Trades and Occupations

Trades and Occupations - introduction

As isolated villages between the downs and the high seas, Brook and Mottistone have always been small communities that thrived on hard work. Employment was mostly from the land and the sea and incomes depended on an intimate knowledge of the physical environment, the sea state and the weather.

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The Sun Inn

The history of the Sun Inn at Hulverstone goes back many years. Its early history is unclear, but we know for sure that an ale house was on this site in 1816...

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Shoemakers and Cobblers

In 1841 there were two shoemakers in Brook, James and Robert Raynor, and a shoe binder called Elizabeth Collyer (the shoe binder added the upper to the sole)...

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The Post Office

Hulverstone Post Office was run by the Newbery family.The Post Office was in what is now Bank Cottage, Hulverstone...

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Gamekeepers

A house given a wide berth by many young lads and poachers was the one known as Keeper’s Cottage (Toll Bar Cottage) in Hulverstone...

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The District Nurse

With no doctors in the countryside and no National Health Service, the district nurse played a vital role in village communities.

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Carpenters

There was always work for carpenters in Brook and the surrounding villages.  In 1841 there were three carpenters, Benjamin Groves, 54, his son Barnaby, 28, and a William Leigh, 45. In 1851 the carpenters were Walter Jacobs, Barnabus Groves and a young William Newbery, aged 21.

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Gardeners

By the turn of the 20th century there were seven full-time gardeners employed in Brook...

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Shops

In 1871, Thomas Mussell, a grocer, is recorded at the Sun Inn, Hulverstone.

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Carriers

Carriers were vital to village life as they provided the only transport from the villages to the market town of Newport...

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General Jack Seely remembers David Hookey

In Forever England (1932), General Jack Seely describes getting back to Brook after a busy week in Parliament and going to visit his friend the local blacksmith, David Hookey:

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Blacksmiths

Barnabus Cooper bought the blacksmith’s shop at Downton Farm in 1799 and was the first recorded blacksmith in Brook.

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Occupations 1841 - 1911

The census records collated here give an idea of the variety of occupations in this small part of the Isle of Wight from 1841 to 1911. It is important to note that they are not always accurate as they were taken on one day of the year and the Seely family and their full compliment of servants, for example, may well have been in London or Nottinghamshire.

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