What's New..?

 

TALKS ARRANGED FOR 2018

As well as the main Heritage Bank Exhibition (on Saturday 29th September 2018) we are arranging three fascinating talks during 2018:

 

•  on Wednesday 21 March (7.30pm in the Village Hall) Robert Mocatta will use information from the Tithe Map surveys of 1840 to provide an insight into what the parish was like 180 years ago
•  on Friday 28 Sept (7.30pm in the Village Hall) Clive Harfield will provide an insight into Buriton and the First World War: impacts at home and abroad
•  on Wednesday 7 November (7.30pm in the Village Hall) Lynette Watson, Paul Turrell and Doug Jones will provide a range of illustrated presentations drawing upon research undertaken over the last four years, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice

 

Our small research team is always trying to find out more about all these topics.

 

If you think that you might be able to help in any way, please let us know via heritage@buriton.org.uk

 

* * *

ANOTHER BUSY ANNUAL HISTORY DAY

 

 

Scores of visitors flocked to Buriton Village Hall on Saturday 24th September for the annual ‘Bygone Buriton' exhibition – including families from across the country.

 

Once again there were some emotional reunions as people who had not seen each other for over forty years recognised old friends.

 

Michael Harfield had travelled over 200 miles from North Wales to visit the exhibition and to meet with other relatives – but he was also delighted to meet two other long-lost friends, Robert Baker and Maryann Carter, who had also taken part in the village's Coronation Celebrations in 1953.

 

People brought yet more old photographs for our archives and enjoyed studying all the exhibition materials.

 

There was particular interest in the information about the First World War that was displayed with a special presentation about all the men who had joined the forces.

 

Almost 200 men had left the parish at some time during the conflict – out of a population of less than 800 people.

 

Information has now been collected for almost 140 of these ‘Brave Boys of Buriton' and a special presentation at the exhibition explained their roles in the conflict.

 

We still want to find out more about what life was like in the village during the First World War, as well as finding out more about every one of the parishioners who took part.

 

We are hoping that some families may have letters, diaries and photographs that may help – please get in touch if you think that you might be able to help. Please contact us via heritage@buriton.org.uk

 

* * *

MORE ABOUT BURITON AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR

Our project to find out more about the impacts of The Great War on life at home in Buriton – and to find out what happened to each of the men from the parish who took part in the conflict – continues to make good progress.

Our research is looking at as many sources as possible and is summarising findings, season by season, covering the activities and events of 100 years ago – as seen though local eyes.

But if you think that you might be able to help in any way, please let us know via heritage@buriton.org.uk

Perhaps you have some family stories of wartime – or letters or diaries which suggest what life was like in this area in those troubled times?

The latest instalments of our findings are here:

* * *

COULD THESE BE BURITON'S D-DAY CANADIANS?

 

The search to identify the Regiments of Canadians who camped around the village in the 1944 build-up to D-Day continues.

 

Information recently discovered suggests that the men could have been from the 1st Battalion Queens Own Rifles.

 

Do you have any knowledge about these troops or their movements in the weeks before D-Day? If so, please email:   heritage@buriton.org.uk

 

 

* * *

 

OLD PICTURES OF BUTSER HILL CHALK QUARRIES ARE UNEARTHED

 

The Petersfield Museum has kindly provided copies of some old photographs of the Butser Hill Chalk Quarries and Lime Works which ceased working many years ago. Originally alongside the busy A3 they are now set back slightly as a result of road realignments. Do you have any knowledge about these quarries or lime works? If so, please email:   heritage@buriton.org.uk

 

 

* * *

THE DOUAI JUNIOR SCHOOL AT DITCHAM

Another new contribution to the Heritage Bank has come from Roger Morton who was
one of the original 36 schoolboys at the Douai Junior School at Ditcham Park House after the Douai monks bought the premises in 1948. 

 

He recalls that post-war austerity food measures were still in place but slowly, farm animals such as pigs and chickens began to appear and Father Clement, his shotgun and his black Labrador helped add rabbits to the menu. A Mr Gaskin, whose wife ran the school tuck shop, produced fresh vegetables from his garden.

 

A Captain Blower, the father of one of the boys, ran a local equestrian centre and gave lessons at Ditcham. Academically the boys had a sound grounding in English, French, Latin, Mathematics, Science, Geography and History as well as Music and Religion. The school left Ditcham in 1977 when it moved to Woolhampton.

 

 

* * *

 

MORE ABOUT BURITON AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR

 

Our project to find out more about the impacts of The Great War on life at home in Buriton – and to find out what happened to each of the men from the parish who took part in the conflict – continues to make good progress.

 

Our research is looking at as many sources as possible and is summarising findings, season by season, covering the activities and events of 100 years ago – as seen though local eyes.

 

But if you think that you might be able to help in any way, please let us know via heritage@buriton.org.uk

 

Perhaps you have some family stories of wartime – or letters or diaries which suggest what life was like in this area in those troubled times?

 

The latest instalments of our findings are here:  

 

* * *

CANADIAN COIN SUPPORTS EVIDENCE OF D-DAY TROOPS AROUND BURITON

 

A routine field survey by local metal detectorists has unearthed a Canadian 1 cent coin in an area where Allied Troops are believed to have assembled in the weeks leading up to D-Day in 1944.

 

Research undertaken in Buriton to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day (part of a larger Heritage Lottery Funded project, coordinated by the D-Day Museum , Portsmouth ) included personal recollections from a number of villagers, describing where troops had camped and what they had been doing.

 

There was also an overwhelming recollection that most of the men around Buriton were Canadians – but, unfortunately, it has not yet been possible to identify which Regiments or Units.

 

The discovery of the Canadian coin (dated 1937) supports this local evidence – but only adds to the intrigue about which Units they were, and what was their fate after they left this parish.

 

If you think that you may have any information to help solve this mystery, please email: heritage@buriton.org.uk

* * *

POIGNANT STORIES FROM FIRST WORLD WAR RECALLED AT ANNUAL HISTORY EXHIBITION

The graves of four First World War servicemen, buried in St Mary's churchyard, were honoured as part of the community's annual ‘Bygone Buriton' exhibition in September 2016.

And scores of visitors – including families from across the country – paid their respects as they learnt more about Buriton's involvement in the conflict.

Actor and comedian, Hugh Dennis, attended the event and spent over an hour talking with villagers about the array of materials which have been brought together in the local history project.

Hugh visited Buriton as an ambassador for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's ‘Living Memory' Project and encouraged everyone never to forget any of those who have given their lives serving the country.

He paid special tribute to the community of Buriton for collecting so much information – particularly about the parish's First World War Servicemen – and for making it available in such an accessible way.

He said that the community “should be very proud of its achievements.”

Each of the four men buried in Buriton has a particularly poignant story and one visitor travelled from Basingstoke to bring a series of beautifully embroidered greetings and Christmas cards which one of these men had posted home during the war to his relatives in Weston.

Frederick Shepherd had served as a Gunner in the 25th Battery of the Royal Field Artillery in France and later in Turkey. Whilst serving there he was thrown from a horse and, despite a series of operations, died of his injuries back in Britain some time later.

Eileen Cottrell's grandmother had been a sister to Frederick and the family has now kept the treasured correspondence for over a hundred years.

“It was lovely to see his grave still being respected and cared for in this way,” said Eileen, “and it is wonderful that Buriton is trying to find out more about all the men who went away to war. They must have been very difficult years.”

Almost 200 men had left the parish at some time during the conflict – out of a population of less than 800 people. Information has now been collected for almost 140 of these ‘Brave Boys of Buriton' and a special presentation at the exhibition explained their roles.

Visitors to the exhibition came from as far away as Coventry , Nottingham, North Wales, Oxford , Worthing, and London as well as many from Petersfield and surrounding villages.

People brought old photographs of the parish to add to the village's archives but the organisers are always looking for more!

 

* * *

MORE ABOUT BURITON AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR

Our project to find out more about the impacts of The Great War on life at home in Buriton – and to find out what happened to each of the men from the parish who took part in the conflict – continues to make good progress.

 

Our research is looking at as many sources as possible and is summarising findings, season by season, covering the activities and events of 100 years ago – as seen though local eyes.

But if you think that you might be able to help in any way, please let us know via heritage@buriton.org.uk

 

Perhaps you have some family stories of wartime – or letters or diaries which suggest what life was like in this area in those troubled times?

 

The latest instalments of our findings are here:

* * *

FINDING GEMS FOR THE HERITAGE BANK

 

As well as continuing to find out more about the impacts of the First World War on life at home in Buriton – and about each of the men who left the parish to take part in the conflict – the Village Association's ‘Heritage Bank' project continues to unearth some other unexpected gems.

 

We have recently received a large ‘Farm Accounts Book' which provides a week-by-week summary of activities on the Buriton Manor Farm for the year 1965-66: exactly 50 years ago.

 

Entries summarise what each of the farm workers were doing on each day of every week, through each season of the year – with an insight, amongst other things, into one of the last years of hop-growing around the village.

 

The names provide a roll-call of village families from yesteryear: Anthony, Barrow, Bishop, Cook, Dewey, Harfield, Harper, Hill, Legg, Pink, Powell, Rutter, Smith, Torrance , Wilmott …

 

What else can you help us find?

* * *

BURITON AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR

 

Our project to find out more about the impacts of the four-year conflict on life at home in Buriton – and to find out what happened to each of the 193 men from the parish who took part in the war – continues to make good progress.

 

Our research is looking at as many sources as possible and is summarising findings, season by season, covering the activities and events of 100 years ago – as seen though local eyes.

 

  

If you know anything extra or are able to help in any other way, please let us know via heritage@buriton.org.uk

 

Perhaps you have some family stories of wartime – or letters or diaries which suggest what life was like in this area in those troubled times?

* * *

PHOTOS OF 'LITTLE WONDER BUS' SENT FROM MIAMI IN TIME FOR ANNUAL HISTORY EXHIBITION

The annual ‘Bygone Buriton' event attracted almost 200 visitors to St Mary's church on 26th September – including families from around the country.

 

People travelled from as far afield as Leeds, Nottingham and Wales to chat to old friends, find out more about local history and bring photographs.

Amongst those bringing old photographs this year were Carole and June Gauntlett who had been regular visitors to Buriton in the late 1940s and early 1950s when their families were amongst the scores of people who stayed in temporary huts at Cowhouse Farm for the hop-picking season in September.

They met up with Ted Underwood who had also been a regular hop-picker until the Manor Farm stopped growing hops in the 1960s.

And, on the eve of the exhibition, the organisers received an email from Miami , Florida , with photographs of the Little Wonder Bus which used to link Buriton to Petersfield and East Meon .

There was particular interest at the exhibition in the information about the First World War, with a special presentation about all the men who had joined the forces.

Almost 200 men had gone away at some time during the war – out of a total population of less than 800. Information has now been collected for almost 140 of these ‘Brave Boys of Buriton' and the presentation explained their roles in the great conflict.

We learnt a lot more about one of Buriton's soldiers at the exhibition, Joe Hall, whose relatives brought in a number of fascinating photographs.

Buriton's local history team still want to find out more about what life was like at home during the First World War, as well as finding out more about every one of the parishioners who took part.

It is hoped that some families may have letters, diaries and photographs that may help – and it is hoped that yet more people will get in touch.

Anyone with information about the local history and heritage of the parish of Buriton should contact Doug Jones by telephoning 01730 231326 or email doug.pam@btinternet.co.uk

* * *

"FROM CHALK TO CHEESE" – NEW HISTORY BOOK IS PUBLISHED

 

A new book about Buriton's chalk quarries and lime works has been produced to mark the end of the five-year lottery-funded project to enhance the Buriton Chalk Pits Local Nature Reserve.

 

The book tells the story of why, over thousands of years, chalk has been quarried and turned into lime – and the fascinating and important part that Buriton has played in this process in recent centuries.

 

It describes the industrial processes which took place near to the village before the Second World War – and how nature has subsequently reclaimed the disused quarries.

 

Much of the book is set in and around Buriton but it begins with a brief chemistry lesson, explaining the relationship between chalk and lime, before describing the uses of lime in agriculture and in building. This is followed by a short description of the manufacture of lime: from quarrying, through the burning process to preparing the product for market.

 

The remainder of the book provides the case study of Buriton, explaining why major quarries and lime works were established near the village in the nineteenth century, identifying the ‘founding family' of the business and describing how each part of the industrial process took place – illustrated by plenty of old images collected as part of the “Heritage Bank” project.

 

The book concludes with a brief description of the Chalk Pits site as it is now – and the special qualities which make it an important Local Nature Reserve.

 

Once an important part of the local economy, the Chalk Pits now provide a place for quiet recreation – a very different use, but arguably just as important.

 

Amongst the creatures hidden away amongst the undergrowth in the Nature Reserve is a particularly rare mollusc, the cheesesnail, which helps to provide the title for this book and provides the end point for the journey from chalk to cheese.

 

Copies of the 44-page book are available (priced £5 + postage) from Doug Jones: 01730 231326 or via heritage@buriton.org.uk

* * *

OLD PHOTO ALBUM BOOSTS WORLD WAR ONE PROJECT

 

Michael Reeves of Bones Lane has recently found a treasure trove of photographs showing scores of images from the time of the First World War.

 

Frederick Smith, Michael's mother's uncle, had been born in the village in 1885 and had worked on the Bonham Carter's Manor Farm as a stockman and hop field manager.

 

Within two years of the outbreak of war, he found himself travelling to India as part of the 1/9 th Hampshire Regiment.

 

He was able to send photographs back to his wife-to-be, Margaret Allison, who kept them all in a special album.

 

The album has recently been re-discovered – and it provides a unique insight into life in India almost a hundred years ago.

 

“I knew that the Buriton Village Association wants to find out about the effects of the war on the village,” explained Michael, “and I knew that we had an old album hidden away somewhere.”

 

“I'm glad that I was able to find it,” he added. “I'd forgotten how many photographs it contains.”

 

The immaculate little album contains almost 150 photographs and shows men of the Hampshire Regiment on parade, posing with their weapons, admiring a rare war-plane, travelling with camels to the frontier and relaxing in their barracks.

 

But there are also fascinating insights into life in India a century ago: snake-charmers, bazaars, Hindu temples, ploughing with oxen, drawing water from wells, crushing lime and weaving on home-made looms.

 

The album provides a fantastic snapshot of life a hundred years ago, adding to the information that the project is finding out about other men from Buriton who went away during the war. The photos bring to life exactly what Frederick Smith and his colleagues had to do in those troubled times.

 

Project organisers hope that more families might find things like this, so that more information can be collected.

 

Findings are being summarised in each edition of the Parish Magazine and there are hopes to publish a well-illustrated book in 2018.

 

Anyone who may have any information about Buriton and the First World War is encouraged to contact Doug Jones on 01730 231326 or via doug.pam@btinternet.com

 

* * *

HERITAGE BANK HELPS TO BRING 150-YEAR OLD PORTRAIT HOME

 

An old portrait from a renowned London studio has been re-united with its family roots thanks to the Buriton Heritage Bank.

 

The portrait shows Colonel Samuel Seward who lived and farmed at Weston, near Buriton, in the nineteenth century – one of four generations of the family who were tenants at Weston Farm.

 

An email to this website alerted us to the existence of the portrait – hundreds of miles away on the Welsh borders. We were then able to contact descendants of the Seward family and they have been able to buy the picture and bring it back to the local area.

 

The portrait was one of a pair with the other one depicting Colonel Seward's future wife, Mary Hobgen. The search is now on to find the other picture so that the happy couple might be re-united once more.

 

For many years the two portraits had hung in the home of the Seward's daughter, Mary Victoria. They are believed to have been produced in Regent Street, London, and they date from the mid 1800s when Samuel and Mary were engaged to be married.

 

No-one has any idea how the picture of Colonel Seward ended up on the Welsh borders – but if anyone knows where the picture of Mary Hobgen might be, please contact us via this website: heritage@buriton.org.uk

* * *

BURITON AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR

 

Our new project to find out more about the impacts of the four-year conflict on life at home in Buriton – and to find out what happened to each of the 193 men from the parish who took part in the war – is now underway.

 

Our research will be looking at as many sources as possible and we will be summarising our findings, season by season, covering the activities and events of 100 years ago – as seen though local eyes.

 

If you know anything extra or are able to help in any other way, please let us know via heritage@buriton.org.uk

 

Perhaps you have some family stories of wartime – or letters or diaries which suggest what life was like in this area in those troubled times?

* * *

MAJOR FIRE IN WESTON RECALLED

Almost 200 visitors flocked to Buriton church on Saturday 27 th September 2014 for the annual ‘Bygone Buriton' exhibition – including families from across the country.

 

People always seem to love to come back to see their family roots and chat with long-lost friends and, as usual, we were able to make copies of more old photos and other information for our records. We now have almost 3,000 images in our archives.

 

Amongst the new information brought to the exhibition this year was a first-hand account of a major fire in Weston in about 1940.

 

Roy Pinhorne from Paulsgrove recalled that he had been evacuated from Portsmouth to stay in the hop-pickers huts in Weston whilst the city was being bombed.

 

“I can remember walking back to Weston and finding all the huts on fire,” he said. “We all lost all our clothes, everything.”

 

“We had to sleep in Buriton village hall after that,” he added, “the WVS brought us some clothes the next day.”

 

There was great interest in the new wartime information which was displayed this year.

 

Memories of the build up to D-Day around the parish were recalled and heroes of the First World War were also recognised with a special presentation about all the men who had joined the forces. Almost 200 men had gone away at some time during the war – out of a total population of less than 800.

 

We want to find out what living conditions were like at home during the First World War, as well as finding out more about every one of the parishioners who took part.

 

We hope that some families may have letters, diaries and photographs that may help us – and we hope that more people will get in touch.

* * *

HERITAGE BANK TO JOIN HUNT FOR HISTORIC GEMS

The South Downs National Park Authority is encouraging community groups to “uncover the hidden historic gems of the local landscape” and volunteers from Buriton are already on board.

The aim of the three-year lottery-funded project, called ‘Secrets of the High Woods’, is to investigate the history of the Wooded downs through, newly acquired lidar data (a laser-beam survey conducted from aircraft), field survey in the woodlands , archival research and oral history collection.

Volunteers are now being sought to help with archaeological surveys on the ground – to reveal what secrets the laser-beam survey might reveal.

Buriton Village Association has offered to coordinate a group of volunteers to investigate those parts of the parish which have been included in the survey (east of the A3 Trunk Road)

If you would like to join the group of volunteers to find out more about the hidden past of the parish, please contact Doug Jones (01730 231326 or doug.pam@btinternet.com)

* * *

 

NEW HERITAGE BANK BOOK PUBLISHED: "D-DAY THROUGH LOCAL EYES”

 

Our research into Buriton's connections with the D-Day landings of 1944 culminated in the production of a new book to add to our local history series.

 

The new book provides first-hand accounts from people in the Buriton area at the time describing:

By bringing all these stories together, the book is able to highlight the scale, complexity, secrecy and bravery of Operation Overlord ‘through local eyes'.

 

Copies of the book are available to buy at £5 per copy (plus postage). Please contact Doug Jones via the details below.

 

A pack of educational materials has also been produced for Buriton Primary School .

 

However, the search to try to identify exactly which Canadian Regiments and Units spent time in the parish in the build-up to D-Day continues – and anyone with any ideas or information about this is encouraged to contact Doug Jones (01730 231326 or email doug.pam@btinternet.com)

*  *  *

 

LOCAL CONNECTIONS WITH D-DAY ARE REVEALED

Over 100 people packed into the church on 10th June to hear two fascinating presentations about Operation Overlord and the D-Day Landings of 70 years ago.

 

In quite a coup for the village, the Curator of the renowned D-Day Museum in Portsmouth , Andrew Whitmarsh, showed dozens of rarely-seen images of the build-up to the campaign as well as photographs of the famous invasion of Normandy .

 

He also explained background context to D-Day as well as highlighting many local connections.

 

Findings from Buriton's recent research was then summarised by Doug jones, Chairman of the Village Association, with more stories and images that had never previously been revealed.

 

There was also a small exhibition about local connections to D-Day.

 

As well as recollections about Canadian troops camped around the village, local research has discovered first-hand accounts from people in the Buriton area at the time describing:

 

•  parachuting into Normandy soon after midnight to capture Pegasus Bridge and other vital targets,
•  landing on the beaches later on D-Day,
•  follow-up operations including the Mulberry Harbours and
•  an amusing account from someone ‘with an inside track' who missed it all.

“By bringing all these stories together,” the researchers explained, “we are able to highlight the scale, complexity, secrecy and bravery of Operation Overlord ‘through local eyes'.”

 

However, the search to try to identify exactly which Canadian Regiments and Units spent time in the parish in the build-up to D-Day continues – and anyone with any ideas or information about this is encouraged to contact Doug Jones (01730 231326 or email doug.pam@btinternet.com )

 

Keith Cummins brought an exciting Canadian military badge to the meeting, dug up in his Glebe Road garden only a couple of months ago: a place where it is known that troops were camping in the days before D-Day, long before the houses were built.

 

The badge appears to date from the First World War: the 218 th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force ( Alberta ). Does this help to identify any Second World War Canadian unit? Did a Second World War soldier carry the badge with him as part of a family connection? Or did it find its way into the ground in Buriton some other way.

 

If you think that you might be able to help with this mystery, please contact Doug Jones.


* * *


BURITON AND D-DAY - THROUGH LOCAL EYES

Buriton has been chosen as one of four small communities from Hampshire to take part in a special “D Day at 70” project – and your help is being sought.

The D Day Museum in Portsmouth has won an important award from the Heritage Lottery Fund to find out more about the build-up and follow-up to D-Day in 1944 – and they have selected Buriton Village Association as a partner.

It is known that troops, mostly Canadians, had stayed here as part of the build-up to D Day but this project provides an opportunity to find out more – and villagers are scouring War Office records in the National Archives at Kew to see what clues can be found.

The Village Association has also appealed for residents to try to remember any aspects of life at that time and, over a cup of tea and biscuits in the Five Bells, some memories came flooding back…

It seems as though troops were camped in South Lane, near to the village pond, with tanks and lorries all along the village High Street. And there were more troops and vehicles along The Links, out along Bolinge Hill Lane and in some of the fields off North Lane.

Brian Hutchins, now living in Andover, came back to Buriton in January to recall his time living in North Lane during 1944. “Soldiers were camped along the top of the Links, across the far side from the houses, under the trees,” he recalled. “They would descend the valley, climb up our side and come through our hedge to get water from our well.”

And others at the mini-reunion remembered some of the special treats that some of the soldiers gave to them as young children: tinned fruit, dark chocolate and the occasional ride in one of the big vehicles…

A special evening talk in the village hall is being arranged which will involve experts from the D Day Museum, findings from local research and an opportunity to meet a local man who took part in the first wave of the D Day landings.

The talk will take place on Tuesday 10th June – almost exactly 70 years after the allied bridgehead, which changed the shape of the war forever, was established in Normandy.

If anyone can help the Village Association identify which Canadian units came here in 1944, or if anyone has any other information about D Day in this area, please contact Doug Jones on 01730 231326 or emaildoug.pam@btinternet.com



* * *

MEMORIES OF WARTIME BOOST ARCHIVES

About 150 visitors squeezed into our village hall for our annual ‘Bygone Buriton' exhibition in September this year (2013) – including people from as far away as Australia, Canada and the Republic of Ireland.
Families from Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Hertfordshire , Kent and Sussex also came to see the displays - mingling with scores of residents and parishioners.

 

People always seem to love to come back to see their family roots and chat with long-lost friends and, as usual, we were able to make copies of more old photos and other information for our records. We now have over 2,900 images in our archives.

 

There was great interest in the new wartime projects which were unveiled this year.

 

Jim Lovell, who had been living along the Causeway on the outskirts of Petersfield at the time of the D-Day invasion in 1944, recalled that the roads around Buriton were full of vehicles – including tanks and large lorries. “They were mostly Canadians,” he added, “and they were parked all along both sides of the roads and up on the grassy banks.”

 

Other people can remember that Buriton School and the Five Bells were taken over by troops in the weeks leading up to D-Day – but we would love to hear from anyone else with memories of this period in our village history.

 

Heroes of the First World War were also recognised in the exhibition this year with a special presentation about all the men who had joined the forces. Almost 200 men had gone away at some time during the war – out of a total population of less than 800.

 

We want to find out what living conditions were like at home during the First World War, as well as finding out more about every one of the parishioners who took part.

 

We hope that some families may have letters, diaries and photographs that may help us.

 

Other highlights from this year's exhibition included details of a Buriton man who was to be transported to New South Wales in 1821 to serve a fourteen year sentence for felony. His wife and three small children were appealing to the authorities for permission, and funding, to accompany him. We have yet to find out whether the request was successful – or what fate befell the family if it failed.

 

John Cary made a special trip to Buriton from Kenmare, southern Ireland ,for the local history exhibition. “I was evacuated here, out of London, when I was about three years old,” he recalled. “I stayed in the Rectory for a number of months in around 1941-43 and was very well looked after. I loved it here – but this is the first time I have ever been back.”

 

Also of great interest were a bound collection of parish magazines from 1890 to 1891 and a small notebook of historical jottings made by a former parish priest over fifty years ago.

 

All these new sources of information help us to build up a picture of life in years gone by and we are always very grateful to everyone who lets us have a look at old photographs and other memorabilia.

 

Please do get in touch if you think that you can help in any way …

* * *

INFORMATION ABOUT WORLD WAR ONE AND WORLD WAR TWO?

 

2014 sees see some important anniversaries across the nation. It will be 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War – and it will be 70 years since troops and equipment gathered in this area in the build-up to the D-Day landings in World War Two.

 

There is already some information about both events in the collections of the Buriton Heritage Bank – but it would be good to be able to add more.

 

Do you have any family stories of wartime – or any family letters or diaries which suggest what life was like in this area in those troubled times?

 

The First World War

 

To commemorate the 100 th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, the Village Association will be trying to add to the knowledge about all the people from the parish who took part in the conflict and what life was like at home at this time.

 

We know that almost 200 men (out of a population of less than 800 villagers) took part in the war – suggesting that almost one in four of the residents that you might normally have seen around the village were away from home at some time; all of them men… What did this mean for life in the village and at work? What do letters and diaries from the time reveal about conditions at home and abroad?

 

If you have any information, old photographs or memorabilia about the First World War and its effects in this area please let us know.

 

D-Day

 

Seventy years ago, in the weeks leading up to D-Day, troops were encamped along all the roads for miles around. The school and the Five Bells were taken over by English and American troops. Some villagers can still remember the roar of the tanks and other vehicles around the village.

 

We are hoping to find out more about this period in our village history – and where those troops subsequently went.

 

If you are able to help the Village Association with any of this work, please let us know.

 

Please contact Doug Jones on 01730 231326 or email us via this website.

 

* * *

 

BURITON CORONATION PICTURE FEATURED IN COUNTY-WIDE CELEBRATIONS

 

As part of the county's activities to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation an illustrated order of service programme was produced for a special service of celebration in Winchester Cathedral. And the organisers sought to include a photograph of Buriton schoolchildren clutching their Coronation Mugs.

 

The photograph is just one of almost 3,000 old images collected together as part of the Buriton Heritage Bank – an initiative which is highly regarded by County chiefs. And representatives of the Heritage Bank, coordinated by the Buriton Village Association, feel that it is quite an honour for the community to be considered in this way. “We will make sure that we display the photograph at our big Annual Exhibition on Saturday 28th September,” they added, “and maybe residents will be able to help us identify the names of all the children on the photo?”

 

* * *

 

THE BIG FREEZE …

 

The Heritage Bank marked the 50 th anniversary of the big freeze by appealing for more local recollections.

 

From Boxing Day 1962 to March 1963 much of England was under snow in the coldest winter for over 200 years. Villages were cut off, some for several days. Lakes, rivers and even the sea froze over in places. Roads and railways were blocked. Telephone wires were brought down. Stocks of food ran low. Farmers couldn't reach their livestock. Thousands of sheep and cattle around the country starved to death.

 

Records show that the A3 over Butser Hill was blocked by drifts of snow with drivers being stranded and having to abandoning their vehicles.

 

And children were sent home from the village school “owing to the frozen state of the lavatories and pipes.”

 

Michael Reeves had some vivid recollections as he and other members of his family, including cousin Monica Stokes, had left a family party in Portsmouth on Boxing Day afternoon but got stuck in a blizzard on the A3 just passed the Clanfield turning where several cars and a double-decker bus were all stranded in deep, drifting snow. The intense cold wind made it impossible to walk far and so the family wrapped themselves in blankets and spent the night in their cars.

 

Waking in the morning they found the snow on one side of the car to be higher than the roof – but they could climb out of doors on the other side. The wind had dropped and it was a lovely morning with stunning views of the South Downs . They made their way over the tops of hedges and abandoned cars to the Hogs Lodge for a welcome brandy! They then walked towards Petersfield until they met a snow plough struggling up towards the cutting. They had to wait quite some time for their cars to be dug out …

 

* * *

 

‘PIG IN A BOX' IS AMONGST OPEN DAY HIGHLIGHTS

Families from nine different counties in England and some from Wales flocked to see our annual exhibition on 29 th September 2012 – mingling with residents and parishioners.

 

Scores of visitors attended the exhibition in the Village hall – more than in many previous years - and brought more information for our Heritage Bank records.

 

We've been able to add about 100 new images into our archives.

 

As well as many old pictures of hop-picking and farming in the parish, an amusing piece of correspondence from July 1962 was brought to the exhibition by Michael Attrill.

 

Written on formal British Transport Commission (British Railways) notepaper and addressed to the signalman at the Buriton Signalbox, the letter gives the workman a telling off because “on a recent visit by an Inspector you were observed to be attending to a small pig in the signalbox”!

 

The letter goes on to ask for an assurance from the signalman that this would never happen again as, it is revealed, this wasn't the first time this “irregularity” had been observed.

 

It's great to see these extra insights into life in the community over 50 years ago – although we can't recall ever receiving anything quite like this before!

 

We have now collected well over 2,700 old photographs of local people and places which we feel is quite an achievement for such a small community.

 

This year there were three different people all looking to find out more about Dean Barn, Buriton, where their ancestors had been shepherds working for the Bonham Carter family.

 

We are really pleased that we have been able to bring so much information together – but we are always looking for more.

 

As much as possible was recorded in the nine publications which have been produced, but we are always finding out more as people bring old photographs and memories to our events.

 

Anyone interested in obtaining any of our publications – or anybody with any information about the local history of the parish – should contact Doug Jones on 01730 231326 or send an email to heritage@buriton.org.uk

 

* * *

GEORGE ‘SONNER' LEGG (1914-2012)

 

Buriton lost part of its living history in August 2012, and an invaluable contributor to the Buriton Heritage Bank, with the passing of George ‘Sonner' Legg.

 

The Legg family has lived in Buriton for generations and their name is woven into many aspects of local life: gamekeepers to the Bonham Carter family; active members of the village's Methodist chapel; stalwarts of our local sports teams; and featured on the roll of those who gave their lives in the First World War.

 

Sonner spent virtually every day of his 98 years in the parish, leaving school at the age of 14 (in the days before children attended a secondary school in Petersfield) to start work for the Bonham Carters on the Manor Farm.

 

He continued to work on the farm, as gamekeeper and head hop-dryer in the big kilns in Bones Lane amongst other responsibilities, until he retired. And, thereafter, he enjoyed his gardening in Glebe Road . He had always grown plentiful supplies of fruit and vegetables – and must have had some of the greenest fingers ever known in the parish.

 

Sonner was an active member in the social life of the community, too – playing both cricket and football for Buriton, helping to organise dances and parties, enjoying rifle shooting in the Men's Institute and helping to teach some of the local lads to play snooker.

 

It was fitting that Sonner was selected to open the new extension to the school in 2004 and, although he never liked a fuss being made of him, he made a fine speech that day. Fortunately many of his memories are also recorded for ever in the archives and publications of the Buriton Heritage Bank.

 

Things have changed a lot since 1914 – but Sonner Legg had provided a strand of continuity; and a rich slice of pure Buriton.

 

* * *

BBC RESEARCHERS CONTACT HERITAGE BANK

 

In April 2012 the Heritage Bank received a request to provide assistance in making the documentary TV series “Great British Railway Journeys”.

The BBC2 programmes follow the Victorian Railway Guides of George Bradshaw and filming has been completed for an episode about the line from Portsmouth to Godalming.

Researchers were keen to obtain more information about the grand ceremony which had been held in Buriton on Saturday August 6 th 1853 when John Bonham Carter (MP for Winchester ) cut the first turf for the new rail line on his own land near to the village church and pond.

The programme is likely to be transmitted early in 2013.

 

* * *

 

BURITON JUBILEE ALE DRAWS ON HERITAGE BANK

 

As part of Buriton's Jubilee activities during 2012, villagers produced a limited supply of a a celebratory ale using a variety of hops similar to those which were once grown in the parish.

 

And pictures from the Heritage Bank's archive of photographs adorn bottles of the refreshing beer.

 

For further information about this celebratory ale, contact Sue or Steve Atkins via: atkins.fam@btinternet.com

 

* * *

 

WHITE HORSE TO BE CARVED TO MARK JUBILEE ?

 

Thirty-five years ago proposals for the design of a commemorative horse, to be cut in the chalk on the northern slopes of Butser Hill, were galloping around the parish.

 

The proposals, to produce a permanent celebration of the Queen's Silver Jubilee, were initiated by Prince Michael of Kent who had recently lit the beacon on Butser Hill. The renowned sculptor David Wynne designed the horse and Lord Taylor, of Taylor Woodrow, apparently pledged to provide the constructional input. A model of the design was created, leaflets circulated to gather public reaction and the scheme submitted for planning consent.

 

The white horse would have overlooked Weston but residents there joined with Buriton Village Association and the Parish Council to oppose the idea. A petition was signed by 85% of the adult population of Weston and a poll of members of the Village Association showed that over 80% were opposed to the idea (with only one person in favour). Fortified by this strength of public opinion, the Parish Council voted unanimously against the scheme.

 

According to someone who was at the meeting when the proposal was presented to Hampshire County Council and other interested environmental bodies, “there was never the faintest glimmer of enthusiasm”.

 

Prince Michael said that if the people of Hampshire did not want the horse, then the idea would not be pursued further – and the horse limped away …

 

* * *

TV's NICK BARRATT TO TRACK HERITAGE BANK

 

Coordinators of Buriton's Heritage Bank initiative met with Nick Barratt in November – and he may be interested in tracking the project.

 

Nick, who is probably best known for his regular appearances and work on TV programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are? and Hidden House Histories, provides advice and research to many organisations and institutions – and he sits on the board of the Community Archive and Heritage Group.

 

After the meeting Nick emailed the Heritage Bank coordinators to say “I 'd be really interested in tracking your project, and if possible linking to some of the initiatives I'm working on around education, localised tourism and online dissemination of heritage projects.”

 

Watch this space …

 

* * *

 

2011 EXHIBTION PRAISED BY VISITORS FROM AS FAR AWAY AS AUSTRALIA

 

Buriton's fascinating history was brought to life in a special exhibition on Saturday September 24th 2011 and the event attracted visitors from as far away as Australia .

 

Adrian Fletcher from Sydney, New South Wales, had visited our annual ‘Heritage Bank' exhibition in 2009 – and he returned this year with more of his family.

 

Scores of visitors attended the exhibition in the village hall – and brought more information for the community's archives.

 

Another 50-60 old photographs were added to the Heritage Bank records, many of them showing details of how farming was done before the days of tractors and modern machinery.

 

The ten-year old project has now collected over 2,600 old photographs of local people and places – a real achievement for such a small community.

 

When the Buriton Village Association started the initiative there had been a real risk that lots of information about our local history and heritage could be lost over time.

 

As much as possible was recorded in the nine publications which have been produced, but the organisers are always finding out more as people bring old photographs and memories to the events.

 

Families from Nottinghamshire , Kent , Sussex and Surrey also flocked to see the exhibition this year – mingling with residents and parishioners.

 

This was an unforeseen aspect of the project, but more information about the local history of the parish is always gathered as people discuss life in the area today compared with recollections and pictures from yesteryear.

 

Anyone interested in obtaining any of the publications – or anybody with any information about the local history of the parish – should contact Doug Jones on 01730 231326 or send an email to heritage@buriton.org.uk

 

 

* * *

HERITAGE BANK 10 th ANNIVERSARY: HELP NEEDED

 

It is now ten years since the Buriton Heritage Bank was launched – and much has been achieved in that time: nine lavishly illustrated books, regular exhibitions & open days and over 2,500 old photos of local people and places that might otherwise have been lost for all time.

 

We are planning to publish more material in another local history book within the next couple of years.

 

But, before we finalise our plans for our next publication, CAN YOU HELP?

 

We are always looking for more photographs and more information about life in the parish in years gone by.

 

If you know of anybody who might have any information – or anybody who might be able to help in any way – please let us know.

 

Flick through your photo albums, check out your cupboards, attack your attics and remind your relatives… Yesterday's local news is tomorrow's local history …

 

We look forward to hearing from you …

 

Please contact Doug Jones on 01730 231326, send by email to heritage@buriton.org.uk

 

 

* * *

 

SAY ‘NO' TO MONORAIL ON BUTSER HILL

 

The Heritage Bank has been given copies of official County Council documents which describe a battle that was raging in the area 40 years ago.

 

Hampshire's proposals states that “It seems probable that the number of visitors wishing to visit the top of Butser Hill will increase dramatically in future years, posing the problem of extensive areas of car parking and the need for improving the network of completely unsuitable minor access roads.”

 

“Therefore it is suggested that an alternative method of getting people to the top of Butser Hill should be investigated. The requirement would be for a cheap form of transport that could operate a shuttle service between the Park Reception area at Cannon Ball Corner and the hilltop. This must be achieved without spoiling the appearance of the slopes to Butser Hill and, therefore, the tracks, rails or means of support must be largely concealed.”

 

“Perhaps some form of monorail with an inconspicuous low track could serve the purpose” state the proposals.

 

The same proposals contained plans to build over 4 miles of roads inside the Queen Elizabeth Forest to provide “scenic drives” for cars and a one-way system of loop roads to serve a number of picnic sites in the woods. Ideas for camp sites (and possibly even large-scale caravan parks) have also been discussed.

 

These proposals were set out in a new ‘Management Plan for the Butser Queen Elizabeth Country Park ' in November 1970. In March 1971 Buriton Parish Council's Annual Meeting recognised that some of the proposals could be beneficial by providing somewhere where people visiting the countryside in ever increasing numbers for their leisure could go to learn about nature.

 

A local Action Group was formed to fight the more extreme parts of the proposals, petitions were signed, letters written to local newspapers and Members of Parliament lobbied.

 

By the end of the year the County Council had adjusted its ideas, initial planning applications were withdrawn and an amended scheme prepared. Instead of scenic drives for hundreds of cars, one short length of forest road (1,350 yards) was agreed, larger picnic areas were omitted and car parks re-located to fit into the landscape. Nothing ever came of the suggestion for a monorail on Butser Hill.

 

The local Action Group, led by Peggy Larken, became the Buriton Village Association and has subsequently supported the Parish Council on other important issues. It celebrates its 40 th birthday in 2012.

 

* * *

 

BULLETS IN THE VILLAGE HALL

 

Michael Reeves of Bones Lane has recently lent the Heritage Bank a 100 year old trophy: the ‘Challenge Cup' which belonged to the Buriton Shooting Club and which was first awarded in 1910.

 

Does anybody have any information about the Buriton Shooting Club – or about any of its members or activities?

 

We know that Buriton's original Village Hall was opened for the first time in October 1909 – on the same site as today's hall.

 

The hall became a social hub for the village for the rest of the century and hosted many activities – including a rifle range.

 

George ‘Sonner' Legg of Glebe Road recalls that when he was a young man the Shooting Club used to meet every week.

 

And live ammunition was used – real bullets!

 

A rifle range was set up each week and the men would lie down on mattresses and aim their rifle at a target down the far end of the hall.

 

The target was mounted onto a number of railway sleepers which absorbed the bullets.

 

As well as regular ‘club nights' there were some special competitions each year for cups and other prizes.

 

Sonner won the cup at least once, as did his father (George Legg senior) and his uncle Jack. “Jack was an excellent shot” explains Sonner. “They all were as, for many of them, game-keeping was their job.”

 

If anybody has any more information about the Buriton Shooting Club – or about any other activities in the Village Hall in years gone by – please let us know.

 

* * *

BURITON'S REFUSE TIP

 

Roger Moon of Clanfield has recently provided us with a panoramic photograph taken from the top of Buriton's refuse tip in the late 1980s. The view looks over Petersfield to the north and along the downs to the east.

 

Roger started working at the tip in January 1961 (only a few months after the tip had been opened) and retired in September 1993 – with the tip closing on the same day.

 

In its heyday dust carts had brought refuse from many parts of east Hampshire to the site along Kiln Lane, Buriton.

 

When Roger had started work the chalk face of the old quarry was huge, towering above the site. Gradually the whole site was filed in and today vegetation has almost completely disguised the site.

 

Please let us know if you have any other information or memories about this short chapter in Buriton's history.

 

***

 

HAPPY 100 th BIRTHDAY TO BURITON HOUSE

 

We have recently received some old photographs of Buriton House.

 

We believe that the house was built in 1910 – so it exactly 100 years old this year.

 

It was built by the then owner of the Buriton Manor Estate: Lothian Bonham Carter.

 

The story goes that his wife did not like living in the Manor House near the church because it was still part of an active, working farm – with all the smells and things that would bring!

 

Along with other parts of the Bonham Carter Estate, Buriton House was sold after Lothian's death in 1927 and his son, Algernon, took up residence in the Manor House again.

 

But, beyond that, we have relatively little knowledge or information about Buriton House.

 

If anyone has any more information, or if you know of other people who may be able to help, please let us know.

 

We are always looking for more photographs and more information about life in the parish in years gone by.

 

***

 

OLD POSTCARDS A BIG ATTRACTION AT 2010 EXHIBITION

Our latest annual exhibition in September yielded yet more old photographs for the Heritage Bank archives – bringing the total collected to almost 2,500. We feel that this is a real achievement for such a small community.

 

Amongst the new material on display at this year's event were scores of old postcards of the parish. The Heritage Bank project has collected almost 100 different postcards of the village, some dating from over a hundred years ago.

 

The postcards provide a fascinating insight into how the village has looked over the years and, blown up to A3 in size, they make fascinating viewing: the quality and sharpness of most of the early photographs is very impressive.

 

But we are always looking for more old postcards and photographs of Buriton. We are sure that there are still more that we haven't seen.

 

Also this year, Michael Reeves of Buriton had found details of the sale of parts of the Buriton Estate in 1927. The sale had been arranged by the executors of the late Lothian Bonham Carter.

 

As well as over 60 cottages and 2,350 acres of land, the sale documents provide details of all the farming stock that was on offer. The catalogue lists all the sheep, pigs and cattle that were for sale and includes names of cart-horses such as Boxer, Traveller, Drummer and Champion.

 

As in previous years, the exhibition re-united a number of friends and relatives with members of the Harfield family travelling again from Leicester, Wellingborough, Nottingham and Sussex . These re-unions are a completely unforeseen aspect of our project - but we usually learn a bit more about the local history of the parish from family reminiscences.

 

***

HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY, VILLAGE HALL

 

On October 18th 1909, Buriton's original Village Hall was opened for the first time – and the building, on the same site as today's hall, became a social hub for the village for the rest of the century.

 

As Percy Legg, a schoolboy at the time, recalled later in life: “The building was erected and paid for by the then Village Squire, Mr Lothian Bonham Carter ... who realised that there were many young men working hard on farms and limeworks in the area with nothing much to do after work was done for the day.”

 

“After much discussion it was decided that a wooden hut should be built in the centre of the village and a Norwegian firm was called in to start the work. Wood was brought in to Buriton by rail, unloaded at the sidings up Kiln Lane and hauled to the chosen site near the village school on the Squire's farm wagons. All this action caused quite a stir in the village and was much enjoyed by the lads.”

 

Initially the building was a social club for men, the Men's Institute, with a reading room, billiards table, rifle range and other recreational pursuits for long winter evenings. The men were too busy working during the summer!

 

The Buriton Women's Institute held its first ever meeting in the hall in December 1921 and met there for a few years before Mrs Seward of Weston Farm paid for the neighbouring ‘Church Hall' (as it became known in later years) to be built for the WI.

 

When Lothian Bonham Carter died in 1927 the original hall was left to the Parish Council so that the social club could continue – and £50 was also bequeathed so that it could be put in good order!

 

But by 1990 much of the wooden hall was in poor condition and the Social Club closed in October 1993. A new management committee was formed and in less than four years almost £250,000 had been raised and a completely new hall built. It was fitting that the first village function to be held in the new hall, in August 1997, was the flower show.

 

At the time of writing, the Village Hall Committee is considering installing internet access to the hall for users and villagers – what would Lothian Bonham Carter, Percy Legg and the other early users of the hall have made of that?!

***

VISITORS FLOCK TO OUR 2009 EXHIBITION

 

Well over a hundred visitors squeezed into Buriton Village Hall on September 26th for our annual exhibition.

 

And once again we had visitors from as far away as Australia as well as local villagers and their relatives.

 

Two separate families had travelled from Sydney and Perth, Australia, to find out more about their ancestors who had come from the parish - and there were also families from Nottingham, Reading and many other places who made special trips to see the exhibition and to visit their family roots.

 

As in previous years, the exhibition re-united a number of long-lost friends and relatives – many tracing details of their ancestors. This year some cousins, all part of the local Harfield family, met up for the first time in 45 years. None of them had known that the others were coming; it was all quite by chance – and quite emotional !

 

Two other family groups visiting the exhibition discovered that their great grandparents had shared a house in the village about 150 years ago. The people are completed unrelated - but many families shared homes in those days. They studied our information and had a lovely chat over tea and biscuits – much like their ancestors might have done!

 

The latest exhibition yielded yet more old photographs for the village archives – including some fascinating accounts of local forestry work from about fifty years ago. We have now collected well over 2,000 old photographs which we feel is quite an achievement for such a small place.

***

 

150th BIRTHDAY

 

January 2009 marks the 150th anniversary of the first train passenger service to run through the parish on the “Portsmouth Direct Railway” (connecting London with Portsmouth via Godalming and Havant). Construction had commenced when John Bonham Carter cut the first turf at Buriton Manor in August 1853. All the details are recorded in our “Buriton in Living Memory” publication – along with copies of original lithographs. We hope that the Heritage Bank will be able to contribute to local celebrations.

 

***

 

IN LOVING MEMORY

 

November 2008 marks the 90 th anniversary of the end of the First World War and the Heritage Bank provided a special article for the autumn edition of the Buriton Parish Magazine - to reflect on some of the effects of the conflict on the parish and to say thank you to those to whom a great debt is owed.

 

At the time of the outbreak of the First World War the size of the population of the parish was very similar to that of today – about 780 people. Almost 200 men from the parish took part in the war meaning that about one in four of the residents that would normally have been seen around the village were away from home at some time.

 

Of those who went away, one in five (39 out of 197) did not return. With the casualties all being from the younger and fitter end of the age-range (all were under 40 when they died) their loss was inevitably felt in the parish in many ways for many years.

 

***

 

VISITORS FROM AUSTRALIA AT OUR 2008 EXHIBITION

 

Our 2008 exhibition attracted visitors from as far away as Brisbane , Australia as well as local villagers and their relatives. Families from Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Buckinghamshire and Kent also made special trips to see the exhibition and to visit their family roots.

 

As well as displays of our recent “Dr Who” material, we were able to unveil new information about Ditcham House and the Cave family who had the current building, now Ditcham Park School , constructed for them over a hundred years ago. We are very grateful to Judith Patrick who has undertaken a lot of work for us following a study for the Hampshire Gardens Trust.

 

A couple of our visitors have subsequently commented as follows:

 

“Just thought I would follow up on my visit too the wonderful exhibition that you hosted at the village hall the Saturday last, (13th Sept). I was rather nervous when I arrived in your pretty village and parked my car outside the church. But my fears were unfounded as I was welcomed with open arms and lots of very friendly people. I had a wonderful time … I think that the Heritage Bank that you have set up is without doubt exceptional and although I live too far away to be able to be much use as a regular helper I am more than willing to help out with any Heritage Bank matters if you require... “

 

“Just a quick note to say a big thank you to you and your team for a very interesting and enjoyable visit last Saturday,  The exhibition was brilliantly put together and displayed.  We were made to feel very welcome and we thank you all for that.  My wife, sister and cousin really enjoyed the visit to your beautiful village and we all felt an affinity with the place.  It was lovely to see you again and thank you for the research you did whilst we were with you. We were all so impressed with the work you have done on Buriton's Heritage … Long may it continue …”

 

***

 

TOURING EXHIBITION A GREAT SUCCESS

 

Having been chosen by the Hampshire Records Office as a shining example of an innovative local history project, Buriton's Heritage Bank is now showcased as part of a new “Accessing Hampshire's Heritage” project – an initiative aimed at encouraging more people to research their local history.

 

Some of our old press cuttings and photographs are now available as part of an on-line guide, illustrating the sort of sources that can be used to investigate local history. Have a look at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/hampshire-heritage.htm and http://calm.hants.gov.uk/DServeA/search.htm

 

And the village was selected to host a special touring exhibition of material to promote this initiative: starting at the Village Show on August 16 th the exhibition then visited the Five Bells (17-23 August), the Master Robert (24-30 August), St Mary's Church (31 August-6 September) and the village school (7-12 September) before finishing at the annual Heritage Bank Exhibition in the Village Hall on Saturday 13 th September.

 

Lots of people took the opportunity of looking at this exhibition which was quite an honour for Buriton and its Heritage Bank.

 

***

 

Dr WHO TAKES HERITAGE BANK INTO THE NEXT MILLENIUM

 

Buriton's Heritage Bank started collecting together information and old photographs of the parish in 2001 and, thanks to Dr Who, we have just reached a major milestone - 2,000 old photographs.

We think that this is quite an amazing achievement for a relatively small community.

 

Back in 1985 parts of an episode of Dr Who were filmed in the parish and the Heritage Bank has obtained a series of unique photographs of the film shoot. The Tardis landed near to Bolinge Hill Farm on a cold January day with snow on the ground and a four minute sequence took most of the day to film – involving men in wet suits in a nearby pond, machines making mist for special effects and a large quantity of buns (a vital part of the plot!). Several daleks and the Tardis lived in one of the local grain stores for a few days adding to the fun.

 

***

 

HIDDEN ON THE TOP OF A WARDROBE

 

We are particularly indebted to Gordon and Mary Bray who have been tidying out some of their cupboards at Nursted Farm. Hidden away on the top of a wardrobe was a box of papers and photographs which had been collected together when the local Women's Institute was preparing its wonderful ‘Scrapbook of Buriton' in 1951. The box contained a number of things that had not been included in the final Scrapbook – but they are certainly of interest today.

 

One old photograph shows the grand opening of the original village hall in October 1909 with a dozen smartly dressed waiters and waitresses waiting to serve the celebratory meal.

 

And the box contained some handwritten memories from some of the (then) village elders: Thirza Budd and Mr & Mrs Welch. The notes describe how the village used to have a drapers shop, a bootmakers, a butchers shop at the Five Bells, a wheelwrights and undertakers opposite The Maple Inn and how bread was baked for sale at the Post Office.

 

We have also received correspondence and plans from 1953 with details of commemorative trees planted to mark the Coronation and even press cuttings from as recently as 1991 can be of interest – showing pictures of the huge construction work which took place near to the end of Greenway Lane during the building of the Petersfield bypass.

 

***

 

SNIPPETS FROM THE 1970s

 

Recent additions to our photographic collection include photos of tree planting ceremonies to mark the Queen's Silver Jubilee, snapshots of Buriton's triumphant netball teams of 1971-72 and a postcard sketch of St Mary's church which is thought to date from about 1973.

 

We are always looking for more photographs and more information about life in the parish in years gone by. Do get in touch if you think that you can help in any way.

 

***

 

BURITON'S   HERITAGE  BANK  REACHES  AFGHANISTAN

 

As a result of contacts made at our 2007 Exhibition (see below) we have received an email from Afghanistan with the promise of some fascinating information about our little parish.

 

The email came from Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, HM Ambassador in Kabul. His ancestors had acquired the estates of Ditcham and Sunworth in 1545. The estates remained in the Cowper family until 1767, when Richard Cowper, the last male heir died. The estates passed to his first cousin, John Coles and the families of Cowper and Coles were thus united. In 1865, after the death of John Coles's grandson, the Reverend John Coles, the estate was sold to the Cave family.

 

***

 

MORE FANTASTIC PICTURES BROUGHT TO OUR 2007 EXHIBITION

 

Our annual Heritage Bank Exhibition, held in the Village Hall on Saturday 15 th September 2007, was another great success and attracted visitors from as far away as Australia as well as local villagers and their relatives.

 

One man, visiting England from his home in Australia , was able to see old photographs of his ancestors at Buriton school and there were also families from Nottingham and Leicester who made special trips to see the exhibition and to visit their family roots.

 

The latest exhibition yielded over 100 more old photographs for the Heritage Bank archives – bringing the total collected over the last five years to over 1,800. We feel that this is a real achievement for such a small community.

 

This year, Colin Harfield of Petersfield brought along a special album of photographs of Buriton which had been taken 120 years ago. It had been sitting in his cupboard for many years – but the quality of the photographs is amazing. They had been taken by the professional photographer J Milman Brown and he has signed the album in October 1887 when he presented it to Mr Forder who lived locally when he established the local limeworks in about 1860. It is great to know that such a wonderful record of the community still exists.

 

Quite a lot of visitors were tracing their family trees and, as in previous years, the exhibition re-united a number of long-lost friends and relatives – a completely unforeseen aspect of our project, but we always learn a bit more about the local history of the parish from their reminiscences.

 

The exhibition also revealed more information about the history of local forestry activities on the South Downs . This new material, including a number of old photographs, will be available for the Village Association's autumn meeting on Tuesday 23 rd October.

 

***

 

BURITON CHOSEN FOR 21 st CENTURY ARCHIVES PROJECT

 

The Buriton Heritage Bank has been chosen by the Hampshire Records Office as a prime example of an innovative local history project and is to be showcased as part an exciting new “Accessing Hampshire's Heritage” project – a project aimed at encouraging more people to research their local history.

 

As part of the project some examples of our old press cuttings and photographs will be made available as an on-line guide, illustrating the sort of sources that can be used to investigate local history.

 

The project should be available online from February 2008 and we plan to illustrate a number of local themes such as farming, hop growing, the limeworks, the school, church and chapel, sports and leisure, wartime, transport etc.

 

We feel that this is a great honour for our Heritage Bank work and we would ask anyone who has provided items for the Heritage bank - and who has any objections to them being displayed on the internet - to contact us as soon as possible.

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MORE INFORMATION FROM NEW ZEALAND

 

The Heritage Bank has recently received a ring-binder of information all the way from New Zealand . Catherine Butland has sent us some lovely information about her grandparents: Charles and Bertha Holloway.

 

From about 1906, Charles had worked as a Head Gardener for the Bonham Carter family in Buriton. A large market garden on the estate employed about fifteen gardeners and produce (vegetables and flowers) were shipped by rail to Covent Garden Market every morning. Bertha Holloway also worked in service for the Bonham Carters and helped in the glass houses. They lived and worked in Buriton until 1921 when Charles died.

 

We are aware that 2007 marks a couple of special anniversaries for Buriton: it is 20 years since ‘the Great Storm' swept across the parish. It brought down a gable end of the village school, blocked the railway line and closed local roads for days. Parts of the High Street and North Lane were left without power for over a week and a wartime spirit was re-kindled in the village as neighbours helped each other with supplies of hot water.

 

Some fascinating local photographs of the aftermath of the 1987 hurricane will be on show at our 2007 Exhibition but we hope to collect more information and memories.

 

It will also be 10 years since Buriton's new Village Hall was opened. Strangely we don't have many photographs of our old Village Hall. It had been built in 1909 and was, for most of the twentieth century, the social hub of the village. We have a wonderful description of how it had been built (and what a stir this had caused in the community) but we have very few photographs of the building.

 

Please let us know if you think that you can help.

 

And we are still keen to collect more information about the Forestry activities that have taken place in the parish over the years.

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Visitors flock to our 2006 exhibition

 

Our annual Heritage Bank Exhibition, held in the Village Hall on Saturday 9th September 2006, was another great success, attracting visitors from across southern England as well as local villagers and their relatives.

 

This year we collected even more information about the hop-growing traditions of the parish. One visitor brought along about 20 old photographs of the huts in which the hop-picking families had lived whilst staying in Buriton.

 

And we also had a pair of giant stilts on display which had originally been used in Weston to tie up the strings and wires for the hop bynes to grow up.

 

We have also been given copies of some old posters which had been produced in the village in the late 1960s or early 1970s. One of them appears to be encouraging objections to proposals to build a monorail and modern roads in the Queen Elizabeth Forest , before it became a Country Park . We will try to find out more about this issue over the coming months.

 

And quite a lot of visitors were tracing their family trees and taking the opportunity to look at their Buriton roots. Researchers were tracking down the Harfield and Pretty families but there was also interest in the Strugnells and others.

 

But the main attraction of the exhibition was undoubtedly the tiny coin which had been found in the parish over 80 years ago. It dates from about 150 BC and had somehow travelled over 7,000 miles from its origins before being dropped and lost near Nursted. It was amazing to see the little coin which has added another fascinating story to our swelling archives.

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BBC features old Buriton coin

 

We had an exciting prelude to our big annual exhibition when an ancient coin, unearthed in the 1920s near to Buriton, was a central feature of the August edition of the BBC History magazine.

 

Although the coin is older than the ancient coins generally found in Britain , the age of the coin isn't the most remarkable thing about it. T he really stunning thing about the coin, as the author of the article Dr Llewelyn Morgan explains, is not its age - but where it originally came from and speculation about how it got here.

 

Dr Morgan, a fellow of Brasenose College at Oxford University , explains that the King whose profile is depicted on the coin, King Menander, ruled between 155 and 130 BC. He was a Greek King but the territory that he ruled at that time covered a swathe of what would now be Afghanistan , Pakistan and northwest India .

 

By the time that somebody mislaid the coin in Hampshire it had travelled some 7,000 miles – in an age when society was much less mobile than our own today.

 

The coin was dug up by Albert Passingham sometime in the 1920s in the course of his work as a gamekeeper on the Nursted House estate, Buriton. Albert gave the coin to his sister and in turn it has been passed it on to her granddaughter, Catherine, who now lives in Fareham . Albert's daughters Jill (who still lives in Buriton today) and Rita have been in contact with Catherine and Dr Morgan as the story of the coin has unfolded.

 

Dr Morgan explains that the coin was probably dropped in Hampshire around 100AD, shortly after the Roman Conquest of Britain . It would already have been an antique and would not have been legal tender. It can only have been a keepsake – perhaps of a long-distance traveller or merchant.

 

What tales the coin could probably tell, suggests Dr Morgan: a month-long sea-passage with the monsoons across the Indian Ocean, camel caravans across the Egyptian desert to the Nile, the gruelling journey up the valley of the Rhone in the teeth of the mistral winds and finally the strong tides and unpredictable foggy weather blanketing the English Channel .

 

Dr Morgan had made contact with the Heritage Bank to see if we could shed any light on exactly where the coin might have been found.

 

The information has added another fascinating story to our swelling archives – and has already encouraged a number of local people to have a look for other local history about Buriton.

 

We hope to feature information about the ancient coin at our special Heritage Bank Exhibition on Saturday September 9 th .

 

[More details about the ancient King Menander coin and its passage to Hampshire can be found on pages 46-47 of the August edition (vol 7, no 8) of the BBC History Magazine.

 

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Our 2005 Heritage Bank Exhibition (September 10th), was another resounding success with hundreds of visitors, some travelling thousands of miles to visit their Hampshire roots and to meet up with long-lost friends and relatives.

 

One visitor, now based in Japan, arranged his trip back to the UK so as to be able to visit the event - and he brought with him more information about the local limeworks and how they were used for dangerous bomb disposal activities during the Second World War.

 

But perhaps the star of the show was 89 year old Hemsley Budd who drove to Buriton from his home in Teignmouth, Devon to visit the village where he had grown up as a boy and where he had worked in the chalk pits and limeworks.

 

“I was one of the pony boys” explained Mr Budd. “I helped to look after the horses before they were replaced with locomotives. At the end of a hard days work pulling wagons full of chalk from the pit, I would take them for a wash in the village pond. We would then race back through the village High Street, riding the horses bare-back, much to the delight of the local children.”

 

By coincidence, another of the visitors to the Exhibition, Peter Albuery of Sumner Road , Buriton, brought a picture of one of the horses at work in the chalk pits. “That could well be my horse” said Mr Budd. “My horse, Colonel, was a grey.”

 

The exhibition yielded another 60-70 old photographs for the Heritage Bank archives – bringing the total collected over the last few years to over1,500. We feel that this is a real achievement for such a small community in such a short space of time.

 

We even had nine photographs emailed through to us from Canada on the eve of the exhibition showing scenes around Nursted Farm during the First World War. The grandson and great grandson of one of those featured in these photographs were at the exhibition and were able to see photos of their ancestors that they'd never seen before.

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Over the preceeding few months we had reproduced a series of old photographs for display in both our local pubs - the Master Robert (formerly The Maple) and the Five Bells. 

We are particularly interested in finding more old photographs for display - including more of the local sports teams who have represented the village over the decades...

Why not call into one of the pubs, have a look at the photographs on display and let us know if you know of anybody who might be able to help add to our collection.

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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.

 

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The Buriton Heritage Bank achieved a major milestone in autumn 2003 with the publication of nine booklets about the parish.

All the booklets are crammed with fascinating information and lots of pictures - including hundreds of old photographs collected during the course of the project.

For details of the publications and how to order your copies click here.

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The booklets were launched at a special exhibition in Buriton Village Hall on 13 September 2003 with hundreds of residents and visitors obtaining copies.

As with earlier exhibitions, the event turned into a wonderful reunion for many, with people meeting up with friends and relatives who had left the area many years ago. We also re-united one cricket bat, last used before the First World War, with the descendants of its original owner. John Bone travelled from Luton to the exhibition to collect the bat from local resident Aubrey Bicknell who had been keeping it safe for the last few decades.

The exhibition included new displays about Weston, Nursted and Ditcham, as well as more about Buriton itself. There was also new information about famous people who have lived in the area, about our natural history and about Buriton 'beyond living memory': from the stone age to the steam age! Our new books cover all these themes. Visit our Publications page for details.

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More and more people are taking part in the Heritage Bank project with this web-site producing information from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Florida, Japan, the West Indies and Chile as well as Northern Ireland, Cumbria, East Anglia and places nearer to the parish. Although we have now printed many of our findings, we know that there is probably still much more to find out. Please get in touch if you think that you might be able to help in any way.

E-mailing from New Zealand, Catherine Butland told us that her grandfather, Charles Holloway, and his wife Bertha, used to live in North Lane, not far from the Bonham Carters. Charles was a gardener for the Bonham Carters and also looked after game on the estate. Catherine has fond memories of her last visit to Buriton, in 1996, even though she is now so far away.

Michael Marriner, e-mailing from Chile, has told us about his grandfather's work driving one of the small railway engines in the Buriton limeworks and Debbie Paul of Tallahassee, Florida, reports that her great grandfather's brother was the butler at Ditcham House around the turn of the nineteenth century. He may well be featured in one of the photographs in our new books!

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