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1985: Cuckfield Museum Exhibition is 'rubbish'

West Sussex County Times October 18 1985

Garden refuse turns up rich pickings. 

All that can be said about the current exhibition at Cuckfield museum is ‘rubbish’, as this is the unusual theme of the display.

The exhibition which ends on December 11, is composed of the more unusual things that people in the Cuckfield area have found in their gardens, including a prehistoric elephant tooth!

This was an unexpected find in the garden of a house in Tylers Green, and was identified by the Natural History Museum; such beasts have only been found in the Weald of Sussex in this country, although others have been discovered on the continent. 

Another unusual object was found in the garden of Picknells, in the High Street, Cuckfield, where a German machine gun bullet, dropped from a plane in the last war was unearthed


More common rubbish on display are oyster shells dating from the 18th century, once a cheap and nutritious food, and there are a number of clay pipes, which are probably the most common find. Used for over three centuries by all classes of society. They were easily broken and thrown away to be dug up years later. 

The broken bottles in the exhibition are evidence, the curator Nichola Smith says, of a bottle factory in Cuckfield at some time. While nothing on display is of any real value, Nicola hopes the exhibition will encourage people “to keep their eyes open and plan the history of their village”. The museum is trying to build up a record of life in Cuckfield area and a collection of rubbish is an indication of how our ancestors lived.

The pottery jar of Sainsbury's potted meat proves that the store was popular with one Cuckfield resident long before it became the big supermarket chain it is now. 

Pictured here Mr Leslie King, an unsuspecting visitor, gets to grips with the elephant tooth and more fragile dolls head.



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