From an Octogenerian
Being one of the older residents of Mark Cross, I was asked
to relate changes in the village in the period 1920 to 1930.
I did all my schooling from 5 - 14 years at MarkCross school,
which as today, had an excellent Head & teachers. In my
day Miss Yates, was the headmistress assisted by Miss Cunnington
& Mrs Winch who lived together at School House.
The men were mostly employed in farm work, Hops were grown
at Forest Farm, Renhurst Farm, Earls Farm and Bassetts. Some
men worked in the gardens (Head gardeners, assistant gardeners
& young journeymen).
Mark Cross had a fine cricket team which gave good recreation
for the young folk, and a succesful Flower show was held each
year until the 2nd World War.
There were more shops then. Opposite Deilsfoot Cottages, a
Saddler/ Harness maker had a small wooden building which he
attended certain days of the week and was kept very busy. There
was a fishmonger who bought fish direct from Grimsby each morning
by train to Rotherfield station from the early thirties until
the war broke out. After the war we had the benefit of a daily
delivery again. Bread was baked daily and delivered from the
bakehouse, milk was also from local farms with a daily delivery.
Papers were delivered daily, which also came direct to Rotherfield
station from London.
The Frant & Mark Cross petty sessions were held at Mark
Cross with a police sergeant living at the Court House &
a constable in the cottage. There was always a lot of activity
on court days, and the gipsies at Crowborough were often up,
& that brought a lot of their friends to the village who
made good use of the pub opposite.
When Norman Thome, the murderer from Crowborough, came to court
there were dozens of reporters etc from London and all over,
with the result that Mark Cross was very busy indeed.
Crowborough & North Weald Monthly Magazine
- June 1989