The following are a number of random memories by some people in the village who, without exception, have recalled Hetty and her shop with a smile.
Hetty lived in one of the South Cottages in The Dunes area of Thorpeness, a little lady with metal rimmed glasses. The shop consisted of one small room containing a large table and numerous boxes around the room and they progressed up the stairs as well. This gave the appearance of chaos but Hetty knew exactly where everything was. During the warmer months pots of tea were sold from a small table in front of the shop.
Sweets, tobacco and general haberdashery were sold and she was renowned for expecting, even requiring, politeness from her customers, especially the children. When they wanted to buy sweets Hetty would form a cone out of newspaper to sell the sweets in. One lady remembered her mother insisting that she only bought individually wrapped sweets because, as the shop did not have running water laid on, Hetty's hands were not always as clean as they could be. Another person remembered being sent to buy elastic, Hetty stretched it out first before measuring it, obviously keeping an eye on the profit margins.
In her later years she used a magnifying glass to identify the coins being paid to her. She lived to the great age of 88 and died on January 28th 1962. She is without doubt one of those memorable characters who has contributed to the special history of Thorpeness and is buried in St. Andrew's churchyard.
Whilst finding this picture of Hetty’s house TAHG committee member Hilary Chandler added the following memories of her own…..
Here’s a photograph of the tiny cottage where she lived, hers being the end one to the right. I remember she was very small in stature and quite bent over and she would sell stuff on a Sunday that was not usually allowed like washing powder which had to be put in a paper bag to conceal it! The cigarettes were kept on the little stair-case that appeared when she opened what looked like a cupboard door in the kitchen and she sat in a big old wooden chair covered with cushions in the corner of the front room which was the shop itself. Surrounding the chair on shelves were old fashioned jars of sweets ready to be got down and weighed out on the scales.