46, High Street.
The frontage to the premises was rather narrow but an archway to the right gave access to a very long yard that extended around the back of the ‘Queen’s Head’ at No. 45. Behind the shop and at the rear of the yard was an extensive range of buildings. There were at one time four cottages there but these were converted into warehouses. These provided ample space for the organ building and repair workshop requirements of S. G. Street’s music business, which was here for over 60 years. Other uses have been as a chemist’s shop and a men’s outfitters. The property was redeveloped as a bank in 1950.
c1836 – 1843 (William Kenceley Bridgman)
White’s Directory for 1836 lists William Kenceley Bridgman, a chemist and druggist, at this address. He may have come here earlier than 1836 but no references have been found. He move to Norwich in about 1844 and established a very successful practice as a dental surgeon in the city. Two of his three sons, all born in Lynn, also became successful dental surgeons.
Born in Walpole St. Peter in about 1813, William Bridgman was living here in 1841 with his wife and their three sons. William married Mary Brooks (born c1815 in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire) in Chatteris on 19th November, 1835. They had three sons:-
1) John Brooks – a Norwich dental surgeon – (b. 1837 – m. Sarah Farrow in 1885 – d. 1899, aged 62). 2) William Kenceley – a manufacturer of gymnastic equipment and revolving shutters in London – (b. 1839 – m. Sarah House in 1852 – d. 29/12/1877, aged 39). 3) Francis George – a dental surgeon in Marylebone, London – (b. 1840 – m. Ellen Elizabeth Noverre on 05/03/1868, and Ethel Georgina Seward in 1884 – d. 18/07/1922, aged 81).
Having left Lynn, William Bridgman maintained his links with the town by arranging to visit on a regular basis to hold dental surgeries in accommodation provided for him by other tradesmen. On 29th August, 1843, he placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-
‘Mr. W. Kenceley BRIDGMAN, Dentist, Will commence his Periodical attendance at LYNN on Tuesday next, SEPTEMBER 5th, at Mr. Ashbey’s, No. 8, London Road. Mr. BRIDGMAN, having been engaged in the Pursuit of his Profession in one of the most extensive practices in the West End of the Metropolis, has had an opportunity of rendering himself intimately acquainted of the various advancements which have been made in all its branches within the last few years. In the Mechanical department, to which he has devoted considerable attention, he is enabled to introduce several important improvements, both in the construction, and mode of adjustment, as well as in the description of Artificial Teeth employed. In the Operative department, in which he has had singular opportunities of possessing himself of the methods pursued by the leading Practitioners, he has been careful to furnish himself with Instruments of the most recent and improved construction. In the treatment of Children, during second dentition, Mr. Bridgman has had considerable experience and the prevention of irregularities has been made the subject of his constant study and attention. He has been eminently successful in correcting, by a simple mechanical contrivance, some of the most intricate cases of deformity. Mr. Bridgman begs further to state that he has had the pleasure to receive several highly flattering Testimonials, from some of the most distinguished Members of the Profession, and that every exertion shall be made to secure the interests of those who may honor him with their confidence. Charges Moderate. Consultations Free. Willow Lane, Norwich.’
In Hunt & Co’s Directory of East Norfolk and Norwich for 1850, William Bridgman is listed as a dentist at 69, St. Giles Street. The following year at census time he was there with Mary and their three boys. Living next door was Henry Woodcock, the mayor of Norwich, who was also a dental surgeon. There is no evidence that they were in partnership although the Bridgmans appear to have moved into this next door house, No. 70, by 1871. In that year’s census William is recorded as a ‘Dental Surgeon. Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons of England’. He died in Norwich in 1883 at the age of 71.
William’s second son, William Kenceley jnr. became a manufacturer of gymnastic equipment and revolving shutters.
The youngest son, Francis George, married Ellen Elizabeth Noverre, from Norwich, a member of the family that gave its name to a part of the Assembly Rooms in the city. Ellen’s father Frank was a well-known Norwich dance teacher and he bought the west wing of the Assembly Rooms in 1856, building his own ballroom there, which operated until 1901.
Francis and Ellen moved to London where he established a very successful dental surgery business in 18, Queen Anne Street, Marylebone. Rather inexplicably, Francis is recorded as being single in the 1881 census but no record of Ellen’s death or of a divorce has been found. Francis married Ethel Georgina Seward (born in Exeter c1861) in 1884 and they moved into most prestigious premises with sixteen rooms at 5, Duchess Street, just off Portland Place in London. They were still there in 1901 but Francis had retired by then. They moved to Westcliff-on-Sea, where Francis died on 18th July, 1922 at the age of 81.
c1844 – 1847 (James Akerman)
Another chemist took over these premises but was here for only a few years. James Akerman had been born in Penzance on 14th July 1818, the son of James, a Wesleyan Minister, and Elizabeth. He married Mary Ann Daye in London in 1837, and they had five children:-
1) William – a physician and surgeon – (b. 1842 in Weymouth – m. Anna Maria Warland in 1874 – d. 13/07/1896, aged 54). 2) Mary (b. 1843/4 in Lynn). 3) Henry James – a bank clerk in 1871 – (b. 1845 in Lynn). 4) Edward (b. 1847 in Lynn – d. 1849, aged one). 5) Sophia (b. 1851 in Cornwall – d. 1851).
James and Mary Akerman had moved to Lynn by 1844 when their daughter Mary was born. Their sons Henry James and Edward were also born in the town. By 1850 the family had moved to St. Just in Cornwall, where a second daughter, Sophia, was born. Curiously, her name was recorded as Adelaide in the 1851 census. She died later that year before reaching the age of one. James continued to practice as a chemist in Penzance until he was about 60. He died in 1886 aged 65.
After his death, Mary Ann Akerman moved to Salisbury, Wiltshire, the city in which she had been born in about 1817, but she later moved to Andover in Hampshire, where she was lodging in 1901. She died there in 1908, aged 91.
James and Mary’s eldest son William became a successful physician and surgeon. He was practicing in Kensington in 1871, when he was living in Goldborne Road, off Portobello Road. In 1874 he married Anna Maria Warland, who had been born in about 1841 in Piddlehinton, Dorset. They moved to Sark in the Channel Islands, where they were living in 1881 but they returned to the mainland when William retired, still only in his forties, and they were in Salisbury in 1891. He died on 13th July, 1896, aged 54, and Anna Maria died in 1924 at the age of 84 in Windsor.
1848 – 1856 (James Chapman Quincey)
The premises remained in use as a chemist’s shop for about another ten years when James Chapman Quincey opened his business here. On 24th June, 1848, he placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-
‘J. C. QUINCEY most respectfully informs the Nobility, Clergy, and Inhabitants of Lynn and its vicinity, that the Shop lately occupied by Mr. AKERMAN, HIGH STREET, will be re-opened in a few weeks with a choice selection of NEW and GENUINE DRUGS, etc. J. C. Q. begs to add, that it will be his study, by assiduous attention, to merit the confidence and support of those who may favour him with their orders.’
In 1848 he advertised that he was the agent for the Russian Tea Company’s ‘Imperial Caravan Tea’.
James Quincy was born in Moulton, Lincolnshire in 1826. His parents were Robert Prior Quincey (b. 1797 in Holbeach, Lincs.) and Elizabeth Howlett (b. c1799 in Lynn – d. 1869, aged 70). Robert and Elizabeth married in St. Margaret’s church, Lynn on 6th May, 1824.
Robert Quincey appears to have died before 1841, when James and his mother and his elder sister, Sarah Ann (born Moulton c1826), were staying in the Norfolk Street house of James and Elizabeth Howlett.
James Quincey would have been about 22 years old when he opened his chemist’s shop here at No. 46. In 1851, James was living here and his mother and sister Sarah were staying with him.
On 25th November, 1854, James Quincy placed the following advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser:-
‘HOMOEOPATHY. Mr. J. C. QUINCEY, 46, High Street, Lynn, has constantly on sale fresh supplies of Homoeopathic remedies, consisting of Globules, Tinctures, Arnica Plaister, etc. Homoeopathic Cocoa, Isinglass, Sage, Arrowroot, and Tapioca. Medicine Cases and Chests fitted up to order, and Publications supplied. Also Allopathic remedies, consisting of Quincey’s Cough Elixir, a certain cure for Coughs, Colds, Asthmas etc. Quincey’s Aromatic Chest Plaisters, Quincey’s Rose and Camphor Ice, Hair Powders, and Perfumery. Genuine Honey and Windsor Soaps, 6 squares for 1s. Genuine Drugs of every description, and prescriptions accurately dispensed on the lowest remunerative prices. CIGARS of the Best Quality in excellent condition from 8s to 32s per lb. Observe! 46, High Street.’
The family stayed together when James left Lynn in 1856 and moved to 1, Junction Place, Islington, London, where they were living in 1861.
Elizabeth died in 1869 at the age of 70. James died within a few weeks of his mother’s death at the age of 43. Sarah Ann set up a stationery / fancy repository business and lived at 2, Hill Street, Hackney for over ten years.
The shop here at No. 46 was offered for sale by private contract and was advertised in the Lynn Advertiser on March 29th, 1856.
1856 – 1858 (James Eusden jnr.)
In 1856 the premises began use as a drapery shop when James Eusden jnr., became the occupier. His father had a drapery establishment at No.89, High Street, where more details of the family will be found.
James Eusden jnr. was born on 27th December, 1829 at Ely, Cambridgeshire, and was about 25 years old when he succeeded to his father’s business at No. 89 in about 1854. Two years later, he moved it here, placing a notice in the Lynn Advertiser on 24th May, 1856:-
‘DRAPERY ESTABLISHMENT, 46, High Street, Lynn. JAS. EUSDEN, Junr., has to call the attention of the public of Lynn and its vicinity to the above Establishment, which he has at considerable cost adapted to all the purposes of the Drapery Business, and includes and airy and commodious Shop, with Show Room on the ground floor. The premises will be OPENED for business on MONDAY, 26th inst. The Stock selected will comprehend an assortment of new and fashionable DRAPERY, etc., in all its departments. J. E. begs to add that he hopes to secure his share of public support by a regular supply of choice goods – low prices and strict personal attention.’
James Eusden was here for only two and a half years. He died on 24th December, 1858, aged 28.
1859 (Frank Fysh)
Following his split from John Thorley (see No 12) Frank Fysh bought the stock of James Eusden jnr., and moved into No. 46, announcing this in the Lynn Advertiser on 12th February, 1859:-
‘FRANK FYSH, Linen Draper, Silk Mercer, Hosier, Haberdasher, 46, High Street, Lynn, begs respectfully to inform the Gentry, Clergy and Inhabitants of King’s Lynn and its vicinity, thet he has taken the business of the late Mr. JAMES EUSDEN, where he intends carrying on the General Drapery Business in all its numerous branches, with an entire NEW STOCK selected from the best markets. F. F. also trusts that a strict personal superintendence, combined with economical charges, may gain for him a portion of that patronage which he most earnestly solicits. FUNERALS FURNISHED. The Entire Stock of the late Mr. EUSDEN’S Drapery Goods, Will be Immediately Sold Off at a considerable reduction from prime cost.’
John Francis Fysh was born in 1818 in Wisbech. His parents were Springwell Fysh (b. c1793 – d. 1828) and Ann Foster. He lived for most of his life at Marshland House, Terrington St. Clement and was a grocer and draper. His businesses ventures in Lynn, as partner with John Thorley at No. 12, High Street, and then here at No. 46, appear to have been in addition to his main shop at Terrington. He established a partnership to run the shop at No. 46 (see Fysh & Dales below) but this lasted less than a year.
On 8th October, 1859, Frank Fysh placed the following advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser:-
‘To Managers of Clothing Clubs. FRANK FYSH, 46, High Street, King’s Lynn, having purchased extensively in the Northern Markets previous to the advance, he would call special attention to his immense stock of Blankets, Flannels, Counterpanes, Sheets, Calicos, etc.., etc., which he intends offering at such prices as cannot fail to give entire satisfaction.’
Within two months, Frank Dale had formed a partnership to run this business.
1859 – 1860 (Fysh & Dales)
The following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser on 10th December, 1859:-
‘DRAPERY STOCK – SELLING OFF – FYSH & DALES, beg to inform their numerous Friends and the public that they have just purchased the Drapery Stock of Mr. Gray, of Hackney Road, London (who has retired from business), at a large discount from cost price. Consisting of Stuffs, Prints, Silks, Velvets, Hosiery, Gloves, Irish Linens, Lace, Ribbons, Fancy Wool Goods, Furs and a large quantity of Mantles and Bonnets, which they intend SELLING OFF at a great reduction. The Sale will commence on Saturday next, December the 3rd’. 46, HIGH STREET, Lynn.’
Within a year, the partnership had been dissolved and the business ceased. The following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser on 6th October, 1860:-
‘DISSOLUTION of PARTNERSHIP. Drapery Establishment, 46, High Street, Lynn. In consequence of a DISSOLUTION of PARTNERSHIP between Messrs. FYSH & DALES, the whole of the STOCK, amounting to £5, 619 16s 7d, will be offered on MONDAY NEXT, at a considerable REDUCTION from the COST PRICE.’
In an interesting twist, the whole of the stock was bought by Frank Fysh’s former partner, John Thorley, who sold it off in April 1861, at a discount of 36¾ per cent from the cost or stock book prices.
1861 – 1867 (Unknown)
No records have been found to identify the occupants of No. 46 between the closure of Fysh & Dales business and the opening of Alfred C. Jones’s shop.
1867 – 1874 (Alfred Charles Jones)
On 30th November, 1867, the Lynn Advertiser carried the following notice form Alfred Jones:-
‘ALFRED C. JONES (Eldest Son of Mr. Robt. Jones), Hatter, Hosier, Clothier, etc., 46, HIGH STREET (Nearly Opposite Mr. Household’s), King’s Lynn. Respectfully solicits the patronage of his old Friends and the Public generally, at his NEW ESTABLISHMENT, confidently believing that his long experience in the business, combined with strict personal attention, will enable him to give entire satisfaction to all who may honor him with their support. PLEASE NOTICE THE CHRISTIAN NAME AND ADDRESS.’
Alfred Charles Jones was born in Snettisham in 1833. His parents were Robert and Elizabeth Jones. Robert, a hatter and hosier born in Ruthin, Denbighshire, Wales in about 1803, had the establishment at the corner of Tuesday Market Place and High Street that became Jones & Dunn in later years (see No. 65, High Street).
Robert Jones married Elizabeth Durrant at Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, on 12th November, 1832. They had six sons and one daughter:-
1) Alfred Charles – a draper at No. 46, High Street – (b. c1833 in Snettisham – m. 04/10/1866 to Elizabeth Rose Coker). 2) Robert Goodman (b. 1837 in Lynn – m. Elizabeth Hill Ramm, daughter of a merchant’s clerk, on 16/03/1858 – d. 1886, aged 48). 3) Richard Ransome – a traveller in the hat trade – (b. 1839 – m. 22/10/1863 to Priscilla Margaret Gamble). 4) William Henry (b. 1841). 5) Walter Owen – a music teacher – (b. 1843 – m. Sarah Jane Bridges in 1882, and Susannah Mason in 1891 – d. 1914, aged 70). 6) Elizabeth Maria (b. 1846).
In 1861, Alfred was living at home with his father and four of his siblings, and it would seem that he was still working for his father at that date
Alfred placed further advertisements in the local newspapers giving details of his stock and special offers.
On 4th April, 1874, the sale of all of Alfred’s household furniture and stock in trade was advertised in the Lynn Advertiser and on 9th May, the premises at 46, High Street were offered for sale by Cruso & Hawkins. No references to Alfred Jones in this country have been found after that date and it may be that he sold up prior to moving abroad.
c1875 – 1939 (Samuel Street) (Samuel Grigson Street) (Daisy Regester)
The shop was taken over by Samuel Grigson Street’s music warehouse and given the name ‘Beethoven House’, being listed for the first time in Kelly’s Directory for 1875 after moving shop from No. 94, High Street. The business had been started by his father, Samuel Street, who continued to work as an organ builder, with his own entry in the directories, and who remained ‘head of the household’ at No. 46 until his death in 1888.
Samuel Street snr., had been born in East Dereham on 7th December, 1813. He married Mary Ann Grigson from Beccles, Suffolk, in 1838 and set up home in Yarmouth, where he was working as a ‘music master’ in 1841. Samuel and Mary Ann had four children, all born in Yarmouth:-
1) Samuel Grigson (b. 1839 – died in infancy). 2) Mary (b. 1840 – d. 1903, aged 63). 3) Samuel Grigson (b. 1842 – d. 26/11/1928, aged 82). 3) Redelpha Grigson (b. 1844/5 – d. 08/01/1911, aged 65).
The family moved to Norwich where they were living at Palace Plain in 1851. By this date Samuel was working as an organ builder. He was listed in White’s Directory for 1854 as an organ builder at Queen Street in Norwich but had moved to 24, All Saints Street, Lynn by 1861. Two of the children were working in music; Mary as a teacher and Samuel jnr. as a ‘tuner of music’. Mary continued teaching and working as an organist until her death in 1903 and her sister Redelpha, who died on 8th January, 1911, aged 65, became a music teacher, too. Neither of them married and they continued to live with their brother at No. 46 after the death of their father in 1888, aged 74.
The following advertisement, appeared in the Lynn Advertiser on 16th February 1889:-
‘S. G. STREET, Pianoforte, Organ, Harmonium and General Musical Instrument Dealer, Music Seller, etc., BEETHOVEN HOUSE, 46, High Street, King’s Lynn. The Largest Stock of Instruments in West Norfolk. Perfect in Tone, Touch and Finish. Newest in Design. Lowest in Price. Agent for the Trades Association Pianofortes. Pianofortes Tuned and Repaired Singly or by Yearly Contract. CHURCH ORGANS BUILT, TUNED and REPAIRED.’
Samuel Grigson Street remained a bachelor all of his life and devoted his time to his work and to his other interests, which included motoring. He did not take a lead in organising the town’s musical events but he did help George Richardson Oswell with the local music and choral societies. George was for many years the librarian at the Stanley Library and Reading Room at the Athenaeum on Baxter’s Plane.
Like his father, Samuel jnr. continued working as an organ builder and the outbuildings at the back of the shop housed his workshops. He was a pioneering motorist and owned a steam car and a very early De Dion Bouton, which proved to be a real head-turner as he drove through the streets of Lynn. As a practical person and craftsman, he was able to do his own car maintenance and even undertook alterations and modifications to the engine and mechanism of the motors that he owned. When he bought a new car to replace the De Dion Bouton, he took out the engine and used it to pump the organ at the back of his shop. He was the first person in the town to install his own electric power plant.
Early in 1918, when aged over 70, Samuel decided to retire from business and he handed it over on Armistice Day to Miss Daisy Regester, who had been his assistant at the shop for several years. He continued to live in Lynn until about 1920 but then he went to visit Ethel and Frank Dunster at their home in Caversham, Berkshire and decided to stay there. Ethel, née Cobden, had been an assistant in the shop. She had been born in Aberdeen, Scotland in about 1887 where her father William had been a coastguard officer. Her mother Elizabeth had been born in Lynn and the family settled in a house that they named ‘Stornaway’ in Wootton Road. After leaving S. G. Street, Daisy married Frank Dunster.
Samuel Grigson Street died in Berkshire in 1928, aged 82.
Daisy Regester was the youngest daughter of Henry Addison Regester and his wife Emma (née Holman), and was born on 4th June, 1882 in Lynn. Henry worked as the assistant overseer and rate collector for the Lynn Corporation for several years, having previously been employed in a boot and shoe shop in the town. He and Emma both died in 1917. Daisy was apprenticed to Samuel Grigson Street in 1899 at the age of 16 and sang in local choral events. After running the business for ten years, the ownership passed to her when Samuel died in 1928. She ran it for another ten years before retiring and she died on 30th December, 1940, aged 58.
Daisy’s elder sister Lily married Frederick Thomas Evans Forsey in 1900. Frederick, born c1876 in Plaistow, Essex, became chief of staff at the Stratford Gas, Light and Coke Company and was a partner with his sister-in-law Daisy in the S. G. Street music business. In addition to the connection via Lily’s family (the Regesters), Frederick had a number of ancestral links to Lynn. His father was Richard Forsey from Dorset, who worked for the gas company in East Ham, and his mother was formerly Sarah Ann Wilkin, a dressmaker and the daughter of a Lynn blacksmith Thomas J. Wilkin. Thomas moved the family to Woolwich where he worked at the dockyard. Sarah’s grandparents were John and Elizabeth (née Thetford) Wilkin, who lived at Victoria Street in Lynn. John was a mariner. Frederick and Lily Forsey moved to Lynn and were living at St. Nicholas Terrace, Gaywood Road, when he died on 19th November, 1925, at the age of 50. J. G. Street was a regular advertiser in the local Lynn newspapers. On 25th February, 1893, prior to commencement of building works at No. 46, the following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser:-
‘PREVIOUS TO EXTENSIVE ALTERATIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS IN HIS ESTABLISHMENT, S. G. STREET, MUSIC SELLER, BEETHOVEN HOUSE, 46, HIGH STREET, KING’S LYNN, has the honour to announce that during the ensuing Three Weeks he intends holding a Large and Important Clearance Sale of Pianofortes, Organs, Harmoniums, and other Musical Instruments, and at the same time he wishes emphatically to state that this is not a Sale for which a lot of Cheap Goods have been purchased but a Genuine Reduction in Price of the High Class Stock for which his establishment has always been noted, and only held in order to facilitate the carrying out of the Above Alterations. New Pianofortes by Broadwood, Brinsmead, Collard & Collard, Hopkinson, Justin Brown, Chappell, Cramer, Allison, Trades’ Association and many others, will now be offered at Wholesale Prices, some which are just returned from a short season of hire, warranted Equal to New, Below Cost Price. Second Hand Instruments from 50/-
This is an opportunity which has never before occurred in Lynn, and should not be overlooked by anyone wishing to purchase a Thoroughly Sound and Reliable Pianoforte at a Remarkably Low Price. Organs and Harmoniums in great varieties. New and Second hand will be offered on the same lines as pianofortes. In the small goods an Immense stock of S. G. Street’s Celebrated Melodians, which have become such universal favourites for their infinite Superiority over every other make, will be sold at about Half their Usual Price, also Great Numbers of Concertinas, Violins, Guitars, Mandolines, Banjos, Flutes, Organettes, Auto Harps, Tambourines, Musical Boxes, etc., etc. In Sheet Music, Thousands of Copyright Songs and Pianoforte Pieces will be offered at 3d each, and during the sale all half price music in stock will be charged at quarter only. Dance and Comic Albums at 3d, 6d, and 8d each, and the Cheap Editions at 1s 6d per doz. A large number of Mechanical Musical Instruments, Music Stands, Cases, Folios, Mouth Organs, etc., will be cleared out, without reference to original cost.
THE ABOVE REDUCTIONS ARE LIMITED TO STRICTLY CASH PURCHASES. KINDLY NOTE THE ADDRESS, BEETHOVEN HOUSE, 46 HIGH STREET KING’S LYNN’.
Samuel Street appears to have been pleased with the results of the improvements to his premises, which included a new shop front with larger display windows, and he used this to promote his business:-
‘As the Windows have made a considerable difference in the appearance of the shop, S. G. S. would ask his Patrons kindly to note his only address and number: BEETHOVEN HOUSE, 46, HIGH STREET, KING’S LYNN.’
As can be seen from his sale notice of 1893, Streets stocked an extensive range of musical instruments, from organs to music boxes and were always introducing new ones. In March 1903 they advertised the ‘Simplex’ Piano-Player and three years later they offered the ‘Claviola’, another mechanical piano-player, manufactured by the Claviola Co., 363-373, Ride Avenue, New York. The Simplex was manufactured by Theodore P. Brown’s company of May Street, Worcester, Massachusetts and carried the ringing endorsement of Pietro Mascagni, the composer of ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’:-
‘Esteemed Sir, – Let me say in fewest words, but with greatest pleasure, that nothing I have seen on my tour of America equals the wonderful mechanical construction and the almost human touch and marvellous execution of the Simplex Piano-Player. No other invention of its kind can compare with it in any way.’
The piano-players went through a period of rapid development from the late 1890s through to the peak of their popularity in the early 1920s. The early ones took the form of a mechanical device that was pushed up to the front of an ordinary upright piano – hence the name ‘Push-ups’. Sixty-five protruding ‘fingers’ with felt pads had to be aligned with the keys of the piano. A music roll was inserted into the cabinet of the player and the ‘pianist’ could play by pedalling with his feet and giving some feeling to the piece by operating small levers with his hands. Later models were built into the piano and replaced the conventional instrument altogether. The machine produced by the Aeolian Company was called the ‘Pianola’ and this name fell into common use for any mechanical piano-player. As the popularity for gramophones increased, Streets advertised various models and records including, on 15th July 1904 in the Lynn Advertiser, one for ‘Nicole Records’. In addition to the music tuition provided by Samuel Street and his sisters, provision was made for a visiting voice coach to hold sessions on the premises at No. 46. The following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser on 21st September, 1923:-
‘Mr. Jos. Reed, Voice Specialist, Will resume his Visits to King’s Lynn on OCTOBER 2nd. For terms apply to Messrs. S. G. Street, High Street, King’s Lynn; or by letter to 20, Hills Road, Cambridge.’
On December 14th that year, Streets advertised a room for hire:-
‘IDEAL ROOM (36ft x 16ft) for CHRISTMAS and NEW YEAR PARTIES, DANCES, WHIST DRIVES, RECEPTIONS, MEETINGS, Etc. Terms Apply:- STREETS, Beethoven House, 46, High Street, King’s Lynn’.
In November 1936, Streets purchased the fancy dress business of Ann & Co., of 66, High Street. This included costumes, wigs and carnival novelties.
Daisy Regester had suffered a long and painful illness prior to her death in January 1940 and she retired from running the business in about July of 1938.
1939 – 1949 (Clarke’s Music Services)
The business of S. G. Street was taken over by Edwin Sinclair Clarke of Clarke’s Music Services, which had branches at Downham Market and at Wisbech, in October 1939.
Edwin had been born in on 7th December, 1894 at Totnes in Devon. His mother was Mildred Trafford Clarke, who later married Sydney John Nott (in 1899). Edwin and his younger brother Cecil (born 1897 at Totnes) were staying with their aunt and uncle, Edwin James and Mary Elizabeth Brooking at 5, Market Place Wisbech in 1911. Edwin was an apprentice to his uncle who was a music seller and piano tuner. He established his own music shop in Wisbech and expanded into King’s Lynn when the opportunity arose to take over S. G. Street’s business. In a sign of the difficulty of finding staff during the Second World War, Edwin Clarke placed the following notice in the local newspaper on 24th April 1942:-
‘Capable young lady assistant required for Clarke’s Music Services, 46, High-st., Lynn, who will not in the near future be required for National Service. – Apply Saturday or Tuesday.’
Another wartime difficulty was the shortage of materials for manufacturing goods for the domestic market, this appeal appearing in the Lynn News & Advertiser of 12th February 1943:-
‘WE WANT YOUR OLD RECORDS. We will Pay for Worn-out, Defaced and Unbroken Records: 3d each for H.M.V. 10 inch. 4½d each for H.M.V. 12 inch. 2½d each for Columbia, Parlophone, Regal, Decca, Rex, Brunswick & Panachord 10 inch. 4d each for the above makes of 12 inch. (Certain very old recordings being excepted). The reason we want your Old Records is, owing to shortage of shellac and other materials, we are now having to return to the makers Old Records to get New. The Government strongly recognises the usefulness of records as entertainment to supporting morale and the great help they give to the War Effort. We cannot oblige you to return an old record when you buy new, since any condition we imposed would be a breach of the Goods and Service Act, 1941. May we therefore induce you to Hand over all your Old Records at the above prices. CLARKE’S Music Services, 46, High Street, King’s Lynn. – Wisbech & Spalding.’
Unfortunately for Clarkes, they did not own No. 46 and they were forced to vacate the premises in October 1949:-
‘46, High Street, King’s Lynn. – Dear Customer, You may be aware that the above premises were purchased early in the year by The Trustee Savings Bank, and we are reluctantly compelled to vacate this property by the end of the month. For over one hundred years this has been a music business and, whilst we were only permitted to rent the property in 1939, we have endeavoured to serve you well. At the moment no reasonable or suitable premises are available to us in King’s Lynn. These conditions may not always obtain, and we shall lose no opportunity to return to our many friends. Meanwhile we trust we may be favoured with a continuance of your Orders by Post to 5, Market Place, Wisbech. All orders for MUSIC, RECORDS and MUSICAL MERCHANDISE from the Lynn District will receive careful and prompt attention, and will be despatched CARRIAGE PAID. In view of the difficulty of ‘selection’ we shall be happy to send our OLD CUSTOMERS, who are Teachers of Music, parcels ‘On Approval’. We trust those to whom we have given credit will give us immediate Settlement, and that clients who have left with us ORDERED GOODS or REPAIRS will collect them before OCTOBER 29th next. Yours faithfully, CLARKE’S MUSIC SERVICES, WISBECH. CLOSING DOWN SALE from October 24 to 29 – ALL STOCK will be offered at COST PRICES. PIANOS – MUSIC – INSTRUMENTS. Come and buy your Xmas Presents. CLARKE’S MUSIC SERVICES, 46, High Street, King’s Lynn. Shop fittings will be sold by auction on Friday, Nov. 4.’
Edwin Sinclair Clarke died in Kent in 1983, aged 88.
1950 – c1972 (Trustee Savings Bank)
In 1948, Harry Cullum was appointed as manager of the Lynn Branch of the Trustee Savings Bank, which was situated in Broad Street. The premises were small and cramped and very ‘Dickensian’. The bank was accommodated in an old shop and there was a coal fire behind the counter to keep the staff warm. The clerks had small shovels to sweep up the cash and huge ledgers in which to enter every transaction by hand. Harry Cullum built up the customer base of the branch and by 1949 the bank was ready to expand and to move onto the High Street. The proposals involved the building of new premises and it was over a year before Harry was able to oversee the move of his staff into No. 46. On opening day there was a queue of customers eager to see the new facilities and the first person up to the counter was Fred Hares, the proprietor of Bradfield Ibberson in Norfolk Street (see also Bradfields at Nos. 51 & 52 and Ibbersons at Nos. 56 & 57 High Street).
Henry Charles Cullum was born on 15th October 1915 at Barnham Broom, Norfolk. His father, Henry William, was serving in France and was killed in 1916, at the age of 22, before he could see his son. Harry was brought up by his grandparents and was granted a scholarship to the City of Norwich School, which at that time was a Grammar School. Leaving school in 1932, he wanted to go to sea but instead obtained a job with the East Anglian Trustee Savings Bank in Norwich.
In June 1939 he married Faith, the daughter of Caroline and Arthur Hipperson from Barford, near Wymondham in Norfolk. Arthur was a farmer but his family were also bricklayers. Harry and Faith honeymooned in Switzerland and on their return he joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve, in the knowledge that war was imminent. He served in the RAF from 1940 to 1947 as a bomber pilot and as an instructor, spending three years in Egypt. His daughter Fay, born in October 1940 did not know her father when he returned from war. Harry renewed his studies for the Chartered Institute of Secretaries, having previously passed the banking exams, eventually becoming a Fellow. He became involved in local community events and organisations and was a Rotarian, a Freemason and the Treasurer of St. Margaret’s Church.
The staff had to be at their stations at 8.30am and the bank was open daily, including Saturday, with half day closing on Wednesday. The advertisement above appeared in the programme for the King’s Lynn Festival in 1957.
In 1958, Harry Cullum was promoted to run the Great Yarmouth branch. Ten years later he took over as manager at the Head Office in Surrey Street, Norwich and then became Area Manager for the East of England Trustee Savings Bank, overseeing some 52 banks. He retired in 1978 and died in 1993.
The Lynn branch was swept up in the Trustee Savings bank amalgamations that took place in the 1970s.
c1972 (Leicester Building Society)
In 1972, No. 46, High Street was occupied by the Leicester Building Society.
2007 (JD Sports)