Reunions and recollections at the Bygone Buriton exhibition

Scores of visitors flocked to Buriton Village Hall on Saturday 24th September for the annual ‘Bygone Buriton’ exhibition – including families from across the country.

Once again there were some emotional reunions as people who had not seen each other in over forty years recognised old school friends.

Michael Harfield had travelled over 200 miles from North Wales to visit the exhibition – and to meet with other Buriton families now living in Nottingham, Leeds and Sussex.

But he was delighted to meet two other long-lost friends, Robert Baker and Maryann Carter, who had also taken part in the village’s Coronation Celebrations in 1953.

“We were all school kids together,” explained Michael, “and we were each asked to plant a tree to mark the Coronation. My uncle Leon was the forester in charge that day.”

“I was chosen because I was the youngest child at the school,” added Maryann, “and my relative Millicent Carter was chosen as the oldest person living in the village.”

“That was a very special day, over 60 years ago” added Robert Baker, now living in Rustington, “and it is great to come back to Buriton to meet so many old friends and to see hundreds of old photographs of what life was like.”

There was particular interest in the information about the First World War that was displayed this year with a special presentation about all the men who had joined the forces.

Almost 200 men had left the parish at some time during the conflict – out of a population of less than 800 people.

Information has now been collected for almost 140 of these ‘Brave Boys of Buriton’ and a special presentation at the exhibition explained their roles in the great conflict.

Buriton’s local history team still want to find out more about what life was like in the village during the First World War, as well as finding out more about every one of the parishioners who took part.

It is hoped that some families may have letters, diaries and photographs that may help – and it is hoped that yet more people will get in touch.

The Buriton Heritage Bank, established in 2001 and coordinated by Buriton Village Association, has now compiled a huge amount of information and recollections on all aspects of the village’s history and has produced a dozen books about the area.

Anyone with any information about the local history and heritage of the parish of Buriton is encouraged to contact Doug on 01730 231326 or to use the website: