Shopping in Felbridge Part 2
Shopping in Felbridge Part 2
Over the years Felbridge and the surrounding area has been peppered with shops serving their immediate community, including, six shops within the village itself, two shops and a bakery at North End, a sweet shop and butcher’s shop in Imberhorne Lane, a Parade of six shops and Boundary Stores on the main London Road, a way-side stall at Golards Farm and two shops at Newchapel (one on the Green and the other on West Park Road), a butcher’s shop on Frogit Heath, a shop at Judge’s Corner, at least two grocery stores and a butcher’s in Snow Hill, and a general store in Furnace Wood, as well as travelling salesmen that brought their wares to the Felbridge area by horse and cart or bicycle.
This document, the second of two parts, will cover the shops surrounding the village of Felbridge, charting the history and development of these premises and the lives of the people associated with each the property, together with the known travelling salesman that visited to Felbridge area to sell their wares. The information has been researched from archival documents and, for more recent retail outlets, documented memories of former and current residents of Felbridge.
Shopping outlets covered in this document begin with Imberhorne Farm and those along Imberhorne Lane to the London Road (A22). Then restart from mid-way along North End heading northward along the London Road to Brookhurst Farm (originally accessed off the London Road, now accessed off Furze Lane). Cross back across the A22 to the Felbridge Parade before continuing along the London Road to the Star junction and up to the Newchapel area. From Newchapel head along the West Park Road through Froggit Heath and onto the Snow Hill area before heading back to Felbridge along the Copthorne Road (A264) to Furnace Wood and Hedgecourt.
Please note that several of the shop premises that appear in this document have been covered in depth in previously researched handouts and are therefore only briefly recorded with details listed on where to find further information about them.
The first port of call for milk in the North End area was from the dairy at Blount’s farm at Imberhorne [for further information see Handout, The Farm at Imberhorne, SJC 05/03]. One of the many children who fetched milk back for their families on a daily basis was Olive ‘Tom’ Sharman née Hewitt who lived in Imberhorne Lane between 1905 and the late 1920’s.
Milk was fetched from a private dairy and was skimmed, but very welcome and cheap. When we were old enough, Vi, Grace and myself [the eldest three of the six Hewitt children] used to get up very early, take a small can with a lid and join the other children to go to the Dairy on the Imberhorne Estate and get our pennyworths of hand-skimmed milk, fresh every day from the cows. We used to have ‘two pennies worth’ each morning and Mum made lovely milk puddings in our old fire oven.
Of course we had lots of gorgeous rice puddings, with fights over whose turn to have the skin, I can taste its richness now, plenty of nutmeg and a knob of butter, and mugs of thick cocoa when we came in from the cold.
..When I went to Imberhorne for milk I used to take a nice tin can with a lid for Wee Bonny [a friend of Olive’s father’s] and one for free milk for Aunty Polly [Creasey]. She had hers free because two of her sons worked on the farm.
Many of the older people only had a gill or even half gill just enough to ‘colour’ (their term) their tea.
The following are a few more memories about shopping written down by Olive ‘Tom’ Sharman throughout her life, hence the slight discrepancy of prices and quantities at times. The shops that Olive refers to are the general stores now known as Jaybee Stores and the Post Office at North End (now closed), and the bakers that operated from the site of what is today the World of Fishes at North End.
There were two small shops and a baker as well. One shop sold anything from bacon to candles and oil for lamps, soap, etc. and I always remember the mixed smells of this shop. The other one sold sweets and we could take our farthings or half pennies in and get eight aniseed balls or a strap of toffee for one farthing, sweets like this were not wrapped and you were given them in a screw of paper.
Acid drops and pear drops also went eight for a farthing and a dried bean was a great favourite, it is given to horses usually and I remember it tasted of dried dates and cocoa. If you wanted meat, bones or suet you had a long walk up to town.
…One penny was mine for aniseed balls, acid drops or boiled sweets or anything that lasted a long time when sucked and we swapped sweets with other children.
Sometimes we bought lemonade suckers, paper bags with powder and a tube of straw to suck through and sometimes made toffee, perhaps when it was a wet holiday.
Lemonade bottles with a glass marble in the top, always a worry whether to break the bottle and have the marble or get a penny on the empty bottle. One penny bought 16 aniseed balls, that changed colours as you sucked them or four straps of treacle toffee, very sticky or Sweethearts, heart-shaped sweets, with loving verses on them, large penny Humbugs, brown and white, penny Lemon Dabs with a tube to suck the lemon powder through or acid drops.
None of these sweets had wrappings, except the Dabs which had a kind of envelope and when shop-keepers came near the bottom of jars, they would prise the odds and ends of sweets from the bottom and put all the scraps in cornets of paper and sell them at one farthing each.
Sometimes we would take cakes (for neighbours) or meat and potatoes to the bakers who cooked them, after the bread came out of the oven, some people only had open fires with no ovens. Bakers charge 2d and we usually got one penny to take and collect them and the baker sometimes gave me odd pieces of new bread or cakes that had broken off his baking.
Olive makes a point of noting that her favourite sweets came from ‘Mrs Young’s Shop’ when she was a child but unfortunately does not mention where the shop was and it has so far proved impossible the determine its site.
E Hewett Confectioner, Tobacconist &c., 9, Imberhorne Lane
E Hewett was Eliza Hewitt, grandmother of Olive ‘Tom’ Sharman née Hewitt (see above). Eliza Hewitt was born in East Grinstead on 31st May 1840, the daughter of Henry Marden and his wife Mary Ann née Skinner, the family home being the old Thatched Cottage, Imberhorne Lane (now part the site of offices to the east of the road to The Birches Industrial Estate). Eliza was one of at least nine children, her siblings include: John born in 1823, Henry born in 1825, Hannah born in 1827, Mary Ann born in 1829, Lydia born in 1832, Elizabeth born in 1835, Margaret born in 1838 and Sarah Ann born in 1843.
Eliza married Henry Kilner on 26th January 1862 at St Luke’s Church, Middlesex, and they had a daughter Elizabeth born in White Cross, Middlesex, on 23rd September 1862 but baptised at St John’s Church, Felbridge, on 23rd February 1867. Sadly Henry Kilner died in the winter of 1864, however, Eliza had a second daughter Mary Rebecca born in Felbridge in the spring of 1866 who was baptised as a Kilner at St John’s Church on 25th February 1866. Seven months later Eliza married Henry Hewitt on 8th September 1866 in East Grinstead and they had at least two children: Charles John born on 28th December 1871 and William James born on 7th December 1878. As a point of interest, Olive ‘Tom’ Sharman was born of Eliza’s son Charles Hewett and his wife Isabella née Bradford.
Eliza Hewitt’s shop operated from her home at 9, Imberhorne Lane (being re-numbered as 29, Imberhorne Lane between 1911 and 1920) from where she sold home-made sweets and tobacco related products. Interestingly Eliza is never recorded as a shop keeper in any of the census records and in 1881 is recorded as Ellen not Eliza. One of her great grand-daughters comments that ‘Sadly no-one is left to tell us about “Granny Hewitt’s Recipes”. Nothing was written down, not even in my Granny’s old Mrs Beeton’s Cookbook blank pages. The only recollections came from oral stories my mother passed on to me and they are sparse. One such is that Granny H sold homemade toffee in broken pieces. “It was very hard!” said Mum. She also made her own lemonade and ginger beer.’ The original shop sign (interesting spelt Hewett) still survives, retained by another descendant of the family.
Sometime between 1911 and 1915, Eliza’s son Charles and his family (who were living at 7, Imberhorne Lane) moved in to care for her but sadly Eliza died a few years later being buried at St John’s Church, Felbridge, on 27th March 1915. Thus the shop ceased to operate sometime between 1911 and 1915.
Meppem’s Butcher’s Shop, Imberhorne Lane
This shop and a bungalow called The Hawthorns, was built within the grounds of Rose Cottage in Imberhorne Lane, now the site of the new Wickes (see below), by Ormond Meppem for his son Ormond. Ormond junior was born on 9th February 1882, the eldest of at least ten children of Ormond and Isabella Meppem. The Meppem family had moved to the Felbridge area when Ormond senior took up the position of estate bailiff at Felbridge Place some time between 1899 and 1906, residing originally at Harts Hall before purchasing Rose Cottage. The family was well established at Imberhorne Lane before the First World War, to the extent that during the early years of the war the bungalow was built for Ormond and his newly married wife Lillian and the shop for his return from war service in which to ply his trade as a butcher. However this was not to be as he went missing in action, presumed dead, aged thirty-five, on Friday 15th June 1917 [for further details see Handout, War Memorials of St John the Divine, Felbridge, SJC 07/02v]. As a consequence the shop did not open as a butcher’s shop as planned and eventually a succession of different proprietors plied their trade from the premises, from hairdressers to cobblers. Perhaps the first person to trade from the Meppem shop was Frederick Webber.
From the memories of a local resident, Frederick Webber ran a hair dressers from the property in the late 1920’s. Frederick Webber moved to the Felbridge area having married Phyllis M Smith in Solihul in 1919. Fredrick and Phyllis had at least three children, Joan whose birth was registered in Grimsby in 1922 and 1924 (no explanation), Derrick born in 1926 and Nigel born in 1932. The births of the two boys were registered at East Grinstead implying that the Webber family had moved to the area by 1926 and therefore Frederick could have potentially been trading as a hairdresser at Imberhorne Lane from this date. It has not yet been established when Frederick ceased trading but he was succeeded at the premises by Mr Smith [unable to prove a link with Phyllis’ family or the Smith family of Smith & Adsett (see below)].
Smith’s Butcher’s Shop
With no name or initial it has sadly proved impossible to determine who Mr Smith was but he operated from the premises in the early 1930’s as a butcher being succeeded by Mr Arnold just prior to the opening of the Felbridge Parade of shops in 1935/6.
Arnold’s Cobbler’s Shop
Unfortunately little conclusive information has surfaced on Mr Arnold who traded as a cobbler from the former butcher’s shop, just memories of local residents.
Arnold’s the Cobblers
My memories of the shop come from when I was a very small boy. I remember that Arnold worked in a rectangular shaped shack where you went in on the right hand side up to the counter. There was a bell on it I think and Mr Arnold would appear from his hidden working area out the back from the left. Mr Arnold had a rough tramp-like craggy face and spoke with a gruff voice. The décor inside had patch painted walls, it was decorated, well not decorated, with pealing yellow paint, I suppose it could have been white once, a sinister and foreboding place and there was that smell, leather and glue I suppose, that shoe mender’s smell. The encounter seemed quite spooky to me at the time but he did a very good job at repairing shoes and at a reasonable price as well.
Documented memories of M Heselden, 2012
The shop finally ceased trading in the early 1960’s and the whole site, including Rose Cottage and The Hawthorns, was cleared and replaced by an industrial unit occupied initially by Kolmar Cosmetics before being taken over by Trek Diagnostics Systems Ltd. When Trek Diagnostics moved from the site in 2010/11 the premises were demolished and plot remained empty until the beginning of 2012 when construction work begun on a Wickes DIY store.
This store, catering for DIY home improvements and the building trade, is built on the site of what was Trek Diagnostics Systems Ltd., formerly the site of Rose Cottage, The Hawthorns and the butcher’s shop built for Ormond Meppem (see above) and encompasses the site of the former workshops of Sargeant’s Garage (see below) .
Jaybee Stores (formerly Wenbans), 17, North End
There has been a building in the vicinity of 17, North End, since at least 1795, which by 1842 was held by William Pattenden. From the tithe apportionment it was described as simply a ‘building’, and was situated adjacent to the main road. The exact nature of the ‘building’ is not recorded but it is probably the site of Pattenden’s Beer shop that was run by John Pattenden in 1841. John Pattenden was recorded as a brewer in 1841, the following census records his father William and brother Thomas, as brewers, with George Pattenden (possibly his brother) later operating as a Beer Retailer on East Grinstead Common. Map evidence suggests that the building that is now 17, North End was constructed between 1840 and 1873 in the same style as that of Walker’s Shop in Copthorne Road opposite the Star Inn [for further information see Handout, Shopping in the Felbridge area Pt. I, SJC -7/10], although there was a small building north and slightly behind what is now Jaybees on the same plot, that was there in 1842 that could have been the Pattenden’s shop.
The 1841 census records William Pattenden as a lath renderer but in the will he wrote on 28th May 1841 he gives his occupation as a shopkeeper. Beer was being retailed from the North End area of East Grinstead Common by George Pattenden as advertised in the East Grinstead Post Office Directory in 1855 [for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, SHC 05/07]. What is apparent is that this site was the first retail outlet to appear at North End to serve a growing community that later expanded rapidly between 1881 and 1891.
On the death of William Pattenden, his widow Amelia surrendered the holding at North End to William Dearling of Hackbridge Mill, Carshalton, Surrey, a miller. All that is currently known about William Dearling is that he was born about 1812 in Croydon. It would appear that although William Dearling owned the copyhold he did not live there and on 7th May 1855 he was granted an indenture of enfranchisement on the property. It has not yet been possible to determine when the Beer Shop ceased trading, but by 1861 the site of Pattenden’s Brewery/Beer Shop was occupied by Edmund Wise and there is some evidence to support the proposition that Pattenden’s Brewery/Beer Shop evolved as the Sussex Brewery, operated by Edmund Wise who was in occupation of the property by 1861.
Edmund Wise had been born about 1815 in Bath, Somerset, and moved to the site of Pattenden’s Brewery/Beer Shop sometime between 1855 and 1861. The 1861 census records Edmund Wise as a cottager (defined as a yeoman, husbandman or craftsman) and living with him was his wife Lucy and their son Edmund, [for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, SHC 05/07].
By 1871, the Wise family had moved to Glen Vue (now known as Railway Approach) in East Grinstead, and the property at North End (named Sussex Brewery) was in the occupation of John Gallacher, a domestic gardener, and his family. The significance that the property was named Sussex Brewery is that in 1862 William Jones [for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, SHC 05/07 and The Blue Anchor, JIC/SJC 01/12] appeared in the East Grinstead Post Office Directory as ‘brewer, Sussex Brewery’, the business name later being taken over by Edmund Wise.
Due to the explosion of property development that took place between 1881 and 1891 it has not been possible to determine who was occupying the site of 17, North End, but it was evidently not in use as a shop in 1881. However, in 1891 and 1901 the property was in the occupation of Abraham White (general labourer) and his family but there is still no mention of a shop operating from the premises in the census. In 1911, 17, North End had three households within the building, Frederick Thomas Burchett (a sandstone quarryman) and his wife Eliza Mary occupying two rooms, Harry Buckland (a general labourer) and his wife Annie occupying three rooms and Thomas Mabbott (a retired newsagent) and his wife Ann occupying one room. Again, no retail activity can be identified from the census for this property.
Thomas Mabbott was born in 1839 in Normaton, Lincolnshire, and married Ann White in 1869; the 1911 census records that they had no surviving children. To date there has been no connection found between Ann and Abraham White (see above) although she originated from Burstow, Surrey. In 1871 Thomas was married and working as a grocer in Fulham but by 1881 they had moved to The Cottage, Church Street, Essex, where Thomas was working as a stationer. They were still at Church Street in 1891 but by 1901 they had moved to 83, Whitehorse Road, Croydon, and Thomas was listed as a stationer and newsagent. Unfortunately it has not yet been possible to determine if he moved to North End and continued his trade or had retired before arriving. What has been ascertained is that by 1928 the shop was in the hands of Hubert Wenban.
Hubert James Wenban was born in Ticehurst, Sussex, one of at least seven children of Albert Ernest Wenban and his wife Ellen née Miller. Hubert’s siblings include George Henry born in 1885, Olive Eliza born in 1888, Helena Frances born in 1891, Frederick Charles born in 1894 and Arthur Victor born in 1898. By 1901 Hubert was working as a servant boy in the household of Caroline Cumming at Steeland House, Ticehurst, but by 1911 he had moved to East Grinstead and taken up the position of valet working for a stockbroker, Arthur Wagg of The Hermitage.
Hubert married Dorothy Blanch de Relwyskow in 1926 and moved into the newly finished housing development known as Halsford Green, off the London Road at North End. Hubert and Dorothy had three children, Michael born in 1927, Mary born in 1931 and Ann born in 1934 but sadly Dorothy died on 14th March 1934. In 1942 Hubert re-married, Olive Edith Sandell but sadly she died in 1949.
In 1928 the shop, known as Wenban’s, was advertised in the East Grinstead Directory, operating from 17, North End. However, Hubert was living at Halsford Green and it would appear that 17, North End, was still in multiple occupancy, housing the Burchett and Buckland families, with probably just one room operating as the shop run by Hubert Wenban. Unfortunately it has not yet been possible to determine when Hubert left the premises but he did not die until 1976, aged ninety. However, by 1954 the shop had been taken over and was known as Jaybees Grocers and General Store.
Under Jaybees the shop has been extended to encompass the whole of the front of the property and around 1980 took on the Post Office when the North End Post Office closed (see below). Sadly Jaybees no longer has its Post Office, lost in the 1990’s, after one of the major Post Office closure programmes.
Post Office, 21, North End
The property was built between 1873 and 1895 as a dwelling house during the period of major property development at North End and as such it has not been possible to determine who was in occupation in 1881. However by 1891 the property was in the occupation of Ezekiel Burchett (general labourer) and his family. At some time between 1899 and 1901 George Coomber, who had run the East Grinstead Brewery from 32-33, North End, moved to 21, North End, from where he traded as a milk dealer [for further information see Handout, Easting and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt I, SJC 05/07]. By 1911 the premises had been taken over by Albert Mugridge and became a retail outlet supplying the basic needs of the growing community at North End.
Albert Victor Mugridge
Albert Victor Mugridge was born in East Grinstead in 1887, one of two children of William and Alice Mugridge. Albert’s sibling was William Thomas born in 1884 in Newhaven where their father was a butcher. By 1901 the Mugridge family had moved to 26, Glen Vue Road (now Railway Approach) from where William was working as a butcher, slaughterer and distributor, William junior working alongside his father. Albert married Kate Francis in 1908 and they had at least one child, Leslie Malcolm Francis Mugridge born in 1909. By 1911 Albert and his family were living at 21, North End where Albert was working as a butcher. It has not yet been possible to determine when Albert left the premises but by 1928 he had been succeeded by C Waters.
It has not been possible to find much information on C Waters other than he was established at the premises by 1928 advertising himself as a grocer, hardware and tobacconist. During the 1930’s he advertised as C Waters Grocery, & c. North End, and from the memories of local residents he also had a Post Office in store which is confirmed by the fact that it was shown as a Post Office on the 1936 Ordnance Survey map. It is not known when C Waters left the shop but in 1948 there is no advertisement for him at the premises, it next appears in 1953 under the name of W Hunt.
William John Hunt
William was born about 1909. The first advertisement for William Hunt appears in 1953; however, his proprietorship lasted for only five more years as he died from the premises and was buried at St John’s Church, Felbridge, on 27th June 1958, aged just forty-nine. The burial register later records a Phyllis Alice Rose Hunt and she may have continued to run the shop, but most local residents remember the North End Post Office run by Alistair and Rita Hunt, although it continued to be advertised as W J Hunt, Grocer, North End Stores, until at least 1971. Sometime around 1980 the Post Office was relocated to Jaybee Stores (see above) and North End Stores closed. The property has now been converted as dwelling houses.
Slade’s Bakery, 31, North End
This property was built as a dwelling house and was occupied by James Buckland (farm labourer) and his family in 1891. By 1901 the Buckland family had been succeeded by Alfred Thorpe (labourer) and his family. From map evidence there is no sign that the property was operating as a Bakery until sometime between 1901 and 1911 when an extra building behind the house appears to contain the bakery ovens. The first person to occupy the property giving their occupation as a baker is Reginald Willett in 1911, again supplying the basic needs of the growing community at North End.
Reginald Welling Willett was born in Cuckfield, Sussex in 1867, one of at least ten children of Samuel Willet and his wife Sarah Hannah née Griffiths. Reginald’s other siblings include Soprano Margaret born in 1858, Samuel Emanuel born in 1860, Elizabeth Mary born in 1861, Albert Edward born in 1862, Minnie Constance born in 1864, Annie M born in 1866, Rose Henrietta born in 1869, Gertrude Hannah born in 1874 and Ethel Dora born in 1876. All the children were born in Cuckfield where Samuel senior worked as a baker.
By 1881 Samuel senior had been joined by his son Samuel, both working as bakers, with Reginald as the baker’s boy, and by 1891 Samuel junior had left home and Samuel senior was working alongside Reginald as bakers.
In 1892 Reginald married Elizabeth Linfield and they had at least three children; Elizabeth Florence born in 1893, Minnie Evelyn born in 1894 and Reginald Samuel born in 1903. The two girls were born in Crawley Down implying that Reginald and his family had moved from Cuckfield to the Crawley Down area by 1893, but son Reginald was born in East Grinstead.
In 1901 the census records that Reginald Willett and his family were living at Baldwins Hill, East Grinstead where he was working as a baker and by 1911 he had moved to 31, North End, from where he continued to ply his trade as a baker. Various Directories show that Reginald Willet remained at the bakery at North End until at least 1928 but unfortunately it has not been possible to determine when he left the premises. All that is known is that he died in 1951, his death registered at Uckfield, Sussex.
From local memories it is known that Alf Sinden worked at the bakery at North End but it is not known if he ran the bakery or worked with someone, only that, later in the 1940’s, he went to work at the Bakery at Hobbs Barracks at Newchapel [for further information see Handout No. 1 Static Bakery, Hobbs Barracks, BR 01/03].
The next name to be associated with the bakery at North End was W Constable, appearing in the Telephone Directory in 1953; however there is no further information on him and by the early 1960’s the bakery had been taken over as a second outlet for Slade’s of Lingfield. When this branch of Slade’s Bakeries closed in the early 1980’s the premises became the World of Fishes.
World of Fishes
The World of Fishes was established in 1984 by Chris Williams. Thus this property no longer supplies essential needs for the local community, the shop specialises in supplying fish, plants and equipment for tropical marine, tropical fresh and cold water aquatics, as well as ponds. After twenty years in the business, Chris Williams retired and the business was bought by Paul Curtis and Daryl Farmer and the business has now grown to be one of the leading aquatic specialists in the south of England.
Brookhurst Farm, North End
In 1901 the census records Ernest Wood, living at Brookhurst Farm, North End, his occupation was listed as a butcher.
Ernest Octavius Wood was born in Croydon, in 1871, the son of Octavius Wood and his wife Caroline née Dicker, one of at least four children. Ernest’s siblings include: Walter Herbert born in 1875, Ella Caroline born in 1879 and Adelaide Miriam born in 1882. Octavius Wood came from a family of butchers with two brothers, Trayton and Frederick, working from the High Street in East Grinstead, although their father Elias was only recorded as a labourer. By 1871 Octavius had moved to the Croydon area and by 1881 he and his family were living at 8, Lower Combe Street, Octavius working as a butcher. By 1891 Octavius had moved back to East Grinstead, still working as a butcher and was living at 80, London Road (today an empty shop between Superdrug and the Nationwide Building Society). Working along side Octavius in 1891 were two of his sons, Ernest as a butcher’s assistant and Walter as a butcher’s clerk.
In 1894 Ernest Wood married Kate Tully in East Grinstead and they had at least two children, Ernest John born in 1894 and Winifred Kate born in 1896, and by 1901 the family were living at Brookhurst Farm, where Ernest listed his occupation as a butcher rather than a farmer. This suggests that perhaps Ernest felt his main and more important occupation was butchering. The entry could imply that Ernest was raising livestock and butchering them on his premises to sell to the local community or that he was supplying livestock to his father, who was still running the butcher’s shop in London Road, and perhaps Ernest was still working alongside him at the shop. Between 1911 and 1925 ‘E. O. Wood’ can be found advertising in the Telephone Directory as occupying 74, High Street, East Grinstead (now a private house incorporating no.76) and in 1922 he was also advertising as a Poulterer of 100, London Road, East Grinstead (now Mega Bites).
Felbridge Parade, London Road
The Felbridge Parade of shops was constructed circa 1935/6 on an area of land known as Felbridge Water, once part of East Grinstead Common held by the manor of Imberhorne. On 20th August 1877 the land, consisting of two plots, was purchased from Earl de le Warr of the manor of Imberhorne by Sydney Poole Lowdell [pronounced Lou-dell] of Baldwins, Baldwin’s Hill, East Grinstead, for the sum of £110. The plots, no. 77 and 89 (now the site of the Parade and Wickes), were described as ‘Two pieces of land situate and being in the parish of East Grinstead, adjoining to the Queen’s Highway leading from East Grinstead to London, containing 2 roods 35 perches, adjoining in the rear to land and premises belonging to the said Sydney Poole Lowdell’.
Sydney Poole Lowdell was born in Brighton, Sussex, on 5th March 1831, the last of nine children of George Lowdell and his wife of Jessamine née Lowdell (adopted daughter of Isaac Lowdell, an uncle of George). Sydney’s siblings include George born in 1814, Isaac born in 1815, Joseph born in 1816, Thorold born in 1819, Emily born in 1821, Louisa born in 1822, Charles born in 1824 and Harriett Fanny born in 1827. By 1851 Sydney was a qualified surgeon from the College of Surgeons and went on to become Surgeon Lt. Colonel, Royal Sark Artillery (Channel Islands Militia). By 1861 Sydney settled in Portland, Dorset and on 23rd August 1866 Sydney married Henrietta Hochee of Lingfield, Surrey, and they appear to have had no family. Sometime between the death of Sydney’s mother in 1862 and 1877, Sydney and Henrietta moved to Baldwins, Baldwins Hill, his mother’s family home. Henrietta died in 1911, aged eighty, and Sydney died at Brighton in 1922, aged ninety-one.
On 6th October 1886, Charles Gatty of the Felbridge estate purchased the afore mentioned plots together with a further 5 acres 27 perch including two cottages in the vicinity, from Sydney Lowdell for the sum of £2,000. This property remained with the Gatty family until 1903 when the whole of the Felbridge estate passed to two male cousins of Charles Gatty – Alfred Leyton Sayer and Charles Lane Sayer [for further details see Handout, 1911 Sale of the Felbridge Estate, SJC 01/11]. The Sayers kept the estate until 1910 when they sold it to Mrs Emma Harvey and in 1911 the Felbridge Place estate was put up for auction by Percy Portway Harvey and the East Grinstead Estate Company Ltd. The site of the Felbridge Parade of shops (plot 27), formed part of Lot 7, described as:
A VERY VAULABLE
Freehold Building Estate,
13a. 1r. 39p.
Of well-timbered Pasture Land, on the main London Road and confines of East Grinstead. A little over a mile from the Railway Station, it posses a very
Valuable Frontage of 615 feet
To the main road (the paths are made up and the road is lighted to this Lot), and a return frontage to the road to Turner’s Hill, offering an unusually attractive site for a
GENTLEMAN’S FIRST-CLASS HOUSE
The whole of the land is sound pasture and it is intersected by a stream and prettily studded with timber trees.
East Grinstead Parish
VACANT POSSESION ON COMPLETION OF PURCHASE
The commuted Tithes for the purposes of Sale are apportioned at £1/9/6. Present value £1/14/8.
The occupier of Rose Cottage has a right of way to the small building at the S.E. corner of plot No. 27.
An annotated sale catalogue records that this Lot sold for £1,100 but unfortunately not who the purchaser was. However title deeds to Stream Cottage in Stream Park record that the area was bought by Talbot Hugh Palmer, although the ‘Gentleman’s first-class house or villa residences’ were never constructed.
The Parade of shops was built on plot 27 and was in response to the increasing development of housing at North End during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. The Parade originally included a butchers, electrical hardware shop, a hair-dressers, a grocers, a haberdashery shop and a newsagent, connectionist and tobacconist, all shops providing the basic requirements for a growing community. Each shop in the Parade was built with accommodation over.
This shop opened as a butcher’s shop operated by Smith & Adsett which by 1941 had become S Smith Ltd. This was a time when purchases were made with the butcher but paid for at the kiosk and Mrs Morris worked in the butcher’s kiosk. During the early 1950’s A G Walker ran the shop advertised as a ‘Butcher and Poulterer’ to be succeeded by Mr Pope, who ran the shop as a butcher’s through the 1960’s and 1970’s. However with the advent of weekly and out-of-town shopping, Parades of local shops began to lose their importance and became more diversified and the butchers at No. 1 closed to be re-opened by Malcolm Rose as Felbridge Motorcycles. This operated until 2008 when the premises again closed and re-opened as Rumblin’ Tums Café [for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. V, SJC 03/11].
From a postcard dating to shortly after the construction of the Felbridge Parade of shops this was the last shop to be taken as it is still boarded up in the picture. Local memories suggest that Scott Brothers eventually took over the premises but by 1952 May & Giles, Electrical Contractors operated from the premises, along with Wilsons Printers, although the latter did not advertise from there in 1953.
One of the shop assistants was Edna Webber, formerly Pentecost, who worked there for many years and some of her memories include: I worked at May & Giles from the age of sixteen or seventeen for a long, long time. May & Giles was a hardware and electrical shop selling just about everything household from paint, cable, cups and saucers, brooms, seeds, screws, bolts, everything. I used to dress the windows, especially at Christmas. Mr Giles lived out the back and Angela served with me in the shop.
This was a second outlet of May & Giles, as they also had premises in Lingfield. May & Giles continued to operate from the Felbridge Parade until at least the 1970’s but was eventually succeeded by Unwins Wine Merchants to be replaced by The Emperor Chinese Restaurant in 1992 [for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. I, SJC 05/07]
This shop opened as a ladies hairdressers and by 1941 was called ‘Anne’, possibly its original name. From at least the early 1950’s the hairdressers was run by Basil and Betty Lewry and they gave over space for Mrs Dench to sell flowers from the premises. Mrs Dench lived by the old Felbridge Institute in Copthorne Road (now the site of Mulberry Gate).
Basil John G Lewry had been born in Camberwell on 13th June 1917, the son of Alfred Lewry and his wife Kathleen née Perry. Basil was one of three children, his other two siblings include Alfred born in 1915 and another Basil JG who was born and sadly died in 1915. Basil married Betty M Coombes in 1942 and they appear to have had no family. It has not yet been possible to determine when the Lewry’s left Anne’s but Basil died in Carlisle in 1991. However, ‘Anne’ continued trading as a ladies hairdressers until the early 2000’s when it finally closed. Continuing in the beauty trade, it was succeeded by the beauty salon Tan XS offering beauty treatments and tanning.
This shop opened as a grocers and by 1941 was known as King’s Stores, possibly the original proprietors. However, by 1953, although still known as Kings Stores it was run by E G Uphill and had diversified by selling ‘Groceries and Provisions’. Mr and Mrs Uphill did not live above the shop, preferring to live at The Limes in Felbridge. After the closure of the grocers the premises became Car Sounds, a shop specialising in car audio and security equipment. After Car Sounds the shop remained closed for some time until it re-opened as Master Fryer Fish and Chips in 2010 [for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. V, SJC 03/11].
In the 1940’s this shop operated as a drapers, run by Mr Briggs. However, by 1951 Mr Briggs had been succeeded and the new shop owners were M & H Andrews, but within a few years the shop had changed hands again and by 1953 the proprietors were E & H Bell, operating as ‘General Drapers’ who introduced the sale of ‘Wools etc’. By the 1960’s Mrs Taylor could be found behind the counter, the shop still operating as a drapers and wool shop. It has not yet been possible to plot the course of the retail traders from the premises until March 2000, when Felicity Hat Hire opened its doors. The shop offers help and advice on wearing hats, and has a wide range of stock for hire to ensure that you find the perfect hat or fascinator to match the outfit for what ever occasion, together with a range of accessories for sale that include shoes, scarves and handbags. The business has been so successful that in 2006 a second branch was opened in Tunbridge Wells.
The shop opened in 1936 as Keywoods CTN (Confectioners, Tobacconists and News Agents), trading until the early 1950’s when it became Rose, Rich & Co Ltd, Newsagents. By the mid 1960’s the shop had changed hands again, remaining as a newsagents run by James and Dawn Barden, operating as N E [North End] Newsagent. It has not yet been possible to determine when the Barden’s left but by the 1980’s the premises had become Patel’s Newsagents, changing hands in 2011 to become News and Booze.
As a child living in Imberhorne Lane between 1957 and 1973, I grow up with these shops. I remember having to run errands for my mum, to the grocers where vegetables, probably potatoes, were kept in sacks and weighed in great big brass scale pans before being put into brown paper bags. Other loose stuffs were decanted into papers that were made into cones and had the tops screwed round for security, or to the butchers where the suet came in big chunks and had to be grated by the butcher, and you could get caul, the thin membrane that surrounds the stomach and organs of animals such as pigs, cows and sheep. If you were sent for caul you knew that faggots were on the menu, unfortunately it is hard to come by now and you can’t beat a good faggot wrapped in caul. Then there was May & Giles, an Aladdin’s cave of strange bits and bobs as well as selling electrical and household products. I think I can also remember taking empty bottles back to Unwins to get money back when May & Giles closed. The haberdashery shop had wooden drawers in which items were ferreted away and a big counter with a glass front, I can still remember how embarrassed we both were when I had to ask the male sales person if I could try on some underwear and he replied ‘But we don’t sell brass’, so you can guess what the item was! Then, last but not least, was the newsagent that sold sweets. I would save my pocket money up just to buy a bar of Galaxy chocolate, probably only 9d or 1/- (at least two weeks pocket money), or the short-lived Aztec bar.
Documented memories of S J Clarke née Jones
This is a later addition to the end of the Felbridge Parade of shops, and began life as a Car Show/Salesroom for Sargeant’s Garage, the workshops situated behind the shops. The salesroom later spent some time as Sidlow Car Sales before being taken over by Thresher’s Wine Shop who in turn became Wine Rack. However, in 2009 First Quench Retailing, the parent company of Threshers and Wine Rack, went into administration and the shop was forced to close, re-opening as an independent pharmacy in 2011 called Felbridge Pharmacy.
Marks & Spencer Simply Food, London Road
A small M & S Simply Food operates out of the BP Garage, adjacent to the Felbridge Pharmacy. This shop, which opened in 2009, operates as the local ‘Corner Shop’ for those living in the vicinity since the closure of all the shops on the Felbridge Parade that used to offer essential food and groceries to the community in the area.
Boundary Stores, Star Junction
Boundary Stores began life as The Tea Shop which opened in 1925 in the building now occupied by Hydropool [for further information see Hand out, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge Pt. IIJIC/SJC 03/08]. The Tea Shop was quite short lived and by 1937 the premises had been converted to a shop known as Boundary Stores, an appropriate name considering its location close to the boundary of Surrey and Sussex. From local memories, the proprietor was Mr Botting, possibly Eric, who ran the business as a general store. Another local resident remembers that the proprietor was known by the nickname ‘Pops’, but it has not yet been possible to determine if these are one and the same person or two separate people.
It has not yet been possible to determine when Boundary Stores ceased trading but the premises have continued to operate as a retail outlet of some description, and since 1997 the company known as Hydropool, leading specialists in Hot Tubs, has been trading from the premises.
Way-side Stall, Golards Farm
The Way-side Stall was opened in the early 1920’s and was run by the Misses Allen-Smith who owned Golards Farm, which they ran as a poultry farm. Initially they sold eggs and poultry to passers-by, as their farm was situated adjacent to the main London road in a prime position to attract passers-by. It is believed that this stall was the first of its kind in the area and proved to be so successful that the range was soon extended to include cut flowers, fruit and vegetables. By the early 1930’s the pair of sisters had moved to Windmill Lane in East Grinstead and Golards Farm and the Way-side Stall had been bought by Mrs Chatty who continued running the farm as a poultry farm selling the eggs, fruit and vegetables from the stall as well as opening a Tea Rooms in the old forge building attached to Golards Farm (now the site of Tammy’s Thai) [for further details see Handouts, Stories of Hobbs Barracks, SJC 01/03, Golards Farmhouse, SJC 11/07, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge Pt. III, SJC 09/09 and Poultry Farming in Felbridge, SJC 05/11].
Newchapel Stores and Post Office, Newchapel Green
The Newchapel Stores was situated on the site of what is today the Public House known as the Blacksmith’s Head. By 1841, the five acre site was in the ownership of the Stenning family but in the occupation of Charles Gilbert who was working as a shoemaker. However, sometime between 1844 and 1851 the property came into the occupation of John Cooper who had moved from a small cottage on Froggit Heath from where he traded as a grocer (see below). In 1851 John Cooper was listed as a general shopkeeper working at the Newchapel Stores, employing five people who were also living in his household along with his family [for further information see Handout Eating and Drinking Establishments in Felbridge Pt. III, SJC 09/09]. One of John’s employees was George Worsell (his wife’s brother) who went on to run the Star Inn at Felbridge [for further information see Handout, The Eating & Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, part II, JIC/SJC 03/08].
John Cooper died in 1858 and his widow Elizabeth continued to run the shop and by 1870 a Post Office had been incorporated in the shop. By 1887 Elizabeth Cooper had been succeeded at the Newchapel Stores and Post Office by son-in-law Phillip Figg who was still advertising himself as a grocer, draper and sub Post Manager at Newchapel Green in 1895. However, by 1899 Phillip Figg had been succeeded by William Skinner who in turn was succeeded by George Frederick Alderton who had taken over the shop by 1901.
Postcards of the early 1900’s depict the shop as being quite a substantial building facing what is now the Newchapel Road to Lingfield, with an adjoining two storey house to the north. The shop building (displaying the name The Stores) was weather-boarded and had a front entrance under a porch roof flanked by two, full length, rectangular bay windows. Above the door hung a sign stating ‘Ales & Stouts’ and below that a smaller sign that is unfortunately un-readable from the post cards. In 1903 the Post Office was taken out of the Newchapel Stores and was relocated about half a mile (800 meters) to the west, to a small building on the site of the Newchapel Sports Club on West Park Road (see below).
By 1904 the Newchapel Stores were known as the Blacksmith’s Head in the occupation of William George West. It was around this time that ‘off sales’ were introduced, a term suggesting that the property was licensed to sell alcohol but not licensed to operate as an inn or Public House as it is today. By 1910 George West had been succeeded by Henry Sanders, however, the 1911 census records that the shop at Newchapel was in the occupation of Arthur Daws and his wife Elizabeth.
Arthur Daws had moved to the Felbridge area when he took out the lease on the Felbridge Post Office (now the Felbridge Village Stores) in 1894 remaining there until 1911 when the Felbridge estate was put up for auction and Arthur moved to take over from Henry Sanders at the Blacksmith’s Head, as grocer and beer-seller [for further information Handouts, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. IV, SJC 03/10 and Shopping in Felbridge PT.I, SJC 07/10]. Within two years Arthur Daws had been succeeded Edwin Turner, described in the Kelly’s Directory in 1913 as a ‘grocer and beer seller of Newchapel’.
Edwin Turner remained at the shop for a further nine years, appearing in the Kelly’s Directory for the last time in 1924. It was around 1924 that the complex of buildings was demolished and a purpose built Public House known as the Blacksmith’s Head was constructed on the site [for further information Handouts Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. IV, SJC 03/10].
Newchapel Post Office, West Park Road
In 1903 the Post Office at Newchapel was relocated from the Newchapel Stores (see above) to one of the buildings in the complex that made up the Newchapel Sports Club, by then known as the Motor Car and Cycle Rest. Between 1903 and 1907 the relocated Post Office was run by Mary Forsgate, the wife of George Forsgate who was the manager of the Newchapel Sports Club. However, by 1907 the Post Office was again relocated, this time to Highfield Cottages in Bones Lane, where it was run by George Hugget until the 1930’s [for further information see Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge Pt. IV, SJC 03/10].
Cooper’s Grocery Store, Froggit Heath
In 1841 John Cooper (see above) was living in a small cottage that had been erected on land that once formed part of Quarry Farm [for further details see Handout, Clayton’s Ancient Enclosure, JIC/SJC 05/10]. In 1841 John was recorded as a grocer, presumably supplying the small community that had built up on Froggit Heath. However, by 1851 John Cooper and his family had moved to the stores at Newchapel Green, on the site of the Blacksmith’s Head, where John was working as a general shop keeper[for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. IV, SJC 03/10].
Basket Butcher, Froggit Heath
Briefly appearing in the census records of 1851, Richard Stripp declares himself a ‘basket butcher’. By assumption he was someone, like a travelling salesman, who sold meat to the local community of Froggit Heath from a basket.
Richard was born in 1815, the son of Richard Stripp and his wife Sarah née Sargeant, one of at least six children. Richard’s siblings include, Mary Anne born in 1810, Sarah born in 1813, Ann born in 1817, William born in 1820 and Edward born in 1822. In 1841 Richard was working as a labourer, living with his parents on Froggit Heath. In 1848 Richard married Mary Carey who brought to the Stripp household a son named Richard Stripp Carey born in 1845 at Guildford Workhouse. In the 1851 census Richard, Mary and her son Richard were living at Cherry Tree Farm Cottage and later that year they had a daughter, Margery. By 1861 Richard was again working as a labourer and the Stripp family were living at Cherry Gardens, Horne.
Judge’s Stores, Snow Hill
Until the late 1990’s there was a shop at Judge’s Corner at Snow Hill, opposite the Effingham Hotel but unfortunately no information has yet surfaced about when it opened or who ran it but it was operating from at least the 1930’s. It is believed that the shop takes its name from a Mr Judge as there is also a wood in the area known as Judge’s Wood but again there is currently no information available on who this Mr Judge was. The property was converted into a private dwelling when the shop closed.
Hall’s Grocery Store, Snow Hill
The first reference to a shop in Snow Hill run by someone by the name of Hall is found in the baptism records for Worth between 1832 and 1838. In 1839 the Worth Tithe records that Michael Hall is in the occupation of plot E43, a house, garden and orchard (owned by Richard Brown), which is situated to the north of The Bays off Chapel Lane in Snow Hill. However, in 1841 Michael Hall is recorded as a miller living at Snow Hill (potentially operating the windmill at Copthorne) and in 1851 he is recorded as a miller, living at The Shop House near Frenches Farm, Snow Hill. The assumption is that he was living at the house in plot E43 when all these references were documented between 1832 and 1851.
Michael Hall was born in Godstone, the 14th August 1802, the son of William Hall and his wife Sarah née Wicking. As a point of interest, Sarah Wicking was the grand-daughter of John Wicking who held the Blue Anchor in the early 1700’s [for further information see Handout, The Blue Anchor, JIC/SJC 03/12] and was a distant relation to Thomas Wicking and his daughter Caroline who were both beer retailers operating from the Cherry Tree, Froggit Heath [for further information see Handout Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt IV, SJC 03/10]. Michael Wicking was one of at least seven children, his siblings included Sarah born in 1793, Michael who was born in 1794 but who died within a year of his birth, William born in 1794 (possibly a twin to Michael), James born in 1796, George born in 1801 and Henry born in 1804.
Michael Hall married Mary (surname and date not yet established) and they had at least four children, George born in 1832, Elizabeth born in 1834, William born in 1836 and Mary Ann born in 1838. As established above, Michael was working as a shop keeper as early as 1832, with a slight career change by 1841 when he was working as a miller before combining the two occupations in 1851. However, by 1861, Michael was working in retail as a draper and grocer, his property named as the ‘Grocer’s’ situated next to the ale house called the Cottage of Content [for further information see Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. V]. However, in 1868 there is a document that shows Michael’s son William entering into partnership with his daughter Elizabeth. This may suggest that Elizabeth had been working alongside her father before William joined the business. In 1871 Michael records himself as a farmer of 9 acres, still living at plot E43 with his wife and most of their children, although in 1881 Michael appears as a retired grocer in the census records before his death at the age of eighty, being buried at All Saint’s Church, Crawley Down on 31st May in 1883.
As for the shop premises, Elizabeth continued to run the business until sometime between 1911 and 1921. In 1911 the census records that she was employing two people, and a brief description of the property shows that it was fairly substantial having seven rooms, excluding the scullery, landing, lobby, closet, bathroom, warehouses, office or shop. Unfortunately it has not yet been possible to determine when the shop ceased trading but Elizabeth Hall died from Effingham Lane, Copthorne, aged eighty-seven, being buried at All Saint’s Church, Crawley Down on 16th May 1921.
Brackpool’s Butcher’s Shop, Snow Hill
The first evidence for a butcher’s shop in Snow Hill can be found in the 1861 census that records William Brackpool, ‘butcher living at Butcher’s Shop, Snow Hill’. William was born in 1820, one of at least eight children of William Brackpool and his wife Sarah née Wells. William’s siblings include John born in 1822, Caroline born in 1824, Frederick born in 1827, Harriet born in 1831, Thomas born in 1833, Ann born in 1835 and Henry born in 1839. All the children were baptised in Worth and William’s parents were listed as living in Turners Hill in 1841, his father recorded as a labourer at the baptisms of all the children.
In 1841 William Brackpool was living with his parents at Turners Hill and working as an agricultural labourer but by 1851 he had moved to Grange Cottage, Crawley Down, where he was working as a coachman, and by 1861 he had moved to Snow Hill and was trading as a butcher.
William married Ann (surname and date not yet established) and they had at least nine children including William born in 1849, Amelia born in 1851, Ann born in 1854, Agnes born in 1856, Alfred born on 11th October 1857, Alice Mary born in 1859, Ellen born about 1862, Emma born about 1864 and Thomas born about 1866.
In 1869 William took out a four-year lease on the old School House at Snow Hill which had been opened on 4th April 1848 by Rev. Henry Rogers, the Minister of the Countess of Huntingdon Chapel in Chapel Lane [for further information see Handout, Chapels of Felbridge, SJC 05/00]. The school was described as ‘a neat gothic structure, a real ornament to the neighbourhood and most conveniently situated. It has attached to it half an acre of land for the use of the boys, that they may be taught the first principles of gardening and agriculture’. After the closure of the school in 1860, the building, later known as Chapel House and now Fern House, was let to William Brackpool who established his butchery trade there. William again extended his lease on the property in 1873 and in 1885 was granted a 25-year lease.
Sometime between 1871 and 1881 William was joined by his son Alfred and by 1891 his son Thomas had also joined the business. Although recorded in the 1891 census as living with his parents at the Old School House, in 1888 Alfred had taken on Snow Hill Cottage and part of Front Field adjoining [for further information see Handout Wheadon’s of Snow Hill, JIC/SJC 01/08] and when Thomas moved out of the family home he took over the occupation of The Bays off Chapel Lane.
On the death of William in 1897 the business was taken over by his two sons and became A & T Brackpool. The brothers worked together until 1903 when they mutually decided to dissolve their company and Alfred took over the butchery business, and in May 1910, by an order from the Board of Education, the Copthorne Educational Foundation were given the authority to sell the old School House to Alfred Brackpool.
Alfred’s interests outside the butchery trade included cricket, playing for his local club at Crawley Down and in 1880 playing for Sussex against the Marylebone Cricket Club, who won by an innings and 178 runs, Alfred was dismissed in the first innings for just two runs. Alfred married Emily (surname and date not yet established) and they had at least one child called William Ernest born 1893 who married Amy Avrey in Brighton in 1918 and had at least four children; Margaret born in 1921, Ruth born in 1923, Kathleen born in 1926 and Winifred born in 1930.
William succeeded his father at the butcher’s shop at Snow Hill on Alfred’s death on 24th October 1927 and traded until the end of the Second World War when the shop closed and the property became a private dwelling.
Harris Stores, Snow Hill
This shop was situated on the south side of the Copthorne Road in Snow Hill and the first reference to it as a grocery store can be found in the 1841 census which records William Ireland as grocer, occupying the property with Mary, (probably his wife or possibly sister). Their ages are given to the nearest five years making William born around 1806, and Mary born around 1811, both in Sussex. Unfortunately no further information can be found on William and Mary, by 1851 the grocer occupying the premises was Joseph Hasting.
Joseph Hasting was born on 3rd October 1802, one of at least five children of Stephen Hasting and his wife Caroline née Cox. Joseph’s siblings include: John born in 1797, Charity born in 1799, Sarah born in 1801 and Stephen born in 1807. Joseph married Amelia Charman on 18th October 1827 and they would appear not to have had children. By 1841 Joseph was a baker living at North Lane, West Hoathly, Sussex, but by 1851 he had moved to Snow Hill as a grocer.
In 1861 Joseph was still proprietor of the grocer’s shop but was by then living adjacent to the shop and had retired from the business by 1871 when he was succeeded by Osmund Ireland. However, Joseph Hasting remained in the Snow Hill area until his death in 1874.
Osmund Ireland was born in Balcombe, Sussex, in 1839, one of at least twelve children of James and Mary Ann Ireland. Osmund’s siblings include Thomas born about 1835, John born about 1837, Oliver born in 1838, James born in 1841, Mary Ann born in 1844, Clement born in 1846, Betsy born in 1849, Austin born in 1853, Traiton born in 1855, Horace born in 1856 and Milton born in 1859, the first four children were born in Balcombe like Osmund and the remaining children were born in Slaugham. Out of all these children Oliver, Traiton and Horace all went on to become grocers like Osmund. To date no link has been established between Osmund Ireland and William Ireland (see above).
Osmund began his working life as a linen draper’s assistant and appears in the 1861 census living in North Street, Lewes, Sussex. In 1867 Osmund married Fanny Huggett in Petworth and they had at least eleven children including James Charles born in 1868, Agnes born in 1870, Abner George born in 1873, Lionel born in 1874, Osmond born in 1877, John Thomas born in 1878, Oliver Benjamin born in 1881, Edgar William born in 1882, Fanny Louise born in 1885, Alice Levina born in 1887and Roland born in 1890. The birth of the first child was registered in Redhill, Surrey, the next nine were all born in Crawley Down and the last child was born in Brenchley, Kent.
Although Osmund and Fanny married in Petworth by 1868 the Ireland family are living in the Redhill area. Based on his children’s births, the Ireland family must have moved to the shop in Snow Hill between 1868 and 1870, and from 1871 he gave his occupation as a grocer and draper.
Sometime between 1881 and 1890, the Ireland family had moved to Brenchley and in 1891 Osmund gave his address as 2, Dover Street, Maidstone, Kent, where he was working as a general grocer, having been succeeded at the grocery shop in Snow Hill by Charles John Harris. As for the Ireland family, by 1901 they had moved to 36, Randall Street, Maidstone, and Osmund was working as a clerk for a Tobacco Manufacturer, joined in the trade by son John working as a tobacco cutter and daughters Fanny and Alice working as tobacco packers, his son Edgar had continued in his fathers original trade and was working as a grocer’s assistant. Osmund died in Maidstone in 1911.
Charles John Harris
Charles John Harris was born in Pluckley, Kent, in 1837, one of at least five children of schoolmaster Thomas Mercer Harris and his wife Catherine. Charles’ siblings include Louisa born about 1839, Alfred born about 1844, Elizabeth born about 1847 and Edward born about 1848, the first born in Pluckley and the remaining three in Smarden, Kent.
Charles married twice. His first wife was Eliza Bassett whom he married on 30th January 1859 in Wadhurst, Sussex. Charles and Eliza appear to have had no family. Charles’ second wife was Sarah Parsons whom he married on 18th March 1889 at St. Mary, Newington, Southwark. However, the 1911 census records that Charles and Sarah had been married for ‘45 years’ making their marriage 1866, the entry also records that they had had fourteen children. There is no conclusive information that Charles’ first wife Eliza had died before 1866 so the implication is that they had separated and that Charles was living with Sarah as husband and wife at the time of the birth of their first child in 1866. It has only been possible to determine twelve of the fourteen children and they include Emma Annie born in 1866, Minnie Louisa born in 1868, Kate Mildred born in 1871, Rose Sarah born in 1873, Edith Clara born in 1875, James Mercer born in 1876, Alice Elizabeth born in 1878, Alfred Thomas born in 1879, Charles John born in 1881, Albert Henry born in 1883, Charlotte Louisa born in 1885 and Arthur William born in 1886. All the children were born in the Brighton area.
As for Charles’ working career, by 1851 he was working as an assistant to a grocer and draper and living with his parents in Smarden. By 1861, having married his first wife, Charles was living in Wadhurst and was working as a grocer and draper in his own right. Sometime between 1861 and the birth of his first child in 1866, Charles had moved to 4, Pelham Square, Brighton, Sussex, and was working as a master draper. He remained in Brighton until sometime between 1881 and 1891 when he moved to Snow Hill succeeding Osmund Ireland at the grocery store, and in 1891 Charles records his occupation as ‘grocer, draper and boot-maker’. Working alongside their father as grocers in 1901 were sons James, Alfred and Charles, with daughter Charlotte working as a grocer’s clerk, and in 1911 sons Alfred and Charles and daughters Kate and Rose were working as draper’s assistants in the shop.
Osmund was to remain at the store until his death on 21st May 1913 when he was succeeded by his son Charles, who in 1917 advertised himself as ‘Grocer of Snow Hill’. Unfortunately it has not been possible to find much conclusive information on Charles Harris jnr. Other than he may have married Daisy James in East Grinstead in 1923, and they would appear to have had no family. As for his business, local residents of Felbridge remember that he used to deliver their groceries for them, and in 1941 he was advertising his business as ‘Grocers & Provisions’. Unfortunately it has not been possible to determine when Charles ceased to be the proprietor of the shop but Harris’s Stores appear in the Telephone Directory in 1948 as John Fletcher, Harris Store, Tel. Copthorne 22. This implies that Charles was succeeded at Harris’ Stores by John Fletcher sometime between 1941 and 1948.
Sadly it has not yet been possible to find any conclusive information on John Fletcher other than he was advertising, still as Harris Stores, until at least 1957 operating from the premises in Snow Hill. The shop continued to be run as Harris Stores selling groceries under a succession of proprietors until April 1969 when the property was sold by the Fletcher family.
The new proprietors of the former Harris Stores traded as a grocery and general store until 1975 when they took the decision to trade in Antiques and Collectables from the ground floor and sell clothes from the former stockroom on the first floor. This arrangement continued until 1979 when the shop ceased to sell Antiques and Collectables and concentrated on clothing, catering for women and children, with a limited selection of menswear, stocking a full range of clothing from designer labels through to M & S, Next and BHS, the shop taking the name Bargain Boutique. The shop eventually closed in August 1999 and is now a private dwelling house.
Costcutter, Snow Hill
Operating out of the Shell Garage on Copthorne Road, Costcutter offers a selected range of basic goods for those living in the vicinity and for those filling their tanks, a sort of ‘Corner Shop’ for those on the move. With over twenty-five years experience, the Costcutter company pride itself as being ‘retailers working for retailers’, providing support for independent retailers giving them the opportunity to create a business that best suits their needs and location through a central distribution delivering just short of 14,000 lines directly to the store as well as direct-drop shipment suppliers. This new take on a ‘Corner Shop’ fills the need for a convenience store in the Snow Hill area as all the grocers and butchers that once thrived in the vicinity have now ceased trading.
Heselden’s Stores, Furnace Wood
Heselden’s Stores was a general provisions shop run from Homesdale in Lake View Road, Furnace Wood by Emily Heselden. The Heselden family moved to the area from Hastings in the early 1930’s and shortly after arriving Emily opened the shop, operating from a temporary wooden structure much like a shed in the front garden of their home selling typical ‘Corner Shop’ products – basics such as bread, milk, limited fresh food stuffs, tinned food and cleaning materials. Emily also sold local honey from bees kept by her son Frederick.
Emily was born in Ore near Hastings, Sussex in 1890, the daughter of Stephen and Eliza Hermitage. Emily was one of at least five children, her siblings included Charlie born in 1885, Edward born in 1887, William born in 1893 and Walter born in 1896. Emily married Frederick Cruze Heselden in 1914 and they had two children, Frederick born in 1915 and Jesse born in 1918. By the early 1930’s the Heselden family had moved from Hastings to live in the Felbridge area where Frederick senior worked as a carpenter.
During the late 1940’s Emily’s son Frederick ran the shop before moving to live in Sackville Lane, East Grinstead, and the shop was taken over by either Mr Luckhurst (no further information) or Effie Charlesworth (local resident’s opinion is divided as to who came first), the latter trading from the premises by 1951. From local memory the shop was still operating from the temporary shed structure and was entered on the right of the building, it had shelves round the walls with ‘stuff’ on the floor and had a storeroom out the back. The shop, renamed Lake View Stores, was set to the right of Homesdale and at some point it and the surrounding land on which it stood became detached from Homesdale. Unfortunately it has not yet been possible to determine when the shop became detached, although logic suggests it could have been when Mr Luckhurst or Effie Charlesworth took it on.
Effie Charlesworth was born Ethel Florence Thomas in Hackey in 1911, the daughter of Harold Thomas and his wife Florence née Oliver. Ethel, known as Effie because her brother could not say her name correctly, had two siblings, Albert born in 1914 and Violet born in 1919. In 1935 Effie married Frederick Charlesworth and the couple moved to Ferndene, Furnace Wood, Effie taking over the general stores formerly run by Emily Heselden sometime before 1951. When not serving in the shop, Effie ran the Lake View Drama and Social Club that she founded in 1948, writing most of the scripts for the many sketches and annual pantomimes they performed in Felbridge [for further information see Handout Lake View Drama Club, SJC01/02 and FHG Special, Lake View Review, SP. 11/01]. A former member of the Club remembers learning their lines, along with other members, sitting on sacks and boxes of stock in her store room. Effie Charlesworth ran the shop until about 1955 when she and her husband moved from Furnace Wood and the Lake View Stores was taken over by Jack Hinkley (no further information).
From the 1960’s until its closure, Lake View Stores operated from the property now known as Lake View on Lake View Road, Furnace Wood. The shop premises were situated in the left hand section of the building where there is now a large picture window. It continued as your typical ‘Corner Shop’, plus (to a young child visiting grandparents who lived in Furnace Wood) the luxury item of ice cream and frozen lollies. It has not yet been possible to establish who ran the shop but it closed in the mid to late 1970’s when it was converted into a private dwelling.
Hedgecourt Mill House
An entry in the 1881 census details Leonard Hooker as a baker and grocer, living with wife and daughter in his parent’s household at Hedgecourt Mill House. In 1881 the Mill House was split into three households headed by Alfred Thomas Bingham (carpenter and joiner), John Hooker (farm labourer) and Sydney Killick (general miller).
Leonard Hooker was born about 1839 at Monk’s Cottage, East Grinstead, one of at least eight children born of John and Susannah Hooker . Leonard’s siblings include John born about 1829, Mary Jane born in 1832, Richard born in 1834, Henry born in 1837, Alfred born in 1844, Susannah born in 1848 and Thomas born in 1850. In 1841 Leonard’s father was working as a gamekeeper an occupation that saw the Hooker family move to Wiltshire by 1861 where Leonard followed his father into keepering working as under keeper with him.
Leonard married Sarah Whitmarsh in 1859 and they had at least three children, Leonard Spencer born in 1861, born Sarah Louisa born in 1864 and Herbert born in 1866, plus a possible three other children, Mary Jane Spencer born in 1860, George Spencer born in 1862 and Alfred John born in 1868. By 1871 Leonard and part of his family were living at Sutton Veney in Wiltshire where he was working as a gamekeeper. However, within ten years Leonard, his wife Sarah and their daughter Sarah (known as Louisa) had moved in with is parents at Hedgecourt Mill House from where Leonard plied a trade as a baker and butcher.
Leonard’s mother died aged seventy-five in 1887 followed by his father in 1888 aged eighty-six, and by 1891 Leonard and Sarah had moved to Reigate where he was working as a gardener.
The following are a few memories from local residents of the travelling salesmen that plied their trades in and around Felbridge.
Things I saw that my children will not
A Door-mat and Umbrella Mender, who mended the thick Coconut Door Mats outside your home and put new spokes on Umbrellas.
The Watercart Man, who on very hot dusty days came round with a horse who pulled a large iron tank, with water in and a lever to shoot water out of holes in the tank.
Sometimes also, in winter on Sundays, we would hear the muffin man’s bell and he would come along the lane, with a wooden tray on his head, it contained muffins and was covered with a spotless white cloth. If Dad could spare the money, Dad would buy us one each and at tea we toasted them in front of the fire and put butter on. They tasted better than today’s do, with home-grown celery, home-made jam and cake. We really enjoyed tea on Sunday.
When I was about eight years old, I used to help the milk man on Saturday mornings. He had a horse and two wheeled cart which had a large churn with little measures hung on it and I used to go to the houses and get people’s jugs for the man to fill.
By then I earned four pence weekly, although it meant early rising and twice a week I took the little cart Dad made me to fetch and return the laundry that Mrs Will Gibb did for a lady near ‘The Star’ inn at Felbridge.
Documented memories of Olive ‘Tom’ Sharman née Hewitt
Travelling Baker and other visitors to Long Cottage
In 1959/60 our family moved from our small cottage (Pixie Cottage) to a much larger house next door in Imberhorne Lane called Long Cottage. As a child, and probably up until my teens in 1970, I remember a man would call every now and again with a large rectangular wicker basket covered with a cloth in which he had a selection of bakery products. He may have sold bread from his basket but I only remember the sweet pastries. I may not remember mum buying his bread because my younger brother and I would fight to go and buy fresh bread from Slade’s Bakery at North End. Still warm from the oven it rarely had a crust left on one end by the time it reached home if I collected the loaf!
Although not travelling salesmen I also remember the Rag and Bone Man who called with a flat bed trailer pulled by a horse, and a knife grinder who occasionally called to sharpen knives, scissors and garden implements like shears. Again I was only a small child but as I remember it the knife grinder would sit a-straddle his grind stone machine that he powered by his legs and feet whilst holding the blade to be sharpened against the grind stone.
Documented memories of S J Clarke née Jones
Callers in Furnace Wood
I moved to The Wood as a child in 1936. I remember the Knife Sharpener and Scissor Grinder that used to call, sitting astride his contraption peddling like mad to make the sharpening stone turn.
Then there was the Ice Cream man, ‘Stop me and Buy one’. He had a box in front of his bike and would call mostly at weekends. He sold triangular fruit bars, tubs of ice cream, cornets and sandwiches of ice cream between wafers.
The Coal man also used to deliver and he’d often get stuck in the muddy ruts of our unmade road. He would then have to dig himself out and just left it. Locals filled the holes up with iron bedsteads, old bikes etc. then whapped more dirt on top.
During the war we collected milk from Gibbshaven Farm in milk jugs balanced in a basket and covered with a tea towel.
Later a baker and a fish man called on us, and the Postman and Milk man would call after the war. The Co-op also delivered to us later, and Mr Wheeler from Rowplatt Lane also delivered.
Gypsies brought primrose baskets and clothes pegs clamped together with tin snippets for us to buy. Also they had lucky heather baskets and chrysanthemums made of shaved birch wood. They also used to ask for rabbit skins and old clothes, especially children’s clothes.
Documented memories of M Jones née Pike
Travelling Salesmen that visited Felbridge
When I was young Wilson & Moon came by horse and cart from Crawley Down and delivered bread and cakes, and on Sunday afternoons the Muffin Man called and rang his bell. In hot weather, Mr. Rayfield sold ice cream while pedaling around the village known as 'Stop me and buy one'. Mr. Elphick came in a small van selling shoe polishes, paraffin etc. and on Monday mornings Mr. Arnold the shoe mender called [see above]. Also, Mrs Bacon arrived occasionally on her horse and cart, selling household bits, china, mats, etc. and bought rabbit skins from us. For letters you had to go to the Star.
Documented memories of Catherine Pentecost née Hill
The Felbridge Village Store, formerly the Felbridge Post Office, Crawley Down Road
Since completing Shopping in the Felbridge Area Pt. I, further information has been submitted about the Irwin family who ran the shop in the 1960’s. Harold Irwin was originally from Manchester and his wife May was from London. Neither of them came from a retailing background when they moved from Glasgow to the shop in Felbridge in April 1963.
It was during the Irwin’s time at the shop that the premises suffered a robbery. As their son recalls: ‘My parents employed two or three local ladies part-time. One was a Mrs Scott (pretty sure I have the name right) who lived just a few doors away. She happened to be on her own in the shop when a man and a woman came in, made some pretence of buying something, and then knocked Mrs Scott on the head while her back was turned, emptied the post office till and drove off. Dad was so appalled at the way Mrs Scott was treated by the PO (he said they weren’t the least concerned about her, only about how much had been stolen) that after that he told them to remove their sub post office from the premises. I don’t think the couple were ever identified or caught’.
Other memories include: ‘The shop opened six days a week, but with a midweek half-day closing, I think. My parents offered free deliveries. You could telephone your order and Dad would deliver it, with help from me at weekends and during school holidays. He did this in the family cars of the time, which were Morris Travellers – a green second-hand one to begin with and then a grey-coloured one that he bought new. You could fold down the back seat and that gave lots of room for cardboard boxes full of groceries for delivery’.
The Irwins ran the Felbridge Village Store until October 1969 when Harold retired and the family moved to Shanklin on the Isle of Wight.
Handout, The Farm at Imberhorne, SJC 05/03, FHWS
A Girl Called ‘Tom’, Ed. By F and F Sharman
Census records, 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911
Documented memories of Olive ‘Tom’ Sharman, FHA
Documented memories of J Wilkins, FHA
Handout, War Memorials of St John the Divine, Felbridge, SJC 07/02v, FHWS
Documented memories M Heselden, FHA
Telephone Directories, 1911, 1920, 1922, 1924, and 1925
Documented memories of E Webber née Pentecost FHA
East Grinstead Guide, 1928 & 53, FHA
Telephone Directories 1931, 1941, 1951 and 1952, FHA
Documented memories of AJW Jones, FHA
East Grinstead Tithe map and apportionment, 1842, WSRO
East Grinstead Common map, 1816, Ref 39454, WSRO
Gardner & Gream map, 1795, after Yeakell & Gardner map 1778, FHA
Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt.I, SHC 05/07, FHWS
Handout, Shopping in the Felbridge area Pt. I, SJC -7/10, FHWS
EG Post Office Directory, 1855
The Blue Anchor, JIC/SJC 01/12, FHWS
O/S Maps, 1873, 1879, 1895, 1910, 1936 and 1955.
Handout No. 1 Static Bakery, Hobbs Barracks, BR 01/03, FHWS
World of Fishes, www.worldoffishes.com
Earl de le Warr/Lowdell indenture, 1877, Box 3151, SHC
Lowdell/Gatty indenture, 1886, Box 3151, SHC
Handout, 1911 Sale of the Felbridge Estate, SJC 01/11, FHWS
Felbridge Place Sale Catalogue, 1911, FHA
Stream Cottage Title Deeds, FHA
Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt.V, FHWS
Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. I, SJC 05/07
Documented memories of S J Clarke née Jones FHA
Documented memories of A Dewey née Streeter, FHA
Handout, Stories of Hobbs Barracks, SJC 01/03, FHWS
Handouts, Golards Farmhouse, SJC 11/07, FHWS
Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge Pt.III, SJC 09/09, FHWS
Handout, Poultry Farming in Felbridge, SJC 05/11, FHWS
Handout, Eating & Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt. II, JIC/SJC 03/08, FHWS
Handout, Eating and Drinking Establishments of Felbridge, Pt.IV, SJC 03/10, FHWS
Handout, Shopping in Felbridge PT.I, SJC 07/10, FHWS
Handout, Clayton’s Ancient Enclosure, JIC/SJC 05/10
Worth Baptism records, FHA
Worth Tithe and Apportionment, FHA
Handout, The Blue Anchor, JIC/SJC 03/12, FHWS
Rogers/Brackpool Leases, 1869, 1873, and 1885, WSRO
Handout, Chapels of Felbridge, SJC 05/00, FHWS
Copthorne, the Story so far
Conveyance of School house, 1910, WSRO
Handout Wheadon’s of Snow Hill, JIC/SJC 01/08, FHA
The London Gazette, 1903, FHA
Alfred Brackpool, www.criketarchive.com
Willets, Directory, 1917, FHA
Documented memories of M Heselden, FHA
Handout Lake View Drama Club, SJC01/02, FHWS
FHG Special, Lake View Review, SP. 11/01, FHWS
Documented memories of Olive ‘Tom’ Sharman, FHA
Documented memories of S J Clarke née Jones FHA
Documented memories of M Jones née Pike, FHA
Documented memories of Catherine Pentecost née Hills FHA
Documented memories of J Irwin, FHA
Texts of all Handouts referred to in this document can be found on FHG website: www.felbridge.org.uk