Captain and Mrs Sergison of Cuckfield Park have not suffered the first Christmas after their return from India to pass by without a charitable thought for their dependents, and in addition to having a fat bullock killed and distributed to the poor on Friday afternoon gave a treat to the children of their workmen and small tenants, who to the number of between 40 and 50 were assembled at the mansion, where tea was provided for them in the hall, with bread and butter, plum cake, and other little delicacies suitable to their infantine tastes.
The Captain and his amiable lady, with the Misses Maberly and Miss Jolly attending sedulously to their wants, and gladdening their little hearts by their kindness and giving them a hearty and cordial welcome.
Having satisfied them in this particular the Captain led them upstairs to the drawing-room, followed by bis troop of little guests, where they found a large Christmas tree furnished with toys, trinkets, and bon-bons, to which the names of the visitors were attached, and being duly arranged around (the table each were called in turn and received the present allotted to them, with which they were delighted.
But this was not all, for Mrs Sergison had provided gifts of blankets, dresses, comforters, and other articles of clothing, that were distributed among them, as well as lots of oranges, nuts, apples, cakes, and a merry game of snapdragons, and after enjoying themselves highly for a time they returned to their homes loaded with presents, gratefully thanking their kind benefactors for the treat they had experienced, with light hearts and happy faces, and will remember for years their visit to Cuckfield Place.
Surrey Gazette - Tuesday 10 January 1871
Contributed by Malcolm Davison.