SIAS Newsletter 2


NEWSLETTER No. 2. April 1974.

The Crawley U D C, have agreed terms for the purchase of Ifield Water Mill from its present owner and hope to preserve it and incorporate it and its mill pond into an amenity area. The Society has offered assistance if needed, both for advice and restoration work
The Society is co-operating closely with the Committee for the Promotion of a Southern Industrial History Centre whose Chairman, John Warren, is one of our members; The Society's Chairman and Secretary were invited to attend one of their Committee Meetings recently,

We recently visited the sixteenth century Bartley Mill at TQ634353 not far from Lamberhurst. The present tenant Mr. A.G. Smith had kindly offered a fine pair of beam scales for our project at Bateman's.
We were told that for many years up to the 1920's the family of Arnolds had tenanted the mill and had not only been prominent in the use of steam traction on a large scale but during the 1880's had been one of the very early people in the U.K. to manufacture motor cars,, a batch of six being produced and of which one is still in existence, The firm have grown to a considerable size since those days with an organisation now centred on East Peckham in Kent. We hope to report further on this industrial family,, the manner of their growth and some details of the cars which were built. Meanwhile this is a reminder that there are a number of other Sussex families who have played a considerable part in the founding and development of Sussex industries, We Should welcome notes and stories from members on this subject,

W. R. Beswick. 
The date of incorporation into societies or companies sometimes provides an indication of the point in time at which a craft or trade grew to an importance and size worthy of recognition by the Crown or State. Thus if we take the use and treatment of iron and steel as an example we find that the sequence is on the following lines.
One of the earliest crafts using iron was that of the Farriers who had their beginning in Henry de Ferraris who himself was the Master of the Horse to William the Conqueror. The arms were "three horseshoes azure". Next seem to have been the Company of Cutlers early in the reign of Henry V and the arms were "six swords salterways proper". The Company of Armourers came into being in the early part of the reign of Henry VI, he himself being a member, and indeed during those times the making of armour must have been a very reassuring part-time Royal hobby to acquire. The arms were impressive, showing a collection of ironmongery which included helmets, swords and a buckler.
The Tudor programme of iron production, particularly on the Weald, gave importance to the craft of the smith both for the conversion of cast iron to wrought iron in the hammer mills, and country wide for the manufacture of products in wrought iron. Queen Elizabeth I granted their arms of a "chevron between three hammers crowned" during the twentieth year of Her reign. The foundry trade was recognised by James the First of England, which is about the time at which one might expect the trade in both cast iron and in bronze to spread from mainly military to general products.
It must be kept in mind that the purpose of a trade in gaining recognition was to control both the trade itself and the labour within it, the approach being restrictive. The date given are of mainly London Companies and are taken from Howel's London of 1657.

A.J. Haselfoot. 
There is an interesting old water pumping station near Swanbourne Lake on the Duke of Norfolk's Estate at Arundel, at TQ01810774. This comprises a vertical-shaft, reaction type water turbine driving, through double-reduction gears, two three-throw force pumps which originally pumped water up to a reservoir about 200 yards away on the adjacent hill to supply the town of Arundel. The date, 1844, was carved on a part of the reservoir wall, which makes the installation a comparatively early one for a water turbine drive.
The building housing the turbine and pumps, which has been roofless for some 10 years, has a distinctly ecclesiastical appearance. Fig. I shows the upstream side and part of the head-pond fed from Swanbourne Lake; the bypass sluice and the trash-rack in front of the turbine inlet sluice can also be seen. Fig.2 shows the downstream side, the tail-pond (tidal and nearly dry in the photograph) and the discharge openings of the bypass and turbine outlet sluices. The head of water is about 10' at low tide.
Fig. 3 shows the bevel drive from the turbine, and the two lay-shafts; while Fig. 4 shows one of the pumps and the wooden-toothed final spur-wheel of the double reduction gearing. As the machinery is nearly all of cast iron with bronze bushes it is in remarkably good condition after 10 years exposure to the weather. The turbine ,'being completely drowned in the tail-race, is probably still in excellent condition. I understand that the pumps have been turned over by hand within the last two years. There is no maker's name on the machinery and unfortunately all records and drawings of the equipment appear to have been lost or destroyed.
The water supply arrangements, as shown on a drawing of 1895, are of particular interest. One of the pumps is supplied by a suction pipe from the head-pond but the other is fed by a suction pipe from an old well (now disused), which is laid
in a spacious culvert for about 40 yards. This has a plentiful supply of water running down it which enters the culvert from some unknown source and, running through the basement of the pump-house, discharges into the tail-pond. The future of the installation is uncertain at present but it does not seem to be deteriorating seriously

Figs 1 to 4 - Swanbourne Pump House

A.J. Haselfoot. 
The very dry weather during the Spring of 1973 uncovered some old timbers in the bed of a stream about 500 yards below Weir Wood Reservoir at TQ41153537.
Fig. 5 shows a photograph of these timbers. It was thought at first that these might be the remains of an old water mill but an inspection of the site showed that the timbers were just where the old stream to Brambletye Mill, 600 yards away, left the present stream, as shown in Fig. 6. A survey of the surrounding area also revealed a straight shallow, sloping ditch, with a hollow near its lower end, leading from the stream to the adjacent River Medway.
An inspection of O.S. and other maps showed that the part of the stream between points A and B (Fig.6) does not appear on any map until the 21" O.S. map published in 1965. The 7th Edition of the 1" O.S. map, published in 1960 (revised up to 1957) does not show it but the 8th Edition, published in 1967, does. All earlier maps show the stream flowing straight on to Brambletye Mill, although the old stream-bed, now dry, is some 4' to 5 above the bed of the present stream. The ditch from C to D, though plainly visible on the ground, does not appear on any map.
All the records show only one mill at Brambletye at TQ41683527, and the probable interpretation is that the timbers at point A are the remains of a sluice on the stream feeding Brambletye Mill pond, and the ditch C to D was a bypass to the River Medway, with the sluice where the hollow is, near point D. The cut from A to B would have been made when Brambletye Mill was closed down (it was destroyed in 1968/69) and, in view of the considerable difference in level between the old stream-bed and the present stream-bed, it may have been made much earlier-than its first appearance on an O.S. map.

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