Mr J. Herring, of Cross-in-Hand, writes :
I have had a photograph of old 'Tinker' Holmwood sent me by one of my daughters, enquiring if anyone that knew him would supply you with information about him. I knew him very well;
Old Sussex knife grinder - 'Tinker' Holmwood.
he lived in a small cottage at Cade Street, Heathfield, almost opposite to the memorial stone to Jack Cade, the rebel, who was slain by Alex Iden, Sheriff of Kent. 'Tinker' used to travel all the villages in this part of Sussex with his barrow and would often be from home nearly a week at a time. He would sit by the roadside working. My children often stood by him and watched him at work; and sometimes boys would be very annoying to him by throwing stones. But he was always a good tempered old chap. He often left his barrow here, and on several occasions I have seen some of our young men with it after 'Tinker' had gone home. They did no harm to it, but would have a little game on their own account and grind knives, etc.
On speaking to a Heathteld man today about him, he said as boys they always went to 'Tink's' little shop at Christmas to raffle for nuts, sweets, etc. The shop was kept by his wife, who was known to all about here as 'Old Loo Tink.' She used to attend the club anniversaries with her basket of nuts, etc. On the first of May 'Tink' used to come out wearing his knee breeches with a bunch of ribbon at the knees and his top hat. He was, in fact, a noted character.
The photograph in the S.C.M. was taken at Tilsmore Corner in front of a house occupied by Mr T. Blackman when I came to these parts about fifty years ago(approx 1882). I also knew Mr T. E. Varlet' Kirtlan (who took the photograph) very well, as we served as Parish Councillors together for the parish of Waldron. Mr T. E. V. Kirtlan went from here to Eastbourne as clerk To the Eastbourne Rural District Council."—J. HERRING (Cross-in-Hand).
"My daughter says 'Tink' was a wonderful old man, but he did not like snowballs!"
Article circa 1932.