Friday, October 27, 2006

Across Sussex With Belloc:

In the Footsteps of 'The Four Men'
By Bob Copper ISBN 07 509 06030

“At Oxley’s Green an isolated forge and blacksmith’s shop lies back from the road on the right-hand side and soon after, the sign of the inn situated at a crossroads tells us sustenance is at hand. it is the life-size figure of the gallant Jack Fuller himself, at one time squire of this parish, complete with top hat and umbrella, for this is the Fuller’s Arms, now called Jack Fuller’s , where Belloc and Grizzlebeard fell in with the Sailor..” pp 7

“The landlord greeted me at the door, a friendly man in a striped apron, which spike of close association with the kitchen. The inn is well over half a mile outside Brightling itself and was opened here, converted from an old barn, by the redoubtable Fuller to replace the one in the village. The public life of the Green \man in the village street, it appears, was terminated by the advocates of abstinence and piety because its proximity to the church opposite seemed adversely to affect the size of the Sunday congregations. Not a very subtle approach, it could be said, to this age-old problem, and none is left wondering if this somewhat costly and clumsy attempt to load the dice against the devil actually worked.” pp 8.

“On my first walk I had stuck to the original route and at Wood’s Corner had come out on the Heathfield road, which at the time was very quiet. I had also diverted and walked a couple of hundred yards east of the Swan Inn and taken a close look at the Sugar Loaf, a conical building some thirty feet high standing in a meadow with no obvious practical use. You can still visit it today. There is a door and several windows, all but one of which have been blocked up, and it is reputed to have been lived in by an old man who brought up his family there. It is also said that it was once the refugee of a hermit, but this must refer to a different incumbent and probably and earlier period. It would be quite impossible for one man to combine two such diverse roles, particularly with in such a confined space.” pp11

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