Memories Project

We all have a story to tell, whether it is from our childhood, war time, work or family, there is something that we can all relate to.

The Memories Project started during the Old School project in 2013 to capture childhood and school memories in Storrington.

We have now expanded this project to create an oral history to capture and share our life experiences. If you would like to add your story please contact us.

Dorothy’s memories:

“One of the children’s jobs involved taking a pram base down to the gas works to buy a sack of coke which they then wheeled all the way up School Hill and Thakeham Road, with the wheels trying to go one way and the sack the other! It was hard work but also very funny.

The pram base also came in useful when they visited the sawmill in Thakeham Road which had a children’s corner where they could load up cheap offcuts to wheel home for lighting the fire”

The Storrington Gas Company in the High Street

Brian remembers Greenfields as owning almost all the shops in the village. Their upholstery workshop, where he later served his apprenticeship, was down the bottom of the High Street near the stream. Businesses not owned by them included Tanners the sweet shop in Church Street, Dingle and Taylor the butchers who were in Storrington for many years, a saddler’s shop which also sold fireworks, Ham and Knight (the electrical shop), a cycle shop and also a dairy in the square which later moved to Greyfriars Lane.

Greenfiled’s stores in West Street

Eric left school at 14 and started with his father at the Corner Garage as an apprentice there.

“Of course in those days apprentices had to serve petrol, repair push-bikes, the local garage did everything actually. When I say “serve petrol” I mean the petrol pumps were hand operated. If anyone came in and said “Would you check my tyres please” you went back and got a hand gauge and a foot pump and you checked all round them”.

Sagger’s, The Corner Garage

Trixie’s family were living in the East Lodge at Fryern because her father had got a job there as a gardener just before the war. The walk from Fryern to Rydon (school) was, yet again, a very long one, and every day she had to remember to take her gas mask along, with gas mask drill at the start of every day. Fryern Lodge had an outside toilet and, although a bathroom had been built on, it had only cold water. All the water for washing and baths had to be heated in the copper in the kitchen. Trixie remembers getting wood from the park for the copper. In the living room there was a black grate which had to be black leaded.

Fryern House

John’s Royal Air Force memories while serving with 619 Squadron

“During the afternoon all the crews involved in the operation would attend a detailed briefing about the target which was given by the Station Commander, the Squadron CO and Intelligence and Met Officers. Crew members made notes relevant to their roles and, after the briefing, the route and target maps would be studied so that each crew member was familiar with the route, defended areas, target marking by the Pathfinder Force, time of attack and other important details. We’d then go to the Mess for supper (eggs and bacon), don our flying gear and report back to draw parachutes, rations (flasks of coffee, sandwiches, chocolate bars and sweets) and ‘Mae West’ life jackets in case we should crash in the sea plus any other gear required.”

“At the specified time, the crew bus would drop us at our aircraft’s dispersal point, the pilot would confirm with the groundcrew that everything was serviceable, discuss any problems we needed to keep an eye on and sign the necessary form. The rear gunner would kick the tailwheel for luck and we’d climb aboard, stow our gear, test our equipment and haul up the rear ladder, The engines would be started, then we’d taxi out and follow the other Lancasters until it was our turn to enter the runway and take off.”