Home Stories Timeline Map Gallery Background People

A Timeline - 1900 to Present Day

A chronological record of significant events describing the development of Sidlesham LSA from the 1930s until the present day.

Before the LSA

Edit DateEdit Asset

Prior to the arrival of the LSA there was a strong farming tradition in the area.

Some of the pre-existing farms included Bakers, Chalder, Church, Easton, Ferry, Fletchers, Great Ham, Greenwood, Haise, Halsey, Ham, Highleigh, Jury, Keynor, Marblestone, Marsh, Oakhurst, Porthole, Redgate, Rookery, Shotfold and Street End. No Chalk, Fletchers or Street End Lanes nor First, Second or Third Avenues in Almodington.

12th Feb
1900

Population of Sidlesham

Edit DateEdit Asset

The population of Sidlesham in 1931 (Kelly's Directory) was 878

1931

First LSA

Edit DateEdit Asset

Potten in Bedfordshire was the first LSA to be established.

1934

Sidlesham LSA started

Edit DateEdit Asset

Sidlesham LSA started with purchase of Keynor, Batchmere & Street End Farms. 824 acres for £36,183 Hill Land, Tomlins & Shotford Farms also mentioned.

1935

First Arrivals

Edit DateEdit Asset

First 'settlers' arrive, living in Keynor Hut while being trained. The photograph has Dickie Cowan (No 12), Bill Littler with son John in his arms (No 32) & Lance Edwards (No 38).

1936

Roadbuilders

Edit DateEdit Asset

A team of roadbuilders, including Jos Aitchison & William Corner, arrived in Sidlesham to construct what are now Chalk and Fletchers Lanes in Sidlesham as well as First, Second and Third Avenues in Batchmere. Stirland Builders (Birdham) was awarded the contract to build the LSA houses.

1936

School expansion

Edit DateEdit Asset

A scheme for improvement of the school was carried out including the addition of four large 'sunshine' classrooms as the school role increased from 120 to 284.

1937

Here is The Land (film)

Edit DateEdit Asset

A film was produced to advertise the LSA scheme in Dole Offices and Poor Houses.

1937

Return home

Edit DateEdit Asset

Entries in the Primary School records show that several of the early settlers 'returned north', 'went back to Abertillery', 'returned to Durham' as they were unable to adapt to the new way of life. They were replaced by more unemployed miners and shipbuilders like the Dixons (No 50) & Wilsons (No 82).

1938

World War Two

Edit DateEdit Asset

The original objectives of the LSA to allocate smallholdings settlements to the unemployed was suspended in order to maximise food production at the outbreak of the Second World War. Vacant smallholdings were occupied by US and Canadian soldiers. Some tenants had evacuees from London - Cowans (No 10) & Booth (No 15) The Home Guard, comprising a number of LSA tenants, was based at both Keynor Hut and No 88 Fletchers.

1939

Best Kept Holding

Edit DateEdit Asset

Henry Cloud (No 133) awarded certificates for Best Kept Holding and Most Improved Holding in 1942/43

1942

Dreams Come True

Edit DateEdit Asset

Film made at Abington LSA - available on Youtube (Ref: Dreams Come True (1944). mp4)

1944

New Manager

Edit DateEdit Asset

William 'Bill' Constable appointed LSA Manager (until 1952)

1945

Post War Government Smallholdings Policy

Edit DateEdit Asset

Post War Government Smallholdings Policy Qualifications, experience and 'money' required (See application form in prospectus)

1947

Batchmere FC

Edit DateEdit Asset

Batchmere FC - Charity Cup Winners Teams changed in the stables (now cottages at the entrance to First Avenue) and washed in the horse trough.

1948

Population Change

Edit DateEdit Asset

Population of Sidlesham is 1,274, an increase of 400 since previous census in 1931. Number of families increased by 120, reflecting arrival of the LSA.

1951

New Manager

Edit DateEdit Asset

George Sutton appointed LSA Manager (until 1964)

1952

Pound Inn

Edit DateEdit Asset

Pound Inn (Highleigh) closed in 1953. Sidlesham FC played on a nearby field and teams changed in the pub.

1953

Worst Thunderstorms for 20 years

Edit DateEdit Asset



The worst thunderstorm to hit the Chichester area for twenty years roared on Tuesday night (10th January 1956) through Sidlesham 'the smallholders village' wreaking thousands of pounds worth of damage to greenhouses and farm buildings. Reported in the Chichester Observer article & the Hampshire Telegraph and Portsmouth Gazette with photo of Henry Grimes (No 84 Fletchers)

10th Jan
1956

Landers Garage

Edit DateEdit Asset

The petrol station on Selsey Road was called Lander's Garage in the 1950s. The video show children playing on the grass verge and an absence of traffic on the B2145!

1959

Tenants Newsletter

Edit DateEdit Asset

Anthony Dungey who lived at No 114 (Batchmere) edited a Tenants Newsletter in the 1960s.

1960

Sidlesham WI

Edit DateEdit Asset

Sidlesham WI (Keynor Hut) won Gilchrist Cup for vegetable competition (LSA Bulletin 615 Feb 1960)

1st Feb
1960

A27

Edit DateEdit Asset

Work started on the A27 Chichester By-Pass with top soil available to tenants in February (Bulletin No 699). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . However, due to it's poor condition the order was canceled in March (LSA Bulletin 701)

1962

New Manager

Edit DateEdit Asset

John (Arthur Johnson Symington) Cox was appointed as LSA Manager (until 1965)

1964

Fletcher's Hut

Edit DateEdit Asset

Fletchers Hut closed. "The Management Committee of Fletcher's Hut closed their accounts and handed the hut and stock to the LSA". (LSA Bulletin No 815, June 1964)

1st Jun
1964

New Manager

Edit DateEdit Asset

Tom Scott appointed as LSA Manager (until closure in 1983)

1965

Amalgamation?

Edit DateEdit Asset

Possible amalgamation of Sidlesham & Andover LSA (Correspondence from LSA HQ in London at the Museum of English Rural Life, Reading University)

1966

Whirlwind

Edit DateEdit Asset

Chichester Observer (October 21st) reports 'Havoc left as whirlwind hits village' with glasshouses flattened and the roof ripped off the Anchor pub.

1st Oct
1966

Wise Report

Edit DateEdit Asset

Departmental Committee of Inquiry into Statutory Smallholdings. A comprehensive review of the 18 LSAs still in operation in 1967.

1967

End of egg production

Edit DateEdit Asset

Last reference to price of eggs in LSA Bulletin (No 975, 21st July) Large @2/2d.

1st Jul
1967

Last of the pigs

Edit DateEdit Asset

Last reference to pigs (Weaners) in LSA Bulletin 1017 (May 1968) Combination of recurring outbreaks of swine flu and increasing costs of insurance.

1st May
1968

Sidlesham Sports & Recreation Association

Edit DateEdit Asset

On Tuesday 30th July we shall be holding our annual Pony Gymkhana and at 3.00pm the new pavilion building will be officially opened by Mr Christopher Chataway MP for the Chichester Constituency.(LSA Bulletin No 1,130)

30th Jul
1970

Southgate Growers established

Edit DateEdit Asset

Southgate Growers established with membership of 7 former tenants who left the LSA to buy private nurseries in the local area and to set up their own independent company. The depot/packing shed was based on Sidlesham Lane.

1974

Film

Edit DateEdit Asset

Grow with the LSA (produced by Fisons) with extracts from several LSAs including Sidlesham.

1976

The Future?

Edit DateEdit Asset

AGM of Sidlesham & Batchmere Tenants Association - "Devastating losses incurred by various estates and overall decline in profitability. The growers are concerned that the LSA as a whole will soon be no longer viable." (LSA Bulletin 1555 September 1978)

1st Sep
1978

The Future is safe

Edit DateEdit Asset

Message from the Chairman of the LSA, DS Fletcher at LSA HQ in London: "I am confident that management is taking action to ensure our survival and eventual prosperity". (LSA Bulletin 1744 May 1982)

1st May
1982

Tom Scott

Edit DateEdit Asset

Tom Scott, LSA Manager awarded MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours, May 1982.

11th May
1982

Proposed disbanding of the LSA

Edit DateEdit Asset

On December 2nd 1982, Peter Walker announced the proposed disbanding of the LSA Estates to the House of Commons. All Estates were to be encouraged to set up their own co-operatives which were to be running by 31st March the following year. “A fortnight before Christmas we heard it on the radio one morning that all the LSA was going to close down. That’s the way we heard it from the radio. What are you going to do? You just don’t know. And it meant your packing shed was gone, your maintenance on the house, all those sort of things that were just going to close. We were just left in the air. It sorted itself out and I don’t know if it was for the good or for the bad.” (Arthur Wilson (No 86) on Grime to Groceries BBC Radio 2001)

2nd Dec
1982

Jolly Fisherrman

Edit DateEdit Asset

Jolly Fisherman (Selsey Road) closed 1983.

1983

Sidlesham Growers

Edit DateEdit Asset

Formation of SIdlesham Growers with 89 of the former LSA tenants, led by Ernie Boxall (No 107 Batchmere) The LSA Propagation Unit became Almodington Nurseries, managed by former LSA tenants. Other LSAs set up similar co-operatives, for example: Cambridge Salad Producers (Abington LSA) & Yorkshire Salads (Snaith LSA) A group of tenants (across the country) sue the government for compensation.

1983

Administration of the Estate.

Edit DateEdit Asset

The administration of the estate is still the responsibility of the Estate Manager and marketing will continue until 30th April 1983. Mr Boxall and his committee have no jurisdiction on the estate, other than organising the new co-operative, until 1st May when they take over the marketing for members of the Co-operative. (LSA Bulletin No 2529)

31st Mar
1983

Compensation Claim

Edit DateEdit Asset

About half the tenants (nationally) took the minister to court alleging that his unilateral action was a breach of contract and claimed compensation for expenses arising from setting up their private businesses.

1984

Auction

Edit DateEdit Asset

Sale of equipment following the closure of the LSA administered by King and Chasemore - items included a tractor and pairs of wellington boots.

7th Apr
1984

Sale of LSA properties

Edit DateEdit Asset

King and Chasemore managed the sale of 'vacant' LSA properties, including Keynor House, Batchmere House, Street End Barn, the PAcking Shed and No 96 First Avenue.

26th Jan
1986

Storm damage

Edit DateEdit Asset

A 'Freak Storm' reported in Chichester Observer (June 1983) with several glasshouses destroyed. Some growers were not insured and as a result left Sidlesham Growers.

1987

Compensation Settlement

Edit DateEdit Asset

The ministry settled out of court, two months before the scheduled hearing about compensation. Payouts ranged between £10,000 and £55,000, but because it was an out-of-court settlement the 'successful' ex-tenants had to pay tax on their compensation.

1991

Local pub closes

Edit DateEdit Asset

Sale of Jolly Fisherman (Selsey Road) completed.

12th Aug
1991

LSA Story

Edit DateEdit Asset

'Sing and Sit Small' was written by Marianne Heath (No 54) about her experiences growing up on the LSA in Sidlesham.

1994

BBC Radio

Edit DateEdit Asset

'From Grime to Groceries' with contributions from Sidlesham (Arthur Wilson & Rosie Ferret) was broadcast on BBC Radio 1. A transcript is available.

1st Nov
2001

Maze

Edit DateEdit Asset

Richard Bushby (No 68) opens his gardens, including a fantastic maze, to the public on the first weekend in August. Since 2002 over £20,000 has been raised for charity.

1st Aug
2002

Village sign

Edit DateEdit Asset

Village sign erected with one side celebrating the agricultural heritage of the village including an LSA house.

28th Dec
2012

Heritage Trail

Edit DateEdit Asset

A Heritage Trail has been created to commemorate the Sidlesham & Batchmere LSA. It was launched at an LSA day held at Keynor (Farm) House and Hut which was previewed by BBC South Today. A trail leaflet is available. Smartphone owners can use our offline trail which provides the trail information using GPS, or you can download and print a copy of the trail leaflet from this website.

27th Jun
2015

LSA Exhibition & Film

Edit DateEdit Asset

An exhibition explaining the development of the LSA, including our own film, was launched at the Novium Museum in Chichester on 9th November 2015. The film, which combines LSA archive footage and interviews with ex-tenants and staff, was made by Ben Cloud of Millstream Productions (Emsworth). Ben is the great grandson of Henry Cloud, a boiler maker from Palmers Shipyard in Jarrow, who came to Sidlesham in 1936.

9th Nov
2015
Movie

If you would like to create your own timeline, please contact Tangent Web Design Ltd. Copyright of respective owners 2015.