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No 114, No 114a & No 114b HIGH STREET

 114, High Street.

This was an extensive property, owned for several years by Jermyns’ drapery store opposite and used, inter alia, for staff rest rooms and dormitories, and frequently referred to as ‘Jermyn & Perry’s Extension’.

In the great High Street fire of Monday, 27th December, 1897, the front of the premises were damaged but not totally destroyed. However, they were demolished and the new building was set back to a line established by the Borough Council.

The ground floor frontage was used at times as one unit and at other times as two. The buildings at the rear, including five warehouses, were accessed by a passage on the left, and provided accommodation for a number of different uses, including a cabinet maker’s workshop.

At any one date, it is difficult to identify all of the businesses that were accommodated here. Some of the traders are listed at No. 114a or No. 114b but it is not always clear which part of the premises they occupied.

In June 1929, Jermyns applied for permission to alter the premises. No. 114b was still listed as Jermyn & Sons staff residence in 1951 (Kelly).

The main shop is now principally a single storey building. The first and second floors are no more than one room deep from front to back. The first floor was used as consulting rooms for an ophthalmic optician for several years.

c1822 – 1834 (Christopher Peek)

There are a number of directory entries for Peeks from 1822/3 (Pigot) until 1850 (Slater). The earliest entry is for Christopher Peek, a grocer, tea dealer and tallow chandler. Although there are no numbers in the 1822/3 directory, Pigot puts him here at No. 114, High Street in 1830, and also at No. 57.

Christopher Peek and his wife Mary had seven children, all born in Lynn:-

1) George (b. c1806 – d. 1839). 2) Robert – see below (b. 1807 – d. 1836). 3) Christopher (b. c1809 – m. Ann Plowright in 1835). 4) Mary (b. 1811 – m. Henry Dyker Thew on 10/02/1836). 5) Jane (b. c1813). 6) Arthur – see below (b. 08/04/1815 – m. Mary Coe in 1849 – d. 1881, aged 65). 7) Lucy (b. 06/07/1819 – m. Frederick J. Utting – d. 05/04/1895 in New Zealand).

More about the family of Henry Dyker Thew may be found at Nos. 1-4, High Street.

Christopher Peek died in 1833/4.

1834 – 1836 (Robert Peek)

Following the death of his father in 1833/4, Robert Peek took over the family grocery business.

White’s Directory for 1836 lists him as an agent for British Commercial Insurance, at this address. He was trading as a grocer, tea dealer, tallow chandler and hop merchant. He died in that year and, consequently, does not appear in later directories.

1836 – 1851 (Arthur Peek)

Arthur Peek took over the business following his brother’s death, and later formed the company of Peek & Co., listed here in 1850 (Slater). He was living on the premises in 1841 and 1851.

In 1849, Arthur Peek married Mary Coe, from Tilney cum Islington, Norfolk, and the first two of their eight children were born in Lynn:-

1) Mary Elizabeth (b. 1850). 2) Robert Charles (b. 1851 – m. Ellen Maud Taylor – d. 1925 in Ireland). 3) Ann Ellen (b. 1854 in Leeds). 4) Christopher Arthur (b. 1856 in Brierly, Yorkshire). 5) Grace Emily (b. 1858 in Brierly). 6) Florence Matilda (b. 1860 in Manchester). 7) Alice H. (b. 1864 in Manchester). 8) Henry H. (b. 1865 in Carlisle).

In July, 1842, Arthur Peek agreed an arrangement with John Keed, the freehold owner, for the latter to take over part of the shop premises while his shop at No. 85 was being refurbished (see below).

On 1st April, 1847, the following advertisement appeared in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘WHOLESALE & FAMILY TEA WAREHOUSE, 114, High Street, Lynn. PEEK and COMPY., respectfully invite the attention of Families to their stock of Teas and Coffee, which has been selected with the utmost care, and consists solely of the choice and sterling kinds, which the unprecedented depression at present prevailing in both the Tea and Coffee Markets has enabled them to secure on the most advantageous terms. N.B. ORDERS BY POST PUNCTUALLY ATTENDED TO.’

On 12th August 1848, Arthur Peek placed an advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser which included the following statement:-

 ‘WHOLESALE and RETAIL TEA WAREHOUSE. PEEK & COMPANY beg to announce to the inhabitants of Lynn and its Neighbourhood, that having arranged with Mr. J. Keed, for part of the Shop, 114, High Street, during the remainder of his Lease, they have opened in the above Business.’

Peek & Company were listed in Slater’s directory for 1850 but the company ceased trading that year, although Arthur and his family stayed on in the house that they leased here and where they were recorded in the 1851 census.

In 1852, Arthur Peek left Lynn and part of his furniture and shop equipment were sold at auction on Monday, 2nd August that year.

Arthur Peek became a commercial traveller and took his family up north to Leeds and Manchester, and he died in Lancashire in 1881, aged 65.

1842 – 1849 (John Keed)

John Keed ran a hat and fur business from No. 21, High Street. He also occupied his late father’s shop at No. 85, High Street. As the freehold owner of No. 114, where he lived for some years, he was able to appropriate space occupied by Arthur Peek on a temporary basis while his shop at No. 85 was being refurbished.

As will be apparent from the notices from John Keed and Peek & Company, the two businesses shared the shop accommodation at No. 114 between 1842 and 1849.

There were three generations of John Keed trading on Lynn’s High Street from about 1790 to about 1854. The family owned or leased several properties.

More about the Keed family will be found at Nos. 21 and 85, High Street.

James Keed (c1785 – 1851), another member of the family, had premises at No. 41, High Street.

On 10th May, 1842, the following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘TO BE LET, A Suite of Genteel Apartments, Situate No. 114, High Street, PRIVATE DOOR. TO BE LET, FIVE LARGE & CONVENIENT WAREHOUSES, Fitted up Complete, with CRANE, and Every Necessary Advantage. Possession of all the above may be had at Midsummer next, and for further particulars apply to Mr. J. Keed, jnr., No. 21, High Street.’

On 5th July, 1842, a further announcement appeared in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘LONDON HAT and Ladies’ Fur Warehouse, 114, HIGH STREET. J. KEED, jnr. HAVING engaged the above modern and eligible situation lately occupied by Mr. Arthur Peek, begs to inform his friends And the Public generally, that he has opened the spacious Shop and Fur Rooms for their inspection, with a Stock which comprises the varieties of Modern Hats, Caps and Beaver Bonnets. J. KEED jnr., having been induced by the long support of his Friends and the Public, to engage for better accommodation the above Establishment, avails himself of this opportunity to thank them for past favors, and to render his assurance that their every effort shall be employed to ensure their future  and increased patronage. GENTLEMEN’S HUNTING HATS & CAPS. Hats Dyed, Cleaned, Altered and Repaired at the shortest Notice. J. Keed jnr. intends visiting the London Markets for the ensuing Fur Season, and making his personal selection of Ladies’ Furs as usual.’

On 29th July, 1848, John Keed placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘The Ladies’ London Fur Warehouse. J. KEED, begs to announce to his Friends, the Inhabitants of Lynn, and the surrounding neighbourhood, that in order to accommodate Mr. Peek, he has relinquished to him part of his Front Shop, retaining possession of the remainder of the premises, and he purposes appropriating some commodious and convenient rooms to his Fur Department, where at the approaching Season, every facility will be afforded for carrying on this important branch of his Business. The above arrangements are only temporary, and adopted to consult the wishes of Mr. Peek – as it is J. Keed’s intention to remove to the Old Established Business, No. 85, High Street, as soon as some extensive alterations are effected.’

In February 1849, John Keed announced that he was moving his business to No. 85, High Street:-

‘Established 1790. RE-OPENING OF THE OLD ESTABLISHED HAT WAREHOUSE, No. 85, High Street. JOHN KEED begs to inform his numerous friends and connexions, that he has removed from his Residence, No. 114, to No. 85, the Premises so long occupied by his Father, where he intends carrying on the HAT and FUR Business in all its branches, on an improved principle. It is his intention to submit to the Public all the Old Stock, at an unprecedently Low Price, in order to clear the premises previous to a handsome selection for the Spring. The Shop, which has just been elegantly and commodiously fitted up, will be OPENED on Saturday next, the 17th instant. Lynn, Feb. 1849.’

 c1846 (Samuel Bunnett)

Samuel Bunnett, a cabinet maker and upholsterer, is listed here in Kelly’s Nine Counties Directory for 1846, and probably occupied some of the buildings in the yard at the rear of the premises. The son of Jacob Bunnett, a school master, and the brother of Jacob jnr., also a cabinet maker and upholsterer, Samuel was born in Lynn in about 1822, being baptised at St. Margaret’s church on 19th May that year. He married Hannah Edwards Trendell (b. c1823 in Shoreditch Middlesex) in 1847, and they were living in Tower Street, Lynn in 1851. By 1856 the family were living in Bermondsey, London, where Samuel was listed as a picture frame maker in 1861. Their next move was to Newington, where they were living in 1871 and 1881, with Samuel working as a carver and gilder.

Samuel and Hannah had three children:-

1) Henry Samuel – a picture frame manufacturer – (b. 1849 in Lynn – m. Ann Cupit in 1874 – d. 1906, aged 58). 2) Hannah Trendell – a school mistress – (b. 1855 in Bermondsey – m. Jabez Edward Creasy in 1887 – d. 1932, aged 76). 3) Sarah Headley (b. 1859 in Bermondsey – m. Joseph Billingham Eland in 1889 – d. 1939, aged 80).

Samuel died in 1888, aged 65, and Hannah died in 1902, aged 78.

1850 (Henry Roman)

The cabinet maker Henry Roman was here in 1850 (Slater), presumably in a workshop at the back of the premises. Born in Lynn in 1824, his parents were Henry and Ann Roman.

Henry Roman snr. was born in 1794, and he married Ann Billing in 1818. Following Ann’s death, he married Elizabeth Nottley in 1829. Henry snr. and Ann had one more child, Charlotte (b. c1826 – d. 1860). Henry snr. and his second wife Elizabeth had at least five children:-

1) Thomas (b. c1830). 2) John (b. c1832). 3) William – a bricklayer – (b. 1836 – d. 1871, aged 35). 4) Alfred James – a painter & decorator in Leeds – (b. 1837 – m. Grace Farrar in 1871 – d. 1886, aged 47). 5) Charles (b. 1840).

Henry Roman snr. died in Lynn in 1872, aged 77, and Elizabeth died in 1881, aged 81.

Henry Roman jnr. was already working as a cabinet maker in 1841, aged 15, and was living in Pleasant Row in Lynn, but there are no further references to him.

1853 – 1874 (John Blott snr.) (Susannah Blott)

The shop at No. 114 may have been vacant for a year or two after John Keed moved to No. 85 in February, 1849.

On 19th November, 1853, John Blott snr. placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘JOHN BLOTT, 114, HIGH STREET, LYNN. Begs to inform his friends and the public, that he has removed his Business from 103 to 114, HIGH STREET, near Saturday Market Place. At the same time he is desirous of returning his most grateful thanks for the very kind support he has received during the last 25 years, and will endeavour to conduct his Business on the same liberal terms as heretofore. A choice assortment of New Fruits in Muscatels, Figs, French Plums, etc., in handsome packages, suitable for presents. Fine ripe Stilton, Cheshire, and Cheddar Cheese, with every article in the trade of the best quality and lowest prices.’

John Blott snr. was born in 1801 at Wiggin, Woodhurst, near St. Ives in Huntingdonshire.

As well as the Lynn shop, he had a branch at 5, Greeve Gate Road, Hunstanton.

The Blotts were a Huntingdonshire farming family who can be traced back to the 16th Century.

John’s parents were Thomas Blott (b. 1760 – d. 1839) and Joanne Britten (b. 1765), who had three children:-

1) William (b. 1797 – d. 1874). 2) Thomas (b. 1799 – d. 1875). 3) John – see below – (b. 1801).

John married Jemima Gill in about 1831, and they had one daughter, Eliza Britten, who was baptised at St. Margaret’s church on 3rd February, 1832.

Jemima died on 28th January, 1845, aged 49, and John married Susannah Boulding in 1847. They had two children:-

1) John jnr. – see below – (b. 19/02/1849 – m. Eleanor Batterham on 09/04/1873 – d. 1888, aged 39). 2) William Edward (b. 19/02/1844 – d. 1855, aged 11).

Most curiously, John snr. and his son managed to be recorded twice in the same census in different locations! On the night of 6th and 7th April, 1861, the family were recorded here at 114, High Street. However, the two Johns must then have travelled a distance of some 45 miles from Lynn to Warmington in Northamptonshire (or vice versa) at some time during the night and were also recorded at a farm in Church Street, staying with the nephew of John snr., John Thomas Blott (b. 07/01/1827 in Warmington – m. Sarah Southwell on 09/06/1852 – d. 1902, aged 75).

John Blott died in 1867, aged 66, when his son, John jnr., was 18. The shop was managed for some six or seven years by Susannah Blott, until her son John jnr. was able to take over.

Susannah Blott died in about 1885.

1874 – 1878 (John Blott jnr.)

An advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser on 27th June, 1874, announced a change of management:-

‘Family Tea, Grocery, Italian and Provision Warehouse, 114, High Street, King’s Lynn, JOHN  BLOTT begs to announce that he has succeeded to the above business, and in soliciting a renewal of the large share of support so long enjoyed by his late Father, desires to call attention to his NEW STOCK, which having been carefully selected from the best Colonial, London and Provincial Markets, will be found to compare favourably with any offered to the public. Branch at 3, Victoria Buildings, Hunstanton St, Edmund.’

After a few years, John Blott gave up the grocery business, working as a clerk in 1881 and living at the Green Dragon, 145 Norfolk Street, with his wife, Eleanor and their family. Eleanor was the licensee according to the census, although John Blott’s name appears elsewhere as licensee.

John and Eleanor had seven children. Confusingly, they gave each of their four sons the name John, and two of them had it registered as their first name. All but their eldest was born in Lynn:-

1) John – a schoolmaster – (b. 1874 at Hunstanton – m. Lucy Martha Barnes in 1897 – d. 1940, aged 66). 2) Alice Mary – possibly one of twins – (b. 20/09/1875 – no civil records – only recorded at baptism at St. Margaret’s church). 3) John Thomas – a whitesmith – (b. 1875 – m. Alice Louisa Owen in 1901 – d. 1950, aged 75). 4) William John (b. 1879 – d. 1885, aged five). 5) Eleanor (b. 20/03/1882 – m. Robert William Dye in 1905 – d. 1979, aged 97). 6) Christobel Annie (b. 25/12/1884 – m. Benjamin William Johnson in 1908 – d. 1971, aged 87). 7) William / Billy John – see below – (b. 1888 – m. Mary A. Cook in 1928 – d. 1968, aged 80).

All of John and Eleanor’s offspring spent most of their adult life in Lynn. Their daughter Eleanor, who was married to Lynn builder and contractor R. W. Dye, lived until she was 97 and died in Suffolk.

John Blott jnr. died in 1888, the year that his youngest son William (Billy), was born.

Billy Blott was sent away to the Royal Masonic School, Wood Green, London and spent about 35 years living and working in the Capital. He became a chemist, and was assistant to Herman James Kluger at his Curson Street, Hanover Square pharmacy in 1901. In 1928 he married Mary Cook and they lived in London until their home and business was bombed out in the blitz. They then came to Lynn where Billy Blott took over the chemist’s W. W. Crisp at 3, Saturday Market Place. He continued in business there, under the name of ‘Crisps (Chemists) Ltd.’ until the 1960s.

Eleanor Blott placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser on 4th August, 1888:-

‘Mrs. BLOTT, Widow of the Late JOHN BLOTT, Having taken the Shop No. 128 NORFOLK STREET, LYNN, (late Harper’s) where she intends carrying on the business of a Tobacconist and Confectioner, earnestly solicits the support of her friends and the public. All goods of the best quality.’

She continued in business there for 30 years, until her death in 1918, aged 69.

1878 – 1880 (John William Groom)

On 9th November, 1878, John Blott and John W. Groom, placed joint notices in the Lynn Advertiser, the former announcing that he had disposed of his business to the latter. John Groom’s notice read:-

‘Sir, – I beg to inform you that I have purchased the stock, premises, and business, for many years carried on by Mr. JOHN BLOTT, in the Family Tea, Grocery, and provision trade, and that I take possession of the same on Tuesday next, November 12th. I intend keeping a choice stock of high class goods, such as this establishment has always been distinguished for, which for price and quality will compare favourably with any other house. I hope to be favoured with the continuance of your account and by personal attention to command your approval. I have engaged Mr. Blott’s assistants, who will co-operate with my present staff, and I shall make every provision to retain all customers. I am, sir, yours respectfully, JOHN W. GROOM. N. B. Terms, Quarterly Current accounts.’

John Groom had been trading as a grocer next door at No. 113, and details of his family will be found there.

On 2nd October 1880 he placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘Important Notice. JOHN W. GROOM, Family Grocer, Lynn, Respectfully informs his numerous customers and the public, that he has removed the whole of his business from High Street, to “Albion House” Valingers’ Road, where he hopes to receive their kind orders as usual, on and after Monday next, Oct. 4th.’

He continued to work as a grocer for another ten years but had retired by 1891. After a brief spell as a commission agent (Kelly, 1892) he moved to Bolton and started making bicycles.

John William Groom died in 1929, aged 81, in Bolton, Lancashire.

1880 – c1883 (William Jackson)

William Jackson took over the business from John Groom in October, 1880, but he died young and was only here for a few years.

He was the son of William Jackson snr. who had a shop at No. 40, High Street from about 1840 until his death in 1854.

William Jackson jnr. served his apprenticeship in Lowestoft before returning to Lynn and succeeding John Groom. He never married and his mother and two sisters were living here with him in 1881. On 16th December, 1882, there was an advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser from ‘Jackson, late BLOTT, 114, High Street’. William Jackson continued to advertise the business as having been established for over half a century using the words ‘Late BLOTT’.

The last references to William Jackson at No. 114 are from 1883 (Kelly and White). He died on 2nd July 1886, aged 33.

c1886 – 1887 (W. Smith)

For a few years, the shop was that of W. Smith. It may be that he took over before William Jackson’s death but if not he was here for only just a year or so. On 5th November, 1887, Mr Smith gave notice in the Lynn Advertiser that he was disposing of the business to Mr. Chas H. Taylor:-

‘DISPOSAL OF BUSINESS. 114, HIGH STREET, KING’S LYNN (Opposite Jermyn’s). W. SMITH begs to offer his sincere thanks to the inhabitants of Lynn and district during his term of business in Lynn, and has much pleasure in recommending Mr. C. H. TAYLOR (of this town), who has purchased the above business, trusting he may receive a continuation of the same.’

1887 – c1895 (Charles Henry Taylor)

The following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser beneath that of Mr Smith:-

‘C. H. TAYLOR Begs to state that he has removed to the above address. The growth of my business during the last six years having, at length compelled me to obtain larger premises, with increased facilities for the prompt execution of orders. I venture to hope for a continuance, and, if possible, an increase of your esteemed support. Thanking you for that accorded me in the past. I am, yours &c. CHAS. H. TAYLOR.’

In the same edition of the newspaper, Charles Henry Taylor advertised for sale the former stock of Mr. W. Smith, which he had bought. He called himself ‘Taylor the Cash Grocer’. He also frequently referred to his shop as the ‘LYNN & WEST NORFOLK SUPPLY STORES’.

He was clearly pleased with his new shop, placing the following notice in his advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser on 5th June, 1889:-

‘LYNN & WEST NORFOLK GROCERY STORES – CHARLES HENRY TAYLOR Reminds the public at large of his extended premises and facilities for trade, adding greatly to the accommodation and comfort of his numerous customers. C. H. TAYLOR, 114, HIGH STREET (OPPOSITE JERMYN’S), KING’S LYNN.’

Charles was the son of Robert Taylor jnr. (b. c1834 in Castle Acre) and Louisa Jickling (b. 1838 in Lynn). Robert was a baker in Chapel Street, Lynn, in 1881, but ten years earlier he had been working as a joiner. His father Robert Taylor snr. had been born in Castle Acre in about 1806, where he worked as a baker.

Robert jnr. and Louisa had six sons, all born in Lynn:-

1) Charles Henry – see below – (b. 1859 – m. Harriet White in 1881 and Minnie Leete in 1900). 2) Frederick William – baker & confectioner at Guildford, Surrey – (b. 1860 – m. Clarissa). 3) George Herbert – foreman steel broker in Keighley – (b. 1862 – m. Margaret Tullett in 1881 – d. 1935, aged 63). 4) Walter Ernest – wholesale brush factor at Doncaster – (b. 1864 – m. Mary Elizabeth Lift in 1887). 5) Frank E. (b. 1866). 6) Harry Arthur – ship broker & shipping agent in Lynn – (b. 1867 – m. Bessie Crisp Murrell in 1892).

Charles Henry Taylor married Harriett White in 1881 and they had five children, the first three born in Lynn:-

1) Florence Ethel (b. 1883). 2) Percival Charles (b. 1884). 3) Mabel Harriett (b. 1890). 4) (Gladys Louise (b. 1894 in Peterborough). 5) Dorothy Emma (b. 1897 in Cambridge).

Charles Taylor advertised regularly in the local newspapers, placing the following advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser on 20th December, 1890:-

‘CHRISTMAS FRUITS, SPECIAL LINES: FINE BOLD RAISINS – 4d lb. SPLENDID CURRANTS – 4d lb. TAYLOR’S CELEBRATED MINCEMEAT – 9d lb. MAKE AN EARLY CALL AT THE LYNN & WEST NORFOLK SUPPLY STORES, 114, HIGH STREET, KING’S LYNN. C. H. TAYLOR’.

Charles Taylor was living on the premises with his wife, three children, his niece, two assistants and an apprentice in 1891. In May that year he applied for permission to build a new stable on the premises. However, by 1895 he had left the town and was working as a commercial traveller in Peterborough. He then moved to Cambridge.

Harriett died in 1899, aged 39, and Charles married Minnie Leete in 1900. They had two children, both born in Cambridgeshire:-

1) Edith Mary (b. 1901). 2) Marion (b. 1905).

c1892 – 1902 (Watts & Rowe)

For eight or ten years, the printers Watts & Rowe had their works in the buildings at the rear of No. 114. They are listed in Kelly’s directory for 1896, and in 1900 as ‘Watts & Rowe, general printers, account book makers, bookbinders, machine rulers etc., Arab works, High Street’.

On 3rd January 1902 Jermyn & Perry advertised; ‘LARGE Rooms to Let, back of 114, High Street; lately occupied by Watts & Rowe’.

Watts & Rowe had moved to purpose-built premises in St. James Road.

George William Watts (b. 1855/6 in King’s Lynn) was the son of Henry Watts, a carpenter and joiner (b. c1831 in Norwich), and Charlotte Medlock (b. c1836 in Lynn). George had a younger sister, Eleanor Ann (b. 1860 in Lynn).

George Watts married Adelaide Eliza Engledow on 28th March, 1883. They had nine children, but only one survived into adulthood, Valerie Olive (b. 14/02/1893 – m. Mark Whitmore in 1916 – d. 1975, aged 82).

George’s father Henry had come to Lynn from Norwich, where his father was a brewer, and was in lodgings in Spencer’s Yard, next to No. 52, High Street, in 1851. After his marriage to Charlotte Medlock, Henry lived with his family in South Street, Lynn for over 20 years.

By the age of 15, George Watts was apprenticed to a local printer, thought to be John Cornelius Bird (see No. 9, High Street). From 1876 to 1892, George worked as John Bird’s foreman compositor, but at the latter date he left to form Watts & Rowe.

Although the listings in Kelly for 1896 and 1900 do not give a number for their address, Watts & Rowe may have been at the rear of No. 114 since their formation. They moved to St. James Road in 1902 and then to Tower Street.

 1897 – 1898 (G. Kendrick & Son)

Burnt out at their premises at Nos. 19 & 20, in the fire of 27th December, 1897, Kendrick’s shoe shop moved into temporary accommodation at No. 114 during rebuilding.

1930 – c1954 (Frederick William Bennell)

Frederick William Bennell, a baker and confectioner, had a shop and restaurant here for about 25 years. A notice in the Lynn Advertiser on 1st February, 1930 read:-

‘THE “REGENT” CAFÉ, Now Open. Hot and Cold Luncheons. Morning Coffee. Teas. Pastries, Cakes, Fruit Slab, Sponges, Gateaux, Fancies, etc. 114,High Street, King’s Lynn.’

Frederick Bennell was born in 1876 in Lynn. He was the great grandson of Mary Bennell the licensee of the ‘Queen’s Head’ in the early nineteenth century. More details of her and her family are given at No. 45.

In 1899/1900 Frederick married (Alice) Maude Gathergood in 1899/1900.

The first listing of F. W. Bennell’s confectionery business is in Kelly’s directory for 1908, when he was at 39, St. James Street and at 27, Wisbech Road, where he also ran a post office. However, he was in business as a baker & confectioner in 1901, and some of his later advertisements stated ‘Established 1899’.

In 1901 the family were living in Wisbech Road (given in the census as ‘Out South Gates’). His wife used the name Maude, in preference to her first name of Alice, and her sister Lily Louise Gathergood (b. c1880 – m. Edward Emms in 1919) was visiting on census night (31st March) that year.

By 1911, Frederick and Maude had moved to 28, St. James Street, and Lily and her sister, Grace Agnes Gathergood (b. 1878/9 – m. William L. Hammond in 1912 – d. 1955/6), were helping in the business.

Frederick and Maude had two children:-

Doris Louise (b. 12/06/1903 – m. Harry T. Trenowath in 1926 and Frank Hatton in 1965 – d.1992, aged 89). 2. Walter Edward (b. 03/01/1906 – m. Eileen Mary Tinkler in 1943 – d. 1996, aged 90). Details of Harry Trenowath and his family may be found at Nos. 109 & 110, High Street.

Walter went into the business, which had become F. W. Bennell & Son by about 1930. At about that same date, the premises here at No. 114 were added to those at St. James Street. They advertised as ‘High Class Bakers, Pastry Cooks, and Confectioners’ and had two restaurants, the one here being called ‘The Regent Café’.

By 1960, Bennells had given up the High Street branch and were only running the bakery at St. James Street.

Frederick William Bennell died on 5th June, 1965, aged 88.

c1930 – c1970 (Wigram & Ware)

The ophthalmic opticians Wigram & Ware moved from No. 11, High Street to No. 114a in about 1930, when Jermyns expanded their store into the former premises. Details of the early history of Wigram and Ware will be found at No. 11.

Sydney William Ware (b. 1888 – d. 06/03/1947) was listed in the directories as FBOA and FIO and was in attendance at the consulting rooms at No. 11 in 1922 (Kelly) and at No. 114a in 1933 (Kelly). He died at Lynn Hospital on 6th March, 1947, aged 59.

Wigram & Ware may have been in the smaller shop unit fronting High Street – the one on the left of the two units – in 1933 when listed at 114a. By 1960 they were in the larger right hand shop unit, No. 114, with Gordon R. Laidlow in 114a (see below).

By 1973, Wigram & Ware had moved to a new shop at 44, New Conduit Street.

1966 – c1970/1 (No. 114a) (C. B. Cartwright Ltd.)

Next to Wigram & Ware, at No. 114a in 1966, were the manufacturing and wholesale opticians C. B. Cartwright Ltd. They were listed here in 1970/1 (Yates) but not in 1973 (Kelly), when they were listed at 44, New Conduit Street along with Wigram & Ware.

c1991 – to date (Artertons)

The furniture and bedding business was started by partners Amanda and Colin Arterton in 1991. Colin Arterton had experience of working at Maples and Queensway. The latter went into administration and Colin decided to open his own business and ‘The Immediate Delivery Furniture Company’ was formed. The company prospered by selling inexpensive upholstered furniture, and Amanda joined the company. In response to customer demand, they began to concentrate on better quality furniture and beds.