Lewes History Group talk: Mill Road, Malling: Street Story, plus Film of Lewes Life – Monday 20 April 2020, 7:00 for 7:30pm

This talk has been cancelled and will be rescheduled

There are two talks this evening:

Chris Taylor: Lewes Street Stories – Mill Road, Malling

The story of Mill Road, Malling is about the development of its industries and buildings alongside meeting the people who have lived and worked there since the 16th Century. In this talk Chris Taylor will present the findings of his recent investigation into the history of Mill Road, the latest in Lewes History Group’s ‘Street Stories’ series.

The street got its name from an imposing windmill that was present from at least the late 16th Century until it was destroyed by fire in 1908. A laundry overlapped with the mill and flourished for 40 years at the bottom of the road, where the flats now stand. It too burnt to the ground in 1941.

Generations of families have lived in Malling Hill Villas, an Edwardian terrace, built on the mill land. Facing them, a street of mixed council-built and private housing was developed in the 1920s and 1930s. Chris Taylor comments, “Over the years Mill Road has been home to millers on the fiddle, at least one Mayor of Lewes, wartime evacuees and a troupe of travelling players. I hope the audience will enjoy finding out about this small street’s past as I have.”

Malling Windmill and Mill House from The Wallands, c. 1858-1868
Malling Windmill and Mill House from the Wallands, c. 1858-1868
Cropped image reproduced with permission of Sussex Archaeological
Society Ltd.

A Film of Lewes Life over Three Decades

Percy Richard Wicks, proprietor of a Ringmer and Lewes-based building company, was an early adopter of new technology. His was the only Ringmer household to own a television in the days before World War II, and they were also local pioneers in the production of home movies. Simon Wicks has preserved some of these family films, the oldest of which date back to the early 1940s, featuring family members in uniform and some footage of the local Home Guard’s training activities.

Others are from the 1950s and 1960s with a number featuring the firm’s activities in Lewes, including the demolition of the Naval Prison and the construction of the high flint-walled bank at the top of Malling Hill. John Kay of the Lewes History Group comments, “The approach to health and safety in those days can be seen to be a little different from today’s!  We are very grateful to John Saunders and his family, who have adapted and edited the original Lewes material from these films into a 21st century format, producing an entertaining film with a running time of about 20 minutes.”


All are welcome from 7.00pm for free refreshments and updates on the Group’s activities. The talk will begin promptly at 7:30pm and will finish by 9.00pm.

There is an entry fee, payable at the door, of £1 for members, and £3 for non-members.

Venue: The King’s Church building on Brooks Road, Lewes, BN7 2BY. (Between Tesco car park and Homebase)

See the Talks page for a list of  forthcoming monthly events organised by the Lewes History Group