My Father Worked At This Shop - a Memory of Bury.

My father Ron Burchell worked at the shop seen in this photograph.  The Burchell family had lived in the village for generations.  The owner of the shop was Edward Grinstead and his wife Millie who was my godmother.  We lived at the thatched Old Cottage behind the hedge on the left.  My dad had been a shop boy here before he joined the RAF in the 1920s.  When he left the RAF in 1946 he worked there again. The stores sold a wide range of food and hardware, and was also a Post Office.  Sugar and rice etc would be weighed out and wrapped up in 'sugar paper' often in a deep pink or purple colour.  Just after the war we had to take our coupons to the shop and the amount needed were cut out of our ration book with a big pair of scissors kept on a string by the till and the fearsome bacon slicer.
The shop was the hub of the various social groups of the village - folk dance group, Women's Institute and the Flower and Produce show.  Notices about what was going on were hung on the door, with items for sale, etc.
On the front of the shop were a series of stone gargoyles, through which rain water ran on wet days.  People said they came from Arundel Castle, but I don't know if that's true.  Next to the shop on the right was Bury House, which had been built by John Galsworthy, the author of the Forsyte Saga.  He lived there for many years, but by the time I was a child in the late 1940s and early 1950s Bury House was an Old People's Home.
I went to the village school over the main road towards Bignor.  There were about 30 children in two classes there, taught by Miss Gregory and Mrs. Holdrup.
I left Bury to live in Pulborough about the time this photograph was taken, but Bury is still very dear to me.


A memory shared by Wendy Carey on Nov 25th, 2008.
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 Comments & Feedback

Thu Feb 22nd 2018, at 8:32 pm
Wendy Carey commented:
Hilary, how amazing to hear from you. There is so much I could tell you about the house and the village, where my ancestors lived for many generations. My great grandparents on my fathers side lived at Copyhold, on the road down to the river. One house now, but 4 cottages in their day. When my grandfather was severely wounded in the navy in 1917, my grandparents looked after the Club House on the opposite side of the main road. It was demolished for the road to be widened some years ago.
When I was born in 1945 we had no running water in the house for the next four years. We used the well in the front garden - is it still there? There was an outside ‘convenience’, but I do not know of any cellar
I think you have a path from the right hand side of your garden to the road. In our time we had to go up the path directly opposite the shop, and past our neighbour in the smaller part of the house, an old lady called Fanny Worsdell.

Do you know the picture of the ferry woman that is on the school sign? She is my great great aunt Jane Shepherd. Her brother, Harry Shepherd my great great grandfather was a thatcher, and when we moved in the thatch on the cottage was one he had laid down.
Could we correspond by email? Wmc@mkcareys.co.uk. I have some photos you might be interested in. Sadly none of the interior of the hose at our time. We left and moved to Pulborough in 1953. I don’t know who came after us. At about that time the house was ‘condemned’ as unfit to live in! What a miracle it wasn’t demolished!
Thu Feb 22nd 2018, at 7:48 pm
hilkenrick commented:
Dear Wendy
I so enjoyed reading about your memories of the shop and your days in Bury. What fascinated me even more is your comment that you lived in the thatched cottage opposite, This is now my home and that of my neighbour Nathalie, I have been living here for four years and am so happy here and recently I have been trying to find out more about the history of the house, I know Alison Greenwood lived here for many years. Are you related to her? I also know that John Galsworthy owned it and it was one of the lots of his property sold in 1943. If you know anything more I would be so grateful for any information, Apparently there was a cellar but I don't know where! Hilary Kenrick

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