Families in Lindfield and across Mid Sussex were saddened to hear of the death last month of funeral director Jerry Masters. Jerry, who was born in the village and went on to run one of the longest-standing Lindfield businesses, Masters and Son, died on 11th November, aged 81. Our thanks go to the Masters family for sharing some of Jerry’s life story with us, taken for the eulogy read at his funeral at Wivelsfield Parish Church.
Jerry was born on 13th February 1933. His parents, Madge and Les Masters and his older sister Ann were living in the house called Downs in Lindfield High Street, which at the time was both family business and home.
He had a happy childhood in Lindfield - swimming in the Ouse in the summer, playing ice hockey and skating on the village pond in winter and enjoying tennis parties held on the lawn tennis court in the garden at Downs, now the site of the Co-op and Denman’s Lane car parks.
Jerry’s early education was at St Clair’s school and Sharrow Prep School, both in Haywards Heath, where he remembered being very embarrassed having to walk home in the grey and pink uniform!
In 1944, when he was 11 years old, he became a full time boarder at Caterham School. He spoke fondly of his time at Caterham and continued to attend old boys events after he had left.
He was pleased to return recently to watch Seb, his youngest grandson, play cricket for Ardingly College against his old school.
Jerry joined the 1st Lindfield Cubs as a young child, went on to become a Scout and a Senior Scout with the 1st Caterham School and continued as a Rover Scout with 1st Haywards Heath after he left school. Jerry had many stories of his time as a Rover Scout, invariably involving their official mode of transport which was an old London taxi affectionately named Arabella. One tale involved Jerry holding an unsecured door closed as they drove through Lindfield and in a momentary lapse of concentration, when he waved to a friend walking by the pond, letting go of the door which promptly fell off!
Read full article on pages 22/23.