taking our culture forward

The early history of Caley's Store

Tue, 04 Feb 2020

Following the announcement of the imminent closure of Caley's Store in Sulby (about which we made a short film in 2017), Mr Stan Kewley very kindly sent us further information about the early history of the store. Mr Kewley very generously offers the following as an aid to anyone looking to piece together this period of Sulby history:


The shop was built by my grandparents, Mr and Mrs Quayle. I do not have a date, but many years ago I was told that the family had previously had a shop in the front room at Elm View, near the station, which was run as a small general store. My mother, Gladys Quayle, and her two sisters, Mona and Gwen lived at Elm View as children. Elm View also provided holiday accommodation for visitors from the south of the Island.

When planning the new shop, the Quayles acquired stone from a quarry on the hill above Gob y Volley and carted it down to the village by horse and cart and storied in in a field near the cross roads. Subsequently, they were in the UK for some time and when they returned the stone had been used for an urgent project and never replaced. And I was told that that was why the building was built with brick!

I understand that my grandfather Quayle died in 1935, the year I was born. In the late thirties and fortes, when as a child, I visited the shop with my mother, the sign above the shop read ‘E. E. Quayle,’ my grandmother’s name. It was a busy shop and in the summer they served afternoon teas to visitors on the lawn adjacent to the Glen Road and sold petrol from a hand-operated pump on the pavement.

My grandmother, Edith Eliza Quayle, owned the shop for many years and her daughter, now Mona Garrett, later took over the shop from her mother and I assume she inherited it on her mother’s death in 1953. Mona ran the shop during the war years and into the mid-late 1950s. During this time she was assisted by Mrs Mabel Caley; her late husband was Station Master at Sulby when I was a small child.

When Mona’s son, John, expressed an interest in farming, Mona and her husband, Jack Garrett, moved to The Grange Farm, behind Cronk Sumark and Mrs Caley took over the running of the shop. At some stage Mrs Caley took over ownership of the shop and was assisted by her son, Raymond. And, of course, Raymond eventually took over the Store and Post Office and ran it for decades.

I understand that Elm View was built by my great-grandfather, a Fargher, and his brothers built similarly styled houses alongside. It was suggested to me that a young Quayle came from Foxdale to be the first Station Master at Sulby Station when the northern line first opened and that he stayed at Elm View – where he met Edith Fargher – but this has not been verified.

I hope that these comments may be of help to anyone piecing together Sulby’s history.


For our film about Caley's Store made in 2017, please visit here: Caley's Store, Sulby