Uckfield ....

10th January 2018 (Wednesday) ..... 11.00     Yessss .... we have a bonnie Sussex morning;  bright and sunny with very little wind.    
Janice found a site on FB called ‘Memories of Uckfield’, which, like Elie and
Uckfield church spire.
Earlsferry History Society, is loaded with photographs, and personal memories of the Uckfield of older times:  there’s even a photo of Uckfield  House which was demolished to make way for a huge housing estate.     It appears that planners and architects have never loved Uckfield .... unlike the developers, who must have made a lot of profit from the housing estates that surround, what remains of the old part of town.    Thankfully there are photographs to let us see the Uckfield of ‘yesterday’;   I say 'yesterday' because the Rev Edward Turner of Maresfield, and Vice-President of the Sussex Archaeological Society, wrote 170 years ago:  “in truth, this place (Uckfield) is singularly modern, with almost everything of antiquarian value having fast disappeared over recent years”.   
Uckfield is an historic place, and The Rev Turner was referring to the fact that it’s medieval history had been torn down to make way for a modern, Victorian Uckfield.    Since then much of that ‘Victorian Uckfield’ has also been torn down to make way for the Uckfield we have today.   What would the Rev Turner think of Uckfield today? 

Interior of Uckfield church.
20.00     Janice and I went downtown and had a ‘lite lunch’ in ‘Hartfields’, a Cafe on the High Street.    It’s in one of the buildings that were built in the 1960’s, you can see that by the lack of design....but that didn’t detract from the food served up in Cafe.... the soup I had was delicious.  

After our ‘break’ Janice bumbled off downtown to do some shopping, while I went uptown to the kirk and had a restful 10 minutes.   I got round to thinking of the Rev Turner, who, would you believe, was not overly impressed with the, then ‘new’ Uckfield Church, that I was sitting in.    At a meeting of the Sussex Archaeological Society in 1859 the following introduction was read out to the company:   “In the absence of a baronial castle, or a ruined monastery, a Roman station, or an Elizabethan mansion,
Uckfield church altar.
we have, generally, in the places selected for our meetings, a church of more or less archaeological interest to fall back upon;   but this is not the case here.     The church of Uckfield is a structure of some fifteen to twenty years existence only;  and, for a modern built church, by no means a very happy specimen of ecclesiastical architecture and arrangement”.    And there’s me thinking that the Uckfield Church was interesting!    I suppose, comparing it to other churches in the area, it may appear less ‘grand’:   what it does show is, that every generation yearns for their ‘yesterday’.


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