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  THE STORY OF SHOREHAM                                
                JOHN MOOREY              
                                       
" and looked it, every inch." He might have sat for the portrait. of Tony Weller, and in his dogmatic fashion of letting all outsiders realise their hopeless ignorance of horseflesh and the art of driving, was looked up to as a species of man who "knew everything."                              
  and grandams," we are told, " knew full well he could concoct most wholesome."
                             
  A local rhyme credits him with extensive knowledge and peculiar gifts, including prophecy and second sight, but like all prophets, he found some who lacked faith in his powers.
During the early years of the nineteenth century, the " Shoreham Cart " was the only public means of conveying goods between Shoreham and Brighton. Its owner and driver  
  Doubtless a good sort of fellow, John took the world as he found it. He was fond of his glass of grog, and so after the day's work was done, having fed his horse and put his cart in the shed, he would repair in the evening to the Star, and, from the comfortable settle's snug embrace and before a blazing fire, hold forth to those " who did believe." Amongst the assembled company on. these occasions, the rhyme informs us that :
           
Picture  
                             
    There was Harry Hather and " Canab '' " Calibogus " and Tom Puzzy,      
    Caleb Burrows and " Old Slab," With others quite as muzzy.                
                             
    Still, there were many, most profoundSuch as the sexton and the crierWho looked with solemn gestures, round, Their souls being all on fire.    
                             
    While John described the sights he saw As he did drive along;      
    Which quickly struck these friends with awe Whom he did mix among.  
                             
    Strange sights on earth, strange sights at sea, And stranger still in sky ;  
    Which unto him did oft appear, And sometimes very nigh.                  
                             
              I do remember well, a tale John Moorey once did tell Of scores of ships all in full sail That in the clouds did dwell.                  
was John Moorey, who sometimes carried a passenger or two in his vehicle. He " set out " every morning from Shoreham at nine, reaching the King's Head in West Street, Brighton, at, twelve, and leaving again for Shoreham at three, " in weather foul or fine."                      
                             
    And which he saw so wondrous clear As he did pass " Bo-peep,"          
    With smoke of guns, and as it were Ships sinking in the deep.            
A somewhat remarkable man in his day and generation, old. John Moorey combined with the business of country carrier the art of quackery, and his cures of ague, colic, dyspepsia, lumbago and tic, are said to have been most wonderful. " Nurses                              
    Then John, said he, " a battle's fought By Nelson on the sea,        
    Some ships he sunk, and some he caught, And some from him did flee."      
                                       
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Copyright © Martin Snow 2002 All rights reserved
Revised 27 February 2002