Carol Singing
This photo was shared with me by Christine Goad, nee Farnes, one of the singers who recalls it was taken at Hobbs Hill farm Back l-r: Reg Taylor, Geraldine Bashford, Unknown in headscarf, May Crowhurst, Pat Mills, Adrian ?, Jimmy Gamage, George Martin Front row: Unknown, Paul Crowhurst, Pauline Burrows, Mary Kemp, Christine Farnes, Jim Moth.
For many years a group of villagers would go round the village at Christmas, singing carols at every house and collecting money for the Sunshine Home for Blind Children at East Grinstead. Usually the singers walked from house to house but occasionally they would pile into the back of a couple of vans for longer trips. With no street lighting, their song sheets and their way were lit by ‘Tilly’ lamps held aloft on a pole. As their popularity grew they reached out ever further and one year even went to Cowden to the house of film star John Mills, who came to the door with his family. Traditionally the final house visited was Highfields where the singers were invited in for a mince pie, a drink and to sing another carol in the great hall. Then it was off to the Sussex Oak for a couple of final carols, a last handing round of the collecting tin before counting up that year’s money. The cash was spent on presents for the children at the home and each year a group of carollers would visit the children and hand out the gifts and the blind children also came out to specially arranged events at the village hall. If you have any photographs or memories of carol singing, please get in touch
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