Wendy Box: meet Mrs Bonfire - Village People

She’s known to many as Mrs Bonfire but, after spending time in the company of Wendy Box, perhaps Mrs Lindfield would be more appropriate! Not only has Wendy lived in the village for all her life, she’s remained in the family home which was designed and built by her father in 1939. A lifelong member of the bonfire society, former youth club leader and one of the instigators of Village Day, Wendy has made a huge contribution to village life as we know it.

By Claire Cooper
Wendy, the only daughter of George and Lucy Edgerton, was born at home in Beckworth Lane in the house that was designed and built by her father. 
     “At that time only one side of the road had been developed and the house looked out over fields,” said Wendy. “One of my earliest memories is of watching the cows from East Mascalls Farm being led down the road to the flelds twice a day.” 
     Wendy enjoyed a happy and carefree childhood growing up in the village. “We would wander off to play in the woods and felt like we could do whatever we wanted as long as we were home by tea time!
     “I remember going to Sunday School with all my friends at the Sewell Memorial Mission, and the pastor was Mr Makepiece. I also went to Brownies at the Tiger.” 
     Wendy’s maternal grandparents, Henry and Flo Drake, ran the Red Lion pub in the village, while her father’s parents owned the bakery in Horsted Keynes. “My Mum was a telephonist at the Lindfield exchange, which is now Limes restaurant.”
     A sporty and hard working child, Wendy attended Lindfield Primary School (on Lindfield Common) before passing her 11 plus and getting a place at East Grinstead Grammar School.
     “Getting to school involved two train journeys, which included the steam train which is now the Bluebell Railway,” Wendy recalled.
     “In the summer I went on my bike as it was much quicker, particularly on the way home when it was all downhill! I was always in a hurry to get back to Lindfield, particularly when we had a stoolball match.”
     Wendy started playing stoolball for the Lindfield Junior team and later progressed to the seniors. A natural sportswoman, she was chosen for every school sports team and went on to play netball for Burgess Hill Ladies for 33 years. She also qualified as a netball coach and umpire, and later as a football coach. 
     The coaching experience came in handy when Wendy took over as one of the youth leaders at the Albemarle Centre at Oathall Community College.

Read full article on pages 24/25.