Welcome to the village
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Oral history book
I have always had a great interest in community histories – as a little girl I spent hours going through the family photo album and asking who people were and what they used to do. I moved to Brighton over twenty years ago and I fell in love with the place. I lived in Ovingdean for eighteen years and in 1999 I applied for a millennium grant to produce an oral history of the ‘village’. With a group of volunteers from the community we interviewed over sixty people and I produced a 140 page book of extracts from the interviews – this was sold for the benefit of the village.
Thirty years or so ago Ovingdean was seen as essentially a ‘retirement village’. The community today which numbers approximately 1200 people, is a mix of both old and young. Activities and events are centred around the Village Hall, home to a wide variety of local clubs and associations which generate a lively social calendar. As it did at the beginning of the last millennium, St. Wulfran’s Church still provides an important focus point for the village community. The successor to the ancient manor farm which has existed in varying acreages since time immemorial, is managed by the Baker family who took it over in 1945 and so the farming tradition of the area continues.
‘In Living Memory: an oral history of Ovingdean’ by Jennifer Drury and published by Ovingdean Millennium Society is available in the Jubilee Library.