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 on Nov 25th, 2008.
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