Richard I Henty

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Richard I.Henty by Pat Saunders

Henty & Constable Ltd

The last managing director of Henty & Constable was Richard Henty. He joined the firm in 1927, since the death of Archie Constable had created a vacancy on the board. Richard had trained and qualified as a barrister, but gave up his practise in London on joining the firm. The following year in London, Richard married Miss Lettice Moore-Gwyn, eldest daughter of Major & Mrs Moore-Gwyn of Liss in Hampshire. Other members of the Henty family attended the wedding, as well as Major Guy Constable, his wife and daughter. The Henty’s Sussex home was ‘The Poplars’ at Boxgrove.

Richard became keenly interested in local affairs. He carried on Julia Henty’s interest in the local hospital. He became the first chairman of the Hospital Management Committee. He had previously been Chairman of the Board of Governors. In this work he was recognised as having “great organising ability and tact”. He was held in great esteem and affection by both members of the committee and the hospital staff.

Richard would also involve himself in the Brewery’s social activities. In June 1939, in the company of Mr.Ingrey the brewery manager, Richard attended a cricket match held at the Bat and Ball, Broadhalfpenny Down, between Mr Wilfrid Wadhams XI and Mr.R.I.Henty’s XI. A dinner was held in the evening, at which some speech making took place. A lengthy description of the ‘memorable day at Broadha’penny Down’ was written up in the following week’s West Sussex Gazette.

During the Second World War, Richard became a commissioned officer in the R.A.F. ground staff. For a period he served in the operations room at Tangmere R.A.F. Station. In 1941, under the war-time procedure, he was appointed to Chichester City Council, and continued to serve until his resignation in March 1950. He was later awarded a Coronation Medal.

In May 1951, Richard accepted the presidency of the Brighton and County Licensed Victuallers Association (LVA). He was the first brewer for over twenty-one years to have held the post. Richard had this to say when he accepted:-

“Making money is not the sole object of the brewers, as many suggest. They try to produce a good article for the public, and by wise judgement endeavour to provide everyone with that reasonable living which is essential for the well-being of the Trade.”

Later that year, in November when the Brighton and County L.V.A held their annual banquet and ball in the Royal Pavilion, Brighton; Richard had this to say in his speech:-

“The Licensed Trade had many competitors, - the cinema, dog racing and others - but the public-house could give something that the others could not. A public-house had atmosphere from the elbows that had leant on the bar in past years”.

He told licensees “to look at their houses with new eyes, to try to see it as a stranger does and try to make their houses attractive. Here was an opportunity for the brewer and tenant to get together and improve trade.”

He had a rare talent for business, or for anything that he turned his hand to. So that his sudden death early in 1954 was a great loss to the brewery. During 1953, Richard had fallen ill and needed to spend five weeks in the Royal West Sussex Hospital. It was the main reason when he resigned from the Hospital Management Committee. To recuperate from this illness, in late December 1953, Richard went on a cruise to South America. However he was well enough to attend his daughter’s wedding at Boxgrove early in December. It had been expected that Richard would make a full recovery, but in January as the ship S.S.Andes was making its return, Richard suddenly died aged 51. He left an estate of £114,752, (£97,336 net, duty paid £14,680). The funeral was held at the Cathedral on 17th March 1954.