Cecil Wadey – October 2012


cecil_and_jean_wedding_photo.1.jpgThis time our subject is our long time member Cecil Wadey (written by Pay Graysmark).

Cecil had me foxed, putting pen to paper and writing an interview about such a distinguished member of the West Sussex Tourist; my first thought was to put him on a pedestal, Cecil being such great character and a large presence within the club would I am sure have hated this route.

All Cecil’s fine qualities can only be bred into a man.  This took me down the road of his ancestry, even though the name Wadey has deep ties to Sussex his name is derived and evolved from such spelling as Wadie and right back to 7th Century Norse spelling of Vathiofr translated to one who snatches victory.  This Sussex boy’s name has ties to Scotland and Northern England, recorded in Domesday Book 1086.  Links to William the Lion King 1165 and the first spelling of Wadey in court rolls in the manor of Wakefield, Yorkshire 1316.  Now I’m not saying Cecil is one thousand three hundred years old but that’s a good old time to evolve to be the beautiful person he is today.cecil_with_bullock_and_dog.1.jpg

Born in 1930 in the small hamlet of Ebernoe, moving only 3 times never more than 300 yards from one property to another.  Cecil’s schooling years were based at Ebernoe University – one school for all ages 5-14.  Cecil could have gone to grammar school but knowing his father was struggling to make ends meet he failed his 11 plus by incorrectly writing the answers therefore taking the financial burden from his father.

Cecil’s working years have been long and hard, working the land as a farmer, just like his Father and Grandfather before him, even though his first job for one year from leaving school was electrician’s mate.  His next three years was spent working on Dad’s farm.


Year 18 arrived and the thought of National Service was not a problem, working the land meant he was exempt.  Not Cecil, off he went learning to be a spotter wireless operator, pinpointing targets for the artillery.  He spent two years 1949 – 1951 in Hong Kong.  On his return home work on Dad’s farm was limited, Cecil not one to stand still took himself down to a Brick Work’s close to home and being young and fit produced 1200 handmade bricks a day, earning himself a good wage.

Cecil’s life was not all work and no play, at the age of 15 he and his wife Jean took their first glance but Jean was not over enthusiastic.  All changed on Cecil’s return from National Service, standing upright in full uniform did the trick, dating followed and they married in 1954. The love bond between Jean and Cecil is as strong today as their first embrace as youngsters. Jean and Cecil have three children Jenny, Sue and Charles and proud grandparents to three boys and a girl.

Working the land was never far away and he returned after one of his father’s workman fell ill with kidney problems.  The farm was leased and started as a small holding of 26-27 acres of which his grandfather ploughed and sowed using horses.  When his father took over he added another 17 acres – this was still classed as a small holding, but ploughed and sowed with a good old Ford tractor.  In 1954 the small holding was now a farm of 150 acres and in 1979 Cecil was able to buy the farm from his landlord and raised the acreage to 250.  70 milk cows was Cecil’s main source of income, but he always sold beef cattle just to keep the wolves at bay.  Working that much livestock and keeping them fed needed all the 250 acres – large parts set aside to grow hay and barley for winter feed, but also harvested corn, wheat and potatoes.


Now can ‘you’ plough, sow, reap, and milk cows twice a day and play sport; Cecil can.  Cricket for Ebernoe until 26 when a bad back stopped him playing on the only pitch in the country that has the main road running next to the centre square and traffic has to wait for the over to finish before driving through.  Snooker took a hold when invited to join Midhurst and District League by Petworth British Legion.  30 years he was feared and revered before putting his cue to rest and taking up bowls in 1976.

Accolades come hard and fast where Cecil is concerned within West Sussex Tourists.  Committee member, Captain, President, And Immediate Past President he also had a great involvement in the laying of Petworth new artificial green.  Chairman of the British Legion (local area), last but no by means least having his name (along with a good friend) as sponsor of the trophy for Sussex Counties new Two Wood Competition.


Thank you for the interview.  Tourists can only wish to follow in your footsteps, myself included.  At the moment all I have is the hair, all your other fine qualities to follow.

Just one last thing – pigs head mashed and boiled sounds yucky to me, but if your butcher loves it, it can’t be all that bad