Thomas Pryer, lifelong resident of Chichester, was interviewed by the West Sussex Gazette in 1936, when he was 91 years old. The ‘Gazette claimed he was their oldest reader, who remembered when the ‘papers first edition was published in 1853.
Pryer remembered seeing old cottages that stood opposite the Cathedral in West Street being demolished. He attended the Oliver Whitby (‘Bluecoat School’) in West Street. He recalled that for supper they were given beer in ‘tin mugs’ and that in the morning the same mugs – unwashed – were filled with milk for breakfast.
He claimed that in his youth he met the great Free Trade advocate, Richard Cobden, and also Henry Manning, who would later find fame as Cardinal Manning – the first Roman Catholic cardinal in England since The Reformation.