Midhurst greengrocer shuts up shop after six decades

A greengrocer’s shop in West Street, Midhurst, has closed after more than 60 years in business.

The shutters have come down at Top Crop for the last time after what the Observer understands is a decision by the outgoing owner not to renew the lease on the property.

For many long-established Midhurst families, the shutdown signals another chapter has closed in Midhurst’s trading history.

Top Crop greengrocery opened in former hairdressers’ premises sometime in the 1940s. In 1949 it was bought by Margaret Thorpe and traded under her name until 1979, when she sold the business.

Among owners who came along after that was Graham Angell, until 1993 when it was bought by Janet Moreton and her partners Gordon and Sylvia Bicker.

Mrs Moreton ran the greengrocery and the partnership continued until 2007, when she retired and the business was again sold.

The longest period of ownership was, however, that of Mrs Thorpe. Her daughter, Molly Etherington, still has the bill of sale recording how she paid Alf Mordle the handsome sum of £325 for the business nearly 63 years ago, with all its stock, fixtures and fittings, and goodwill.

Mrs Etherington herself worked there for many years, during her mother’s time and beyond, until 1982.

For full story see Midhurst and Petworth Observer, January 5