Mark Tristan Cooper 073


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Shops of the Past in Ninfield

   Manchester Road was called Back Road in the


Wickens & Sons     Mr Wickens ran the store in 1890. The building dated from around 1700 and was demolished in 1990.

Grocers & Drapers They must have had a delivery round of groceries as Mr Freeman was the van man

                                                                   By 1913 the store was run by Mr Botting then renamed

Manchester House it was to become Ninfield's suppermarket in the 1960s and by 1973 the POST OFFICE moved in here.



London House        housed a SHOE SHOP with a Mr Bowden in charge and  then later run by a Mr Sargent from 1940

                                                                 It had a short turn as a WOOL SHOP in the 1980's

                                                                Then the POST OFFICE on the move again, was here in 1990 when Manchester House closed. It is now a B&B.


BAKERS                   There was a Bakers at the back of High Knoll from 1841. From 1890 it was run by

                                                             the same family of Sargents up until the 1950's after which the bakehouse was replaced with a bungalow.


       HIGH STREET was called FRONT ROAD in the



Post Office           Sub-postmaster and grocer Mr. A.E. Smith became sub-postmaster at Ninfield in 1905, replacing Benjamin Bourne. Like his predecessor, he successfully combined running the village post office with operating a grocery store. In the early 1930s his sons ‘Josh’ and ‘Pickle’ began shouldering some of the work, and the business, previously known as "A. E. Smith", became

"A. E. Smith & Sons". At the post office counter was Miss Ella Crouch. Also at the shop worked Mr Frank Duke, Mr Roy Bourne, Mr F Spandley.  The grocery

and post office were still operating under this expanded name in 1938. Smith's post office in the High Street (Front Road), caught fire on the 11th January 1908 and was rebuilt on the same spot until 1975 when it was demolished. The POST OFFICE moved to other premisses. SEE POST OFFICE





      MILL                  was a Post Mill in working order in 1890 and Mr William Morris was the Miller. Mr Divall ran

                                                                   the  BAKERS from a building just beside the Mill

  Morris & Divall                    Later it was Mr Reg Catt in charge. He took over from Miller Morris.

                                                                   He too had a baker’s round.

                                                                  This bakery is now closed and the mill pulled down in 1937 because it was unsafe.




BAKERS                            Mr Wells and sons had a BAKERS on the High Street from 1913 -1983

                                                            .   In 1913 George & Amy Wells took over The Bakery in the High Street with their sons Ron and Cyril.  A horse and cart was used for deliveries until George acquired the first Model-T Ford van (the first in the village) which he subsequently sold for 25 shillings ten years later.  The Infant teacher at Ninfield C.E. Primary School in the 50s, Miss Aimes, later married Mr. Cyril Wells, (now deceased), who part-owned the bakery with his brother Ron.  Ron was born in Ninfield in 1916 and became the village baker at Leicester House (The Bakery) in the High Street.  Ron, his wife Grace, and brother Cyril continued their family business until Ron’s retirement in 1983 when the business was sold.  A life-long Methodist, Ron died on 27th March 2012 after celebrating his 95th birthday in 2011.  





THE GREEN                   was first a BUTCHERS on the High Street from 1891 until the late 1920s. It

TEAPOT                            then became a TEA SHOP sometime in the 1930s before closing in 1950's. It is now a private house.


G. Clifton                           were a WOOD & COAL MERCHANTS in 1915         John Munn, and Thomas Sargent sold coal during this time from a                                                                                  

                                                               house which was later used for selling  ELECTRIC goods in the 1960's. Mr Bowden sold photo equipment and


Electric Shop                developing was  available.  



Chemist Shop            The 1960's CHEMIST SHOP was run by Mr Kitchen  who was the Chemist. With help from Mr Goodyear  then Mr Cooper.

                                                                It closed in 1978. It is now two flats.






                                                                                                     THE GREEN



The Forge                        The resident BLACKSMITH in 1890 was Mr Will Fairall. But by 1913 it was Mr Steer. In the 1930's the building was  

                                                             modified for use as the Gents Toilets for the new Public House. Later it was demolished  to make room for a car park.



New Inn                                  was the name of the pub when it moved  from the beerhouse into the new 1930's  building.

                                                                Later, the demolished Forge made way for the car park.


United Friends          BEER HOUSE was in the house next door to the present public house in 1890. The Inn keeper was Mr Bill  Kenward.


Blacksmiths                     Was fist called The New inn, then in 1970s  United Friends  before Its  last name change in 2000        



Rose                                            In 1890 one of the tree cottages was where Amos Chapman had his COBBLERS SHOP and by 1918 his three                                

Cottages             daughters had turned it into the SWEET SHOP then later,  Mr H Roberts had a BARBERS SHOP




Wheelwrights              In 1913 Mr Crouch was the CARPENTER in what had   been the Wheelwrights for many years.

Coach Paint Shop His brother Ted  had the Coach Paint Shop next door.   The two houses Fairview and Fairmount now stand on this spot.  



Tobacconist                    This little shop in 1913 was for many years run by


                                                                 Mr Henderson who also sold SWEETS. When it closed in


                                                                1978 it had been run by Mrs Molly Morris




Dressmaker                       1933 Mrs Mitchell had a DRESSMAKERS premises at 1 Sunnyside Villas.



M.Pont & Son                 The Pont family had been BUTCHERS at their shop

                                                                on The Green for three generations. They also had the

                                                                SLAUGHTER HOUSE next door. Bullocks, sheep and pigs

                                                                were killed there. Mr W. Veness was a good hand with the

                                                                pole axe. Mondays was the usual killing day  

                                                                The slaughter house was demolished in January 2013

                                                                long after it had closed down.      




Cycle Shop                   Mr Munn had a busy CYCLE REPAIRS business

                                                             during the 1950's





The Stocks               was the name of the Coach Inn at the time when there were toll gates in place around the 1880's. By 1890 it had changed to


Commercial            stables next to the Inn housed the coach horses.  It was here  that the foxhunt met for the hunt.

House                               In the 1930's a new PUBLIC HOUSE was built and a change of name again to


The Kings                    It was to stay the same for the next seventy odd years until in  2009 it became the CARVERY




Garage                              Bridges Garage at the cross road to Catsfield where it  is, still to this day, was once thatched.  Those were the      

                                                            days before Health and Safety.  



Garage                          Later another garage, Wilmots Garage along the  Bexhill Road,  opened for car repairs. This closed in 2010     .                                            





Shoe Repairs          Mr Bowden had a small shop in 1918 and by the 1950;s

                                                            Mr Tate was making and repairing SHOES in Church Lane.








Moor Hall                      From 1930 - 1980's Moor Hall was a posh HOTEL  

                                                         Sadly demolished in the 1990's




Luxford House                  ran a TEAROOMS in 1930



Standard Hill Farm 



Coombe             In Coombe Lane was the home of Mr Tugnett in 1918. He  was a WATCH and CLOCK maker who also tended the

Cottage                       time pieces of the Ashburnham and Normanhurst Estates.







Morhouse         was a double fronted shop in the 1890's with a GROCERS one side and a DRAPERS the other side in the hands of John Wrenn.

                                         It appears as Mr Cramp was the  proprietor by 1915. The building dates from before 1700 and is Grade II listed.  Now a private house.


Neville & Co  was a SHOE SHOP in 1905 with John Beeney the shoe maker.



Hutchinson     Joe Hutchinson's little shop was a popular mens HAIRDRESSERS up on the bank in Lower Street in 1915. His sister Olive

                       had a ladies hairdressers next door.            



Saddlers        The SADDLERS SHOP was heavily relied upon to make and  mend all the harnesses and equipment of the horse dependent

                                           community. Mr Johnson in 1895  was followed by a Mr Wightwick  in 1903. The shop was moved to the other side of the road.



Cycle Shop     William Catt was in 1915 a CYCLE AGENT he also repaired  cycles in the back of his house.  






Grocers      1918 Mr Hopper's GROCERS SHOP, was later in the 1950s run by Mr Phillips, before turning into a well renowned


Frost's        CHEESE SHOP which closed in 1979

Cheese        The present day POST OFFICE was finally moved here in the mid 1990s  



Post Office  After demolition in 1975 the Post Office moved to the back of Manchester Stores in Manchester Road (Back Road).  When this general store closed the post office was moved to London House and then for a short time into Strawberry Cottage next to the United Friends pub (formerly the New Inn).  It is now located in the premises previously occupied by Frosts Cheese Shop with our lovely postmistress, Sophie, firmly and efficiently in

charge !     In February 2013 the post office wall adjoining the village stores was knocked through to combine  the two.




Pook's        1918 Mr & Mrs Pook had a SWEET SHOP which was then later run by Mr and Mrs Harmer. 1964 it became the 'Star Value Stores.'

                                     It  carried on as a GENERAL STORES by  the Goodwin's in 1967 behind the counter.  Today it is the Ninfield Stores with Chris Moore,

                                     one of the last  two shops still serving the village. The other being the Post Office next door.


Rose           use to be a BUTCHERS SHOP with   Mr Ottaway as the Butcher in 1918  




Packham      The well known Packham brothers were ENGINEERES who took their huge thrashing machines round the local farms at                                      Bros:            harvest time.    





Sweet Shop   1918 a Mr Hoad had a SWEET SHOP called The Clockhouse along the Hooe Road on the corner by Russell's Lane.


Tannery         An important business, the TANNERY employed a lot of villagers and supplied the local Saddlers and GLOVE maker

                    with leather. It closed in 1886.




compiled by Corinne Gibbons and Jan Cooper

NLHG members