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Sussex Day 2009: Part 2 – Blackstone to Sayers Common

18 Jun

The next stage of my Sussex Day walk saw me head north-east, more or less turning my back on the South Downs. I was heading towards Sayers Common, and for this part of the route the quickest and easiest way (admittedly probably not the safest way) to get there was by following the road.

For the most part these were country roads, firstly Blackstone Lane, which did have more cars than I was expecting for a country road, but it had wide verges and the road was straight, so I could be seen (and avoided) quite easily.

The next section was a bit more hazardous, but thankfully quite short. Blackstone Lane joined the main road (the B2116) and for about a quarter of a mile I was walking alongside this quite busy road with all manor of vehicle rushing past. Fortunately there was quite a good verge and I was able to step off the road when traffic came hurtling towards me.

The section of main road lead me east to a place called High Cross. Which in my mind is really only a road junction with a few houses clustered round. Several roads met here, including Reed’s Lane the road I was to take. I was glad to get away from the main road and back out onto the relatively quiet country road.

Reed’s Lane heads north-east, more or less in a straight line to Sayers Common about a mile and a half away. Although the road is not even a B-road some drivers seemed to be treating it like a motorway. I was again glad to reach Sayers Common, where there were pavements along the side of the road and speed limits.

I guess Sayers Common’s main claim to fame is that it used to be on the main London to Brighton road until the modern A23 by-passed it to the east. It’s genealogical claim to fame is that this is where my 2x great grandparents Ebenezer and Annie TROWER moved to with their two children around 1892 (they went on to have another four children).

The family had been living in Henfield before they moved to Sayers Common, and although I don’t know how they actually made the move or which route they took, my walk today was in a small way a commemoration of that trip.

What a way to spend Sussex Day!

16 Jun

Phew! Even by my standards that was quite a walk. Sitting on the bus on the way home my pedometer had registered 38,731 steps, that’s just short of 19 miles. Just to round things up I got off the bus a stop early and made it up to 20 miles with an extra little walk.

Sitting on the bus my legs were beginning to ache, not a lot of leg room. I just hoped they would still move when it was time to get off! Still nothing that a nice long soak in the bath won’t sort out.

My digital camera must have very nearly reached it’s capacity, although I did have a spare memory card with me, and spare batteries which I needed. So expect to see plenty of photos on this blog in the next few days and weeks. They are mostly of the Sussex scenery, but there are several churches and several ancestral connections.

I will try and plot my route on a Google Map, but for those interested the key places were: Henfield (starting point), Blackstone, Sayers Common, Hurst Wickham, Hurstpierpoint, Wolstonbury Hill, Clayton and Hassocks (finishing point). I will give a full description when I have recovered (an early night tonight I think) pointing out the genealogical highlights along the way!

I am really pleased I went walking, it was a beautiful day, perhaps a little warm at times (and a bit of a rush to get back home). I visited several areas I had never been to before and reacquainted myself with some I haven’t visited for a long time. Most of all however I enjoyed being out in Sussex, in what I would consider typical Sussex countryside, on Sussex Day.

Here is one photo to be going on with, Sussex stretched out beneath me, as I surveyed the countyside from the vantage point of Wolstonbury Hill.

Sussex as far as the eye can see (although there may be some Surrey tucked away right at the back)

Sussex as far as the eye can see (although there may be some Surrey tucked away right at the back)

Tombstone Tuesday: Mabel Annie and Ernest Arthur TROWER

28 Apr

Mabel Annie and Ernest Arthur TROWER were brother and sister, my 2x great aunt and uncle. The gravestone tells a sad story of two young people whose lives were cut short. Ernest’s body was never found and he is remembered here at Sayers Common, Sussex and also in Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium.

The gravestone of Mabel Annie TROWER and Ernest Arthur TROWER

The gravestone of Mabel Annie TROWER and Ernest Arthur TROWER

The inscription reads:

SEP 23RD 1917, AGED 22 YEARS


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