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1935: Cuckfield celebrates Royal Silver Jubilee

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 07 May 1935



Not within the memory of the oldest inhabitant has Cuckfield celebrated a time of national rejoicing as it did yesterday (Monday). Residents of all ages joined in making preparations for the day. Mature experience was blended with the enthusiasm of youth, and the result was a programme which provided the maximum enjoyment for everybody. The small Committee appointed at a public meeting grew until over hundred people were embodied on the main Committee or on one of the six Sub-Committees, and the vast amount work was carried through without the slightest hitch. The General Committee comprised the Rev. Canon C. W. G. Wilson (Chairman). Major H. H. Blaker (Vice-Chairman), Mr. F. Hoadley (Hon. Treasurer), Messrs. A. T. and W. J. Gasson (Hon. Secretaries’. Mrs. H. W. Askew. Miss Gibb, Mr. Glenister. Miss Middleton, Mr. Quickenden, Mrs. Rapley, Mrs. Winterbottom, Messrs L. Askew, H. Bates, J. H. W. Blunden, F. Dann, W. Dann, R. A. Frost, G. E. Glenister, G. Hounsell, E. Hayter, W. T. Jenner, S. H. Knight, . E. Mitchell, A. Mitchell, A.Stevens, G. Sayers, C. Webber and F. Webber, Jun.

The following acted as Chairmen of the Sub- Committees ; Finance, Canon Wilson:- sports, Mr. Glenister; carnival, Major Blaker; catering, Mrs. Rapley; amusements, Mrs. H. W. Askew; bonfire and fireworks, Mr. C. Webber. The organisers had no difficulty in carrying out their programme, as over £200 was subscribed by the residents. Never has the old town looked gayer than it did in the brilliant sunshine of yesterday. The streets were lavishly decorated with flags and bunting, and in the adornment of their premises both tradesmen and private residents devised elaborate and colourful schemes. They received a stimulus, if any was necessary, by the offer of prizes, and during the morning the following ladies and gentlemen toured the town judging the displays:

Mrs. Wilson, Miss Allen, Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Tomlinson, and Mr. W. E. Mitchell. Canon Wilson accompanied the judges as referee. Their awards were: Business premises, Messrs. F. Hoadley Ltd., High Street; 2, Messrs. Hobbs and Son, High Street; 3, Messrs: H. Stevens and Sons, High Street; 4, Mr. H. Rowland, Broad Street; highly commended, Mr. Seldon and Mr. A. W. Pace, High Street. Private houses—, Mr. A. T. Rapley, Ockenden Lane; 2, Mr. C. M. Capon, High Street; 3, Mr. A. R, Smith Brook Street: 4, Mrs. Meaning, London Lane: commended. Canon Wilson, Vicarage, Mr. G. E. Glenister, Church House, Mrs. Wells, Broad Street, P.C. B. Bndgeman, London Lane, Mr. B. Miles, London Lane, Mr. Stephen Knight, J.P., Whiteman's Green. From nine to half past ten the bells of the Parish Church resounded over the countryside a half peal of Grandsire Triples. The ringers were T. Jeffery, treble; F. H. Hounsell, 2; K. Quickenden. 3; C. L. Mitchell 4; Conductor , J. W. Jeffery. 5; T. Mitchell, 6; G.Woods, 7; F. Leney, tenor. Many people were out in the streets throughout the morning and shortly alter mid-day the old age pensioners over 65 were seen wending their way to the Queen's Hall, where they were entertained to dinner. Those who were unable walk were kindly brought in cars by thoughtful residents.

The hall was effectively decorated with bunting of the national colours, and flowers for the tables were given by Mrs. K. Clarke and Mrs. Winterbottom. A company of 79 sat down under the chairmanship of Canon Wilson, who was supported by the Rev. Gwilym Thomas. Mrs. Avery, the caterer, provided a splendid repast. It comprised roast beef, roast and boned mutton, boiled and mashed potatoes, peas and cabbage, followed by Jubilee plum pudding and sauce, trifle, fruit and jelly salad, cheese and biscuits. Liquid refreshment was kindly supplied by the Cuckfield Club. Mrs. Rapley and members of her Sub-Committee were assisted by a corps of ladies and gentlemen waiting upon the guests, who thoroughly enjoyed themselves. At the end of the meal. Canon Wilson, in a speech of welcome, said it gave pleasure to all who were in any way responsible tor the arrangements, to see bow the old folk were entering into the rejoicings. The loyal toast was honoured at the call of the Vicar, and the guests sang the National Anthem and gave three hearty cheers for their Majesties. School-children entertained the company for half-an-hour with patriotic and other songs under the leadership Mr. Rapley. Mrs. Glenister acted as pianoforte accompanist.

Cuckfield High Street Coronation decorations 1935 (photograph courtesy of Cuckfield Museum)

The scene quickly changed to the schools, where nearly 200 children assembled in fancy dresses early in the afternoon. Headed by Brook Street ’If it’ Novelty Band of Country Yokels, they marched in a picturesque procession to the Recreation Ground, where a crowd, estimated at over a thousand, had gathered round a large enclosure. The programme started with a short service conducted by the Vicar, assisted by the Rev. Gwilym Thomas (minister of the Congregational Church), from a raised platform over which floated a mammoth Union Jack. The Rev. C. R. P. Vandeleur was also present. Two verses of the National Anthem were sung, after which Canon Wilson, speaking into a microphone, announced that he had sent the following telegram that morning: “To your Majesties, with humble and loving greetings and congratulations from your loyal subjects of Cuckfield, Sussex.” The crowd signified their approval of the Vicar’s action giving three lusty cheers. The service included the hymns ”O God of Jacob, by Whose Hand” and ” Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven.” between which Canon Wilson read the commemoration and the Rev. Gwilym Thomas offered prayers. Mrs. Wilson was at the piano.

Chiildren's fancy dress competition 1935 (photograph courtesy of Cuckfield Museum)

The schoolchildren were then divided into classes according to age for the judging of their costumes, a task undertaken by Mrs. Winterbottom, Mrs. Wilson. Mrs. Wallinger, Mrs. Magor and Captain and Mrs. W. R. Winterbottom. Their awards were: Girls Eleven years and over—l. E. Booth (Sergeant of the Guard); next best six, F. Moore (bride), W. Stoner (Land of the Free), A. Pattendon (sailor). M. Pattenden (sailor), V. Murrell (Gypsy Hawker), G. Hoare (Flower Seller); next best five, E. Knight (Puck). P. Watts (The Doll Queen). J. Morris (Dutch Boy), F. Jennings (Buy my Lavender), W. Cleaver (Dolly Vardon). Ten years and under —1. The Malins family (Bridal group); next best eight, R. Markwick (Hawaiian), P. and P. Constable (Farmer and Mrs. Giles), A. Hawkins (Chef), D. Hillman (Oxford and Cambridge). J. Martin (Cherry Ripe). 8. French (Dick Whittington). R. Bransden (Early Victorian), M. Mitchell (Fairy); tiny tots —Dallas Hughes (Indian Rajah). Boys. Eleven years and over—l, H. Langridge (Life Guard); next best six, K. Rapley (Charley's Aunt), E. Partridge (F.A. Cup), M. Davey (Red Indian), P. Francis (The Empire), R. Ellis (Mexican), J. Gadd (Robin Hood); next best five, E. Turner (Nelson Sailor). A. Humphrey (Miss England). C. Stoner (Golden Shred). J. Knight (New Zealand Lamb), A. Markwick (Page). Ten years and under: 1, I.B. Owens (Dad’s allotment) next best twelve, R. Gadd (Golfer), B. Towner (Drummer), A. Avery (Barrel Organ). A. Rowland (Jockey). D.Tidey (The Admiral), J. Todman (Flower girl), T. Sekinger (King Arthur’s Knight), J. Grant (Chef), I. (Speed Limit). C. Sidaway (Kentucky Minstrel). T. Austin (Cowboy). R. Knight (Red Indian Squaw). The greater part of the afternoon and the early part of the evening were devoted to juvenile and adult sports.

Winners of the senior events were:- Musical chairs (ladies) —I, Mrs. Wynter; 2, Miss D. Miles; 3, Mrs. P. Smith. Cycle obstacle race (men) :—1, C. Sayers 2. G. Sayers ; 3. F. Leppard. Sack race (men) :—1. S. Hughes ; F. Leppard 3, G. Sayers. Cycle relay race (members of the Central Sussex Cycling Club) —1, F. Leppard, 8. S. Stenton and C. Sayers. Potato race on cycles (members of the Central Sussex Cycling Club)—1. M. Sayers ; 2, F. Leppard 3. G. Sayers. Nail - driving competition (ladies) —1. Mrs. Voller; 2, Mrs. Riggs; 3, Miss E. Cleaver. Obstacle race (men) —1, F. Leppard ; 2. G. Stanton; 3, M. Sayers. Grand National (ladies and men) —1, Mr. and Mrs. Voller; 2, J. Sayers and Mrs. Owens. Boat race (men) —1. F. Leppard's team ; 2. H. Massey’s team. Egg-and-spoon race (ladies)—l, Miss F. Watts; 2. Miss N. Armitage ; 3. Miss Weekes. Cigarette race— I. Mr. and Mrs. Voller; 2, Mr. and Mrs. Riggs. At intervals there were entertainments of a varied and picturesque character. The first was a §display of Maypole and country dancing by twelve girls from the local school under the direction of Miss Gibb, with Miss Hilda Lingley at the piano. Haywards Heath and Cuckfield pupils of Miss Vera Sutton followed with one of their popular dancing displays, with Mrs. W. G. Jeffery and Miss Lingley as accompanists. Both sets of dancers were frequently applauded for their graceful performances. Humour was provided by the 1st Cuckfield Scout Group, who staged a miniature circus. This proved one of the most successful “side shows” of the afternoon, and kept the spectators amused from start to finish. There were also coconut shies and swings, the children being accommodated free on the latter until six o’clock. Music was provided by the Electromusic Service Company, under the supervision of Mr. J. H. Hunt, of Haywards Heath. Buffet teas were served by the Women’s Institute, under the direction of Mrs. Quickenden.

Shortly before half past five all the school-children on the ground trooped to the Queen’s Hall, when Mrs. Avery had a capital tea awaiting them. The guests numbered 230. and Mrs Rapley and her band of voluntary waitresses were kept busy supplying the wants of the youngsters, especially with iced cake. After tea the sports were continued, and a comic stoolball match by adult members of Miss Vera Sutton’s Cuckfield Dancing Class caused considerable amusement. The next excitement was the appearance on the ground of a picturesque patriotic tableaux. As each halted before platform school-children, under the conductorship of Mr. Rapley and with Miss Glenister as pianist, sang appropriate national songs. A number of other tableaux brought up the rear, together with decorated cycles, and nearly a hundred adults appeared in fancy costumes. The judges were Mrs. Winterbottom, Mr. and Mrs. M. H. Eyre, the Rev. Gwilym Thomas, Mr. and Mrs. C. Bentley Kershaw, Captain and Mrs. W. H. Winterbottom and Mrs. Badcock. Appended are their awards:—

Tabelaux—1, Canada (arranged by Miss Gibb, and comprising Mr. and Mrs. L. Askew, Miss Tribe, Miss Tree, Miss Browning, Miss Irene Tree. Messrs. J. Towner. W. Dann, G. Ellis and S. Lee) j 2, The Pirate Ship (arranged by the Swimming Club, and comprising Miss A. Twiner. Mias Hoath, Messrs. R. C. Rapley. E. Hyder, B. Woodhams. R. Rist, E. Smith and C. Pike); 3, United Kingdom (arranged for the Women’s Institute by Miss Bengough, and including the Misses Joan Stewart. Pickard, Towse, Brown and Homewood); 4. The “Better ’Ole” (arranged by the British Legion, with Messrs. L. Rhodes and H. Tidey); 5, New Zealand (arranged by the Tennis Club, with Mr. and Mrs. H. Askew, Mr. and Mrs. F. Seldon, Mrs. C. Newnham, Miss L. Newnham, Mrs. Patrick. Miss Lily Hawkes. and Miss Rosemary Bransden); 6, South Africa (arranged by the British Legion, with Miss N. Twiner. Miss Rene Gasson. Messrs. J. H. W. Blunden, F. Carter, C. Johnson and E. Tayman); 7, Australia (arranged by Mr. F. Hoadley, with Mrs. Hoadley, Miss Mills, Miss Edwards, Mr. and Mrs. G. Perry, Messrs. W. Murrell, A. Hobden, J. Leeder. B. Cox and G. Penfold); 8, The Good Luck Smithy (arranged by Mr. G. E. Smith, who was accompanied by Messrs. L. Murrell, E. Gasson and C. Francis); 9, Pack of Cards (arranged by the Ladies' Whist Team, with Mr. And Mrs. W. Brigden, Mr. and Mrs. H. Knight, Mrs. Rowland, Mrs. Constable, Mrs. Mercer, Mrs. Comber, Mrs. Edwards, Mrs. Blackall, Mrs. Owens, Mrs. Watts, Mrs. Hughes, Mrs. Young, Mrs. Carey, Mrs. Gorringe and Miss Dallas Hughes).

Cycles.—1, Mrs. Martin; 2, E. Green ; 3, Blackstone. Fancy costumes: Men —1, L. Rhodes and H. Tidey (Bill and Bert); next best eight. S. Ede (Penny-farthing bike), E. Figg (Beer is best), W. Bennett (Charlie Chaplin), E. J. Smith (Pirate Captain), W. Goacher (Nellie Wallace), E. Markwick (sailor). W. Blake (Telephone) and R. Grace (French Soldier). Ladies—1, Mrs. Blake (dressing table); next best eight. Mrs. Elsworth and Mrs. Leo (Mr. and Mrs. Hayseed), Miss W. Knight (Topsy). Mrs. Stenning (Workbox lady), Miss Murrell (Superstitions). Mrs. G. Smith (John Bull). Mrs. G. Upton (Gipsy), Miss C. Baker (Pearly Queen). Miss N. Armstrong (Witch). During the judging there was an interval in which the crowd stood in silence and listened to the broadcast of the King's speech. As dusk fell red flares were lighted round the ground, and torches blazed.

The Haywards Heath Town Hand, under the leadership of Mr. W. G. Bosley, struck a lively march, and led the procession round the town with the Urban Council’s Fire Brigade bringing up the rear. Members of the British Legion Branch had made 300 torches, and added to their light was the illumination of business premises and private houses.

The Parish Church and Vicarage was floodlit,- and it is many years since Cuckfield people have witnessed night scenes to equal it. Residents of the north end of the town did not see the Australian tableaux, as it became ignited in Broad Street and had to taken out of the procession. The fire, which was caused by a torch, was quickly put out by the Brigade with an extinguisher. On the procession returning to the Recreation Ground a large bonfire was lighted and a display of fireworks brought the celebrations’ in the open air to a close. During the night a carnival dance was held at the Queen's Hall, which was crowded with young people, many of whom wore their fancy costumes. Music was provided by the Moonlight Serenaders and light refreshments were served Mrs. Avery.

The inmates of West Hylands Institution were not forgotten in the day’s rejoicings. Those who were able attended the celebrations on the Cuckfield Recreation Ground, and, in addition, they were provided with fare by the County Council similar to that at Christmas time, except that fruit salad and custard took the place of plum pudding. The building was prettily decorated and floodlit, and a large Union Jack floated proudly from a new mast on the roof.



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