Community Articles

William Arthur Bruton
Ruth Mancktelow (nee Bruton) writes about her father and her own life.
W A Bruton outside his shop, 18 Long Street

This photo shows my late father, William Arthur Bruton outside his ironmongers shop at 18 Long Street. I believe it was taken during the late 1940’s or early 1950’s.

He sold the business during the middle 1950’s and retired to a new property in Queensway - No:- 1. He died there in 1957.

During the war years he maintained an ‘open house’ and many servicemen spent an evening playing billiards or snooker in a room above the shop. Also during the war years, he was a member of the ARP. ("Put that light out!")

He was a one time member of the local council and also the rifle club which met, I believe, in the attic of a pub at the top of Long Street.

My family moved to Wotton in 1940 and I then attended the school near the church. Convent of the Holy Cross. After that I went to KLBGS and then to the Bristol college of Technology to do a course in institutional management.

My first job was at Rose Hill School as assistant matron during which I met my husband to be. He lived in Sevenoaks in Kent but knew the school via a friend who worked there who in turn was introduced to the school via a contact at Cotswold Collotype.

I was a bellringer at St Mary's Church and was also involved with local Brownies and Guides.

In 1958 my then widowed mother and I moved to Sevenoaks. I married in Sevenoaks and have lived there ever since, occasionally passing through Wotton - and reminiscing - when visiting an old friend - Cynthia Curtis nee Browning - in Stinchcombe.

It may be of interest to know that a lifelong friend, Ann Griffiths nee Willcock (married Peter Griffiths) who lived in Wotton now lives in Meopham in Kent, about 12 miles from Sevenoaks.

Ruth Mancktelow.

Nee - Bruton.