Sunday, August 18, 2019

A few years ago, I purchased these two original pen and ink sketches made by Paul Sharp in about 1963.  They were made in preparation for a drawing that appeared in the Follies volume of the National Benzole Books series published in 1963. The final drawing and text appear below. 

Paul Sharp was born in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire in 1912.  He studied at the Royal College of Art, between 1946 and 1949. He died in 1998. "His distinctive, well-ordered graphic style developed into a personal trademark, his work always demonstrating a formal sense of proportion, careful use of white space and preference for sans serif typefaces. His style illustrates the continuing impact of Bauhaus on mid-twentieth century British design." Source:

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Excursion: On the Trail of Mad Jack Fuller


Friday 2 August 2019 


John “Mad Jack” Fuller was an eccentric Georgian squire who built a number of follies in some of the highest and most attractive countryside in the South of England. Your guide for this fascinating day out will be Mark, who will introduce you to the life and times of this larger-than-life character, who became known as the “Squire of Brightling”. Our tour will take you to some of Fuller’s follies, including the Sugar Loaf and Brightling Needle, and ends at Brightling Church. Mad Jack lies buried in the churchyard in a bizarre 25-feet tall pyramid he had built 24 years before he died! There will be stops for refreshment (cost not included). To get the most out of the tour, a small amount of walking will be required so we recommend walking shoes.
Pick-up Points
Horsham (D&B)
Horsham (Station)
Horsham (Library)
Hop Oast (Park & Ride)

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Bodiam Castle: Four Reports - Seminal Texts Made Accessible

Playwrite, performer and heritage interpreter Lance Woodman works at and has a keen interest in Bodiam Castle. He has gathered long out of print texts and, "offers them side-by-side in a modern typescript with introductions that set them in context.

Included are:

  • A Graphical and Historical Sketch of Bodyam Castle by William Cotton, 1831.
  • Bodiam and its Lords, by Mark Antony Lower, 1871.
  • Mediaeval Military Architecture in England, Vol. 1., by George Thomas Clark, 1884.
  • Bodiam Castle, Sussex: A Historical & Descriptive Survey, by George Nathaniel Curzon, 1926.
The texts themselves are well worth reading, but Woodman's insights, passion for the subject and view of the big picture that makes this compendium a standout. 
Available at

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Brightling Church Bells: What's in a Name?

Source: The Bell News and Ringers Record Vol III, 5/4/1884 - 28/3/1885, p 103

Fuller wished to celebrate the victories of the Duke of Wellington by gifting this peal of bells to home Brightling church. They are still rung regularly by the dedicated bellringers of the village.

The Battle of Salamanca was fought on 22 July 1812 in Spain; The Battle of the Pyrenees lasted from 25 July to 2 August 1813 on the Spain/France border, and Wellington's decisive victory over Napoleon took place at Waterloo in Belgium on the 18th of June 1815. 

Some of the spellings given here vary from those of the places where Wellington's battles occurred. Tallavera = Battle of Talavera, Spain (27-28 July 1809); Vittoria = Battle of Vitoria, Spain (21 June 1813);  and Orthes = Battle of Orthez, France (27 Feb 1814). I have not seen the actual inscriptions on the bells so I cannot confirm which spellings were used there. 

The 1979 Brightling Church Guide, written by Diana Boyd, mistakenly gives the name "Trattoria" instead of  "Tallavera".

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Stephen Lloyd MP Continues Fuller's Philanthropy

In 1822, two years before the RNLI was founded, Fuller funded the first lifeboat at Eastbourne. The "Samaritan" or "Rose" as she was variously called, performed her first service on 21 February 1833 rescuing 29 people from the "Isabella" a West Indiaman that, when en route to Madiera and Demerara, got caught in a storm off the Sussex shore.
Fast forward to 2019 and MP for Eastbourne Stephen Lloyd presents the lifeboat station with a cheque to help continue the operation that Fuller started.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

'Donation to Eastbourne RNLI:
Good to swing around to the Eastbourne RNLI Station today and drop off a £200 cheque. Whenever I get paid for speeches or interviews I ensure the cheques are made out to local charities - and you can’t get much better than our own, much loved lifeboat service!
They reminded me that last year was there busiest ever with 174 call-outs for the inshore and out-shore boats. That’s one busy Station.......
Thank you Mark (coxswain) Carl (ops manager) - and all your dedicated crew and colleagues for the work you do. You are a credit to our town, and the RNLI.
That’s it. Have a good Sunday folks. It’s a glorious sunny day in Eastbourne; a bit nippy perhaps, but ideal for a stroll along our beautiful seafront.'
Stephen Lloyd MP's Facebook Post, Sunday 20 January 2019.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Christmas at Rose Hill, Brightling


Christmas 1815

Christmas 1820

Christmas 1823

Christmas 1828

Christmas 1832