Category Archives: Uncategorized

Schermulys in New Zealand

Back in September 2020 we received a request from Shae Trewin, the Collections Leader at The Nelson Provincial Museum in New Zealand to reproduce some pictures. They had recently been donated a Schermuly pistol apparatus that was used both by the Harbour Board and the Electric Power Board for launching lines to erect power cables. They wished to use one or two of the photographs on our website showing the evolution of this technology.

They have now produced a blog post that can be found at:

Newdigate Wills

Over the past few months Jane Lilley has been busy transcribing and interpreting old Newdigate wills. They make fascinating reading and some give quite an exhaustive insight into the lives of former villagers.

Go to archives / wills.

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. In view of the current circumstances we will not be making any plans for a summer visit nor, as yet, have we planned any future talks. Similarly our AGM will not be held although our membership will be updated with the current situation via the Chairman, Membership Secretary and Treasurer.

Look out on this website for our contribution to the Mole Valley Heritage Week which has the theme ‘Hidden Nature’.

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 during these strange times 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