The Slaugham Archives

Head gardener at Nymans
The Slaugham Archive
Head gardener at Nymans

James Comber (pronounced Coomber), who was head gardener at Nymans from 1895 until 1953.
He was also, for many years, churchwarden at St. Marks, Staplefield.
Picture added on 27 August 2012 at 10:59
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We do not pronounce our name Coomber. Far from it, we get rather irritated when people do so.
My late father used to say that the Combers owned the land in parts of West Hoathly and the Coombers worked on it!
Added by Chris Comber on 13 August 2015
Take it from me, and those that worked with him for many decades, this gentleman certainly pronounced his name Coomber.
Added by David Masters on 16 August 2015
Fair enough; however. we do have local links.
My mother's father, William Botting 1875-1952, was born at Slaugham opposite the church and knew James Comber very well,
My mother was born at Handcross. Her mother was formerly Edith Long who worked as a lady's maid at Ashfold.
They were married at Slaugham in 1901.
William was the conductor of local bands at Handcross, Turners Hill, Copthorne and later in 1908, Ardingly.
He ran the ATC band at Gatwick during WW2.
I have no idea why James Comber should pronounce his name Coomber. We have the Comber Charity here in Lindfield, Combers the builders in Sharpthorne, Comber driving instructors, and lots of Commonwealth Graves Memorial entries locally for WW1 and WW2. None of which are pronounced Coomber.
Added by Chris Comber (Lindfield) on 16 August 2015
My family and I, back to my grandfather, have always pronounced Comber as Comber not Coomber.
From my researches our family originally came from West Hoathley, then moved to East Grinstead.
I have been told the Combers at Sharpthorne, who were building contractors, are possibly cousins of my grandfather.
Added by Paul John Comber on 16 September 2017
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