In the Autumn 2016 issue of the Weald & Downland Magazine it was announced that the Newdigate Bakehouse will be rebuilt during 2017 and open to the public in the Spring of 2018. It will be used to bake bread from flour ground at the restored Lurgashall Mill. See ‘Misc. Studies’ for further details.
Work started in July 2017 and here is the progress made. Picture taken on the 2nd August 2017.
This is a copy of a painting by Patrick Nasmyth (1787-1831) entitled ‘At Newdigate, Surrey’. This is the earliest illustration we have of Newdigate and is possibly a view looking north from the Surrey Oaks.
At 7.15 am the Rev. Dr. Martin Gilpin conducted a short service at Newdigate church to commemorate the start of the Battle of the Somme one hundred years ago. John Callcut described the effect upon the village and the six young Newdigate men who lost their lives in the great battle. At 7.30 a whistle was blown which signified the time when the troops emerged from their trenches.
Many years ago the Society was given an old and somewhat tatty album showing photographs of the early years of the Schermuly company when William Schermuly and his sons were demonstrating their revolutionary equipment to the Board of Trade, Members of Parliament and leading shipping companies. We have now downloaded these evocative pictures and they can be seen, together with a brief history, in the section headed Misc. Studies.
During the Second World War the factory employed over 1000 people but it closed in 1981 and today the site is now Becket Wood.
In 2014 we received a call from Francis Suttill asking whether his father’s name was on the war memorial. His father, also called Francis, lived briefly at Ewood and upon the outbreak of war he joined the East Surrey Regiment. As a fluent French speaker he was seconded to the SOE and he set up the Prosper Cell around occupied Paris. He was betrayed and was executed by the Gestapo in 1944. His name has now been added to the war memorial and is read out along with the rest of the Newdigate people who gave their lives during both world wars. His son has published a book about his father’s exploits entitled ‘Shadows in the Fog’.
The Christchurch Art Gallery in New Zealand has sent us a picture of Thomas Budgen which was painted in 1735. His family purchased Newdigate Place (now Home Farm) from the Newdigate family in 1636. The manner of his dress displays his status and wealth. He moved to London in 1727 and advertised the house as ‘to be let’ in the London Evening Post. The full story can be read in the NLHS magazine no. 90