Shop story

Hidden Treasures – Annie and Jim

Back in the Summer, two of our customers, Annie and Jim, were surprised to find a book with their photo inside at our Chidham Shop! We met with them to hear about how they felt finding the book and the story around it.

Why do you shop at St Wilfrid’s?

Jim: To support the Hospice, I have raised several hundred pounds before for the charity through the Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society which I have been a Trustee at for 55 years. We like to support the shops, there’s one in Emsworth and Chidham that we visit quite frequently. It’s a jolly good place and a good service to the community.

Annie: We always try them first. We’ve bought and given furniture to the shops, and done fundraising for the charity. We just like to support the Hospice. The trouble with the shops is there’s always something you’ll love and I’ve got a house full of it! Whenever we go by I always say let’s go and have a look and I always come out with something.

Would you recommend shopping at St Wilfrid’s?

Annie: Oh yes! They are lovely people who work there. So friendly. The Hospice does such an amazing job and we try to support you all the time we can.

Jim: You feel good buying things there as you’re helping to support the Hospice and we’ve bought all sorts from the shops and donated bits as well. We’d rather shop at a Charity Shop than a main shop really and we do support you a lot.

What was your latest find in one of our shops?

Annie: It was coming up to the Goodwood Revival and we popped into Chidham Shop, which had lots of books out, and the Stirling Moss book was one of them.

Jim: I saw the book and opened it and said “Oh” as I opened it onto our page.

Annie: The lady at the desk looked up at us and said “Oh have you found something interesting” and we just said, “Oh no, just a picture of us!”.

We recognised the cover of the book and bought it for our Grandson, who is very keen on racing. We bought another book at the same time as well. It was quite a surprise really, and the lady at the desk really found it amazing that we found a book with our picture inside

Tell us about the story behind the photo?

Jim: So, the photo shows myself and my wife, who was a nurse at the time, pulling bits of metal off of the car Stirling Moss had crashed in at the Goodwood Motor Circuit. This was in 1962, so over 60 years ago now.

Annie: We were the track ambulance nurses, and we were all voluntary.

Jim: I was on the other side of the track and Moss had crashed on the side opposite us and I just saw his car hood fly up into the air with the number 7 on it and thought “Oh, that’s Moss”. We had to run across the track, dodging the Formula One cars, which looking back was a very silly thing to do.

Annie: As I was a nurse and I was tending to his wounds, and I looked at him and thought “You’re not right” and he had started turning blue. I knew that drivers always chewed chewing gum, so assumed he was choking, I managed to get the gum out and his colour slowly came back.

It was just being in the right place at the right time.

Jim: We became friends with Stirling Moss and met quite a few times over the years.

Annie: I became very good friends with his wife, and we would meet every year at the Revival where he would take us into the Drivers Tent and this went on until he died.

Jim: Two years ago, Goodwood had a big tribute to him and the Duke mentioned us as we helped save his life. They also drove all of Moss’ cars around and gave us a lift in one of the Rolls Royce and we got a large applause. The Duke of Richmond said we had given him another 60 years of life.

Annie: We also had a meeting at the Kennels with Sky, who did a documentary on him and they interviewed us! And we walked them through the story and where the crash happened.

We already own one version of the book, which was signed and given to us by Stirling Moss saying, “Thanks for being there when I really needed you”. The one we found in the Chidham Shop, we gifted to our Grandson who loves cars and wanted his own copy.

Like our Chidham Shop volunteers, we couldn’t believe Annie and Jim’s story, and loved to hear that they found a precious treasure, full of memories in our shop.

With 12 Charity Shops in our catchment area, and an online shop, there are plenty of ways to explore what’s on offer. Maybe you could find a hidden treasure too.

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