Oxted & District History Society - Talk
Oxted & District History Society

Chris Shepheard, is the manager of the Rural Life Centre at Tilford, Surrey. Chris gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society on ‘The Lost Countryside’.  Chris used the Farnham Herald’s archive of old photos, together with additional photos from members of the public, to write his book entitled ‘The Lost Countryside’.

The photos shown at the lecture illustrated rural activities in the early 20th Century.  These depicted ploughing and harvesting with horse-drawn and early motor vehicles, hay making, potato picking, hop-stringing by men on stilts, spraying fungicide on hops, families of hop-pickers, shepherds, sheep and shearing sheep with hand-shears, milk delivery, wood coppicing and vegetable growing. There were also photos of Land Army girls during both World Wars.

Rural crafts were also shown, wheelwrights at work, the village blacksmith, besom broom making, a local potter, brick manufacture, a saw mill, a watermill as well as early electricity generators.  The photos also illustrated servants at the local big house, early cars and chauffeurs, local shops, village schools, the local barber and village fetes and carnivals.


The Lost Countryside by Chris Shepheard 27th November 2012