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1862: Fine Cuckfield celebrations of Harvest Home

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Brighton Gazette - Thursday 02 October 1862


Harvest Home. Thursday last was a day set apart for a public celebration of harvest home, a day of thanksgiving as well as pleasure. At ten o’clock the labourers began to assemble at the Ship Inn, Whiteman’s Green, where a rural arch was erected, and banners floated from the roof of the house.

Shortly before eleven a procession was formed to Cuckfield Church. At the entrance to the churchyard was a splendid triple arch erected over the main entrance and side gates, in the Gothic style (eliptic), the wood work being put up by Mr Anscombe, builder, and the decorations beautifully worked out with flowers and evergreens, covering the whole fabric, by Mr Norris, of the schools, and Mr Chilcot, with the inscription, in large letters, formed of dahlias, “Praise the Lord” with nosegays tastefully arranged in the front, facing Church Street.

The summit was castellated to resemble the Church tower, and at top there floated five flags. From the tower was a banner, "God Save the Queen,” and another from the steeple, red, white, and blue, while the interior of the Church presented a beautiful appearance, being ornamented in splendid style Miss Maberly and others.

The Ship Inn c1899

On arriving at the Church, the congregation, headed by the clergy, and the choir advanced up the aisle, singing a highly appropriate psalm.

At the conclusion of Morning Prayer, a most impressive sermon was preached by the Vicar; after which the procession, reforming, proceeded through the town to Cuckfield Park, where a substantial and excellent dinner was provided in a spacious booth, 130 ft. long, by Mr and Mrs Tester, of the Rose and Crown Inn.

The Rev. T. A. Maberly, Vicar, being called to the Chair, 235 sat down, and the cloth being cleared, the Chairman briefly proposed “The Queen and Royal Family,” which was drunk with the honours, followed by the health of Mr Sergison, the Chairman much regretting the fact that he was unavoidably absent, being obliged to attend at Tunbridge Wells on public business. (He returned in the afternoon, soon enough to enjoy at least a portion of the sports in hand.) Mr Fearon having proposed the health of “The Chairman,” which was responded to, the company retired to the park, to witness the races and other amusements provided.

The afternoon was devoted entirely to rural sports, and Willett’s, the Cuckfield band, kept up the strains of music in first-rate style the whole day, without tiring.



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