Gorey Village shops

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Gorey Village shops


The Post Office has moved a number of times over the decades

This article was first published in the parish magazine, Grouville Gazette

Old Bank House

Many of the properties in Gorey Village have been home to shops and businesses throughout the years, and the Old Bank House, located at the northern part of the main road is typical of this. The property was originally two houses, sold in 1837 by Elizabeth Le Seelleur to Edouard Le Vesconte.

The properties remained in the Le Vesconte family until they were sold to Walter Thomas Le Cocq in 1898. In this contract they are recorded as ‘two certain houses’. However the 1861 census refers to the properties as the ‘Bank Shops’ in Don Road, Gorey Village.

Despite this there is no evidence to confirm that the property was ever a fully-fledged bank, and it has been suggested that the house may have been rented by a member of the Godfray family of the Jersey Old bank and subsequently given the name of the ‘Old Bank House’.

The 1901 and 1911 censuses show Walter and Mary Le Cocq running the 27-room house as a bakery, grocery store and boarding house. The 1931 Evening Post Almanac records a branch of the Midland Bank operating from the shop, managed by Clifford de la Mothe. He and his family evacuated just before the Occupation and the building was then commandeered by the German Forces.

In 1946 the property was bought by Albert Hayes, who continued to run a shop and guesthouse there. When Kevin Le Cocq bought the property in 1968, the shop rooms were converted and the whole building became the Old Bank House Hotel, as it is today.

The three shops on the main road opposite the entrance to New Road have housed various businesses for more than 150 years. The Evening Post Almanacs confirm that Glenroyd, out of which Entwhistle’s operates, has been a chip shop of sorts for many years, previously called Otto’s, Café de L’aise and the Cosy Café.

Walter Thomas Beck, son of John Beck, master butcher of Prairie House, bought the property in 1908 from Amelia Hann, wife of George, and opened a butcher’s shop. The 1891 census records that Amelia and George Hann were running a grocery store there previously called ‘Gorey Stores’.

George Hann purchased the property in 1887, from the Jersey Joint Stock Bank, following the bankruptcy of the Alger family, who purchased it in 1854 from Jean Germain. The property next door, Glenside, currently occupied by Lloyds Pharmacy, has been a dry cleaner, a butcher’s shop and grocery store over the years. It was home to a butcher’s for over 30 years from the 1930s to the late 1960s with Charles Mason recorded as the proprietor up until the late 1950s when Henry Rayson took over the business. Charles had purchased the property in 1952, from the Salvation Army, who had been bequeathed the house by Louisa Augusta Alger ten years earlier.

Before this, early census records show it a was a grocery store and public house for more than 30 years, run by Thomas and Ann Alger, Louisa’s grandparents. Prison records held at the Archive reveal that Thomas Alger, aged 50 and Ann Hicks, his wife, aged 45, were accused in May 1848 of deliberately setting fire to their house in Mulcaster Street. They were subsequently tried by the Grand Jury. Thomas was sentenced to 18 months hard labour and Ann found not guilty. Thomas died in 1863 and Ann continued with their business and in the 1871 and 1881 census she is recorded as a grocer and Innkeeper.

The third property in this small terrace houses Smile, the dry cleaner. It was occupied for over 30 years, between 1861 and 1891, by boot and shoemaker Robert Bryants. The 1861 census records him as aged 37, employing four men and one boy. By the 1901 and 1911 censuses Olivia Hinds had taken over the shop, which then became known as The Central Stores. She ran it until her death in 1938. In 1951 G Goldsmith ran an electrical shop there and the property was called Strathcombe. Since then it has been Rive’s Bakery, Le Brun’s Bakery and more recently a video and electrical store.

Clydestill Stores

A grocery called Clydestill Stores operated for many years in the property that is now home to the shop in the village called Eclat. Occupation Registration Cards for Charles and Minnie Boots reveal that they were the grocers there in 1941. The couple purchased the house called Clydestill in 1930 from John Le Vesconte Blampied, whose father, Philip, had bought it in 1880.

Amy and Louisa Jefferies, spinster sisters, also ran a laundry business from Clydestill, as had their mother and grandmother previously. When Charles and Minnie died within a month of each other in 1952, Minnie left the business to Ivy Erins, née Le Huquet, who ran the grocery until 1955, when Ivy and Bernard Marriette bought the property.

Other businesses, including a radio and television store, a fruit and vegetable store and a florist were also operated from the Clydestill shop at various times. A photograph from the 1960s shows that the shop also once housed the Gorey Post Office.

Postal Service records show that Ivy Kathleen Marriette, née Edsall, was the sub-postmistress for 50 years at various addresses in the village and on Gorey Pier. Ivy’s Occupation Registration Card shows her as the Sub-Post Mistress at Mont Orgueil House, but when the Germans ordered the clearance of Gorey Pier in 1944, she was forced to relocate the Post Office to the village, possibly into Old Bank House.

The Post Office in Gorey Village frequently moved premises and the almanacs reveal that it was located at Robinson’s Bakery, on the site of the Boat House, during the 1950s. Between 1934 and 1940 Clifford de la Mothe was recorded as the Sub-Postmaster at Old Bank House and between 1926 and 1934 Lewis Morey, proprietor of tearooms at Wesley House at the western end of the village, held the office.

Vera Hansford serving sweets in Rosedale Stores

Before this, in 1917, a telephone exchange was recorded in a house nearby called Ringarooma. The property was used as a post office and exchange with Mrs A E Andrews the sub–postmistress. Ringarooma was later converted to become part of Les Houmets Residential Care Home.

Earlier still, a post office was located in Cambrai House, on the corner of Main Road and Union Road. Mrs Margaret Lawrence, a draper and tobacconist, was recorded as the proprietor there between 1905 and 1918 and the 1911 census records confirm this, with Margaret living at Cambrai House with her three daughters and her sister-in-law, all assisting with the business.

Jersey Archive holds an Occupation Registration Card for Joseph Michael Kopp, who was born in 1889 in Munich, Germany, and is recorded as a hairdresser and shop owner at South View, Gorey Village. Joseph bought this property in 1934 from four Brothers associated with the Roman Catholic Chapel, which was located next door, and is now the Chinese restaurant.

In 1953 the property was bought by Philip Douglas Perchard, who ran a grocery there until 1966, when Stanley Obott bought the property.

In 1971 Albert and Gloria Truman bought South View and opened a newsagency there called Vanessa, which they sold in 1982 to C I Newsagents. The shop is now operating as a café called The Kitchen.

Rosedale Stores is not the oldest shop in the village, despite existing for over 140 years, but it is the one that has changed the least, with the shop frontage remaining the same for many decades. John du Feu is listed as a grocer there in the 1887 Jersey Almanac and the shop is still a grocery today. Mr du Feu was also listed as an undertaker at Rosedale and ran the business until his own death in 1915.

Property contracts reveal that he bought the whole property, including the main house and cottages, in 1880, from Jean Blampied and seems to have given the property its name. In 1919, when his daughter Ann Sophie sold the house, shop and two cottages, they were called Rosedale. Earlier contracts take the property back to a Jean Blampied, who sold it in 1849.

The shop has had various owners and in the early 1900s was a branch of the Beresford Supply Stores. In 1959 Len and Vera Hansford bought the shop, [1] running the business for decades, and family members still operate the store today.

Notes and references

  1. This is incorrect. The property was bought in 1959 by Mrs Hansford's aunt and uncle, Jack and Clarisse Le Cornu, from whom the Handsfords rented it. Later Mrs Hansford inherited the property
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