Village life captured in new book

old smithy
old smithy

The history of West Hoathly is captured in a new book Old West Hoathly by Dr John Ralph.

Mr Ralph, archivist for West Hoathly Local History Archive, has compiled 674 fascinating old photographs, a few of which are featured on this page.

The book costs £29.50 and is available from Mr Ralph on Tel 01342 810458.

The pictures include the smithy from North Lane from the south in the 1920s showing Joe Cave in the doorway with two horses.

According to George Newnham who was the blacksmith they used to make all types of tools for farmers and for the building and brickmaking trades. He also did plumbing and of course was a farrier. A shed and agricultural machinery can be seen in the yard next to Woodside where Charlie Newnham’s garage was later situated. The absence of the village sign and electricity posts indicate a date before 1936.

The Workhouse is pictured in about 1860. It was situated on Workhouse Platt at the end of Workhouse Lane behind the Hook Lane cricket field. In 1722 an Act of Parliament authorised the building of workhouses and this one is thought to have been built in 1730.

West Hoathly Brass Band is captured in about 1890 soon after the formation of the band and before they had acquired uniforms.

William Reynolds and family are pictured in 1900. Mr Reynolds was a cabinet maker and builder. He lived in the southern portion of The Red House in North Lane when it was divided into four separate dwellings. He built Rose Cottage next door and the family later lived there.