No. 104, and 104a, High Street
This was the shop on the southern corner of Baker Lane and High Street.
The earlier building on the site was timber-framed with the first floor jettied out over the already narrow Baker Lane. This made it virtually impossible to negotiate with taller vehicles. The High Street frontage had a central entrance with small-paned shop windows to either side. The first floor was rendered and white-washed, with two large sash windows. Above was an attic storey with a dormer window to the front.
The old shop was demolished in about the 1950s, being replaced by a curious pastiche of half timbered appearance with a jettied gable to the High Street frontage but without any overhang on Baker Lane. More recently still, this was demolished and a very plain and uninteresting building now stands on the corner. The first floor has been separately occupied as an office (104a).
For around 85 years, the premises were occupied by a succession of fruiterers and greengrocers.
1836 (Ann Turner)
White’s Directory for 1836 lists Ann Turner as a bookseller, printer, stationer and binder at this address. She is also listed as an ironmonger.
c1841 – c1851 (Henry Wilkinson snr.)
Henry Wilkinson snr. a butcher, had a shop at No. 19, High Street in 1836 (White), but had moved to No. 104 by 1841, when he was living on the premises with his wife and family. He had been born in Gaywood in about 1808 and married Sarah Oliver at All Saints Church in Lynn on 13th December, 1830. Sarah had been born in Lynn in about 1810. She and Henry had six children, all born in Lynn:-
1) Elizabeth (b. 17/10/1831 m. Thomas Andrews on 09/03/1854 – d. 1916/17) (see No. 15, High Street for Thomas Andrews). 2) Oliver (b. c1833 – d. 1843/4). 3) Henry jnr. (b. c1835 – m. Emma Jane Hopkin in 1860 – d. 1867). 4) Mary Ann (b. 1840 – m. Charles Ellis in 1861 – d. 1899, aged 60). 5) Sarah Ann (b. 1841 – m. James Teasdale, a commercial traveller, in 1865 – d. 1889, aged 47). 6) Hannah (b. 1843 – m. Thomas Slater, a commercial traveller, on 21/01/1875 – d. 1900, aged 56).
Henry snr. and his family were still living here in 1851 but had moved to No. 18, Norfolk Street, next to the ‘Bird in Hand’ by 1854. Henry snr. remained in Norfolk Street for the rest of his life, the number being given as 17 in later directories (1875 / 1879 Kelly).
Sarah Wilkinson died in 1865, aged about 55, and Henry died on 5th March 1883, aged 73.
Henry Wilkinson jnr. had established his own butcher’s shop at No. 15, High Street by 1861 but had only been in business for about six years before he died (5th February, 1867), aged 32. His widow, Emma Jane, went on to marry two more butchers, Joseph Gowthorpe and Frederick Smoothy, outliving them both (see Nos. 121 and 122, High Street).
1854 – 1874 (William Keeble)
In 1871, William Keeble, 68, a (market) gardener was living on the premises with his wife, niece and a servant. He ran a fruit and vegetable business here for about twenty years, until his death on 3rd June, 1874.
William had been born in Wiggenhall St. Germans in about 1804, and was living there in 1841 with his wife, Mary. They do not appear to have had any children, but they maintained strong links with their extended family, including a niece who was staying with them in 1871, Ann Lenton Mitcham (b. 1839 in Chatteris – m. James Hutt in 1873 – d. 1891). Ann was an elder sister of Carrie Mitcham, who was the assistant to Charles Curry for about 40 years (see below).
Another member of the family to assist in the business was Eleanor Drake, one of William Keeble’s nieces, who was here in 1861, aged 16. Eleanor married Charles Allflatt, a builder, who became one of Lynn’s most prominent citizens (see below).
Although William Keeble had no direct descendants, the name has been passed down through the Allflatt family (see below).
Eleanor Drake and the Allflatt / Keeble connection.
Eleanor Drake probably worked as William Keeble’s assistant until her marriage in 1869. She then ran a fruiterer’s business on her own account for a few years at 1, Valingers Road, Lynn (Kelly 1875).
Eleanor was the daughter of Thomas Drake (1806 – 1868) and Sarah Lavender (1804 – 1868), of Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, where she and her siblings were born. Thomas was born in Mepal, Cambridgeshire, and was a millwright and small farmer (1861). Thomas and Sarah had five children:-
1) Joseph (b. 1832 – d. 1839). 2) Richard (b. 1835 – m. Caroline Rhodes – d. 1916). 3) Frederick (b. 1839 – d. 1851). 4) Mary Jane (b. 1840 – d. 1856). 5) Eleanor (b. 1845 – m. Charles Allflatt in 1869 – d. 1902).
Eleanor became the second wife of Charles Allflatt II (1833 – 1917), a builder. His father, Charles Allflatt I (b. c1803 in Runcton – m. Ann Fendick – d.1880), of Blackborough End, Middleton, was also a builder. Charles I and Ann had seven children:-
1) Mary Ann (b. c1826 – d. 1890). 2) Martha (b. c1831 – m. William Hearn, a cattle dealer and publican at Middleton in 1861 – d. 1913, aged 82). 3) Robert Fendick, a bricklayer (b. c1832 – m. Susan Close in 1859 – d. 1876, aged 44). 4) Charles II, a builder (b. 1833 – m. Elizabeth Bitton in 1859 and Eleanor Drake in 1869 – d. 19/04/1917, aged 84). 5) Harriett Alice (b. c1835 – m. Arthur Albert Piper, a hairdresser, on 18/12/1892 – d. 27/06/1934, aged 65). 6) Thomas, a bricklayer (b. 1837 – m. Georgiana Cuckow in 1861 – d. 19/03/1925, aged 87). 7) William, a bricklayer (b. 1838 – m. Elizabeth Howes in 1863 – d. 09/11/1900, aged 64).
Four of the sons of Charles Allflatt I followed him into the building industry; Robert, Charles II, Thomas and William. In all of the directories and census returns up to 1880, the occupation each gives is always that of ‘bricklayer’, rather than ‘builder’, indicating that they were workers rather than employers.
It was Charles Allflatt II who established a building firm in Lynn, and by 1881 he had premises at North Everard Street and was listed as a builder. His elder brother Robert had died in 1876, aged 44, his brother Thomas moved to Essex, and his youngest brother William was employed as a bricklayer in 1891, by which date Charles had been running his own business for at least ten years.
Charles II married his first wife, Elizabeth Bitton (b. c1837 in Lynn) in 1859 and they had one child, Emma Elizabeth (b. 1861 – m. Frank Cropley, a grocer’s clerk, in 1891 – d. 1948, aged 86). Elizabeth died in 1866, aged 28, and Charles married Eleanor three years later.
Charles and Eleanor had three children, all born in Lynn:-
1) William Keeble, a draper’s assistant (b. 1870 – d. 1921, aged 51). 2) Louise Lavender, a milliner (b. 1874 – d. 1899, aged 25). 3) Charles Drake, a builder (b. 1877 – m. Ethel Barnaby in 1903 – d. 04/05/1944, aged 66).
Interestingly, the eldest offspring was given Keeble as a middle name, and the youngest bore Eleanor’s maiden name, Drake.
Only one of Charles II’s sons followed him into the building industry. The elder son William, found employment in the drapery trade, and it was the younger son Charles Drake Allflatt who joined him in the business. Under the latter’s leadership the business grew and flourished into one of the region’s best known and most respected building firms – Chas D. Allflatt Ltd. – who bear the Royal Warrant.
Charles Drake Allflatt was much involved in the civic life of the town. He served on the Town Council from1926 to 1929 and again from 1938 until his death. He was also elected as JP and was mayor in 1942/3. During the war, he served as the chairman of the borough’s Civil Defence committee and as the Deputy Controller. In acknowledgement of this latter role, he was awarded the MBE in 1943, a year before he died.
Charles Drake Allflatt married Ethel Barnaby in 1903 and had one son, Keeble Charles, who was born on 15th December, 1906.
Keeble became an architect and had an office on the Tuesday Market Place in Lynn for a number of years. After his father’s death and the end of the war, Keeble turned his attention to the family building business which, like most others in the country, had declined dramatically during the war years. He was the only Allflatt to bear Keeble as his first name, but it continues in the family to this day.
1875 – 1919 (Charles Curry)
Following the death of William Keeble, on 3rd June, 1874, this became Charles Curry’s fruit and vegetable shop and is listed in Kelly’s Directory of 1875.
Charles had been born in Spalding, Lincolnshire, in about 1826. He married Emma Hitch / Hytch (b. c1831 in Spalding), the daughter of a glover, David Hitch, and his wife Ann.
For the first half of his working life, Charles was a tailor. He and Emma were living in Spalding until just before they moved to Lynn. They brought with them a cousin, Carrie / Carry Mitcham who they had ‘adopted’. Carrie was with them in Spalding when Charles was a tailor and worked as a sewing machinist. By 1891, Carrie had become Charles’ assistant in the greengrocery business. She was not the only family member to help in the business – in 1881, a niece, Lucy Vida Hytch (b. 1861 at Spalding), was here at No. 104 working as an assistant greengrocer.
Charles Curry was at No. 104 for about 44 years and lived on the premises for all of that time.
Emma died at No. 104 on 26th April, 1901, aged 70, and Charles died on 29th January, 1919, aged 93.
1919 – 1922 (Carrie Mitcham)
The greengrocery business of Charles Curry is listed in Kelly’s directory for 1922, which was three years after his death. It may be that Carrie Mitcham continued running the shop for those few years.
Carrie was one of twelve children of Abraham and Elizabeth Mitcham. Abraham had been born in Benwick, Cambridgeshire, in about 1814, and had married Elizabeth Lenton in 1836 at Chatteris. He was a tailor and lived and worked in Chatteris. Elizabeth died in 1879, aged 62, and Abraham died on 10/04/1892, aged 78. Their children were:-
1) Jane (b. 1837 – d. 1929, aged 92). 2) Ann Lenton (b. 1838 – m. James Hutt, a teacher, in 1873 – d. 1887, aged 49). 3) Eleanor, a school teacher (b. 1840 – d. 1924, aged 83). 4) Mary (b. c1845 – d. 1932, aged 88). 5) John Lenton (b. c1846). 6) James, a draper in 1881, butcher in 1901 (b. 1847 – m. Harriet Nichols in 1873 – d. 1915, aged 67). 7) Abraham Alfred, a tailor (b. 1848 – m. (Susannah) Lucy Armes in 1870 – d. 10/04/1892, aged 78). 8) Edwin (b. 1850 – m. Kate Elizabeth Middleditch in 1874 – d. 1877, aged 27). 9) Emma (b. 1852 – m. Charles Cutter White, a commercial traveller, in 1875 – d. 1899, aged 47). 10) Carrie (b. 1852/3 – d. 1926, aged 72). 11) Elizabeth, housekeeper to Emma and Charles White 1881/1891, (b. 1856 – d. 1936, aged 80). 12) Charles Henry, a draper (b. 1859 – m. Minna Hutt in 1886 – d. 1934, aged 75).
Carrie was the tenth child to be born, in 1852/3, and appears to have moved into Charles and Emma Curry’s home at a very early age. Carrie is noted as a cousin in all the census records apart from one. In 1901 she is listed as ‘adopted daughter’. She lived for the rest of her life in King’s Lynn, probably working at the greengrocery business until she was about 68. Following the death of Charles Curry in 1919, Carrie appears to have continued the business for another three years before retiring to live at 23, Beech Road, King’s Lynn, where she died in 1926, aged 72.
1928 – 1939 (Harry Davies) (Hannah Davies)
1950s (Broughtons) (Stanley C. Broughton)
Broughtons fruiterers were at No. 104 for most of the 1950s.
There was no listing for the property in Kelly’s directory for 1962.
1960s (Scotch Wool Shop)
1970 / 4 (Devantier Carpets)
2007 (Bradford & Bingley Building Society)
2014 (Hays Recruitment Agency)