Museum & Heritage Group Exhibition


Transport in Hurstpierpoint


Transport in Hurstpierpoint initially meant a walk from your home to the village or to your place of work. The more affluent had access to a horse or horse and carriage. 


The carriage from Danny House, c.1900


Horses were also employed by carriers. Ernie Cragg was one of those providing such a service in the village and Mr Walker in the shoe shop hired out horse-cabs as taxis; his horses also pulled the fire appliance. At one time both were out on hire as taxis when a fire was discovered at Washbrooks Farm so the appliance had to be man handled to the scene.





Most village traders used a horse and cart to make deliveries, until the advent of the motor.


Baker’s the butcher with delivery cart, c.1890’s
Marshall’s stores in Western Road, 1910
The delivery van for the village department store c.1900



James Starley of Albourne helped to make things easier for ordinary folk, being the inventor of the modern mass -produced bicycle after he moved to Coventry to work with Singer and then Rover.


Gentlemen of the Cycling Club c.1890’s
Ladies also joined, and in a parade of decorated and illuminated bicycles in October 1895, the club raised funds of £13 for the County Hospital.
 This was the beginning of the St. Lawrence Fair

Horse drawn bus outside the White Horse c.1900

The first form of public transport in the village was the horse drawn bus operated by Mr Cherriman which took people to and from Hassocks after the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway line was extended to Hassocks Gate in 1841.  The timetable of 1905 showed that the fast train from London Bridge took an hour and seventeen minutes to complete the journey to Hassocks while the slow took one hour and fiftyfour. In the early 1930’s the line was electrified reducing the times taken for the services which took people to and from London and Hassocks. The horse bus was replaced by the motor bus still operated by Cherriman.

Motor bus in the High Street

Trade Directory advertisement, 1929

Cherriman’s was later acquired by Southdown and services to Brighton were added.

The Hurstpierpoint service bus at Pool Valley Brighton, 1950’s

Village service single decker at Hassocks Station, 1950’s

During the 1990’s Green Line ran a service from Brighton to Gatwick airport via Hurstpierpoint. When this was taken over by Metro it started and finished in Crawley robbing us of a cheap route to the airport.

With the invention of the motor car the more affluent had their own motorised form of transport, some employed chauffeur/mechanics to look after them. Roads needed improvement, and work began on the modern A23, with the old King’s Head replaced by the current roadhouse style building.

A proud family show off their car, 1900’s

The advent of the affordable motor car meant that service stations were required to look after these, often previously blacksmiths or cycle shops which had expanded their expertise. By the 1950’s there were six such in the village, some serving petrol only and others offering maintenance and repair. 

Advertisement in Mid Sussex Directory, 1902

Olders Works on the original A23 at Sayers Common, c.1900

Central Garages at the top of Cuckfield Road, c.1950’s

In the nineteen twenties the High Street was still unpaved and had to be watered in summer to keep the dust down.

Repairs were carried out by rolling tar and grit into the surface. By the 1950’s a modern “metalled” surface made these activities unnecessary. 

Petrol station opposite the Green, 1973

Initially petrol was sold in five-gallon cans which were delivered to the railway station by train and collected from there by the owners of the garages, or in some cases by vehicle owners themselves.  By the nineteen eighties there was just the one, Pickett and White on the Albourne Road, now the car wash.

Private hire motor taxi services also sprung up giving more comfortable access to Brighton and further afield plus Gatwick Airport for example. Private hire taxi services are more popular than ever now with the reduction in bus services providing them with plenty of opportunity, particularly in the evenings.

Trade Directory advertisement, 1955
Here he is at Hassocks station in 1955.

To enable the Museum group to continue putting on exhibitions in the foyer of the Village Centre we need to generate approximately £300 a year. We cannot charge for the exhibitions so would welcome contributions from the public.

Please contact  Brian Judge at if you can help with future funding or joining with us in putting on future displays

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