C E Stent and Sons

Reproduced by the kind permission of Tony Hines

C E Stent and Sons was in Surrey House which is to the right of the Village Hall.

Mrs Marie Clay, daughter of Harry Stent, 1926:

Charlie Stent and family came to Brockham just after the First World War. Harold, his son, returned from France after 'Armistice' bringing with him his french bride Marguerite. She spoke no English but taughter herself by reading all the newspapers and become an active figure in village events. The shop was family run and incorporated everything needed for every day life.

'The shop sold local vegetables and fresh fruit when in season, garden and household implements, animal foodstuffs, parafin, candles etc. All kinds of sweets, including Aniseed Balls, sherbet, gobstoppers and liquorice. They were stored in glass jars.  Tea, coffee, and dairy goods, rice, tapioca and sago were all kept in large canisters.

All kinds of dried fruit, sugar (of all kinds) were kept in big wooden drawers and these had to be weighed on brass scales and wrapped in strong blue paper cones.

The shop sold had patted butter, lard, dripping margarine, cheese and bacon which was cut by hand, weighed and wrapped in grease-proof paper. There was also a bakery which turned out every type of bread, pastries and cakes, we were especially famous for hot cross buns. In the rear garden we kept pigs which provided sausages, brawn, pork pies and other delicacies'.

The shop expanded and Charlie and daughter Phyllis moved to 'Bank House' now the Spar shop. Phyllis ran the Post Office and drapery department, She had a great trade in crossover overalls! Harry continued at the original shop until Charlie retired.

Surrey House was sold to Bob Chudley, renovated and turned into a private house - as it is today.

Harry moved to Bank House and ran it until he retired.


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Marie Clay's father, Harry Stent is seated on the left carriage. Her grandfather Charlie Stent is standing behind the fence. Marie travbelled with her father int he carriage to make deliveries on Box Hill in about 1926.

Len Jordan: The Post Office (now the Spar) housed the business of C E Stent and Son.  Apart from stocking all groceries, they were also the village bakers.  The bake-house was at the back of their other shop further along.  Mr. Stent lived near the top of the straight, while his son Harry lived on the business
premises.  I don't remember if there was one house, or two semis' next door, but I can recall Mr. and Mrs.Vinall living there.

Reg Glanfield: Stent also had the shop where Surrey House now is in the 1920s. (Before him was Bellchambers) They seemed to sell something of everything including bread as the bake house was at the back of the house. To get to the bakery it was necessary to walk through what is now North View alongside the cobbler's workshop and out the back. Surrey House had a great deal of land at the rear around to the Village hall to the Post Office. One of the bakers lived above Surrey House.  I had my first job at fourteen delivering bread on a three wheel bike and I hated it. Keeping me and the bread dry was always a problem. I stayed in the job until I was seventeen then for six months I worked in the bakery but the life was not for me.


Surrey House next to the village hall