Tom White's Corner

From Historical Hastings

Tom White's Corner was a grocery store that existed where Pulpit Gate now stands at the seaward end of All Saints Street.

For over 100 years the various generations of the family ran the business. Per Sheila Devine (Historical Hastings):

Tom White’s son (also named Tom) had three daughters (two of whom - Naomi and Hannah lived into very old age) The shop at No 75 finally passed into the hands of Hannah’s son, Henry Richardson (the 4th generation of his family to run it). He must have been well known at the time, combining the role of grocer with a successful auctioneering business, he was a landlord and also an energetic and prominent councillor. He was apparently a man of “fine physique” and often the subject of entertaining pieces in the local press. He married a lady called Sarah and they had 11 children. Unfortunately in 1911, disaster struck. Sarah suddenly died, Henry took solace in drink and soon barely spent a night at home. This started to cause tensions at home and one evening a terrible scene erupted. Screams were heard from No 75, a large crowd gathered and Henry was found with his hands around the throat of his daughter Edith who by “giving him too much mouth” had clearly sent him over the edge. Henry was sent to Lewes Prison for 2 months. On his release, his troubles deepened - he went bankrupt (losing the grocery business that had been in his family for over 100 years) and was in court again for letting sub-standard property which had become “swamped by the sea”. In 1912 his health began to fail and he died a month later at the age of 48.


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