No. 109, High Street
This was a larger shop than No. 108. For many years it formed part of much bigger premises when joined to No. 110 and, for a time, to No. 108.
A draper, Edward Trenowath, was here for twenty years and his nephew Tomson Garner Trenowath continued here for a further seven years before moving the business to No. 110. He moved back here when his business expanded and was here when the fire of December 1897 destroyed the whole of his premises.
1836 (Thomas Bartle)
Thomas Bartle, a china, glass and earthenware dealer, was here in 1836 (White). A separate entry in the same directory indicates that he was also a patten and clog maker.
c1839 – 1857 (John Arch)
John Arch, a brazier, tinplate worker and ironmonger, had a shop here until his death in 1857.
Born in Deeping St. James, Lincolnshire, in about 1796, John was the youngest of five children of Joseph (c1763-c1836) and Frances Arch (c1765-c1837):-
1) Joseph (b. c1785 – m. Jane Bradford – d. 1856). 2) Frances (b. c1785 – m. James Fovargue – d. c1834). 3) Benjamin (b. c1790 – m. Susanna York – d. c1839). 4) Mary (b. c1792 – m. John Griggs – d. c1867). 5) John – see below (b. c1796 – d. 1857).
John Arch married Mary Wycliffe (b. c1807 in Kettering, Northants) and they were living in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, in 1822. They may have moved to Kettering for a time before coming to Lynn, where John was listed at No. 109 for the first time in 1839 (Pigot).
John and Mary had seven children, the last five born in Lynn:-
1) Ann (b. c1820 in Whittlesey – d. 1881, aged 62). 2) Mary (b. c1828 in Kettering – d. 1861, aged about 33). 3) John Harry (b. 1840 – d. 1862, aged 22). 4) Samuel Alfred (b. 1842 – d. 1846, aged 4). 5) Wing Wycliffe (b. 1844 – d. 1846, aged 2). 6) Wing Alfred, a hosier & haberdasher – see No. 116, High Street (b. 1847 – m. Caroline Harriett Marriott in 1881 – d. 1912, aged 65). 7) Samuel Wycliffe (b. 1839 – d. 1916, aged 67).
In the Lynn Advertiser for December 16th 1854, John Arch placed the following advertisement:-
‘J. ARCH, Furnishing Ironmonger, Brazier, Iron and Tin Plate Worker, 109, High Street, Lynn, Begs to call the attention of the public to his Stock of Stoves, Iron Fenders and Fire Irons, Copper and Iron Coal Pans, Jack Hasteners and Bottle Jacks, Toilet Sets and Fire Guards, Dish Covers, Cutlery, etc., etc. Bright Fire Irons, per set, 3s 3d, Black Fenders 2s 4d, Bellows per pair 9d, Iron Dust-pans 4d, Grid-irons 3½d, Horn Lanterns 10d, Hand Bowls 6d, Frying-pans 8d, Tin Kettles 10d, Tin Pails 1s 2d. Kitchen furniture neatly repaired. N.B. – A quantity of superior Brass and Japanned Lamps.’
John Arch worked here until his death in 1857, at the age of about 61. His widow Mary then took on the ironmongery business for a further six years or so, but moved out of No. 109 in 1858.
1857 – 1858 (Mary Arch)
Mary Arch continued to run the family ironmongery business after the death of her husband, John (see above).
In September 1857, she advertised in the Lynn Advertiser from No. 109. However, she continued the business at this address for only about a year and moved to No. 61 in June, 1858. She remained at No. 61 until March 1860 when she decided to give up the business altogether. She then changed her mind and decided to continue trading the lighter goods, such as the table cutlery, whilst giving up the heavier work, and she moved to No. 116, High Street in October 1860. The ironmongery business was listed at No. 116 in 1863, but soon afterwards Mary’s son, Wing Alfred Arch, a hosier and haberdasher, took over the premises there.
Mary retired to live in Bury St. Edmunds, where her son Wing was working after giving up his business at No. 116. She died on 21st May, 1880, aged 74.
The census for 1861 lists ‘2 unoccupied’ at this address.
1862 – 1882 (Edward Trenowath)
For twenty years, these were the premises of Edward Trenowath’s drapery establishment. For many years he had lived at No. 108, with Samuel Pridgeon, for whom he was the principal assistant. In February 1861, following the death of Mr. Pridgeon two months earlier, he bought the latter’s drapery stock. The total value of the stock was £841 11s 10d and Edward Trenowath had purchased it a discount of 44¾ per cent, allowing him to offer it to the public at a considerable saving.
Having purchased Pridgeon’s stock on 4th February, Edward had to move quickly to clear the premises within a fortnight, following which arrangements were made to sell the freehold of no. 108.
Edward opened his new shop here on Tuesday 22nd April, 1862.
Edward, born 29th December, 1813 in Lynn, was the elder brother of William Trenowath (b. 23/01/1821), a cabinet maker and upholsterer. Their parents were Richard Trenowath and Ann Aleyer, who had married at St. Margarets church on 12th January, 1806. Richard and Ann had at least seven children, all born in Lynn:-
1)Jane (b. 1809 – died young). 2) John (b. 1811 – m. Eliza Cook in 1833). 3) Edward – see below – (b. 29/12/1813). 4) William (b. 22/10/1815 – died young). 5) Henry (b. 11/07/1817). 6) Jane (b. 16/12/1819). 7) William (b. 23/01/1821).
Edward appears to have been taken on as an apprentice by Samuel Pridgeon, whose drapery business was at 108, High Street, and then to have stayed on as his senior assistant. Indeed, it is possible that Edward was working at Samuel Pridgeon’s shop from the day it opened until the day it closed. In 1841, Samuel Pridgeon and his sister Mary were living on the premises at 108 and Edward Trenowath and Pearson Cadman, both draper’s assistants, were staying with them. In 1851, Samuel and his assistants, Edward Trenowath and William Boyce (see No. 17a, High Street), were recorded at No. 108.
Edward married Rebecca Eaves, from Ely, in 1862, and his business as a ‘linen-draper and silk mercer’ is listed at No. 109, High Street in Harrod’s Directory for 1863. Edward and Rebecca did not have any children.
Edward continued trading on his own account here at No. 109 until May 1882, when he announced his retirement at the age of 68. Edward and Rebecca moved to 5, Portland Street, Lynn, where he died on 29th January, 1883, aged 69. Rebecca died on 23rd September, 1901, aged 76.
A new trading partnership was established by Edward and his brother William, in or around 1882, for the benefit of the latter’s three sons, Tomson, Arthur and Walter, in the name of ‘Trenowath Brothers’. More details of the partnership are given below and under No. 110 and Nos. 73 & 74, High Street.
1882 – 1889 (Trenowath Brothers) (Tomson Garner Trenowath)
There were three distinct trading arms within the Trenowath Brothers’ partnership:-
- Tomson Trenowath’s drapery business here at No. 109 (later at No. 110 and also, for a time, at 108–110), High Street.
- Arthur Trenowath’s drapery business at No. 143, Norfolk Street.
- Walter Trenowath’s furniture and removals business at No. 110 (from 1889 at Nos. 73 & 74, High Street and later at King Street).
Tomson Garner Trenowath (1856-1926)
Tomson ran the High Street drapery branch of the brothers’ business partnership at No 109. It opened here in 1882 following their uncle Edward’s retirement. In March 1889, the business moved next door into No. 110, where more details of Tomson and his family will be found.
Arthur Richard Trenowath (1857-1922)
Like his brother Tomson, Arthur’s business was principally as a draper. His shop was at 143, Norfolk Street. However, for a time he also managed an ironmongery business at 146 Norfolk Street, which Trenowath Brothers bought from James Bycroft in April, 1894. Arthur appears to have run his Norfolk Street businesses almost completely independently from the other branches of the brothers’ partnership. On 24th December, 1894, the partnership was dissolved by mutual consent, with Arthur going his own way and Tomson and Walter continuing to trade under the name of Trenowath Brothers. In February 1896 there was a fire in Norfolk Street that affected Arthur’s ironmongery business, which he decided to sell, although Trenowath Brothers retained the freehold of the premises. Arthur opened a branch at Hunstanton, where he owned the St. Edmund’s Hotel, and another branch at Wisbech.
Arthur married Louisa Anne Booth from Outwell in 1902. They did not have any children. Arthur died in 1922, aged 64, and Louisa died in 1955, aged 93.
Walter Trenowath (1861-1922)
Initially, Walter continued to run the furniture, removals, undertaking and paper hanging departments of the business from his father’s premises at Blackfriars Street, where they traded as Trenowath & Son. When James Green retired in 1886, the brothers then bought his former premises at No. 110, High Street and for a short time Walter ran the removals and paper hanging departments from there. In March 1889, following the refurbishment of No. 110 to accommodate Tomson’s drapery shop, Walter moved his business to No. 74, High Street. He expanded into No. 73 and later moved to King Street. More details of him and his family will be found at Nos. 73 & 74, High Street.
1889 – 1894 (Walter Sothern Dexter)
Walter Sothern Dexter (1848 – 1920) had a photographic and fancy goods business at this address for about four years. He was born in Lynn but spent some years in Wellingborough around the 1880s before returning to the town in about 1889, taking over the Blackfriars Street business of his father, William Sothern Dexter.
Walter Dexter placed the following advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser on 9th October, 1889:-
‘109, HIGH STREET, LYNN. SEE DEXTER’S 6d & 1s WINDOWS. Special value in Russia, Morocco and Persian Leather Bags, Purses and Dressing Cases. Ladies’ and Gent’s Card Cases. Gentlemen’s Cowhide Travelling Bags. Photographic Albums. All Prices and Newest Designs!! Japanese Goods. Inkstands. Desks. Workboxes. Fancy Glass and China. Brushes, Combs, and Fancy Soaps. Papier Mache Goods. Lined Work-baskets, 25 per cent reduction. Bibles. Prayer Books and Church Services. Stationery Sale Still On. Photography and Picture-framing at Blackfriars Street.’
Walter was listed at No. 109 in White’s directory for 1890 and in the 1891 census.
On 10th March, 1894, the following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser:-
‘No. 109, HIGH STREET, KING’S LYNN. To be Let, with early possession, the handsome double-fronted Shop and excellent Dwelling-house, in the occupation of Mr. W. S. Dexter. – Apply to Mr. W. M. Bennell, Market Place, King’s Lynn.’
The premises were re-occupied by Trenowath Brothers.
Walter Dexter moved to No. 23, High Street, where more details of his business and his family will be found.
1894 – c1932 (Nos. 109 & 110) (Trenowath Brothers) (Harry Trenowath)
When Walter Dexter moved out of No. 109, Trenowath Brothers moved back in, expanding their drapery shop at 110, which remained under the control of Tomson until his death in 1926, when his son Harry succeeded to the business. More details of the business and the family are given at No. 110.
The premises were burnt to the ground in the second great High Street fire, which started on the opposite side of the street in Jermyn & Perry’s drapery store on 27th December, 1897.
Trenowath Brothers moved into temporary accommodation at 36, High Street. On 31st December, 1897, they placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-
‘GREAT FIRE AT LYNN. TRENOWATH’S DRAPERY SHOPS BURNT OUT. NEW PREMISES Opened on Wednesday Morning, December, 29th, No. 36, HIGH STREET (Two Doors from New Conduit Street) With NEW STOCK Direct from LONDON and MANCHESTER. All New Stock marked specially cheap to meet the times. All Latest Styles of Millinery. TRENOWATH BROS. In position to meet every Order with prompt attention. FURNISHING DEPARTMENT, 73 & 74, High Street.’
The premises were quickly rebuilt, and Trenowath Brothers moved back in towards the end of 1898.
1932 – 1938 (Sterlings Ltd.)
On 20th December 1932, Sterlings Ltd., the boot and shoe dealers, opened a branch here. They remained at this shop until at least the beginning of WWII, and maybe a few years longer.
The firm was based in Pudsey, Yorkshire, and when they came to Lynn they advertised that the business had been going for 60 years. One of their slogans was ‘More Smiles Per Mile in STERLINGS COMFORT SHOES’ (Lancashire Post 9th November 1933). It is not clear whether the business was a subsidiary of Salter & Salter Ltd., of Pudsey (see No. 113, High Street), or connected in any way with that firm. There may have been a connection with Lennards Ltd., (see No. 20, High Street) in later years, too.
Chairman of the company in the 1930s was Sir Walter Forrest (1870-1939), at one time MP for Pontefract.
Ernest Lawson (1876-1954) of Pudsey was an employee of the company for 60 years, rising to serve as managing director until his retirement in 1949.
1946 – 1954 (Hollywood Hats)
A branch of Hollywood Hats opened here on Friday December 20th 1946. The business was based upon the popularity of the hats that were worn by the film stars of the era, advertising; ‘You will be delighted with these Newest Hat Fashions as worn by famous film stars’ (Burnley Express 23rd August, 1941). The stars’ hats were copied by a number of different millinery establishments but it was this company’s promotions that really caught the imagination of the public. Surprisingly, perhaps, the business expanded rapidly during the war years, with branches opening throughout the length and breadth of the UK. By the mid 1950s, however, the bubble had burst and the company went into liquidation, being wound up in early 1959.
1954 – 1960 (Vogue)
The costumiers Vogue had a shop here between 1854 and 1960 (Kelly).
The proprietors were Marshall & Knight Ltd.
A company of the same name went into voluntary liquidation in January 1960 (London Gazette).
1961 (Jax Stores)
Jax Store Ltd. was a ladies’ clothing chain that had branches across the UK. The Lynn store opened in February 1961. Great play was made of the fact that this was the 109th branch to open and that it was here at 109, High Street.
The shop was supposed to be opened by a TV personality but apparently they did not appear and the manageress of the shop, Mrs Rita Mathers, had to step in at the last minute. Rita was the daughter of Edward Stoakley and Rita E. Richmond, and had recently married John E. R. Mathers, an airman stationed at RAF Feltwell in Norfolk.
There were branches of Jax Stores at Norwich and Ipswich.
The company ceased trading in 1964.