Flower shop opens at historic Horsham site

JPCT 231014 S14450039x Horsham. Mother-in-law and daughter have taken over the shop under the Iron Bridge where they will be selling eggs and flower. Margaret and Wendy Markham -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141023-113026001
JPCT 231014 S14450039x Horsham. Mother-in-law and daughter have taken over the shop under the Iron Bridge where they will be selling eggs and flower. Margaret and Wendy Markham -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141023-113026001
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An historic store near the Iron Bridge in Horsham has been brought back to life by new owners, who will continue to sell flowers and eggs.

The Arches, a building on Park Terrace West, near Horsham town centre, has been used as a store for decades but was left uninhabited for much of this year following the retirement of the previous owner.

However, it has now been taken on by Wendy Markham with help from her mother-in-law Margaret Markham, and renamed the Iron Bridge Flower Shop.

Margaret, 74, of Capel, said: “It has given me a new lease of life - I love coming here.

“There is something very special about it, and it is more than just a flower shop.

“It has got that personal touch and personal interest.”

For around 47 years, Norman Poile ran a flower and egg shop from the Arches.

But following an accident earlier this year, the pensioner gave up his shop.

The Arches were left empty for the first time in decades until Wendy, 49, from Horsham, took up the reins several weeks ago.

She said: “There has been quite a lot of interest.

“One lady from Chichester saw it from the train and was so excited. She said ‘I have got to tell people you are back again’.”

Wendy had been working from home, often arranging flowers for weddings and funerals.

She was taught by her aunt, a florist, and hoped to one day own a store.

She said: “Working from home is quite hard really, I love meeting people and I’m a bit of a chatterbox.

“You can tell the story of the place. Some people thought these were used as prison cells, but I have found out recently they weren’t.”

Although the family-run store is now under new management, the pair are determined to maintain the site’s history.

They are set to put up old photographs, dating back to the 1930s, of the site.

Wendy added: “For 40 years Norman had been doing Christmas wreaths - people were asking if I am doing them, and obviously I have already started.

“Not a day goes past without somebody coming in and asking how Norman is.

“We would like to wish Norman all the best.”

The Arches has previously been used as a fish market, by a woodsman who sharpened knives and blades, as garages, and by a greengrocer.