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From the Sussex Express, 17th September 1889


The old English festival of harvest home was held on the Glynde Park Estate on Saturday. The weather was befitting the occasion. The sun shone out brilliantly, but the heat was tempered by a refreshing breeze. The proceedings commenced with dinner, which was served in a tent erected near Lord Hampden's mansion. His LORDSHIP took the chair, supported by Mr Sturgis, Master Sturgis, the Rector (Rev G Averill), Mr D Aylwin, and Mr H Colgate (manager of the dairy factory). Mr Pickard (manager of the Home Farm) took the vice-chair. Besides the labourers on the estate, the school children, to the number of 98, were entertained. They were waited on by Lady Hampden, the Hon Mrs Bevan, Miss Thomas, Miss Talbot, Miss Lawrence, the Misses Sturgis (3), Mrs Averill, Misses Norris, and Miss Julia Campion.

The repast was of a thoroughly English character, commencing with Sussex puddings, followed by roast beef, boiled mutton, etc, and concluding with plum puddings. The whole of the dinner arrangements were under the able supervision of Mr and Mrs Foreman, the butler and housekeeper. Grace before and after the meal was sung by the children. The cloth having been removed,

The CHAIRMAN gave 'The health of the Queen', which was drunk right loyally. THE HEALTH OF THE HOST

The Rev G Averill proposed 'The health of Lord Hampden, Lady Hampden, and the family' (applause). He was away last year on the occasion of the harvest home, and he was very glad to be there today and to see Lord Hampden in what they might call his usual health, for silver weddings and golden weddings passed over him, and left him as fresh, as vigorous, and as genial as ever (applause). They all trusted his lordship's good health would long continue because, at any rate in this place, his life was most important and most valuable. A most remarkable thing was that the older Lord Hampden became the larger seemed to be his ventures, for in his new dairy he had got a big thing on hand, and they were all glad to think it was flourishing, as it employed so many (hear, hear). They all ought to be greatly obliged to Lord Hampden for having found this new outlet for home labour, and for having started an industry which ought to help agriculturalists, who were still suffering from depression. The parsons felt it, for tithes went down with the prices, and every year his little became less. Digressing, the reverend gentleman said he had been to Switzerland for a short holiday. Farming in that country was carried on differently to agriculture in England. Every little bit of ground was planted with corn, and patches of corn could be seen on the sloping hills almost up to the snow. He described the handploughs in vogue there, and said the women did as much work as the men. It was wonderful the perseverance and patience shown in getting the land in such a condition so as to get a crop. He again submitted the health of their host and his family.

The toast was received with enthusiasm, the men giving three lusty cheers.


Lord HAMPDEN, having expressed his thanks, drew attention to the remarkable difference between the harvests of 1888 and this year. The farmer had two harvests, and in former times, when the price of wheat was high, the corn harvest was the most important. Times had changed very much and, speaking rather as a dairyman, he considered the hay harvest as infinitely more important than the corn harvest (hear, hear). In 1888 they did not finish the hay harvest till August 20th. The crop was good in quantity, but when they came to pick it up under cloud and rain, a good deal of it was spoilt. The hay harvest this year was over on the 29th July, nearly a month earlier. The crop was quite as large as last year's, and not a truss of hay was spoilt (applause). I consequence of the wet weather and the backwardness of the crops, the corn harvest of last year did not finish till September 28th; this year they finished on August 28th. They experienced some little trouble in consequence of the showers but, on the whole, they had not much to grumble about. It was an immense advantage to have been able to finish the harvest early, for in this second summer which they were enjoying they had had been able to go to work and clean their land and get ready for the coming year. They might be able to grow a little bit of that useful, as well as beautiful, red trifoleum*, which many were unable to do last year because of the lateness of the harvest. He hoped the yield of corn in 1889 was not worse than last year, while everything that had reference to the maintenance of stock was very much better this year. Potatoes and clover were also successful crops; he had not met with a bad potato, and he never recollected such a good crop of clover (hear, hear). Mr Averill had alluded very kindly to the dairy. He had been put to a good deal of trouble, and had spent a good deal of money on it. He considered it an institution, and although he had as yet made no money upon it, he believed it would succeed and prove beneficial to himself and others. In embarking on a large business one must expect to begin by experiencing a loss. He had made mistakes, and had bought his experience dearly. But he saw 'daylight in the business', and considered it would live and grow. He should be very glad if the state of things allowed him to pay a larger sum for his neighbour's milk, and he hoped the time would come when he might be able to do so (hear, hear). But the infant must walk before it could run. His lordship spoke of the difficulty it was to raise the temperature of the factory by the steam engine in summer as well as in winter. But he had succeeded by making the steam engine pump water from a well of 90 feet, and circulating it around those parts of the building where coolness was needed. It was an ingenious and effective contrivance.


He had been asked over and over again, 'Does it pay?' If they meant interest on the money invested, he did not think it did at present, but he thought it would (hear, hear). He was satisfied with the experiment, but he confessed there were others who took a different view. The only men that had ventured to tell him he was putting a lot of money in his pocket over it were two gentlemen they all knew very well. One was the collector of rates, and the other the collector of taxes (loud laughter). And accordingly they rated him and taxed him (laughter). He had had a useful assistant in Mr Herbert Colgate, who was about to spend his holiday in visiting Denmark, where dairying was carried on in a perfect way. He hoped, when Mr Colgate returned, he would be able to tell him where he fell short in the produce f butter, and where he ought to make amends.


The truth was that the Danes in the art of butter making had been for some years in advance of England, but we are learning now to do as well as our Danish competitors. He believed they could produce a better article than the Danes, because he thought the climate, the soil, and English stock, were eminently qualified to produce the best article in the form of butter (applause).

Mr H COLGATE acknowledged the complimentary reference of his lordship, and said he had received valuable assistance from Captain Brand. Upon his return from his holiday he should be pleased to offer any gentleman in the farming interest, or to those engaged in the work of the factory, any information he could glean respecting the foreign butter trade (applause).

Mr STURGIS submitted 'The health of the Vicar', who they were all pleased to see come back looking so well (applause). He had told them they farmed little scraps of land in Switzerland, and he confessed he should like to see larger allotments and what they called small holdings (applause). He believed such a system would render the cultivation of the soil more profitable.

Mr AVERILL, in reply, said he sympathised with Mr Sturgis. He was not a large farmer; he had three acres (A VOICE: And the cow – laughter); well, he had been a long thinking, and was going to have a cow (laughter). With his family he was afraid there would be no surplus of milk, but what there was left, after supplying the home, he should be very glad to send to the dairy (laughter). His children had a peculiar objection to separated milk, they would have the real thing, and he was afraid when he got the cw they would all want cream (renewed laughter).


This was the last speech, and the company then quitted the tent for the open air. Various sports and games, for both old and young, were arranged, and a cricket match was played between teams of married and single, captained respectively by Mr Foreman and W Freeman. Teas was provided for all-comers, and a jolly day was spent by all.

* red clover

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