Memories of Stuart Low’s Orchid Nurseries

Further to my recent post about Stuart Low’s Orchid Nursery in Jarvis Brook, Crowborough, I have received the following via Facebook from Glenn Standell who worked there :

I worked there in 1970 and it was pretty run down then. Miss LOW was very old so I would say it probably closed in the 70’s. But someone may know differently.

Miss LOW lived in a large house on the end of the driveway opposite Jack DE COENE and his wife on the opposite side.

I worked with Bert JOHNS the head grower at that time.  They apparently grew carnations on one part of the site, but that was derelict when I worked there.

I knew Jack (De Coene) very well with his wit (usually at my expense) and his blue eyes which were quite stunning! I only worked there for 9 months then trained to be an electrician. But I do remember going to an auction at Caxton Hall in London to sell the plants which were mainly Cattleyas.

Still on Facebook, Wendy Rowe today posted a newspaper article about the sale of the land for £62,500 in, she thought, 1972, which directly led to my finding for sale ads in the Kent & Sussex Courier of May/June/July 1972, culminating in this from 28th July 1972 :

1972 07 28 Stuart Low Orchid Nursery sold

The for sale ads mentioned Orchid Lodge, “a modern detached house with 3 bedrooms”, and Brookhurst “an eight-roomed detached Victorian residence for modernisation”, in addition to a paddock, a field, glasshouses, and building plots with outline planning consent for 2 detached dwellings.

I think the Miss LOW mentioned by Glenn above may well have been the aunt of Keith LOW, Miss Winifred LOW who lived at Flat 2, Brookhurst and died on 26th March 1971 [1].

So there we are.  The Nurseries closed in 1971/2.  Thank you to everyone who helped. Maybe one day we’ll also establish exactly when they opened…

[1] Source Information : England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.   Original data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England © Crown copyright.