Category Archives: Uncategorized

1990 Photographic Survey

In 1990 the Society arranged for every building in the parish of Newdigate to be photographed. There are a few houses missing where permission was not granted. The resultant pictures were filed in seven albums.

During the coronavirus shut down Christiana Powell, Keith Jones, John Chaplin and Martin Gilpin undertook the task of scanning every picture – a total in excess of 500.

These have now been captioned and downloaded on to the website and can be seen under the photos section.

John Callcut – June 2020


VE Day Commemoration

On the 8th May the nation celebrated the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Here in Newdigate we put up our own small tribute.

Over the years many articles have been published in our magazines about World War Two. If you would like to read more then go to the following issues:



You can read about the people whose names appear on the war memorial, the home guard, evacuees, the Canadian army based in the village, flying bombs, D-Day memories, land army etc. etc.

You can also see some photographs in the photograph section of the website.

We will remember them.


COVID-19 Virus

The entire committee of the Newdigate Local History Society wish you well over this very difficult time. Our current talks ‘season’ finished with Stephen Gray’s brilliant lecture but we will be planning an interesting programme for next autumn and winter. In view of the current circumstances we will not be making any plans for a summer visit. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and family and perhaps take yourself off on one of our walks which can be found at the bottom of the page. Make sure that you are following Government guidelines – they are there not only to protect you but also to protect our precious NHS. We will record what is happening in the village under photos/events.


A Walk Around the Village of Newdigate by Jane Lilley

Jane Lilley has produced an illustrated book entitled A Walk Around the Village of Newdigate. It is available in A5 and A4 formats. This takes us on four short walks from the centre of the village. In her inimitable way Jane describes little known facts about the buildings that we all just take for granted. It became available for the first time at the School Fete on the 9th June 2018 and on the 4th February 2019 Jane gave an illustrated talk in the Village Hall when the book was available for purchase. Looks like a second print run is imminent.


Newdigate Bake House

Newdigate Bakehouse. The refurbished bakehouse was formally opened at the Weald & Downland Living Museum on the 3rd October 2019.

In the Autumn 2016 issue of the Weald & Downland Magazine it was announced that the Newdigate Bakehouse would be rebuilt. It was started in 2017 and the first loaves were baked in April 2019 using flour ground at the restored Lurgashall Mill. See ‘Misc. Studies’ for further details.

Work started in July 2017 and here are pictures showing the rebuild.

Picture taken on the 2nd August 2017.

Pictures taken by Mary Day on the 16th October 2017 ……..

Pictures taken by John Callcut on the 24th October 2017 ……..

Pictures taken by John Callcut on the 5th February 2018 …….

Pictures taken by John Callcut on the 7th May 2018

Pictures taken by John Callcut on the 17th April 2019



Schermuly Pistol Rocket Apparatus Ltd

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.



Do you enjoy walking and want to learn about Newdigate? Then go to the foot of the page and open the tag marked Self-guided Walks.




Francis A. Suttill

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’.