Sussex was the home county of long-time Masterton Borough Council member and one time Mayor, Edwin Feist, who was born in Framfield in Sussex. Sussex was one of the original old kingdoms of England, eventually falling to the kings of Wessex. Framfield is best known today as a recreational fishing centre.
Sussex Street was, at one time, one of the major recreation areas of Masterton. Owned in the early 1880s by Thomas Drummond, the area was called Drummond’s paddock, and used as a sports ground. As well as holding rugby matches there, the ground was also the site of the annual Caledonian Society sports for many years.
The sports of 1881 included all the usual Highland events – tossing the caber, the Highland Fling, running and jumping events and a blindfolded wheelbarrow race. Each of the contestants was to push a wooden wheelbarrow along a defined track in Drummond’s paddock.
It was mayhem. One contestant ran off the course and injured a spectator. Another ran his barrow into the steward’s tent. Even the winner had a problem. Being blindfolded he did not know he had won, and he kept on running, pushing the wheelbarrow until he fell into the Makoura Stream which flows through the end of the paddocks.
The Masterton Borough Council named Surrey Street, after the English county, in 1955. Surrey is in the southeast of England, and includes part of the Greater London area.
Pic: High Street, Lewes, Sussex, England.