Saturday, March 02, 2013

A Village's Queer Buildings by Frederick John

The Sussex County Magazine October 1928, No. 10 Vol. II, pages 442 - 443

John asserts that without John Fuller and the Needle, Brightling "would have achieved little fame". It would be an unremarkable Sussex village. He writes, " Every summer huge chars-a-bancs labour up from the coast resorts to the altitude of 646 feet, bringing their loads of curious trippers to gaze a the famous Needle, and to speculate vaguely on its origin and purpose." One can visualize these open topped vehicles, very popular in the 1920s, filled with holiday makers from Eastbourne or Hastings visiting Brightling on day outings.  

Interestingly, John refers to Fuller's buildings as "masonic enigmas". Pyramids and obelisks have long been considered symbols of freemasonry. This is not the first allusion that John Fuller was a mason that I've encountered. I have yet to find concrete evidence to support this notion, however. 

This article is illustrated with charming ink drawings of the observatory, Brightling Needle and "Mad Jack's" Mausoleum (above).  The name of the illustrator is difficult to read but the surname appears to be Boulter-Cooke. A writer and illustrator named Mabel Adeline Boulter-Cooke made contributions to The Sussex County Magazine around the same time. Could this be her work or that of a relative?

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