History

West Meon was at one time a vibrant trading village on the main route to the South Coast. Records show that by the mid-late 1800's there were two blacksmiths - John Burrows and the memorably named Felix Bono. There was a tailor, a milliner and dress-maker, a postmaster, a collector of rates and taxes and a bookshop and stationers. There were also farmers, carpenters, wheelwrights and builders and as a result there were a copuple of good pubs - and today the village still boasts 2 excellent pubs, the Thomas Lord and the Red Lion.

old shop front scan

The first record we can find relating to the Village Shop in its modern guise was in 1908. By this year the 'grocer, draper and agent for W. & A. Gilbey Limited, wine and spirit merchants', was Edward Tulley. We uncovered this name, in gold leaf lettering, when we started our major restoration in 2006 and it now sits inside the shop preserved in all its original glory. The Tulley family owned and operated the shop for over 50 years and the shop then passed into the ownership of Mr Barnett in or around the 1960's. Mr Barnett, while continuing to own the freehold, sold the leasehold of the shop to Mr Davies who ran the shop for a few years and then sold the leashold on to Mr Pye-Watson. It was in the mid 1980's that Sim Byles, who continues an association with the shop today, took over the leasehold, and he held it until the West Meon Community Shop was formed in 2006. The ownership of the freehold remains in the hands of the Barnett family through Janice Mitchell, his daughter, who has supported the establishment of the new West Meon Community Shop Association and we sincerely thank her for that!

Tulley signage

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