A village history in West Sussex


Westbourne History Group

Bygone Series

No1. Trades People 1845-1938

No2. Village Schools 1819-1984

No4. Westbourne Then & Now

No5. Westbourne Union Life

No6. Westbourne Church Guide

No7. Cleaning up Westbourne        

No8. Westbourne Worthies

No9. The Bastards of  Westbourne

No10. Westbourne’s War 1939-1945

No11. A Millenium in Tandem

No12. Sindles Farm

No13. Westbourne Memorials

No14. Cottage Economy

No15. The Village Schools 1810-2011

No16. Westbourne and the Great War

No17. Tradespeople of Westbourne

Bourne in the Past

Other Publications

Sindles Farm

The River Ems

The Westbourne Story

Any Comments?

Numbers 1 to 5 inclusive out of print, further information on details and costs visit:


Home | Personal | Church | Scouts | Schools | Ambrose | Sketchbook | Workhouse | Census | Memories | Yesteryear | Publications | Village Website

As a farmer I was once satisfied to be a part of the countryside, helping to fill the national, European and international larder after the Hitler War had ended. Now European food producers have become so efficient that not only has the larder been filled, but it is starting to overflow down the sides in embarrassing streams.

I must always have had a keen interest in living things. For 30 years of my working life I spent all my time cosseting and cajoling just one or two species of both plants and animals to produce much-needed human food, as well as providing a living for my family. That still continues, but with the additional difficulty that my two sons are now grown up and married, so that three families wish to live from a farm business which will have to change its emphasis as little-understood new schemes and lower prices push us into an uncertain future.

I make no claim to have sensed earlier than others the widespread interest in environmental issues which are becoming commonplace in the world today and which affect food production techniques in so many ways. But about 10 years ago I found myself wanting to understand more of the colourful and intricate natural history background to my work and how the different areas of the farm contributed to the landscape, of which I was an ignorant custodian.

I soon learned how the past and present use of different parts of the farm and its neighbourhood exerted and still exert a profound effect on the wildlife that is present. This led me into local history as well.

One thing that I have discovered is the value of accurate records. When The Environmental Research Fund (TERF) suggested publishing what I had recorded so far, with the unstinted help of amateur and sponsored specialists in the natural history field, I felt that the opportunity was too good to miss. Here, at least, was a chance to get down on paper what was found on an ordinary Sussex farm in the mid-1980’s. The record shows that while changes have occurred, there remains a wider range of plants and animals in the countryside than is often allowed by our critics. I also hope that this record will provide a base from which changes monitored in the years ahead can be evaluated.

I have added a chapter on some historical matters. Much more research can be done in that sphere but will have to wait until I can claim some form of retirement, when I may find the time needed to trace the various sources that are available.

Published 1889   ISBN 0 9514846 0 5