick threw himself into village
life, volunteering to join the Executive Committee and taking on associated
responsibilities. Nick was a valuable member of the Committee, undertaking
writing the Fernhurst News entries and recently had started the valuable
task of being one of the oral history interviewers. His generous, humorous
character and thoughtful presence is much missed and our thoughts are
with Carole, his wife.”
Events: Spring to Autumn 2007
Thursday 5th April – Talk on Global Warming by John Clement
John worked at ICI and Zeneca in Fernhurst as an environmental scientist.
He has since worked as an environmental adviser to government organisations
in the Americas, Asia and Europe looking at issues of sustainability,
food chain supply & ethical fairtrade. He will talk about whether
global warming is a real phenomenon induced by man, or part of a natural
cycle, or just hype. . This should prove to be an informative and illuminating
look at the subject and hopefully give us some insights on how these trends
could affect our area. In the Village Hall, doors open at 7.30pm for 8pm
Sunday 22nd April: – Walk on Chapel Common, Liphook
A Sunday afternoon walk of about 2 hours on Chapel Common, near Liphook.
This will be led by Rob Free, a ranger with the Downs Board (SDJC). Meet
in the Fernhurst Car Park at 1.45pm where transport will be organised
to and from Chapel Common.
Sunday 20th May: - Fernhurst Revels
Make sure you visit the Fernhurst Society stall at the Revels where recent
news from the Society, and a range of publications, will be available.
Sunday 27th May: - Butterfly Walk
Join our afternoon walk to find and identify butterflies, including some
national rarities, in Verdley Wood. Meet at 1.45pm in the Crossroads car
park for transport to the start. If it is cold or raining, we will postpone
at short notice provisionally to 10th June and put a message on the Society
website. However if you provide your email address to the Society (see
contacts), you will be advised of
any changes by email.
Sunday 8th July: - History Walk in Midhurst
Bridget Howard from the Midhurst Society has agreed to lead a walk around
Midhurst looking at interesting historical buildings and features, including
the Cowdray Ruins.
Meet at the Fernhurst car park at 1.45pm where transport will be organised,
or directly at the Midhurst Tourist Office at 2pm.
Sunday 5th August; - Summer BBQ
Following the success of last year’s autumn BBQ (which replaced
the Christmas dinner) we have decided to have a summer BBQ this year.
It is on Sunday 5th August starting at 12.30pm and Robin Barnes has very
kindly offered the field next to his house again as the venue. Robin’s
address is Vanlands on Van Common. It is a relaxed affair: time to chat
and meet other members and a great afternoon for all the family, with
plenty of space for children to run around whilst adults natter.
Super Swing, a local jazz band, will be playing again providing a wonderful
backdrop to the event. There will be plenty to eat with the BBQ, accompanied
by bread, salads and vegetarian options and followed by desserts. Please
bring your own drinks (glasses provided).
Tickets cost £10 each which includes food and entertainment. Only
£4 for under 16s. Tickets are available from Elsie Waitt on 01428
652270. Non-members are also very welcome.
September; - Fungus Foray at Witley National Trust
Details of the walk, looking at fungi and mushrooms, will be advertised
nearer the time.
Thursday 25th October; - Talk by Maureen Duke & Picture Auction
Following the highly successful talk by Maureen in 2006, she has agreed
to give another talk, combined with an auction of a picture painted by
her grandfather. Maureen has generously agreed to donate 50% of the value
achieved at the auction to the Fernhurst Society.
Programme for The Fernhurst Junior Society
The Junior Fernhurst Society has a full walking programme for the year.
Once a month (with the exceptions of July, August and December) on a Saturday
morning we take the children on a nature walk. Children of between 5 and
10 are very welcome, together with their parents (under 7's must be accompanied).
It is a fun outing - not strenuous and good company for everyone involved.
Trainers, wellies or stout shoes advised given the muddiness of local
footpaths! There is a small charge to cover our administration costs for
each walk. The programme for this year is:
April 21st - Bluebell Walk - Hawksfold East and Furnace
May 12th - Iping Common, near Midhurst
June 16th - Burton and Chingford Ponds, bring a picnic
lunch. Teas available
July and August - no walks
September 22nd - Scout Hut, through Bridgelands and
October 13th - Chestnut Roasting and visit the Spitfire Memorial
November 17th - Witley Common
If you would like to know more or want to come along, please contact
Sue Gibbon on 01428 645979 or Julia Roxan on 01428 651233
Review of Some Recent Events and Activities
Inspiring talk from Canine Partners
On 21st February 2007 we held our annual afternoon talk in the village
hall, aimed at both adult and junior members of the Fernhurst Society,
timed for half term week.
This year we had the delight of hearing all about the training of dogs
by a local charity called Canine Partners (based in Heyshott). They train
dogs to help disabled people, especially those in wheelchairs. Canine
Partners brought along 4 young dogs, all at different stages in their
training and showed the range of skills they acquire. Early on they are
trained to be companionable and always seek their human partner and then
progress to learning obedience in waiting for food (someone in a wheelchair
must be able to move away from the food bowl before the dog eats) and
handing back the empty bowl!
Through constant rewards with dog treats and making some of the tasks
feel like games (for example tug games are good to teach how to open doors)
these wonderful animals learn to do a host of activities for their human
friend. Day to day tasks range from fetching items from drawers and cupboards
(opening and closing them afterwards!) to opening the washing machine
and putting the washing in the laundry basket and to taking off their
owner’s gloves, hat and coat.
In emergencies they can put their human partner in the recovery position
and summon help using the alarm button. We were told that in one such
case a dog summoned the emergency services who were then let in by a very
wet dog. It transpired that the person had collapsed in the bath, so not
only had the dog called the emergency services, but it had also leapt
into the bath to pull out the plug – something it can hardly have
been trained to do!
Canine Partners are always looking for people to become involved in
a number of ways – being a Puppy Parent (attending weekly classes
with the dog and then practising each skill in the intervening week),
through to providing a home for a few weeks when other trainers are on
holiday or even to provide the dogs B&B accommodation whilst they
go through their advanced training at Heyshott. If you want to know more
please contact them on 08456 580 480 or visit their website.
Oral History Project Update and Call for Volunteers
“Voices of Fernhurst” was published at the beginning of
December and was generally very well received. Although it sold well in
the run up to Christmas, we still have plenty of copies available.
Interviews for the Archives are still continuing under the leadership
of John Clark. Work is now starting on designing a complementary website
and on preparations for an exhibition to be held at the end of November
We need more volunteers who would like to help this project to continue
by carrying out the taped interviews. All who have been involved in interviewing
so far have enjoyed learning about the history of our village at first
hand from people who have personal experiences to share with us. As well
as the pleasure you can gain, you make a valuable contribution to the
project. As you know we have recently published a book based on many of
the interviews carried out so far and it has been a great success.
So far over 50 interviews have been carried out and we have many more
potential interviewees on our list. We will carry on interviewing for
as long as we have willing interviewees, whether or not a further book
might be published. The records of the interviews are kept for us in the
West Sussex Record Office in Chichester as well as copies being available
in our own Archive in the Village Hall. Where interviewees have given
their authority (and this is in most cases) these copies are available
to be borrowed for listening on tape players.
Each interview involves about 5 – 6 hours of the volunteer’s
time, including initial meeting, interview and reviewing the result. Training
is given, and all the equipment required is provided by us. If anyone
would like to have further details and discuss the possibility of joining
the team for this rewarding project, would they please contact John Clark
on 01428 654632.
Activities in the Society Archive
The long-awaited third history walk booklet is in production and should
be available, hopefully by Easter, for you to buy and enjoy for the first
time or to do again if you were on the original walk in August 2005.
Donations continue to come into the Archive covering many aspects of
Fernhurst history, from a collection of notes on Verdley from the 16th
to 19th centuries to memorabilia on Fernden School, now Fernden Heights,
including photos of rooms as they were as classrooms and as they are now,
back to domestic use.
Some of you may have recently attended ‘The Elixir of Love’
at Haslemere Hall and thought the backdrop looked familiar – it
was taken from a photo in the Archives of the Green in the 1920s.
Fernhurst Archive photos are also featured in Henley chapter in the
new book ‘Easebourne and Cowdray’ published at the end of
The Archive area of the Fernhurst Society website attracts many hits
and often generates enquiries, which we are happy to deal with, and of
course we are always glad to welcome visitors. If we are not able to answer
your question ourselves, we can probably find you someone who can. Please
contact Christine Maynard on 01428 653663
1901 Census Project
After a delayed start, the team is now busy creating a transcription
of the census for Fernhurst Civil Parish as it was on the night of March
31st 1901. This transcription will be validated and should be available
on the Society's website over the next month or two. If you want to get
involved, or you have previously expressed an interest in so doing and
have not been contacted recently, please contact John Buchanan on o1428
Junior Fernhurst Society outing to Lower Roundhurst Farm
The March outing for the Junior Fernhurst Society was a delightful sunny
morning visit to Lower Roundhurst Farm, which is along Tennyson’s
Lane, just the other side of Blackdown from Fernhurst. The owners Moya
and Richard Connell have been there since 2004 and are undertaking major
renovations of the lovely old main house, ponds and gardens as well as
developing an organic farm, growing vegetables and raising cattle, pigs,
goats, sheep, alpaca and chickens.
Moya kindly led the group of 17 children and their parents around the
farm, seeing the millennium orchard planted with 100 different apple varieties,
views across the valley below to the east and south, some of the animals
in the fields and then back to the farmyard where many more were still
indoors (the land was still very wet from the recent rain). In the fields
there were some Sussex sheep with the alpacas guarding them whilst back
in the farmyard the children had the delight of seeing newly born lambs,
day-old piglets suckling and young calves. The pigs were a mix of the
wonderful ginger coloured Tamworths and the very dark Berkshires, whilst
the cattle were the Sussex breed.
The morning ended with a nice chatter over drinks and yummy cakes in
the farm café and shop, where much of the farm produce is also
sold. For more about Lower Roundhurst Farm do visit them on Fridays or
Saturdays or go to their website.
Misuse of Footpaths
We have about 43 miles of Public Rights of Way in the parish of Fernhurst
most of which are used responsibly. No motor bike or recreational 4x4
is permitted on any Public Right of Way except a BOAT (Byway Open to All
Traffic) and we have none in Fernhurst Parish. The biggest problem is
the old RUPP (Road Used as a Public Path) which have been re-designated
as Restricted Byways. There are several Restricted Byways in Fernhurst
Parish, notably; from Courts Farm to Henley, from Surney to Bexley Hill,
from Vann Road to Marley Common and from the drive to Sheetlands to Copyhold.
They will all soon have plum coloured markings.
The South Downs Joint Committee and the Sussex Police have set up Pathwatch
which is an organisation to stop illegal use of Rights of Way. If you
witness any motor bikes or recreational 4x4 on any of our Restricted Byways
please report the incident to Pathwatch either by calling 0845 60 70 999
or reporting online via their website.
Repair of damage done by these illegal vehicles takes away any funding
which could be used to improve other footpaths and bridleways for the
benefit of genuine users of our wonderful rights of way system.