THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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164                    HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
brought about strong protests, the leader in the agitation being the Rev. H. Woodington, who was then Curate here. He used to go to the station at train time, distribute tracts and urge the people to listen to the church bell rather than the railway bell. A public meeting was held in reference to the matter, but the agitation was devoid of results, for Sunday trains have not yet ceased to run.
The first turf of the section between East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells was cut on July 18th, 1864, by Lord West; and a company of about 300, including the Bishop of Oxford and many noblemen, celebrated the event with a sumptuous luncheon, at which there was no stint of either wine or meat. This section of line was opened on October 1st, 1866, without any public ceremony in East Grinstead. At the same time there were numerous other projects in view in which East Grinstead was to play a leading part. Bills were intro≠duced for a line from London to Beckenham, East Grin≠stead, Lewes and Brighton; another from Redhill to East Grinstead; and a third from East Grinstead to Uckfield; but not one of these projects met with the approval of Parliament. The first-named did pass the Lords on July 25th, 1866, and the East Grinstead church bells were set ringing, the band was called out and torches and tar barrels were lighted and carried through the town. The place of this proposed line was taken nearly 20 years later by the South-Coast Company's low-level route from Lewes, through East Grinstead, to a junction with the old main line at South Croydon. The southern section below East Grinstead was opened in August, 1882, and the northern part in March, 1884.
In making the new line from East Grinstead to Croydon the Railway Company took possession of the Old Parish Pound and paid the sum of £50 to the Churchwardens and Overseers for it. Subsequently, Mr. A. H. Hastie, on behalf of Lord Sackville, Lord of the Manor of Imberhorne, claimed the money. The ratepayers, in vestry assembled, declined to part, so Lord Sackville claimed the sum from the Company and
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