Cliffside Stores

Mary Hitchens stands in the doorway of the grocery and vegetable shop, Cliffside c1940. ‘Cliffside Stores, Groceries, Fruit, Sweets, Cigarettes and Tobacco’ is written on the sign.

Michael Hitchens, currently in lockdown in Spain, thought the woman in the doorway of the grocery and vegetable shop looked like his grandmother Hannah Deeble Hitchens. A census lists Hannah as the shop manageress with her husband ‘Jack’ Hitchens as bus owner and driver of what was the original brown and cream Penzance-Mousehole bus. However, Claire Murton says that the lady in the photograph was her mother, Mary Uren (néé Hitchens), daughter of Hannah and Jack, the photo probably taken before she married Charles Uren.

The shop was at Cliffside in Fore Street, Newlyn, on the corner of Boase Street. Cath Langman (nee Richards) who used to live in Church Street emailed to say that the shop had two entrances, one in Fore St and one in Boase St. The house next door at 16 Fore Street was called Westcliff, and was occupied by Michael Hitchens’ uncle, carpenter John Wroath, and his wife Olive. John was a keen rugby fan and Michael Hitchens and his father occasionally went to matches with him.

Cliffside is now double fronted with two bow windows with central access door and is one dwelling. The doors between Cliffside and Westcliff were originally an access to what would have been a small ope of properties and sail loft, which subsequently have been incorporated and extended into both the adjoining houses. Some years ago Westward TV aired a programme called Walking Westward with Clive Gunnell. He interviewed Granny Hitchens, at the time being the oldest female resident in Newlyn

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