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1946: the year we moved in

Petworth Road
Photo by Tony Mould

Snow over your wellies

I lived at 22 Petworth Road and 1946 was the year my family moved in. I well remember the horrible winter of 1947 when the snows came over the tops of your wellies. We lived on the uphill side of Petworth Road, so as kids we could nip over the back fence and across the field to the shops in Mackie Avenue. Those shops were easier to get to than the ones by the Wilmington pub, and the number 5 bus service to there was also better. Initially the bus did not come as far as the bottom of Midhurst Rise, but stopped around The Snipe public house. I remember the conductor’s ticket holder was like a row of mousetraps on a board, and he punched a hole in the side of each ticket to indicate what stop you got on at. When on the top deck, instead of ringing the bell for the driver to go, he would stamp his foot.

Many mobile tradesmen

Grooms were the bakers that impaled the final loaves at the far end of their van using a rusty nail on the end of a long pole. There was also a weekly collection of swill to feed pigs, a visiting knife sharpener, the Corona man and the tally man. I remember the guy with a barrow selling pints of winkles, and of course the man shouting, “RAG BONE”. I also recall the mobile grocer who used an old grey army van fitted out as a walk-in shop to sell his wares. When aged about 6, an aunt escorted me from it after I was asked if Mummy wanted any eggs, for my immediate response was, she didn’t want any because Daddy always got the eggs from the black market!

Comments about this page

  • Hi Roy. I bet your name was mud after coming out with that remark. It gave me a good laugh and helped to wake me up as I am sitting at my computer at 5 am on Sunday morning!

    By John Wignall (06/01/2013)
  • Coincidentally we also lived at No. 22 Petworth Road from 1963, that very cold winter. Joe Dartnell, master brickie who laid a thousand bricks a day, with Mum Nora, sisters Jill and Vanessa and brother Brent. We saw Patcham Fawcett School built behind our back garden only to be demolished a couple of decades later! Who would have thought that the Snipe public house would end up as a Sainsbury’s? I would like to get a blue plaque put up outside as Joe used to sing in the public bar when Michael Beacom was the landlord. Happy days.

    By Michael Dartnell (03/10/2013)

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