Balcombe History Society 2023

2023 Programme

The reign of Queen Elizabeth I was a time of spectacular projects and big personalities that left a legacy in our part of Sussex and beyond. Religion and the constant pressure from enemies abroad were issues of the day. The talk explores some of the local people and places with a part to play under Gloriana.

David Sawyer is the Chairman of the Friends of the South Downs. His illustrated talk describes the history of our National Park, and highlights the major historical sites along its length.

John Hilary is an honorary professor at the University of Nottingham. He is one of the Messel family representatives to the National Trust, and his book ‘From Refugees to Royalty: The Remarkable Story of the Messel Family of Nymans’ was published in 2021.

Not long ago, our table manners left a lot to be desired and great feasts appear to have been a riot! Gilly traces the development of our present customs from those startling earlier practices, from 1200 to today’s TV chefs.

John writes and lectures on many aspects of 19th and 20th Century Sussex history. This talk marks a welcome return to Balcombe, when he will explore the Victory Hall’s place in memorialisation at international, national and local levels. 2023 marks the centenary of our Victory Hall.