GH Pressley & Sons
Business Address: GH Pressley & Sons, 46 South Street, Worthing BN11 3AA
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About GH Pressley & Sons
A long established and traditional family business steeped in history passed down through the generations.
It all began in 1865 when George Pressley left the Thomas Coram Orphanage in London at the age of fourteen to serve as an apprentice watchmaker and jeweller at James Houghton in Kilburn, London. After seven years he qualified and set up his own business in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
Following in his father’s footsteps, George Harry Pressley came to Worthing in 1905 to apply for a job at Gooch’s, a watchmaker and jeweller in South Street. His father had given him the 5 shilling fare from his home telling ‘Harry’ to ask for the return fare if he was not given the job!
G H Pressley and Sons was born and within four years George Harry had married Alice Feest and, with the financial help of his father-in-law, opened his own jeweller’s shop. G H Pressley and Sons was founded in 1909 at 85 Montague Street, Worthing. Shortly afterwards it moved across the street to 68. His two sons, Harry and Reg joined the business straight from school in 1925 and 1930 respectively.
Realising an ambition
In 1935 George Harry realised his long held ambition to trade in Worthing’s main shopping street by purchasing the shop’s present premises at 46 South Street, only a few doors away from his previous employer Gooch’s where he had learnt the trade.
A legacy for Worthing
When the Town Hall Clock was demolished in 1952 the Pressley family presented the town with a new clock, which still occupies a prominent position in South Street today.
In 1960 Reg’s son Charles joined the business but has now retired from daily involvement although he still acts as a consultant to the company. George Harry continued to be involved in shop life until he was 88. He died a year later in 1971.
A new shop in Brighton
In 1974 under the direction of Charles and Reg’s younger son Neville, an accountant, G H Pressley & Sons acquired Sussex Goldsmiths & Silversmiths, a long established jewellery business in Brighton. The company also traded in Bognor Regis between 1981 and 1998.
Harry retired in 1979 and Reg reluctantly put down his jeweller’s glass in 1999 at the age of 85. He died in 2005 followed three years later by Harry.
Celebrating a centenary
In 2009 G H Pressley & Sons celebrated its centenary. A year later the company embarked on an ambitious expansion programme under the guidance of fifth generation, Jonathan Pressley, Neville’s son and Charles’ nephew.
A new chapter
In September 2010 G H Pressley & Sons wrote a new chapter in its history. Pressleys Etcetera, a new designer jewellery shop opened next door at 44 South Street, Worthing.
The Pressley name is well known in Worthing and the values that built their reputation still remain true today, those of fine quality, wide and varied choice and unrivalled customer service.