Folio Number 3:  Images of Greves Family Farm
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The three pictures herein are by kind permission of: Mr. John Greves, whose Grandfather, Sam W. Greves, farmed Staple Ash Farm in the West Dean Estate, from 1905 to 1935.  This farm was the most distant from West Dean House and Park; being situated about five miles westward.
The Greves Family   Farm House
Sam C. Greves with his good looking and well dressed family in the period style of about 1910.  All of the James’s Estate tenant farmers were well off due to the generous farm rents up to 1943, when Edward James increased the rents for his farms and houses.  Possibly to help pay for his Surrealist mansion that he was building in Mexico. .   Part of the Staple Ash Farm yard with a pond in the foreground and an old Elm tree on the right. White Aylsbury ducks and Mallard type ducks (latter possible wild) are foraging and relaxing around the pool. Every ancient farm had a pond or a convenient pool at a river; for those were the days of the wooden wheels with iron tyres (tires). The ponds were essential for parking the wooden wheels of horse drawn vehicles to keep the wood swelled, in order to hold the iron tyres on. This is why the ‘Hay Wain’ (Wagon) is parked in the pond in John Constable’s famous painting; immortalizing and ancient procedure. The straw thatched roof of the barn is interesting; hand executed in the typical Sussex manner. Hand split hazel wood ‘Spars’ can clearly be seen holding sections of the thatch together. The square holes in the hand knapped flint walls of the barn are simply for ventilation. Old horse drawn farm implements are scattered around the yard; including left: a sowing cart, various harrows leaning against the wall and wooden horse shafts for other duties.
Mr. Sam W. Greves ‘Stands Hard’ by his ‘ three in hand’ Draft ‘cart horses; possibly cross bred from Percheron and Clydesdale stock. Their handsome and almost matching white face blazes and Roman noses are most striking. The ‘three in hand’ is unusual but probably necessary for power in this particularly hilly country; the ‘two in hand’ set up was more usual on flatland. They appear to be hauling a very early type of Cutter-Binder for harvesting wheat, oats and barley. It cut the corn with a sweep cutter, mechanically gathered it together in sheaves, bound them with ‘Binder Twine’, then ejected them on to the ground. Workers followed and gathered the sheaves together in half dozen conical ‘Shocks’ to maintain dryness of the grain heads. Subsequently the sheaves were transported by horse drawn ‘harvest wagon’ to a central point and built into ‘ricks’ to await the ‘Thrashing Machine’, this would extract the grain, separating it from the straw and chaff. The ‘Thrashing Machine’ was towed by a steam powered traction engine from farm to farm (Also used to provide stationary motive power for the ‘Thrashing Machine’) this equipment was supplied by an outside contractor. Each farm had to take its turn; that is why the sheaves were temporarily built into thatched ricks to protect them from inclement weather, until their appointment came around. The image in the sky is interesting; is it a UFO a Dirigible or just damage on the original photograph?