NEWHAVEN CONVENT

Photo:Convent, Newhaven

Convent, Newhaven

Courtesy of Newhaven Historical Society

Photo:Cottage at Adversayne Crossroads. Josie and Dick were here for a few months prior to moving to Highfure House

Cottage at Adversayne Crossroads. Josie and Dick were here for a few months prior to moving to Highfure House

Photo:Highfure House

Highfure House

Photo:Back at Highfure House

Back at Highfure House

Photo:Newhaven Convent Children at Highfure House. Josie with the tennis racquet, Dick behind her to the left.

Newhaven Convent Children at Highfure House. Josie with the tennis racquet, Dick behind her to the left.

Photo:Josie and Dick Collins at Rodmell, in Convent uniform

Josie and Dick Collins at Rodmell, in Convent uniform

All photos: Josie Collins private collection

Evacuated to Highfure House, Billingshurst

By Josie Richardson

I remember my first day at Newhaven Convent when I was 4. My brother (Dick) also went there. When the convent was bombed it first moved  to a large cottage at Adversayne crossroads (now an antiques market). The convent then took over a large house outside Billingshurst called Highfure House for the remainder of the war. Although I was very young, I remember a lot of my time there.

I remember lying under my bed during an air-raid (by Stukas, my brother tells me, he and friends were up in the attics watching it all). Next day we all went out to look at the bomb craters.

The food wasn't much good, (I remember the boys putting tripe down the lav.) We only had cake on a Sunday with very few currants in it. My parents (my Dad, Wilfrid Collins, was policeman at Rodmell for all the villages in the Ouse valley) used to borrow a car and bring us up provisions from the garden. Not easy across country with no sign posts! 

I was at the school till 8 yrs old. The people I remember well are Colin and Tony Purbrook (their parents ran the Mikado cafe), Derek Cardey,(Harbour Master's son) Billy Petter, and Vincent Richardson (his mother was housekeeper to Lady Reading at  Southease.)

A few years ago I contacted the owners of Highfure House (a young couple with a family) and they invited me and my brother to have a look around. It brought many memories back, and the owners were pleased to hear about the house and it's occupants during the war.

The horse-chestnut trees were all in bloom up each side of the long drive, just as lovely as I remembered.

I have some old photos, and some recent ones of the house.

Josie Richardson

 

This page was added by Josie Richardson on 20/02/2015.
Comments about this page

Seeing this article about Newhaven Convent being evacuated to `Highfure` House Billingsurst, this house was built by my Wife's Grandfather in 1908 replacing the old house . Any details of why this house was sold in the 1930's by the Ireland family would be interesting

By Stephen Gover
On 31/10/2016

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