Bury Church And Ferry - a Memory of Bury.
On this picture you can see the steps used by the ferry man from the 1920s to the 1940s. He used a pole to steer the punt from the Bury bank to the Amberley bank. The punt was attached to a chain which stretched across the river lying on the bottom. The fare in the late 1940s was a theepenny piece. The ferry man was my 'Uncle' Bob Dudden, who took up the duties of ferryman when he left the Navy after the first World War. Bob was not really my uncle, but he and my grandfather ran away to join the navy together in about 1912. Sadly, my grandfather was severely wounded in the war, but Uncle Bob came through, having had the job on board of barber!
Uncle Bob also took care of the grassy area behind the steps.
He and his wife 'Aunt Min' lived in the house you can see on the left of the picture. Aunt Min was quite eccentric, she kept hens, which quite often made their way inside the house. You can see a bench dedicated to Bob Dudden near the ferry today.
My great-grandparents and grandparents were married at the church - St John's, and most of their families including myself were baptised there. Next to the church is Bury Manor, now a school, but in my youth it was where the local 'bigwig' lived. My grandmother Hannah Burchell told stories of her youth in the 1890s of smugglers coming up the River Arun and delivering goods to the Manor. The smugglers' friends used to pretend to be ghosts in the churchyard to deter unwanted people from getting near.
A memory shared by on Nov 25th, 2008.
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