Two such items have recently surfaced; during the walk investigating Bexhill in the Great War a visit was made to the Peace Memorial outside St Mary Magdalen Church. Sheltering from a blustery wind up against the building we could see that the back of the memorial appeared to be carved but it was hard to see whether there was lettering on the surface. Paul Wright offered to return when sunlight would cast shadows on the indentations. As a result we now know that there is a Latin inscription and the names of six people of Belgian nationality who died in Bexhill while they were refugees from the fighting in this town. The Local History Group are now following up the discovery by examining newspaper accounts, memories in ‘Bexhill Voices’ and contemporary post cards. You can catch a repeat of this walk on March 29th, or the linked walk to find Cooden Camp on April 18th or 25th.
The second, which falls into the latter category, concerns a gravestone in Bexhill Cemetery; the striking thing is not what the inscription says it is the style of the lettering used. The grave is the final resting place of Joseph and Margaret Fairhurst, the parents of our Chief Executive Officer, Peter Fairhurst. Peter’s father was an acknowledged expert in Lettering and Illuminated Writing in the early years of the twentieth century and was instrumental in reviving what was then a dying art-form. He was very interested in Classical Architecture and Adornment and supplemented his income by designing Title Pages for major publishing houses and accepting commissions for Certificates, presentation documents and Testimonials.
A family discussion, following his death in 1976, resulted in a classical but very simple memorial marking Joseph’s grave; he and his wife are remembered in a style of lettering that he would have appreciated.