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48, High Street.

Throughout the first half of the 19th Century No. 48 was occupied by a painting and decorating business. From about 1861 until 1924, this was a chemist’s shop. In 1924, the men’s clothier George Goddard at No. 49 expanded into No. 48, joining the two into one shop.

 c1822 – c1861 (Richard Raven & Son) (Raven & Chadwick)

Pigot’s directory for 1822 lists Richard Raven & Son under painters, plumbers and glaziers at premises on High Street, but no numbers are given. A similar listing in 1830 (Pigot) also includes him under the classification for oil and colour dealers. The 1830 directory includes numbers for most of the other traders, and since none is placed at No. 48, it is reasonable to suppose that Richard Raven’s business was here. White’s Directory for 1836 lists Richard Raven & Son, painters, at this address.

Raven & Chadwick, painters and glaziers, advertised their business at this address in Slater’s Directory for 1850.

In 1851, both Richard Raven (b. c1784 in Lynn) and John Chadwick (b. c1819 in Lynn) were living in premises at No. 48. Whether either of these was over the frontage shop, or whether they were both yard houses is not clear.

Richard had been baptised in St. Nicholas, Lynn on 30th June, 1784. His parents were Richard Raven snr., and his wife Mary. Both Richard Raven snr. and his son had listings in the 1802 Poll Book but the former may have died in 1803 when a burial at St. Margaret’s church was recorded on 30th June.

Richard Raven jnr., never married. He continued to live at No. 48 even after his retirement sometime before 1851. It is not known when he left the premises, nor when he died. No records have been found for him after a Poll Book entry for 1852.

By 1848, Richard Raven had entered into a partnership with John Robert Chadwick (b. c1819 in Lynn). An advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser on 8th July, 1848, read:-

‘RAVEN & CHADWICK – House and Ornamental Painters, Gilders, & Paper Hangers, 48, High Street, solicit an Inspection of Magnificent Designs in Paper Hangings.’

By the start of 1851Richard Raven had withdrawn from the partnership and John Chadwick advertised on his own in the Lynn Advertiser on 15th February, that year:-

‘Decorating, Painting, Graining and Paper Hanging. JOHN CHADWICK (Late Raven and Chadwick) House Decorator, Painter and Gilder, 48, HIGH STREET, LYNN, Respectfully solicits an inspection of new and beautiful designs of the most choice and elegant description in Paper Hangings and Decorations suitable for Dining and Drawing Rooms, Libraries, Boudoirs, etc., combining taste with economy. A great variety of Marbles for Halls and Staircases. Bed Rooms and other Papers from ¾d per yard and upwards. Estimates given and all Work promptly executed by experienced hands.’

John Chadwick may have moved to No. 48, High Street in early 1843. He had been in a yard off King Street in 1841, but appears to have left prior to 28th March, 1843, when Mr. Perkins of High Street advertised a house and shop with workshops to let – ‘lately in the possession of Mr. Chadwick’.

In the 1851 census, Richard Raven is listed as a retired painter, with income from house property. It would seem that John Chadwick rented his house from Richard Raven and that both this arrangement and the business partnership ended with the latter’s death at some date between 1851 and 1861.

By 1861, John Chadwick had moved to No. 22, High Street, and he then moved to No. 83, by 1863. A fuller account of his family is given under that address.

 c1861 – 1924 (George Atmore)

George Atmore, a chemist and druggist, born in Foulden, Norfolk in about 1823, was living on the premises in 1861.  He was the son of John Atmore (b. c1791 – d. 1855/6), a farmer, and his wife Martha (b. c1789 – d. 1883, aged 94). John and Martha Atmore had twelve children, all born in Foulden:-

1) William (b. 1814 – d. 1877). 2) Sarah (b. 1815 – died in infancy). 3) John (b. 1816 – d. 1871). 4) Sarah (b. 1818). 5) Robert – a miller (b. 1819 – d. 1882). 6) Jane (b. 1821). 7) George – see below – (b. 1822 – m. Harriet Jane Fuller on 14/01/1847 – d. 11/10/1892, aged 70). 8) Richard – a flour and corn factor – (b. 1823 – d. 1900, aged 77). 9) Marie (b. 1824). 10) Edward (b. 1826 – d. 1904). 11) Martha (b. 1828 – d. 1922). 12) Charles (b. 1830 – died in infancy).

George served his apprenticeship with chemist Isaiah Deck at King’s Parade in the centre of Cambridge, and was recorded there in 1841. He married Harriet Jane Fuller (b. c1827 in Cambridge) on 14th January, 1847. She was the daughter of William Fuller, a waiter.

In 1846, George established a chemist’s business at No. 59, High Street, moving here by 1861.

George and Harriet had a number of children but at least seven died young – between infancy and sixteen. The following eight appear in the records at St. Margaret’s Church and / or the censuses:-

1) Martha Ann (b. 1848/9 – d. 1857). 2) George Thomas (b. 02/04/1850 – d. 1866, aged 16). 3) Robert William (b. 30/01/1852 – died in infancy). 4) Harriet Ellen (b. 24/05/1853 – died aged 4). 5) Edward Alfred (b. 18/02/1855 – m. Elizabeth Duffield Ransome in 1880 and Margaret Witt in 1899 – d. 14/10/1930, aged 75). 6) William (b. 1857 – died aged 5). 7) Percival Fuller (b. 1862 – died aged 2). 8) Walter A. (b. c1860 – last record 1891 working as a clerk in Grantham).

Only the two brothers Edward and Walter lived beyond their teens.

Harriet died in 1868, aged 43. George remained here as a practising chemist until his death on 11th October, 1892, aged 70.

George’s son Edward Alfred Atmore, became an assistant to his father and later took over as manager, but did not live on the premises until after his father’s death in 1892. In 1880 he married Elizabeth Duffield Ransome, the daughter of Lynn butcher Ambrose J. Ransome, and they were living in Union Street in 1881, later moving to Exton’s Road. They had three children:-

1) Edward Percy – a banana plantation manager for Fyffes – (b. 1880 – d. 16/10/1881 in Cape Town). 2) Harriett Mabel (b. 1882 – m. Victor George Stockwell on 10/04/1912 – d. 1957). 3) George Eric (b. 1889 – d. 1903, aged 14).

Elizabeth Atmore died between 1891 and 1899, and Edward married Margaret Witt (b. c1864 in Lynn). She was the daughter of George Witt, a printer and account book maker who lived in Queen Street and had his works in Baker Lane, off High Street.

Edward Atmore’s occupation was listed in White’s directory for 1890 as ‘manager’. He was living at 2, Haylett Terrace Extons Road in Lynn. The census the following year has him down as a chemist and druggist. It is apparent that he was managing the business at No. 48 in the years immediately before his father’s death.

In August, 1924, Edward moved out of No. 48 and for a few years had a shop in New Conduit Street. A notice in the Lynn Advertiser read:-

‘NOTICE! E. A. ATMORE, M.P.S., F.E.S., begs to inform his customers and the public generally that on Tuesday, August 26, he removed his old-established business of chemist from 48, High Street, King’s Lynn, to No. 2a, New Conduit Street, where he has resumed business, and he hopes for a renewal of their confidence. Physicians’ Prescriptions carefully dispensed. Toilet requisites and perfumery in great variety. N.B. – Sole proprietor of the Celebrated Dr. Ingle’s Liver Pills.’

Edward was a director of the Lynn Conservative Club, and was on the committee of the Lynn Musical Society. His main interest and pastime, however, was entomology and his studies of some insect groups in Norfolk were published in the transactions of the Norfolk Naturalists’ Society. He died on 14th October, 1930, aged 75. Margaret died in 1945, aged 80.

1924 – 1984 (George Goddard)

George Goddard, tailor and outfitter, who had opened his shop at No. 49 in 1895, expanded into No. 48 when Edward Atmore moved (see No. 49).

1984 – 2012 (Laura Ashley)

Nos. 48 and 49, High Street were redeveloped into two units, and Laura Ashley (at No. 48) and Lunn Poly (at No. 49) took space in the new building.

Laura Ashley was born Laura Mountney in Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, on 7th September, 1925. Following schooling in Wales and Croydon, she joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service in 1942. She married Bernard Ashley in 1949, and they were living in Pimlico when they began experimenting with fabric printing. Before long they were producing scarves, tea towels and placemats. Following a move to Kent in 1955, they increased their production and opened a showroom in London three years later. In 1960 they moved to Macchynlleth in Wales and began making clothes. After two further moves, they established their base at a former railway station in Montgomeryshire, and Bernard developed his first flat bed printing machine, which could produce 5,000 metres of fabric per week.

The business expanded during the 1970s and a further 40 shops had opened by 1975, together with several department store licensing concessions in Australia, Canada and Japan.

Laura Ashley died on 17th September, 1985, aged 60, after a tragic accident when she fell down the stairs at her daughter’s house.

Bernard Ashley was knighted in 1987, but the business took a downturn and reported a £4.7m loss in 1990. Sir Bernard stepped down as chairman of Laura Ashley Holdings in 1993, remaining as a non-executive director and honorary life president. He died of cancer on 14th February, 2009, aged 82.

In 1998, MIU Asia Ltd., became a major shareholder in Laura Ashley, and the Laura Ashley Design Service was introduced, based in stores around the country. The website www.lauraashsley.com went live in October, 2001, and in 2005 the company moved its production onto a single site at Newtown, Powys.

Today Laura Ashley has 196 stores in the UK, selling fashions, furniture, paints, fabrics, wallpaper, lighting, curtains, blinds, and offering a design service.

In January 2001, the Eastern Daily Press reported that the premises had been sold for over £1.2m:-

‘The value of retail property in King’s Lynn was underlined last week when the High Street premises currently let to Laura Ashley were sold by London-based Hermes Property Asset Management to an unnamed group for £1,222,500 ‘as an investment’. James Boatman, of CB Hillier Parker, who acted for Hermes, said: ‘This shows the strength of the property investment market at the current time and the appeal of King’s Lynn as a retail centre.’ Laura Ashley rents the premises for £105,000 a year (£78 per square foot) under an agreement which runs to September, 2012.’

Laura Ashley closed their King’s Lynn shop towards the end of 2012.

c2012 (Costa Coffee)