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1891: State of our roads ... disgusted of Cuckfield

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

We call this an age of progression, but so far as the subject of this letter goes each a term cannot apply. Our roads used to be a pattern for all to copy, but now serve only as a subject for disgust and derision. Years ago, you could always find men engaged on the roads, keeping them up to the proper standard, but not now. Our rules might adopt the use of flints entirely, to great advantage. A complaint is made that our roads cost so much for keeping up, but when we consider the ignorant way the money or the ratepayers is expended, we can little wonder at the result.

Perhaps the Roads Improvement Association can be brought to bring pressure to bear upon the subject. A steam roller ought to be used to ensure good roads, and would prove most economical in the end, but I am informed the roads are too rotten to bear its weight. What a pretty state of affairs!

In conclusion. Why are our roads so elevated in the centre. In many places where not required. This is generally noticeable on hills, which might be made flat, as they drain themselves, whilst in bottoms and flats, where they should be raised, they are often very hollow.

Apologising for thus trespassing on your space in airing a public grievance,

Cuckfield, September 26th, 1891

I remain Sir,

Yours faithfully,


Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

Visit Cuckfield Museum, follow the link for details



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