24

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24, High Street.

This was a very small shop with a narrow yard at the rear opening onto Sedgeford Lane. A central entrance door was flanked by two bow windows before being replaced by a flat shop front.

The numbering of these premises gives rise to some confusion, especially because Nos. 23 to 26 were listed as one address during the times of Messrs. Willett, Couperthwaite, Dexter and W. H. Smith & Son. Historically, there were two units between No. 23 and Sedgeford Lane. At times, however, it would appear that one or more of these were in the same occupation as No. 23.

In October 1923, an application for a new shop and chambers combining Nos. 24 & 25 was approved by the borough council.  J. Hepworth & Son moved into the new premises in 1904 (see Nos. 24 & 25).

c1836 – c1890 (William Bartle)

This was the boot and shoe shop of William Bartle for several years. In 1836 he was at Pilot Street and in 1846 he was listed at No. 27 as a clog maker. However, William Atto appears to have been at No. 27 from 1836 to 1841 and it would seem likely, therefore, that William Bartle was in this shop, one away from Sedgeford Lane. He appears to have rented out the living quarters to sisters Hannah and Amy Buckingham in 1841. They married brothers George and Joseph Andrews (see Nos. 87 and 94, High Street).

In Slater’s Directory for 1850, William Bartle is found at No. 24, described as a boot, shoe, and clog maker. Born c1820 in Wisbech, William was living here in 1851 with his wife, Caroline, who had been born in Lynn c1819, and their four-year-old daughter. He had married Caroline Frances Mayhew Day in about 1846. (Caroline was the sister of Robert Edmund Mayhew Day – see No. 31.) William and Caroline had two children:-

1) Georgiana Elizabeth (b. c1847). 2) William Frederick (b. 1853).

In 1861, William was recorded here at his place of work whilst Caroline and the children were at home in Extons Road.

In 1871, the enumerator recorded ‘No person sleep on premises but occupied in day time as shoe warehouse’. William, Caroline and Georgiana were at home together in Extons Road that year.

The two adjoining properties, Nos. 24 and 25 were advertised for sale in the Norfolk News on 28th August, 1875:

‘KING’S LYNN.

DESIRABLE FREEHOLD PROPERTY.

SALTER & SIMPSON will Sell by Auction, at the Globe Hotel, King’s Lynn, on Friday, September 10th, 1875, at Three for Four o’clock in the Evening precisely, in One Lot, all those two MESSUAGES or DWELLING-HOUSES fronting High Street, in King’s Lynn, aforesaid, one of which is used as a Public House, known by the sign of the “Greyhound”, and in the occupation of the Widow Wareham; and the other is in the occupation of Mr. William Bartle, and is used as a Boot and Shoe Warehouse; and all those TWO COTTAGES, in Three Tenements, adjoining the same, in Sedgeford Lane, and in the several occupations of William Gent, Samuel Park, and the Widow Girdlestone. The Property is Freehold. Gross Rents, £67. For further Particulars apply to the Auctioneers, Attleborough; and to Messrs. Vaughan & Sons, Solicitors, Stockport and Manchester.’

In the 1879 directory, he is listed as a boot and shoe maker and a collector of the Poor’s Rate. He was living at 8, Extons Road. He continued in business here for several years and is at this address in White’s Directory of 1890. On January 4th of that year, he advertised in the Lynn Advertiser: ‘TO LET; at low rentals, Three Shops, suitable for any business – Apply, Mr. Bartle, High Street, Lynn’.

William Bartle had decided to retire from the boot and shoe trade at the age of about 70. The notice below appeared in the Lynn Advertiser on 6th September, 1890:-

‘SELLING OFF! SELLING OFF!! Retiring from Business. FURTHER  REDUCTION IN PRICE. The remaining stock of 817 PAIRS of BOOTS & SHOES, Must be cleared in 14 days. GREAT BARGAINS. Come early to prevent disappointment. NO REASONABLE OFFER REFUSED. BARTLE, 24, HIGH STREET.’

It may be at or about this date that William and Caroline separated and he moved out of the family home and took to living in a single room over his office in Wellesley Street, off Railway Road.

In Kelly’s Directory for 1892, he is listed only as ‘Rate Collector, No. 1 District, St. Margaret’s Parish.’ He was living in Wellesley Street at that date.

William Bartle died on the evening of Thursday 24th May, 1899, at the age of 80 in his room at Wellesley Street, after falling ill earlier in the day.

Caroline Bartle died in 1907/1908 at the age of 88.

c1890 – 1895 (Walter Dexter)

Walter Dexter was advertising from Nos. 23 to 26 in December, 1895 (see his entry under No. 23). It would seem that he took the lease of No. 24 from William Bartle.

c1896 – c1900 (Robert John Nurse)

Robert John Nurse (Robert Nurse III), a third generation carver and gilder, was listed here in Kelly’s directories from 1896 to 1916. He was the son of Robert Nurse II, a carver, gilder and picture dealer, who had been born in Norwich c1829, the son of Robert Nurse I (born c1801 in Matlask, Norfolk), who had premises at Old Post Office Yard, St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich, in 1841.

Robert I and his wife Judith (born in Lynn c1799) had five children living with them at that date:-

1) Fanny (b. c1826). 2) Robert II (b. c1829). 3)  James (b. c1835). 4) Mary (c1836). 5) Phillip b. (c1840).

In 1861 the business was in Castle Street in the city. Robert I died in 1871, aged 70, before the census on 2/3 April, when Judith was listed as a carver and gilder employing two men and two boys. She died in 1875, aged 76.

Robert II married Susanna Temple in 1865. Susanna was born in 1840 at Martin Fen, Lincolnshire, the daughter of John Temple, an agricultural labourer and his wife Sarah. Both Susanna and her elder sister Rebecca (c1836) entered service but found it difficult to find employment. They are both listed as out of work in a census return. In 1871 Robert and Susanna were living at 21, Tuesday Market Place in Lynn, with three of their children. They had seven children in all:-

1) Charles Baxter (b. c1866). 2) Robert John (b. 1868). 3) Frances Mary (b. 1870). 4) John James (b. 1873). 5) Lilian Susanna (b. c1875). 6) Anne Mary (b. 1877). 7) Marian Temple (b. 1880).

It appears that Robert II continued the Norwich business of his late father whilst maintaining a house and business premises in Lynn. In 1881, Robert and Susanna were at Dove Street in Norwich, with Charles, Frances and Marian, while the other four children were left in the care of a housekeeper at 11, Purfleet Street, Lynn. Similarly, in 1891, while Robert I and Robert II were in White Lion Street, Norwich, with Sarah, the rest of the family were at Purfleet Street. Charles was by now working as an artist, portrait painter and art teacher and Frances was a milliner’s apprentice. Robert II was still at White Lion Street, Norwich in 1901, listed as a picture dealer, with Susanna, Lilian (a photographic artist and re-toucher) and Annie (an artist).

Robert II died in 1901, aged 71, and Susanna died in 1923, aged 83.

Robert III had established his carving and gilding business at No. 24, High Street by 1901, when his brother Charles was living here with him. Their sisters Frances and Marian were housekeeper and assistant, respectively. In 1911, Susanna, now widowed, was staying here with Robert and Frances, and Charles was visiting them on census night. Robert is listed in the directories for 1904 and 1916, but it is not known what happened to him after then.

c1917 William Cushing

By 1917, No. 24 had been taken over by William Cushing. A notice in the Lynn Advertiser on 28th September,1917 read as follows:-

‘No. 24, HIGH STREET, Lynn, will shortly be opened by W. CUSHING (late of Saddlebow) for the sale of Fruit, Poultry, and Dried Fish. Fowls dressed to order. Speciality will be given to freshly killed rabbits.’

It would appear that this was the same William Cushing who was the licensee at the ‘Greyhound’ (see No. 25). He is listed here as a greengrocer in Kelly’s directory for 1922.

1925 – 1973 (J. Hepworth & Son) (see Nos. 24 & 25)

The old premises were demolished in 1924 and J. Hepworth & Son moved into a new shop on the site of Nos, 24 & 25 in 1925.