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49, High Street.

No. 49 was one of the smaller High Street shops. On the ground floor c1900 there were two rooms, a kitchen, a side passage, back yard with outside toilet and a coal store. Upstairs was a sitting room, two bedrooms and clothing room. There were two attic rooms.

For many years, from 1895 until 1984, this was George Goddard’s clothing store. He expanded into No. 48 in 1924 when Edward Atmore, the chemist, moved out. When George Goddard left, the premises were redeveloped and reverted to two units.

c1822 – c1844 (John Carter Neale)

Pigot’s Directory for 1830 lists John Carter Neale, a silversmith, jeweller, music and musical instrument seller at this address. He had been listed in Pigot’s directory for 1822 on High Street but with no number. It seems most likely that he had been at this address at the earlier date.

Born in about 1785 in Lynn, and baptised at St. Nicholas on 22nd August that year, he was the son of John Carter Neale snr., and his wife Mary.

John and Theresa Neale had five children:-

1) John Carter (b. 1816 – d. 14/09/1821, aged 5). 2) Jane Carter – a school mistress – (b. 1818 – d. 1903, aged 85). 3) George Carter – a pianoforte dealer – (b. 1825 – m. Mary Ann Witherspoon in 1864). 4) Maria (b. 1827). 5) Mary Ann Carter (b. 1831).

John Neale retired and moved to Peterborough, where he was living in 1861, with his wife Theresa (b. c1794 in Norfolk). He died on 9th February, 1871, aged 84, and Theresa died in 1887, aged 94.

1844 – 1855 (John Kew)

John Kew (b. c1816 in Norwich), a hairdresser and perfumer, moved his business here in October, 1844, when he placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘Removal. J. KEW, Hair-Cutter, Perfumer, & Ornamental Hair Manufacturer, 49, HIGH STREET, LYNN. Having removed from No. 7, Norfolk Street, to more eligible and extensive premises, No. 49, HIGH STREET, wishes to apprise his friends, the residents of Lynn, and its vicinity, of his return from London, where he has been selecting a most elegant assortment of French and English Perfumery; Hair, Nail and Tooth Brushes; Combs of every description; Ornamental Hair etc., etc; also Gentlemen’s Walking Sticks and Dressing Cases in great variety, which he is now prepared to offer on terms equal to any establishment in the neighbourhood. 49, High Street, Lynn, Oct. 8th, 1844.’

John Kew was born in Norwich in about 1812, where his father, John Kew snr., had a shop in White Lion Street, selling jewellery, and silver and plated goods. He also had a private room at the back of the shop for his hairdressing business. John snr. died in May 1824.

It is not known when John Kew first came to Lynn, but in 1841 he was lodging with Edward Oxley, a draper, in Jews Lane in the town. John had two sisters who were also perfumers, both working in Norwich, where they had been born:-

1) Flora (b. c1816). 2) Charlotte (b. c1818 – d. 1881, aged 63).

John Kew stayed here for about ten years. He was living on the premises in 1851. In May 1855 he bought the premises at No. 87, High Street, from the estate of the late Joseph Andrews and moved his business there.

He retired from business in December, 1873, and moved to Croydon, where he died on 19th March, 1879, aged 68.

1858 (James Pitman)

James Pitman, a woollen draper, hosier, hatter, and shirt maker, was here in 1858 (Kelly). He had worked as an assistant to Henry Pond (see No. 77, High Street), and opened his own shop here in August, 1858, following the death of Henry Pond earlier that year. However, he stayed here for only about twelve months. By 1861 he was lodging in Lambeth and working as a warehouseman.

James was born in Taunton, Somerset in about 1823. He married Eliza Weekley at St. Margaret’s church, Lynn on 21st October, 1857.

 1859 (Taylor & Gale)

Taylor & Gale was a partnership between John Brown (b. Leicester c1834) and Margaret Gale (b. 1824 in Ringstead) that lasted for just three years.

An advertisements placed in the Lynn Advertiser on 15th October, 1859 announced the opening of a new business:-

‘49, High Street, Lynn. TAYLOR & GALE Respectfully inform the nobility, gentry and inhabitants of Lynn and its vicinity, that they have opened the above premises for the sale of BERLIN and other FANCY ARTICLES; and, having had introductions to the first houses in the Trade, and have themselves carefully selected the Stock, they hope to be able to offer goods of the best quality at prices that will give satisfaction. T & G., having a practical knowledge of the Fancy Trade in its various departments, will be happy to make any article to order, and beg to assure those who may favour them with their orders that no effort on their part shall be wanting to secure their future patronage and recommendation. September, 1859.’

A further advertisement on 3rd November the following year may have been from Taylor & Gale but omitted their name:-

‘PERSONALLY SELECTED. Kerchief, Glove and Collar Boxes, various designs, beautifully finished, very suitable for presents. Tatting Shuttles, Boxwood Pins, Leviathian Canvas, Berlin Patterns, with the various materials in select variety. Materials for making Wax and Paper Flowers. FORTY-NINE, HIGH STREET, LYNN.’

The partnership was dissolved in 1861, when the following notice was published in the Lynn Advertiser on 13th April:-

‘Dissolution of Partnership. Notice is Hereby Given that by Deed signed by us, JOHN BROWN and MARAGRET GALE, the 6th Day of April, 1861, the partnership heretofore subsisting between us under the form and title of Taylor and Gale ceases from and after that date aforesaid. All debts due to the aforesaid firm to be paid to, and all claims against the aforesaid firm to be settled by, the aforesaid John Brown only, by whom in future the business will be carried on as heretofore at 49, High Street, Lynn.’

 c1863 – 1881 (John Brown)

Harrod’s directory for 1863 lists John Brown’s ‘Berlin Wool & Fancy Repository’ at No. 49, and the entries continue until 1879, in Kelly’s Post Office directory.

Born in Leicester in about 1834, John Brown’s occupation in both the 1871 and 1881 census returns is given as ‘Commercial Traveller (Sugar Trade)’. It may well be that the business here, although in his name, was run by his wife, Mary Ann (b. c1830 in Lynn).

On 11th December, 1875, a notice in the Lynn Advertiser announced that John Brown had been appointed sole agent for ‘Mr. Henry Laurance’s improved Spectacles’. Mr. Laurance had been renting consulting room space one Tuesday each month from Mr. Greenacre, at 79, High Street. However, on 24th July, 1875, he had announced his last visit to Lynn that year, indicating that he would not be coming again to the town until 1876.

In 1881, John and Mary Ann Brown were still living on the premises. In August of that year, he announced in a notice in the Lynn News that he was retiring from business. This notice appeared in the newspaper on regular occasions until the end of the year.

Mary Ann Brown died in 1889 and John married Elizabeth Mary Bywater (b. 1845/6 in Fincham) in 1901 in Lynn. Elizabeth was the daughter of Thomas Bywater, who had been innkeeper at the New Inn at Fincham c1847-1858, and his wife Martha.

John and Elizabeth were living at 2, Gaywood Villas, Gaywood Road, Lynn in 1901 but he died later that year, aged 69.

1882 – 1893 (Annie Elizabeth Thompson)

Mrs Annie Elizabeth Thompson took the business over from John Brown and placed the following announcement in the Lynn News on 14th January, 1882:-

‘Berlin Wool & Fancy Warehouse (Late J. Brown), 49, High Street. Mrs Thompson in taking the above, begs to assure the inhabitants of Lynn & Neighbourhood that it will be her earnest endeavour, by selling good articles at the lowest possible price to merit their favour and support. The stock has all been marked down to very much below the usual selling price.’

On 16th June, 1883, she advertised in the Lynn Advertiser as:-

‘Agent for JOHN SMITH’s Midland Counties Steam Power Dye Works, Leicester and Burton-on-Trent’, and she had an entry in that year’s edition of White’s directory.

Born in Chelsea in 1840, Ann Elizabeth Noble married Simon Morris Thompson (b. c1842 in Grimston, Norfolk). Simon was a farmer with land near Downham Market. In 1871 he had a farm of 384 acres. Annie and Simon had five children, two born in Fordham and the youngest three in Congham:-

1) (Simon) Morris – worked as a grocer (b. 1872 – m. Elizabeth Rumble in 1900– d. 1951, aged 79). 2) Annie Elizabeth (b. 1873). 3) Frank Noble – a cycle maker (b. 1875– d. 1944/5, aged 69). 4) John (b. 1877). 5) Sarah Margaret (b. 1878).

Simon Morris Thompson died on 31st May, 1880, aged 39, leaving Annie to bring up their five young children and to look after the farm, which by 1881 had expanded to 768 acres, with a workforce of 14 men and 5 boys. Within two years, Annie had given up the farm and had moved to Lynn, taking over the shop at No. 49.

In 1893 Mrs. Thompson retired from business, selling all of her remaining stock to Trenowath & Sons (see No. 110, High Street) who held a sale on the premises in December that year

She moved with her daughters Annie and Sarah to Gravesend in Kent, where she died on 9th June, 1916, aged 76.

1894 – 1895 (Emma Jane Blackster)

On 6th January, 1893, Miss J. Blackster announced in the Lynn Advertiser that she would be taking over the business:-

‘FANCY REPOSITORY – 49, HIGH STREET, KING’S LYNN – MISS. J. BLACKSTER has taken the above business, lately conducted by Mrs. Thompson, and having purchased an entirely New Stock of Fancy Goods of the latest Designs, Silks, Toys and Wools, WILL OPEN 8th January, 1894.’

This was Emma Jane Blackster, born in 1872 in Doncaster, who went by her middle name for her business. Jane’s father was Edward William Blackster, who was born in 1846 in Lynn. Edward married Louisa Sargison in 1867, and they had three children:-

1) Lizzie (b. 1868). 2) Emma Jane – see below (b. 1872 – m. John Halbert Love on 27/01/1897 – d. 1942, aged 70). 3) John William (b. 1878 – m. Ethel May Holdcroft in 1900 – d. 1958, aged 80).

Jane Blackster was here for only a very short period of time and does not appear in any of the directories. In 1895 she sold out to George Goddard (see below) and on 27th January, 1897 she married local tailor John Halbert Love at St. Pancras parish church (see No. 91, High Street). Jane Love died in 1942, aged 70.

1895 – (George Goddard)

In an advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser, George Goddard II announced that he was opening up at 49, High Street on Monday 16th December, 1895:-

‘49, High Street, King’s Lynn. SPECIAL NOTICE. GEORGE GODDARD, Having taken the premises lately occupied by Miss Blackster, begs respectfully to inform the public that he will open on SATURDAY DECEMBER 21st with an Entire New and carefully selected Stock of READY-MADE CLOTHING and Gents’ Mercery.

Having had over 10 years’ experience with Mr. R. CATLEUGH, he trusts by strict attention to business to secure a share of your patronage and kind recommendation.

THE FANCY BUSINESS will be carried on as usual by E. GODDARD. All the Latest Novelties in ART NEEDLEWORK, WOOL, FANCY GOODS, etc.

This Shop will be closed on Friday and Saturday for Valuation of Stock, and RE-OPENED on MONDAY DECEMBER 16th.’

George’s grandparents were William Goddard (b. c1811 at Stow Bedon, Norfolk), and his wife Elizabeth Skipper (b. c1815 at Shropham). William and Elizabeth married at Shropham on 31st December, 1832 and had three children:-

1) James (b. c1833). 2) George I, a farmer and miller – see below – (b. 14/02/1835 – m. Charlotte Rumble in 1860 – d. 1915, aged 80). 3) William (b. c1849).

In 1851, William was working as an agricultural labourer in Breckles, Norfolk, where George I’s brother, William jnr., was born c.1849. Both George (aged 16) and his elder brother James (aged 17) were also farm workers at that date.

George I and Charlotte had married in 1860 and had nine children:-

1) Mary Ann (b. 1861). 2) Anna Elizabeth (b. 1862 – m. Harry Green, a cattle dealer, in 1889/90 – d. 1933/4, aged 71). 3) Emma (b. 1866 – m. John James Steward in 1892). 4) Agnes (b. 1868 – m. Stephen Edward Grimes, a dairy farmer, in 1902 – d. 1933, aged 65). 5) (Arabella) Julia (b. 1871 – m. Ernest William Brown, a commercial clerk, in 1893/4). 6) George II – see below – (b. 1871 – m. Emma English Kerridge in 1917 – d. 1950, aged 78). 7) Frederick (b. 1873 – emigrated to North America). 8) Walter (b. 1876 – emigrated to North America). 9) Alice (b. 1877 – m. James Murray, a Lynn carpenter and builder, in 1917 – d. 1968, aged 89).

George I became the miller of Carbrooke Mill by 1863 and remained there until 1878. He was succeeded as miller at Carbrooke by his younger brother, Samuel (b. c1855 at Breckles).

George II came to Lynn as an apprentice to Richard Catleugh, who had established himself as one of Lynn’s foremost men’s outfitters at his ‘Great Eastern Stores’, 144, Norfolk Street. Aged only 13 at the time, he was accommodated at the home of Richard Catleugh’s son Harwood for a time, and he attended the school of Charles Croad in Portland Street to prepare him for life as a businessman. In 1891, George II was lodging at the home of Robert Williamson (b. c1827), a coal dealer, in Regent Street in the town.

George was clearly an ambitious man and was only 23 when he took over the shop at No. 49. His father put money into the enterprise and one of his sisters apparently took some space in the shop to continue Miss Blackster’s fancy business, at least for a short time. It is not clear which sister this could have been because the advertisement refers to ‘E. Goddard’, but both Emma and Elizabeth had married by 1895. It was Agnes who was staying on the premises with George in 1901, and Alice who was here in 1911, both listed as ‘housekeeper’.

George Goddard’s business as a men’s clothier flourished. Like Richard Catleugh, he had a department for youths’ and boy’s clothes and this represented around half of his business in the first thirty years (advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser 9th Sept. 1904).

George travelled some distance around Lynn with a horse and cart, not only delivering clothes to customers but also soliciting new business and providing a measuring and ordering service in people’s homes.

A new shop front was installed in 1905, finished in polished oak. Although the shop was always maintained in a way that gave the best possible impression to the prospective customer, the interior lacked space and storage was a problem.

In 1917, George married Emma English Kerridge (b. 1886/7 in Caister, near Great Yarmouth). She was one of the ten children of William English Kerridge, a farmer, and his wife Ellen Elizabeth Humphrey. In 1911, Emma had been working as a counting house clerk at one of the largest department stores in the eastern counties, Palmers of Great Yarmouth. In 1919, with Emma expecting a child, they moved out of High Street into a house in Park Avenue, Lynn. Their only child, George Goddard III, was born later that year.

The move out of No. 49, provided more space for the business, and a further opportunity arose in 1924 when Edward Atmore decided to move out of No. 48 into smaller premises in New Conduit Street. George bought the next door premises for £2,340.

The two premises were converted into one, with the side passage, back yard and kitchen all being incorporated into the shop, and the boys’ department taking over the whole of No. 48. The alterations cost £367 and a further £677 was spent on a new shop front. George Goddard had also acquired some property at the back of No. 49, in White Lion Court, where he stabled his horse and cart, and he let out a warehouse and house that were included in the purchase. Like some other High Street businessmen, he bought other houses, shops and property as investments which provided him with income from rents.

Two of Goddards’ members of staff who became departmental managers, served in WWI: Mr. B. Thorne was manager of the tailoring department in the 1950s, and Mr. W. Richardson was in charge of the outfitting department. Another long-serving employee was Mr. John Chilvers, who also served in WWI. Mr. H. Stanforth, who became head of the hat and shoe department, served in WWII.

George Goddard III, who started as an apprentice to his father in 1936, also enlisted in the army at the start of WWII and was captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore. Two field postcards sent to his parents arrived in early 1944, giving the news that he was alive and well, and was being held as a POW in Thailand. Within three years of his return at the end of the war, he had taken charge of the business from his father, who retired in 1948. Also that year, George III married Betty Marion Hole (b. 28/02/1922). Betty was the daughter of Edward Albert and Mabel Jane Hole (see No. 103a, High Street).

The horse and cart had long given way to a motor van by the 1950s, but the delivery service, free of charge, was still being provided for customers living in the outlying areas, including parts of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

George Goddard II died in 1950, aged 78, at his house in Wootton Road, and his wife Emma died in April, 1954, aged 67.

Over a period of 14 months, from October 1960 until December 1961, major alterations to the premises were carried out. The internal walls, side yard and three front doors that had survived the integration of Nos. 48 and 49 in 1924 were all taken out to create a large sales area free of dividing walls. The back of the shop was extended by 48 feet, by taking in some of the garden, providing much greater depth, and the central staircase was moved to the side.

Further modernisation to the premises was carried out in 1976. In 1981, a ladies’ fashion department named ‘Elizabeth Goddard’ opened in New Conduit Street, which was moved to become part of the High Street shop in 1983.

Betty Goddard died in 1973, aged 49, and George III died in 1984, aged 64.

By 1984, the front elevation of the shop at first floor level was beginning to crack and a structural survey showed that it was coming away from the building behind. It is likely that the major internal alterations that had removed the internal walls many years before and the insertion of a big new shop front had weakened the structure. Goddards decided to move out of the High Street and purchased a site in Norfolk Street where a new shop was built.

1984 – c2015(Lunn Poly) (Thompson)

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.

The Lunn Poly name came about with the amalgamation of the Polytechnic Touring Company (Poly Tours) and Sir Henry Lunn Travel in 1965. Poly Tours was established in 1888 to provide cheap foreign holidays for students at Regent Street Polytechnic.

In 1971, Sunair bought Lunn Poly and the company became part of the Thompson Travel Group the following year.

Thompson became part of the TUI AG Group in 2000 and in 2004 Lunn Poly was rebranded as Thompson.

It is not known when Thompson closed their premises here at 49, High Street.

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