This email received this morning from Tony Atkins regarding the story in my book about the spears and arrows reported to be found at the back of the “plain” at Blacksmiths Field in Crowhurst – which I wrote off in the book because of insufficient evidence:
My name is Tony Atkins and I lived in Crowhurst from 1971 to 1981.I lived in Samson’s Lane in one of the modern semi-detached houses, the further of the two from the main road.
Having been interested generally in the history of the village I entered into many conversations with the” locals”about the background of the village.
I have lived in France for the last 10 years,but have UK television and South East To-day is still a favourite programme, to find out what is happening in the South East,so when the coverage of your research was broadcast, your book became a must on last years Xmas present list.Crowhurst has a special place in the hearts of my family,that is where my children went to school and grew up.
I have read your book with great interest, and after a lengthy discussion with Charles Pearce on Sunday 14th October, he suggested I should E mail you.
Page 185 of your book refers to spears having been found under the old barn at Blacksmiths Field .That they were mounted in a glass display case in the village hall,and that the village Policeman who found them had moved from the village to Bexhill.
The general content of these statements bears some truth to the facts, but is not totally accurate,compared to the information that was given to me.
I had an in-depth discussion with Reg Stocking( who lived in one of the Council Houses on Blacksmith’s field) in the mid seventies.He told me that the owner of one of the old cottages at the end of Samsons Lane was a Policeman who had dug the whole plot over to a depth of 3 feet and had extracted arrow heads and spear heads,which had been mounted in a glass display case.
The Policeman had by then moved to Havant. Reg gave me his address.
I was serving in the Royal Navy and travelling regularly between Portsmouth and Crowhurst at weekends,and although I left making the contact for some time, eventually found the time to visit the house and make my number.I explained to his “second” wife the reason for the visit,the glass display case and the artefacts etc.She in turn said she had no knowledge of the display case and suggested that the family were market traders and it could well have been traded on.She mentioned that her husband was terminally ill with cancer and there was no way of trying to ascertain what happened to the display case.I made my apologies and left.
The important point here is that a trace was made from Crowhurst to Havant.The Policeman’s name evades me now but the deeds of the cottage will show previous owners.
We never ever knew of a display case in the village hall while we lived in the village.We were frequent attenders at social events.
You will notice that I have CC: Lee Brown,(husband Keith),they too lived in Samsons lane at the same time as us.At odd times him and others helped Mike Willett with hay making.Mike farmed Lower Wilting Farm.Mike referred to his inability to cut the hay close to the ground because of continually pulling out the remains of posts which couldn’t be cut or burnt.
Mike now lives in Carmarthen and we still Xmas card each other.
Your research will have moved on considerably,and the content of this e mail may not be of much value now,but perhaps you can gleen something useful from it’s content.
I enjoyed reading the book,and can only suggest that you must grab the Establishment by the scruff of it’s neck and keep shaking until it submits to common sense.I would like to keep up with your progress.
Thanks Tony – it appears the evidence of the spears is in essence correct but at a depth of 3feet – which would fit with the slope wash problem on the bottom “plain” by the lower Malfosse. Nick