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Petworth’s Early Brexit Feel


A West Sussex town’s only cashpoint has stopped working leaving residents wondering whether this is an early taste of Brexit

photo showing picturesque houses in rural Sussex market town of Petworth
Petworth W Sussex

Petworth used to be a bustling market town with a Police station, Magistrates’ Courts and two banks overlooking its fine Square.

Yet, one by one the utilities have gone, including the shops, petrol forecourt and more recently both the banks leaving residents with just the one cashpoint in the corner of the former National Westminster Bank. 

Six weeks ago this too, stopped working leaving with anxious shoppers having to fall back on the Post Office for withdrawing cash at the counter.

“I can let you have £100, but no more than that,” the cashier told an elderly pensioner, “otherwise I won’t have enough for tomorrow.”

Walking across to the town’s supermarket, a small Co-op branch, the assistant had the same message.

“You can have a £20 or £40, but no more,” she told one customer asking for cashback.

Anne, now in her nineties, was a teenager during WWII, and she said;

“I remember during the bombing shops telling us there was no bread today but we could have extra sprouts instead. We just learned to make do and get on with it.”

The residents seemed to be dealing with the cash storage remarkably well, giving hope that any Brexit hiccups will be treated as stoically.

Will today’s youth be able to handle being told that their supermarket hasn’t got all sixteen different flavours in stock, but it still has some ice cream which is better than none?

Britain will undoubtedly cope with Brexit, and even if there are supply glitches, we will manage. After all, Granny did. 

And finally, as every cloud has a silver lining, someone mentioned that NatWest was finally going to fill up their cash machine and get it working again. If not today, then tomorrow. 


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