Nurse Stoner, writing about Cuckfield in the 1880s when this photo was taken, says that Mrs Brigden kept the shop. This is evidently the widow of Mr Brigden, sadler of Cuckfield, to whom a lad named John Burgess was apprenticed. The boy’s father John Burgess senior, a leather worker who had emigrated from Ditchling to New York, was writing letters to his son in Cuckfield early in the 19th century.
Nurse Stoner writes ‘the field at the top of the place was truly a spinning field - a man named Ben Gray sat there making rope for Mrs Brigden who kept the shop in the High Street’.
Other Cuckfield journals refer to the old Rope Walk. The hard footpath behind beside the iron railing that separates the Burrell lands from Cuckfield Park is much used today but some people ask why it is called the Rope Walk and the Spinning Field.
Images and copy taken from Maisy Wright's 'Cuckfield in old picture postcards'
Cuckfield Museum reopens on July 31st!