There are records of only two shops in the village. One was the grocer's shop run by Benjamin Newell and his wife, Louisa, in the 19th century and the other the village shop which was closed down in 1981.
Benjamin was a great village character, a farmer, grocer and churchwarden. He had 12 children by two wives ( not at the same time) and died aged 92. Louisa, who was much younger than Benjamin,
carried on running the shop for 30 years till 1904.
It was situated at the
front of the present Newells and Glebe Cottages when they were one premises.
Here are Benjamin and Louisa:
In the West Sussex Record office is one of Louisa Newell's account books. It shows that she regularly supplied the Rector and Miss
Cobden of Dunford. She held a wide range of goods, including milk, bread, biscuits, coffee and black-lead. There is a record of what she provided for a school treat in 1878.
The total bill came to £2.3s.8d for which she provided:
267 gallon cakes - £1.15s
1 pt cream - 7½d
1 lb butter - 1s.10d
7 qtrs milk - 1s.2d
8 lbs sugar - 2s.4d
5 loaves - 2s.8½d
The other shop was started by Edward Pope, it is not clear when.
He was born in 1831 and at the age of 19 was a journeyman cordwainer (a shoemaker working for someone else). He was the younger son of Henry Pope who owned the messuage, consisting of two tenements, now called Heyshott Farmhouse and he ran the White Lion off-licence from there in the 1860s and 1870s.
However, by the time he was 30,
Edward was both a shoemaker and a grocer and operated from one of
his father's two tenements.
He is said to be a most industrious
and enterprising person and, while running his shop, also did much
of the work of building his new shop opposite the Unicorn, which he
had bought in 1861. He apparently drew, in a handcart, all the way
from the Downs, the chalk for the foundations of the new shop and
the road to it across the Green.
His shop supplied most things the
villagers needed 'clothing, from boots and shoes to Billycock hats,
cooking utensils and general provisions'.
When his wife died in 1889, a
niece, Emily Elizabeth, came as his housekeeper and sometime in the
1890s they established a Post Office at the stores.
Edward died in 1990 and his niece, Emily, carried on the running of
the shop, helped by her widowed mother, Caroline. The latter was a
great character who only died in 1928, aged 97, and some people in
the village still remember her behind the counter. A photograph of her
is on page 46.
Emily gave up the shop just before the war.
It was then run by a variety of different people, including the Knights
(he used to deliver groceries around the village on a bicycle with a box
on the side, making it a three-wheeler like the old Walls ice cream
tricycles). They were followed by the Fisks who were a much loved
couple and ran the shop exceptionally well. They are both buried in
the churchyard near the south gate.
They were followed by the Harveys and then by the O'Rourkes.
Unfortunately, soon after they arrived, Mrs O'Rourke became ill and
had to give up running the shop. Her husband kept it going for some
time with tenants but this proved unsatisfactory and, at one stage,
various members of the village had to rally round to help with the
accounts. When O'Rourke needed to move in 1981, he could get no offers for the shop, so it was closed and incorporated into the main part of the house. It was a sad day for the village.
In the nineteenth century there was a foundry upstream from Bex
Mill and it was there that the iron overshot mill wheel at Bex Mill was
cast. However that foundry was on the west side of the stream and so
in Cocking, not Heyshott. The Foundry Pond, which still appears on
some maps as part of Costers Brook, used to play a vital part in the
running of Bex Mill, as explained in Chapter 9.
In Heyshott today the only indication that there was actually a
foundry in the village is the name Foundry Cottages for the terrace
of small cottages close to the road to Graffham. Although, as mentioned
in Chapter 3, iron was being produced in Heyshott in the 14th century,
there is no record of there being a foundry in the village until after the
First World War.
In 1919 a small foundry was built on the site of the present Foundry
Cottages car park. It was a private venture and employed some
demobilised soldiers. The foreman and pattern maker lodged at
Heatherview with the father and mother of Jim West, the present
The foundry closed in 1926 when the mould broke, pouring
out red hot molten metal. One of the workmen was so badly injured
that he had to have a leg amputated.
After the closure, Mr Smith, a local builder, built a large warehouse
where the cottages are now. It was planned as a paint factory and had
two huge doors. However, due to lack of money, it was never
operational and Mr Smith sold it to a Mr Cecil Richards Albery of The
Foresters Arms at Graffham.
Cecil Albery converted the factory into
ten cottages with the help of Jim West's father, who was a bricklayer
and who took out the doors and built the partition walls. There was no
proper drainage, so each cottage had its own earth closet at the back.
By 1997 the cottages were badly in need of modernisation and, in the
process, they were reduced in number from 10 to 8.
This transcription is kindly being written by Deidre Millington, of Nottinghamshire