Another of the various items we have acquired through Internet trading sites, is a page from The Sketch. This was an illustrated weekly newspaper, mainly covering the aristocracy and high society. It was published from 1893 until 1959 by the same organisation that produced the Illustrated London News – itself another valuable source of articles for local and family history. It carried regular features on royalty and the aristocracy, theatre, cinema and the arts and was always well illustrated with photographs. Continue reading
In the last issue of Longshot, I reproduced a selection of items from my newly compiled index of Lin(d)field newspaper and magazine cuttings. I have now managed to complete this index, and I would like to thank all those members who responded to my appeal for more cuttings. The collection to date comprises some 166 separate items. Any member who would like a copy of the index can write to me, but please enclose 10 x 2nd class stamps to cover costs. Needless to say, I will be happy to show the originals to anybody who would like to see them. I shall continue to update this archive as and when more items come to my attention. In the meantime, here is another selection of some of the more interesting items.
The format of each entry is as follows: # : reference number; Title of publication, if known; Date of publication, if known; Title of entry, article etc, if any; Brief description of contents (including names)
#65. Worthing Herald or Gazette June 1975
Tribute to Mr Henry Gordon Linfield
“The death at the age of 86 of H. Gordon Linfield severs an important link with the history of this town with the time when glasshouse nurseries covered much of the area…”
#66. West Sussex County Times? August 1973
Dobbin’s new shoemaker
Son of a horsedealer, 18 year old Nicholas Linfield, of Whicher’s Gate Farm, Rowlands Castle, has just passed his exams to qualify as a registered farrier.
#67. Witney and West Oxfordshire Gazette 23 January 1975
Memories of Adolphus Ballard?
Letter from MG Linfield of Black Bourton enquiring whether any readers have reminiscences of Adolphus Ballard, killed on the Western Front in 1915. His father was Adolphus Ballard, town clerk of Woodstock and eldest brother of Mr Linfield’s grandmother.
#68. Worthing Gazette September 1977
75 Years Ago (from the Gazette of September 24, 1902)
Meeting of local guardians to decide what action should be taken in regard to the Duke of Norfolk’s decision to appeal against an increased rate assessment on Arundel Castle. When the chairman protested that they must consider the advisability of ‘squandering the money of poor ratepayers on litigation,’ Mr AG Linfield asked him whether those poor ratepayers would be treated with the same
consideration if they objected to their assessment?
The Board of Guardians voted, by 10 to 9, to defend the action at the next quarter sessions.
#69. Worthing Herald or Gazette March 1979
‘Dutch’ Linfield dies, 82
Wilfred ‘Dutch’ Linfield has died at his home, 3 Farncombe Road, Worthing. He was a brother of the late Sir Arthur Linfield and was associated with all the Linfield nursery companies as well as being a director of the Worthing building firm of Payne and Linfield. He was at one time a county standard tennis player.
#71. Paper unknown 1980
Corn and pigs produce the compost for a 13 million lb luxury harvest- AG Linfield Ltd at Thakeham in West Sussex produce 33,000 tons of compost material a year on which to grow their mushrooms.
#72. Worthing Gazette 27 August 1980
Crops lost as deadly spray hits gardens
Sompting residents face having to destroy their prize fruit and vegetables following herbicide crop spraying on a nearby field last week. The spraying took place on land used by AG Linfield Ltd. No one from the firm was available to comment…
#75. Worthing Gazette 1980?
20 years ago…
Gifford House had a deficit of 21,884 on the year’s working in spite of many generous gifts… But Mr AG Linfield, chairman of the house committee, said, ‘The position is not as black as it appears on paper. We shall be able to continue for some years yet.’
#76. The Grower 17 March 1983
100 years of modern mushrooms
AG Linfield Ltd., who celebrate their centenary this year, are claiming it also as the 100th anniversary of the ‘modern mushroom.’ This may not be strictly true, for although Arthur Linfield started growing mushrooms in 1883 beneath the grapes which were his staple crop on two acres in Chesswood Road, Worthing, there is no evidence that his cultivation methods were different from anybody else’s at that time. Yet there is no doubt that the firm he started has had a great effect on growing the crop since he began…
#78. Worthing Gazette 15 April 1983
Linfields celebrate century of growing
You would expect a mushroom to mushroom. But it’s hardly likely that Arthur Linfield, of Chesswood Road, Worthing, cultivating spawn beneath his grapes in the 1880’s, could have foreseen that they would mushroom into the Chesswood mushroom business with its annual 10 million turnover…
#79. West Sussex Gazette 18 August 1983
From a seed sown a century ago
When 14 year old carter’s son Tom Dalman followed the growing tradition of many Thakeham schoolchildren and went to work in the large nursery near his home, he could little have guessed he would still be there 48 years later. It is doubtful, too, that he would have imagined then that he would be sharing in the celebrations this year of the company’s centenary. But these are celebrations 63 year old Mr Dalman is proud to be enjoying. The nursery concerned is part of AG Linfield (Holdings) Ltd., perhaps better known as Chesswood, the mushroom growers.
#80. Worthing Gazette 22 April 1983
Astute in Business: Letter from Frank Cave, former editor of the WG:
The article ‘A business that mushroomed’ in last week’s issued contained one or two errors and a most regrettable omission… AG Linfield Ltd’s centenary was in 1982 and not this year as was implied… the photograph purporting to be of AG Linfield, a son of the firm’s founder, later to become Sir Arthur Linfield, was of somebody else… and the omission, ‘which saddens me as a friend of the family over 50 years, is of any recognition of the brilliance of directive and control of AG Linfield Ltd by Sir Arthur.’
#88. Worthing Gazette 14 September 1984
“In the early 1880s, before there was any Methodist Church in Tarring Road, Arthur Linfield would visit the site of the present building and preach the gospel. Today there is a plaque on an outside wall of the church commemorating the fact that Arthur Linfield (1859-1938) ‘preached from this site’… On
October 7 his grandson, Mr Harold Linfield, will conduct the morning service there as part of the church’s centenary celebrations.”
#89. West Sussex County Times 1984
Coming up from ‘down under’
A couple from Australia, tracing their ancestors, paid a surprise visit to Bernard and Norah Lindfield, of Treadcroft Drive, Horsham recently and spent a busy weekend seeing for themselves places they had only heard of…
#90. Worthing Gazette 1984
Queen honours Sir Arthur’s son, James
A local horticulturist who travelled to Windsor once a month for 10 years to give his advice on the Royal gardens there has been made a Member of the Victorian Order… Mr James Linfield, 73, retired as managing director of AG Linfield Nurseries, Thakeham, now part of the RHM Group, in 1976.
#91. Worthing Herald 9 March 1984
Nick Linfield, grandson of Sir Arthur Linfield, has gathered a cast of 11 players from the West Chiltington and Thakeham area to present a comedy revue, ‘Black Sunday – I’m Bored’, at Thakeham Village Hall.
#96. Worthing Gazette 22 October 1982
This was news – 75 years ago. . .
A father was summoned before Worthing magistrates for disobeying an order to have his son vaccinated against smallpox. Mr WH Linfield, the local vaccination officer, formally proved the disobedience, and the father was fined 8/- and ordered to pay 6/- costs.
#97. Worthing and District Advertiser 21 May 1986
100 jobs to go as nursery closes
More than 100 jobs could go because trading losses have forced AG Linfield to close their mushroom nursery at Lyons Farm, Worthing. AG Linfield have been in existence for more than 100 years and have owned the Lyons Farm site for about 30 years. It was originally bought as a glasshouse nursery and later converted to a mushroom-growing farm.
#98. Worthing Herald 13 March 1987
Champion bowler dies at 74
Maltravers Bowling Club at Littlehampton have lost one of their most distinguished and long-serving members and a player of international repute with the death of Mary Linfield. A 74 year old widow, she died in her sleep on Saturday morning at her flat in St Catherine’s Court.
#100. Worthing Review 6 April 1990
Article by Jane Hill about Abingworth Hall in Thakeham and its history. Mentions that in 1944 the whole estate of 158 acres were advertised for sale as an accredited dairy farm with residence, farmhouse, cottage, lake, outbuildings and lodge. The bulk of 151 acres were bought by AG Linfield Ltd., whilst the residence, lodge and several acres of ground were purchased by a Miss Burton and Mr Norris and opened by them as a private hotel.
#101. Worthing Herald/Gazette 1988
A couple celebrated their Golden Wedding on Saturday – Worthing couple John and Nellie Linfield. John was 18 when he met 16 year old Nellie in 1932. Soldier John went abroad for six years before they met again and married at Tarring Church.
#103. West Sussex Gazette December 1991
Will the ghosts walk this year?
Traditionally it is at Christmas when the ghosts of Bramber Castle stir… laid up with gout one Christmas, Lord Hubert de Hurst invited young William de Lindfield to the castle to come and cheer him up. But Lord Hubert one day discovers William and his young wife, Maud of Ditchling, embracing in the garden. Lord Hubert, seething with jealousy, devised a plan to entomb the young man in a dungeon in the depths of the castle …
Many years later, so the legend states, after the castle was attacked during the Civil War, a skeleton was discovered crouched in a corner, head upon hands, elbows resting on the knees – these were the mortal remains of William de Lindfield!
#105. West Sussex County Times May 1993
Comedy knight to remember!
The first ever stage production of the Vivian Stanshall comedy Sir Henry at Rawlinson End is being put on by The Orion Players… Sir Henry has been adapted by Nick Linfield, the group’s founder, from the original musical comedy classic by Vivian Stanshall, ex-stalwart of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.
#107. West Sussex County Times 31 January 1992
Bill shuts the lid on Workbox
The popular owner of Horsham’s needlework shop, The Workbox, retires in February after 21 years with the business. Bill Lindfield opened The Workbox in the Bishopric in 1971 with his partner and wife Daphne. The business enjoyed continuing success, but now Bill is retiring, the shop is to close, much to the lament of many customers.
#108. West Sussex Gazette 18 June 1992
Thakeham: Name chosen
A new road in Thakeham has been called Linfield Copse, in honour of Mr AG Linfield, the man who established the Thakeham firm now known as Chesswood Mushrooms. Parish clerk Mrs Barbara Laker said: “Mr Linfield played an important part in the village’s history and we wanted him to be remembered.”
#109. The Independent 7 October 1992
Gunman shot by police as siege at house ends
A man was shot by police after a gun siege in which a wheelchair-bound man and woman were taken hostage. Earlier the gunman had terrorised Alan Lindfield, a multiple sclerosis sufferer, as he struggled to protect a woman during the three hour siege at Heathfield in East Sussex.
#113. West Sussex County Times June 1993
100 Years Ago (From the WSG of June 1, 1893)
Littlehampton: Several vessels laden with timber and other building materials have arrived in the harbour, at Littlehampton, during the past week. Building operations are being vigorously prosecuted in various parts of the town… Messrs Linfield and Son are erecting a number of houses in the Gloucester Road.
#114. West Sussex County Times 28 May 1993
Merry Dance in France
A team of morris dancers from Thakeham danced to entertain Saturday shoppers in Le Havre recently. Included in the team, Chris Linfield.
#115. West Sussex Gazette 16 June 1994
Mr Christopher Linfield, of Storrington, has been appointed principal officer for West Sussex Social Services Chanctonbury area office.
#116. West Sussex County Times 2 July 1993
Married at St Symphorian’s Church, Durrington, were Robin Linfield and Dawn Mabbott. The groom is the elder son of Mr and Mrs J. Linfield of De Braose Way, Steyning.
#120. Radio Times 30 January 1993
Part of BBC2’s The Natural World series, the documentary ‘Journey to the Dark Heart’ follows the quest of Bristol zoologist Mark Linfield to capture rare lowland gorillas on film in the Congo. These gorillas are fairly elusive and have never been filmed before- that is, until Mark and producer Gary Dash decided to make a perilous journey to find them.
#121. Evening Argus January 1993
On the trail of gorillas
Bristol zoologist Mark Linfield’s week-long trek deep into the jungle can be seen by TV viewers this weekend. Mark travelled north by riverboat – 2,000 passengers and one toilet! – ending up at a pygmy village to find expert trackers. On the way to the gorillas’ haunt they had to negotiate a maze of tributaries of the Congo and huge swamps which surround the area.
#122. BBC Wildlife February 1993
On the trail of the original gorilla
Despite the overwhelming impression to the contrary, the typical gorilla does not live in the mists of the mountains of East Africa. In fact, the first type of gorilla to be seen by Westerners and the one that has the largest population – was the one from the lowlands of West Africa, and it looks very different. And yet, 150 years later, there is comparatively little known about this creature, and no film footage of it. Mark Linfield went to the Congo to try to rectify the situation. We show here what he brought back.
#127. West Sussex County Times 30 October 1981
Research reveals a ‘gem’
Storrington, in common with most large villages, once had its own band. One such band was the Storrington Military Band, founded in 1904. Joan Ham has been very fortunate to come across a hand script testimonial from the bandsmen six years later to the founder of the band, George Trotter. Included among the names: J. Linfield (Bb clarinet) and F. Linfield (baritone).
#128. West Sussex County Times 27 November 1981
Military band’s history
Joan Ham is continuing to ‘dig’ into the history of the old Storrington Military Band. A record of the band recalls: “They played at flower shows, cricket matches, Stopham regatta, gymkhanas, church parades on Armistice Day, and other public events and gave regular concerts in The Square.”
#129. West Sussex Gazette? 1981
Do you remember bandsmen?
Photograph of the Storrington Military Band taken in 1908. Mr Leslie Piper, 75, who played the saxophone and is in the picture, has attempted to put names to all the players, although there are two he was unable to positively identify. Included in the picture: “80” Linfield.
#130. Worthing Herald 18 February 1994
Georgia – the ‘miracle’ baby
Georgia Linfield, born three months early, weighs only 2lb 7oz. She is receiving round-the-clock nursing at Lewisham Hospital. Mum Rachel is celebrating her 25th birthday this week.
#131. Worthing Herald 15 April 1994
Georgia amazes health experts
Tiny baby Georgia Linfield, who weighed no more than a bag of sugar two months ago, is now enjoying life at home in Goring. Her delighted parents, Rachel and Philip, finally saw their wish come true when she arrived at their home in Maybridge Crescent last week.
#135. Brighton Herald 1 September 1905
A cab accident which occurred last week in Trafalgar Street has resulted unhap
ily in the death at the Sussex County Hospital of a vanman named John Linfield aged 57 of 4 Bentham Road. An inquest was held at the hospital on Monday afternoon. On the evening of August 22, Mr Linfield was crossing Trafalgar Street, near the station, when he was hit by a horsedrawn cab which he had failed to notice. He was knocked unconscious and was taken to the Sussex County Hospital. His injuries appeared not to be serious, but his condition deteriorated and he died a few days later. A post-mortem examination revealed an extensive skull fracture, extending from ear to ear, resulting in a fatal cerebral haemorrhage. Whether this injury was caused by the actual fall or by a kick from the horse could not be ascertained. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death.”
#136. Brighton and Hove Times 1 September 1905
This carries a similar report of the Inquest into the death of John Linfield. But it also contains two additional details: (1.) Mrs Ellen Linfield stated that her husband had left at 7:30 to go to work and was in the best of health; and (2.) Thomas Hall was also quoted as saying that if it had not been for the cabman shouting, the accident might not have happened, as it seemed to frighten the deceased and he apparently lost his head.
#138. West Sussex Gazette 11 August 1994
Remember When by Rob Blann: Turning back the Pages of history
Interview with Ron Page, whose grandfather Tom Page started Page’s nursery in 1887, when the glasshouse industry was foremost in the town. “Father was very friendly with AG Linfield and Edgar Piper; they went to a commercial college together, in Liverpool Gardens, or so I was told.
They both ran nurseries in East Worthing; Piper’s was where Davison School is now; and Linfield had Bridge Nurseries by Ham Bridge.”
#141. West Sussex Gazette 23 February 1995
Remember When by Rob Blann: From sea captain to major producer of mushrooms
Part 1 of the memories of 80 year old Peggy Champ (nee Linfield) about the history behind Linfield’s Nurseries. The story begins with the tale of how her great grandfather, Frederick Young, a seafarer, was lost at sea, presumed drowned, only to return some months later, having apparently lost his memory after being rescued unconscious from the shipwreck. Once home, he switched to a much safer occupation, nursery work.
The Youngs had two sons and two daughters. Edith, the elder, married Arthur George Linfield on January 1 1883 at the Wesleyan chapel in Bedford Row. But they almost missed the ceremony – part of the vulnerable road linking Lancing with Worthing had been washed away, and they had to take a much longer route via Sompting. They just got to the chapel on time, for there was a limit to the hour within which marriages could be solemnised in those days.
Like his father-in-law, Arthur was also involved in the nursery business.
#142. West Sussex Gazette 2 March 1995
Remember When by Rob Blann: ‘Love apples’ and earthy enterprises
Arthur Linfield’s first nursery was small and situated opposite the present entrance to Worthing Hospital Outpatients Department in Park Road. He retailed the produce he grew there from a small shop in Warwick Street.
He acquired his second nursery (Bridge Nursery, by Ham Bridge) in 1884 for an annual rent of 40. He sold his first nursery and the shop in Warwick Street to his brother-in-law in 1886. As business flourished, Arthur took on more new nurseries: in Ladydell and Chesswood Roads, north of the railway line, on the east side of Ham Road and Ophir Nursery on the front.
Worthing was full of nurseries, and it was the Worthing growers who introduced tomatoes to this country (originally known as ‘love apples.’) Mushrooms were also grown, mainly as a catch crop, utilising space in the grape and tomato houses. But it was a risky crop with a high rate of failure – growers persevered because prices were high.
#143. West Sussex Gazette 9 March 1995
Remember When by Rob Blann: Family firm ‘mushrooms’ for Linfield’s
By 1908, AG Linfield’s nurseries employed some 40 men and the first purpose-built mushroom houses were put up. What sort of people were the Linfields? “Grandpa was one of three brothers. . . who were quite sophisticated lads about town. However, Granny, strictly brought up as a nonconformist, exerted considerable influence, and soon had Grandpa’s feet on the ladder of the Wesleyan hierarchy.” The Linfields had a number of children themselves – one of them, Harold, was killed at the age of 21 during the Great War. A War Agricultural Committee made growers take out grapes, peaches and figs from the glasshouses and grow potatoes, of all things. After the war, only a few grapevines were left, and tomatoes took over in most of the glasshouses.
#144. West Sussex Gazette 16 March 1995
Remember When by Rob Blann: Recalling those happy days in the countryside
The First World War changed many things for many people, and for Peggy it meant memorable times in the countryside on a farm at Thakeham, bought just before the war by Mr Linfield and intended for his three youngest sons. By the 1930s, the soil, from long use, was getting less productive and land in East Worthing was acquiring building value, so many local nurseries sold their land and moved out. The growing side moved to the farm at Thakeham, and new nurseries were later acquired at Broadwater (Lyon’s Farm), Sompting (Halewick Lane), Ashington and Climping.
#145. West Sussex Gazette 23 March 1995
Remember When by Rob Blann: A child’s perception of AG Linfield the businessman
“Grandpa loved children and was delighted to take charge of his grandchildren. When I was staying with him and he’d pop me in the car and head for Thakeham, you couldn’t miss his real kindness. We’d have to stop at the beginning of Sandy Lane, where a ‘retired’ bicycle basket hung on a gate. The car was stopped and out popped Grandpa carrying a well-wrapped joint. He put it in the basket, took out a small envelope – which undoubtedly didn’t cover the price – and came back beaming: ‘Poor old lady can’t get to the shops – always bring her a joint.'”
For 40 years, AG Linfield served on the board of the old East Preston Guardians. On one occasion he asked fellow members why all the workhouse children were sent to the village school wearing the same distinctive dress. He pressed for this to be changed at once.
#146. West Sussex Gazette 30 March 1995
Remember When by Rob Blann: How Linfield’s ‘lake’ fooled the Germans
Arthur George Linfield died in 1938 shortly before the war, leaving behind an exemplary record of public service. When the Second World War started, a War Agricultural Committee was once more appointed, but it had some fairly funny ideas like its predecessor. Some young apple and pear orchards at Thakeham had to be rooted out and planted with Jerusalem artichokes. The nurseries at Thakeham were never bombed, luckily, as it would have been impossible to have escaped from the middle of a glasshouse in a hurry. Over the course of the first half of this century, mushrooms gradually became more and more important to the business, so much so that by the 1950s they had become the most important crop. The firm remained a family business until 1980 when it was taken over by Rank Hovis McDougall.
#147. West Sussex County Times 9 June 1995
Time grows by on mushroom farm
Hugh Sparkes, 65, has retired after 45 years with Chesswood Mushrooms, Thakeham. He recalls the ‘old days’ when Chesswood was “a very big farming company” with a thousand acres of corn and several other fruit and veg operations.
The boss would arrive daily in his Rolls Royce and “never ever not acknowledge anybody.” When the firm was bought out, “it took a lot of adjusting,” he admits.
148. West Sussex Gazette June 1995
50 Years Ago (From the WSG of June 28, 1945)
Warnham: The cricket ground again presented a happy scene on Tuesday on the occasion of the school’s sports meeting of some 30 events. W. Linfield won the Farebrother Cup for boys (awarded for the boy gaining most points).
#149. West Sussex Gazette 7 September 1995
Exhibition returns by popular demand
Old photographs and postcards providing momentoes of times past for Sompting villagers will be on display this month. Mr Bill Lindfield, who has his own collection of photographs and prints, will also be exhibiting at the village hall.
#150. Sandgate Conservation Society Newletter Autumn 1995 (No 41)
The Linfields & Sandgate by Eric Linfield
My great, great, great, great grandfather, Peter Linfield came to Storrington from West Chiltington (Palmer’s Farm) about 1779 and set up his butcher’s shop there. He died in 1791 and his family carried on with the shop for some years afterwards.
My direct ancestor, his second son Edward, married Hannah Hayler of South Stoke in 1795. Her father, Thomas Hayler, had a small plot of land at Water Lane and when he died Edward Linfield applied for the copyhold of Moors. They lived there for about 50 years and cultivated it as a market garden and this was taken over by their son Peter (1810-68) sometime in the 1850s. Edward and Hannah had two other sons, William (1798-1868) and Henry (1807-78), both of whom worked on the Sandgate Estate.
Henry had a daughter, Elizabeth, who gave birth illegitimately to my grandfather, George, in 1862. She was aged 28 and living as a farm servant with Thomas Barnard, the farmer, and his sons at Old Clayton.
#153. The Times 1 November 1995
Letter from Mr Alan M Linfield: Baptism Choice
Sir, Mr CER Blackwell asserts (October 30) that baptism is “essential if there is to be salvation.” However, we should remember that Christ was able to comfort the penitent thief crucified alongside him with the words “today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke xxiii, 43).
#156. West Sussex County Times 16 February 1996
John Henry (Jack) Linfield died peacefully at Southgate on February 8 1996, aged 96 years. Leaves brothers Frank and Bert, sister Millicent, and numerous nieces and nephews.
#157. West Sussex Gazette 8 February 1996
Remember When by Rob Blann: Land sold due to a cash shortage
More memories of 81 year old Peggy Champ. She talks about her grandfather’s younger brother, Frederick Caesar Linfield, who lived in a large house called ‘Woodside’ in Bulkington Avenue, Worthing.
“Nominated by two other highly respected Worthing businessmen, John Roberts and Hubert Snewin, he stood as a councillor for Worthing’s north-east ward and became mayor. He had at that time a corn store at the railway bridge (Broadwater). He also owned the land around Heene Lane, but unluckily for him he had a cash shortage and had to sell it just before the development of it took place.”
#158. The Sunday Times 11 February 1996
Critic’s Choice (television supplement): Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Murder on the Links
Set in France, this story begins with a bit of history involving the murder of a nine-year-old’s father, probably by her mother. Cut to the nine-year-old as a beautiful twenty something (Sophie Linfield), whose boyfriend is off “on business” to South America, but not before he delivers the obligatory “I wish you were dead” to his father.
#160. West Sussex Gazette 6 June 1996
Letter from MG Linfield: ‘Sussex recollections of Kenyatta?’
An appeal for information from readers who may have known Jomo Kenyatta during the wartime years he spent in West Sussex. During this time, he found work at AG Linfield & Sons, market gardeners, of Thakeham.
#161. Daily Mail 11 December 1973
From an ex-English country gardener . . .
As a gesture of goodwill, President Jomo Kenyatta personally cut four dozen roses from his garden at State House, Nairobi, and dispatched them to London for last night’s 10th anniversary of Independence banquet at Grosvenor House. Where did Kenyatta obtain his green fingers? Working in England during the war at a market garden near Storrington, Sussex.
#163. Worthing Herald 1963
Kenyatta invited to West Sussex
Mr Kenyatta has been widely reported as saying recently that now he has been freed, he hopes to revisit Storrington to renew old friendships. One report quoted him as saying that he knew Sussex better than his own home country. Mr Kenyatta’s wartime job was as a nursery worker at AG Linfield Ltd., and at that time Mrs FW Eddolls was in charge of the canteen there. “If he comes here, then we shall be very pleased to see him.”
#164. Worthing Herald October 1963
Jomo Kenyatta at Storrington
Old memories and past friends were the centre of conversation last week when Kenya’s Prime Minister, Mr Jomo Kenyatta, returned to his wartime home at Highover, Bracken Lane, Storrington, the home of Mr and Mrs JR Armstrong. For six years during the last war Mr Kenyatta stayed in the area and with the Armstrongs at their home. He was a nursery worker at AG Linfield Ltd.
#165. West Sussex County Times March 1976
Kenyatta the labourer
In 1939, Kenyatta’s colleague, Dinah Stock, a WEA lecturer and secretary of the British Centre Against Imperialism, convinced Kenyatta that London was not the place to be while bombs were dropping, so he came down to live in Storrington at the home of Roy Armstrong, a Southampton University lecturer.
Within a few months of moving to Storrington, Kenyatta took a job as a farm labourer and later worked in the greenhouses at Linfield’s Nursery at Thakeham for four years, moving nearby to a house in Hampers Lane.
#166. Popular Gardening 1968
Your Garden is in for a Shock!
When you buy a pound of tomatoes in 1968 they may have been picked from plants that have been given an electric shock instead of being nourished on fertilisers. After four years of experiments, a Sussex nurseryman has persuaded plant scientists that he can double his crop of tomatoes this way. Gordon Linfield is no wild enthusiast or crank. He has his feet firmly planted on the Sussex ground. He has been growing tomatoes for over fifty years near Worthing, but his great achievement is the mushroom growing concern he and his brother run.
In the very first issue of Longshot, I extolled the virtues of newspapers as a fascinating source of information to family historians (Ref: “Family History From Old Newspapers.”; Longshot Vol 1 No.1, May 1992). It is generally, of course, the local papers which are of most value to the average researcher. Although they started during the first half of the 18th century, local news as such did not feature prominently until the final decade or so. Nevertheless, the value of these early local papers is often attached to the advertisements, including those of businesses and of sales, and notifications of bankruptcies.
The mass development of newspapers during the 19th and 20th centuries means they are a major source for local and family historians. Not only did they report local events in detail, but they consistently recorded births, marriages and deaths. Unfortunately, few local newspapers have been indexed which means in practice they are generally consulted only when the researcher has some prior knowledge of the event he is searching for. However, random searches can provide some of the most rewarding and exciting finds, and I can thoroughly recommend browsing through old newspapers to anyone who wishes to undertake some research but doesn’t have a clue where to start! But some words of warning: you need a lot of spare time, and if you’re the type who is easily distracted, you’ll need to discipline yourself – it is so easy to get completely absorbed by the paper’s contents, that the original objective – family history – is completely forgotten!
Several major developments during the 19th century boosted the growth of the popular press, most notably the repeal of stamp duty in 1855, increasing literacy, improved printing technology, the growth of railways and the electric telegraph. These changes meant that 19th century newspapers could offer their readers a more thorough and wide-ranging coverage of local and national news than their 18th century forebears. In order to sell the papers, news of crimes, sudden deaths in mysterious circumstances, fires, problems with sewage and anything out of the ordinary were reported in great detail to satisfy the curiosity of an eager public. Such sensationalism as does occur carries with it the obvious risk of exaggeration, so beware!
Where can you find old newspapers? All the large public libraries and county record offices hold collections of newspaper archives, but they are usually only available on microfilm in order to preserve the fragile originals. Unfortunately, this can create problems for the researcher because long use of microfilm tires the eyes, especially when confronted with the small type so commonly used during the last century. Apart from the local collections, there is the British Newspaper Library at Colindale, North London, which is the single largest collection of newspapers, with 500,000 volumes and 90,000 reels of microfilm.
During the last year, I have compiled a collection of Lin(d)field newspaper and magazine cuttings and have begun the task of indexing them, which I hope to complete fairly soon. Surprisingly enough, they date from as early as 1773 (and I must thank Rosemary Milton for finding all the very early ones). As part of this article, I have decided to reproduce some of the more interesting items.
Index of Lin(d)field Cuttings Collection (newspapers, magazines etc)
- # : reference number
- Title of publication, if known
- Date of publication, if known
- Title of entry, article etc, if any
- Brief description of contents (including names)
#1. Sussex Weekly Advertiser 27 Sept 1773
To be Let; Relates to the butcher’s shop occupied by Thomas Lindfield of Ditchling.
#2. Sussex Weekly Advertiser 29 Nov 1773
To be sold at auction, by Robert Hannington, Horsham Nov. 29, 1773.
The effects of a London tradesman are to be auctioned at a house belonging to Mr Linfield, the lower part of the Market House.
#3. Sussex Weekly Advertiser 16 April 1781
“Last Monday a remarkably fine ox, fatted by Sir Cecil Bishopp, of Parham Park, weighing near 190 stone was killed by Mr. Peter Lindfield, of Storrington.”
#4. Sussex Weekly Advertiser 23 March 1807
“Thomas Linfield, in the service of Messrs Chitty and Willard, brewers of this town (Lewes) was much bitten on one of his hands, by a dog supposed to be mad. The dog was of the coach kind, and had been brought from the neighbourhood of the metropolis by a horse-dealer. The animal died in the night, apparently in great agony. We sincerely hope this, like many other alarms of a similar nature, will terminate without serious effects.”
#5. Sussex Weekly Advertiser 30 March 1807
To be sold by auction. By LINFIELD and STANFORD.
“Twelve couple of well-bred hounds” to be auctioned at the King’s Head Inn, Cuckfield, the property of Isaac Sayers of Cuckfield.
#6. Worthing Gazette 29 Nov 1883
Sad death of a Tradesman’s son.
Report of inquest held at Worthing into the death of a man found in the Broadwater Brooks. William Linfield, Assistant Overseer, was summoned to help retrieve the body and subsequently appears as a witness at the inquest.
#7. Worthing Herald 1885
To be Sold by Auction by Messrs Piper & Son at the Town Hall, Worthing on July 27th 1885…
Various properties to be auctioned, including nurseries in East Worthing let to Mr AG Linfield, fruiterer, for 21 years from September 1884.
#8. Worthing Gazette 1 April 1886
The Telephone in Worthing
“To our enterprising young townsman, Mr F C Linfield, corn merchant, belongs the credit of having been the first to introduce the telephone into Worthing.” Mr Linfield proceeded to give the reporter a demonstration of the wonders of this new form of technology.
#9. Worthing Gazette August 1889
Fire in Chapel Road
Fire badly damages the Chapel Road premises of Frederick C Linfield, corn merchant.
#10. Worthing Gazette 20 July 1892
Death of Mr W Linfield
After a long illness, Mr William Linfield died at his residence in Lennox Road, aged 69. Born in Surrey, and originally a tailor by trade, he later became Collector of Rates under the Local Board. He was also Assistant Overseer of the parish of Broadwater.
#11. Worthing Gazette 27 July 1892
Funeral of the late Mr. Linfield
The funeral of Mr William Linfield took place at the Cemetery, South Farm Road.
#12. Worthing Intelligencer 23 December 1893
“We congratulate Mr Alderman Linfield upon his well-deserved promotion…” Frederick C. Linfield is congratulated on his election as Alderman of the borough of Worthing.
#13. Worthing Gazette 1903
Before the Bench – A Female Inebriate
“A garrulous visitor, Emily Frances Linfield, was again charged with being drunk…”
#14. Worthing Gazette 1903
A Troublesome Visitor
“A visitor, named Emily Frances Linfield, was charged with being drunk in Chatsworth Road… She was now ordered to pay 10s, or in default to undergo fourteen days’ imprisonment.”
#15. Worthing Gazette 1903
An Aged Lady’s Fatal Fall/Accusation against a Daughter/The Inquiry Adjourned
An inquest was held into the death of Mary Emma Linfield, aged 90, who came from Brighton to live in Worthing the previous October. Witnesses at her lodgings in Warwick Road claim to have heard her arguing with her daughter, Emily Frances Linfield, and that during the altercation she was heard to shout “take that” and her mother had fallen down. She had broken her leg, and one of the witnesses claimed she had told her that her daughter had done it. Mary Linfield died soon after, and the doctor who attended attributed death to bronchitis and heart failure, which was undoubtedly accelerated by the injury and by lying in bed. The inquiry was adjourned so that Emily Frances Linfield could be brought over from Lewes Prison.
#16. Worthing Gazette 1903
In the Coroner’s Court/An Old Lady’s Fall/Her daughter’s story of the occurrence.
Emily Frances Linfield gives her version of events on the night her mother broke her leg. Her mother had knocked her in the chest on the way to bed, and, being annoyed at this, Emily had jerked her with her elbow. Since her mother was very weak on her left leg, the jerk was sufficient to make her fall over. But they had not been quarrelling, and she had not said “take that” at any time.
The Coroner asked the jury to decide whether the fall was accidental or inflicted by assault. Another daughter of the deceased, who had been staying with her mother since the fall, was called in the hope that she could throw more light on the cause of the accident. She said that her mother had made no statement to her of any kind.
The Jury rejected the contradictory evidence of the landlady and her nephew, returning the verdict: “Death from heart failure and bronchitis, accelerated by the fall.”
#17. Worthing Gazette 1903
No Means of Subsistence
Emily Frances Linfield was charged with wandering about without any visible means of subsistence.
#18. Sussex Daily News 21 August 1908
Wedding at Chichester/ Mr A. Linfield and Miss L. Ballard
Wedding of Arthur George Linfield (junior), son of Mr AG Linfield of the Laurels, Chesswood Road, Worthing and Miss Lena Ballard, fourth daughter of Alderman A. Ballard of East Pallant, Chichester.
#19. Paper unknown date 1926 or 1927
Who’s Who Today/ Mr. F C Linfield
Brief biography of Frederick Caesar Linfield.
“Mr Linfield… was the member of Parliament for mid-Bedfordshire before the last General Election, at which he was opposed by a Conservative, although at the time he was out of the country as a member of the Parliamentary Commission to East Africa. Mr Linfield is strikingly young for his age, and was a particularly active member of the Commission, afterwards publishing a separate report of his own. He advocated the creation of a Board, National or Imperial in status, for the development of colonies that are not self-governing…”
#20. Worthing Gazette January 1933
A Glasshouse Pioneer/Mr and Mrs A G Linfield’s Golden Wedding
Golden Wedding celebration for A G Linfield and E M Linfield who were married on January 1 1883. Mr Linfield is one of the two surviving pioneers of the glasshouse industry in the district, having started with his first block of glasshouses 53 years ago, when a young man of 20.
#21. Worthing Gazette June 1938
Exemplary Public Servant/The Late Mr AG Linfield/Tributes at the Funeral
Funeral of AG Linfield (1859-1938). Includes list of family mourners and others. Also list of floral tributes.
#22. Worthing Gazette or West Sussex Gazette? June 1939
Former Mayor who became MP/Funeral of Mr F C Linfield
Funeral of F C Linfield (1861-1939), former Mayor of Worthing (1906-08) and Liberal MP (1922-24). Interment at Broadwater Cemetery. Includes list of mourners.
#24. Worthing Herald 9 March 1956
Death of a Church
The Methodist Church in Chapel Road is for sale. The first foundation stone was laid by Miss Linfield, daughter of Councillor F C Linfield, in August 1892.
#25. Evening Argus 27 Feb 1957
Church will give way to shops now
The future of the Methodist Church in Chapel Road has almost been settled. It has not yet been decided whether the church will be converted to shops or be pulled down and new property built.
#26. Paper unknown 1957 or 1958
Church sold in aid of another
The Methodist Church in Chapel Road is now being demolished. The money raised from its sale to Hall & Co Ltd is to be used towards the building of a new Methodist church at Offington Park.
#29. Worthing Gazette 1953
Death of Mrs EM Linfield
The death has occurred of Mrs EM Linfield (91), the widow of AG Linfield, a pioneer in glasshouse growing. Her son is Mr AG Linfield, head of the firm of AG Linfield Ltd, growers, of Chesswood nurseries, Thakeham.
#30. Worthing and West Sussex Growers Magazine Vol III 1957
Leading Growers and their Views
The interview is with AG Linfield, head of the firm of AG Linfield Ltd. Includes an interesting brief history of the business founded by his father in 1882, as well as information about his own interests and activities.
“Mr Linfield began work on his father’s nursery at an early age. One of his first memories is of standing on a market box to enable him to reach up to the packing bench to trim mushrooms during school holidays…”
#31. Worthing and West Sussex Growers Magazine Vol 1 No1 1955
Pioneers of growing under glass in the Worthing District, by HW Hollis
Reprint of an article which first appeared in 1929. This brief history of the early days of the Worthing glasshouse industry mentions AG Linfield, who erected his nurseries in Ham Road in the 1880s.
#32. Worthing Herald 21 December 1956
Linfields buy Sompting nurseries
The firm of AG Linfield (Sompting) Ltd have purchased Lyons Farm Nurseries at Sompting from H and A Pullen-Burry Ltd. The nurseries extend to some 140 acres, of which seven and a half are glasshouses.
#33. Worthing Herald or Gazette? 1959
Death of Mr WF Linfield at age of 68
Mr William Frederick Linfield has died at his home in Worthing. He was a younger brother of Mr AG Linfield, head of the large firm of growers, AG Linfield Ltd.
#34. Worthing Herald? November 1963
‘Aunty May’ and Husband Joe Celebrate Today
Golden Wedding of Evelyn May Linfield and Joe Page, who have been caretakers of the Storrington village hall for the past 47 years. May Linfield is a member of what is almost certain to be the oldest Storrington family; the family tree, carefully prepared by Mr. H. Stanford Smith is a remarkable document. Joe was one of the great’s in the history of the Storrington Cricket Club.
#35. Worthing Herald 9 October 1964
Linfields’ million pound company
A holding company with a capital of 1 million in 1 shares has been formed in connection with the AG Linfield group of companies. It is AG Linfield (Holdings) Ltd., a private company registered on September 21 .
#36. Worthing Herald 1967
The Queen Mother’s Visit
Visit of the Queen Mother to Gifford House, a home for disabled ex-Servicemen at Worthing. Several photographs also picture the home’s chairman, Mr AG Linfield.
#38. Worthing Herald or Gazette May 1969
Death of Mrs G. Linfield
Mrs Gwendoline Linfield, wife of Mr Arthur Linfield, chairman of AG Linfield Ltd., the market gardeners and growers, died on May 9. The Linfields were married in 1943 when the then Miss Gwendoline Brown was matron of Worthing Hospital.
#39. Worthing Herald or Gazette May 1969
Obituary notice for Gwendoline, beloved wife of Arthur Linfield. Funeral at Thakeham Church on May 15.
#41. Worthing Herald c 1970
Retiring: Mr AG Linfield, who has spent the best part of a lifetime in voluntary work for hospitals and the health service, gives up another appointment at the end of this month, that of the chairmanship of the West Sussex Health Executive Council.
Tributes were paid to Mr. Linfield’s work at the Chichester meeting of the executive council last week…
#42. West Sussex County Times 3 April 1970
One of the biggest specialist horticultural concerns in Europe
Starting in Worthing in 1882, AG Linfield Ltd have since become one of the largest specialist horticultural concerns in Europe, centred in Thakeham, with branches at Worthing, Ashington and Sompting…
#47. Worthing Herald January 1974
Knighthood for Arthur Linfield
Mr Arthur Linfield, Worthing born and head of AG Linfield Ltd., the big mushroom growing concern has become Sir Arthur with the conferring of the title Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in the New Year Honours List.
#49. West Sussex Gazette 24 January 1974
‘Fever year’ inspiration
Arthur George Linfield, of Oast House, Ashington, who was knighted in the New Year Honours, and who is the subject of Juliet Pannett’s drawing on this page, told the WSG it was the example of his father in the “fever year”… that inspired him to engage in social work.
Arthur George Linfield; drawing reproduced by
kind permission of Juliet Pannet
#51. National paper? Daily Express? 1974
The Queen knights the mushroom man: Perhaps the most unusual award in the New Year Honours List tucked away in the Royal Victorian Order section – is a knighthood for mushroom grower Arthur Linfield.
#52. West Sussex Gazette 25 April 1974 Death of Sir Arthur Linfield
Sir Arthur George Linfield, chairman of AG Linfield Ltd., a former West Sussex County Council member, and a Worthing magistrate, died at his home, the Oast House, Ashington, on Easter Sunday, aged 88.
#59. West Sussex Gazette August/Sept 1973
The Linfields of Clapham: Letter from Eric George Linfield of Saltford, Bristol – wondering whether any readers of the WSG may have memories of his grandfather George Linfield, who married Katherine Leach at Clapham in 1885.
#61. Worthing Gazette or Herald May 1974
Sir Arthur – ‘Man of Achievement': Representatives of the Queen and the Duke of Norfolk attended the memorial service on Tuesday (April 30) at St. Paul’s Church, Worthing, for Sir Arthur Linfield, KCVO, CBE, JP, who died on Easter Sunday, aged 88.
#63. Worthing Gazette 1 May 1974
Methold House to open in Autumn: Worthing’s new Methold House will open its doors officially in October… Mr Robert Cushing, presiding, paid tribute to the council’s president (Worthing and District Council of Social Services), Sir Arthur Linfield, who died on Easter Day.
“Since he became our president Sir Arthur took a continuing interest in all our affairs,’ said Mr Cushing. ‘He was one of nature’s gentlemen. He was a quiet, unassuming man and his Christian ideals were reflected in everything he did and we are all going to be that much poorer without him.”
I hope to continue this review of our newspaper and magazine archive in the next issue of Longshot. In the meantime, I would like to appeal to all our members to please send in any cuttings they may have to further enrich our collection. One of the stated objectives of our society when it was originally set up in February 1992 is “to collect and publish all records relating to the names Linfield and Lindfield, and to make them available to all members.” Newpapers and magazines are very important documents for purposes of family and local history. Although they are printed, they are still primary sources and are just as valuable as parish registers and census returns. So please send me whatever you have (copies will do), so that we can build up a truly comprehensive collection of printed source material.
Further reading: Newspapers and Local History by Michael Murphy (British Association for Local History, 1991).
In a previous issue of LONGSHOT, Malcolm showed how much useful information can be gained from articles in old newspapers, which can give a fascinating insight into the characters and way of life of our ancestors, in a way that official records can never do. The article reproduced on the right of this page, for example, gives us not only the addresses of the business premises of FREDERICK CAESAR LINFIELD in 1886, but also an impression of the innovative and progressive character of this prominent local businessman. Continue reading