Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

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108                         THE OLDEST GROCER'S SHOP                     chap.
do anything with the ball except make it speak. In order to get practice with worthy players he would walk from Duncton to Brighton, just as Lambert would walk from Reigate to Lon­don, or Noah Mann ride to Hambledon from Petworth. Jim Broadbridge's first great match was in 1815, for Sussex against the Epsom Club, including Lambert and Lord Frederick Beauclerk, for a Thousand Guineas. BroadbridgCj after his wont, walked from Duncton to Brighton in the morning, and he looked so much like a farmer and so little like a cricketer that there was some opposition to his playing. But he bowled out three and caught one and Sussex won the money.
Above Duncton rises Duncton Down, which is eight hundred and thirty-seven feet high, one of our mountains. But we are not to climb it just now, having business in the weald some four miles away to the east, past Barlavington and Sutton, at Bignor.
Admirers of yew trees should make a point of visiting Bignor churchyard. The village has also what is probably the quaintest grocer's shop in England ; certainly the completest contrast that imagination could devise to the modern grocer's shop of the town, plate-glassed, illumined and stored to repletion. It is close to the yew-shadowed church, and is gained by a flight of steps. I should not have noticed it as a shop at all, but rather as a very curious survival of a kindly and attractive form of architecture, had not a boy, when asked the way to the Roman pavement, which is Bignor's glory, mentioned " the grocer's" as one of the landmarks. One's connotation of " grocer" excluding diamond panes, oak timbers, difficult steps, and reverend antiquity, I was like to lose the way in earnest, had not a customer emerged opportunely from the crazy doorway with a basket of goods. It was natural for the boy, whose pennies had gone in oranges and sweets, to lay the emphasis on the grocery ; but the house externally is the only one of its kind within miles.
In some respects there is no more interesting spot in Sussex
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