King’s Lynn – High Street History

High Street traders c1820 – 2018

This is a comprehensive record of all of Lynn’s High Street traders and their families from the early 1800s through to the present day. Wherever possible, the families have been traced in some detail. The starting point has been the trade directories (Pigot, White, Slater, Harrod, Kelly etc.) but there were gaps of up to ten years between each edition. The gaps have been filled by extensively trawling though the local newspaper archives. Advertisements and notices have provided many precise dates for the arrival of a new shop and for its closure. Scans from many of these advertisements are included in the gallery. Searches of birth, marriage and death records, census returns and family trees have added the details that show where the traders came from and where they went. There are stories of success and failure, of fortunes made and fortunes lost, of hardship and determination to succeed. Two devastating fires in 1884 and 1897 destroyed Jermyn’s great store and several more besides. Heroes emerged having shown bravery in fighting the flames and saving lives. Several direct descendants of the traders have contributed family details and photographs.

There are still many gaps, especially during the two World Wars, when no directories and few advertisements appeared, and in the years after 1974, when the last of Kelly’s directories appeared.

Anyone with comments, corrections, additions, and photographs or documents, is invited to contact me.

Martin Scott – Read more about Martin