Visitors from across the south of England had also joined local residents for our September 2004 Open Day – one person had left Cornwall at four o’clock in the morning to travel to the exhibition! As on previous occasions visitors brought more material to add to our records and, for the first time, we were able to scan old photographs directly into our archives so that everyone could take their treasured photos back home with them. One visitor brought a wonderful album of pictures taken around Wardown House over seventy years ago and we also learnt more about our local limeworks.
After the Exhibition we heard from Mrs Edna Hendrie (now living in Chichester and in her 90s) whose late husband, Tom Hendrie, was posted to Buriton as Head Forester in May 1941. The couple lived at Dean Barn Cottages on top of the downs and Mrs Hendrie recalls walking down to Buriton every day to collect milk from the Bonham Carter’s farm.
We also received, through the post following an exchange of emails via the Heritage Bank website, some very fine original documents dating from 8 May 1859 – complete with wax seals on parchment paper. These documents are now safely deposited at the Hampshire Records Office in Winchester where experts confirmed that the paperwork was transferring a strip of land to the Portsmouth Railway Company.
And we discovered another “local luminary”: Sir Roderick Murchison (1792-1871), a remarkable man, whose achievements eclipse many of the great explorers and adventurers of his time. Although he spent only fleeting periods of time in the parish himself, it is clear that the influence of his wife, Charlotte Hugonin of Nursted House, helped to shape one of the greatest scientists of the nineteenth century – a man who changed the face of geology.