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No. 66, High Street.

Situated one shop away from the Tuesday Market Place, No. 66 shared a yard access with No. 67. There was a good sized family house behind the shop.

Between about 1890 and 1909, numbers 66 and 67 High Street were combined into a single business unit.

1830 (John George Smith)

A linen and woollen draper, John George Smith was here in 1830 (Pigot).

c1833 – 1844 (William Baker)

White’s Directory for 1836 lists William Baker, a linen draper, at this address. He had commenced business here in about 1833. He was recorded in the census of 1841, aged 35, living here with a male servant.

William Baker & Co., woollen merchants at No. 91, were also listed in the 1836 directory. The name was a common one at that date and there is no indication that there is any connection between the two.

In 1846 (Kelly), there is only one entry for a William Baker – the woollen draper at No. 62. He continued in business at No. 62 until his death in 1864. (See No. 62 for further details of the family).

On 1st February, 1842, J. Scott placed a notice in the Lynn Advertiser announcing that he had acquired William Baker’s stock and that he intended to sell it off during the Mart:-

‘Previous to opening the Establishment upon an entire NEW PRINCIPLE with a splendid assortment of RICH GOODS for the SPRING TRADE. All articles will be marked in Plain Figures, and in addition to the Immense Reduction already made, a Discount of 2½ per cent will be allowed upon all amounts exceeding £5, during the Selling Off. The Public will find this an opportunity rarely to be met with, for the purchase of Drapery, it being no Falsity, and a visit will at once convince every person that the above statement is TRUTH. The Sale to commence on Tuesday, the 8th February. Doors open at 10 o’clock in the Morning, and close at Half-past Seven in the evening’.

Although it appears that this sale went ahead as advertised, it seems that, for whatever reason, Mr. J. Scott did not run the business for very long and that within twelve weeks William Baker had taken possession of the business again. On 26th April, 1842 he placed the notice (above, right) in the Lynn Advertiser, stating his intention to re-stock and continue the business at No. 66, ‘Norfolk House’.

Less than two years later, William Baker then had another change of plan, placing this notice in the Lynn Advertiser on 20th February, 1844:-

‘EXTENSIVE SALE of LINEN DRAPERY, Silk MERCERY, Hosiery, etc. SELLING OFF, at NORFOLK HOUSE, 66, High Street, Lynn. Wm. BAKER, the Proprietor of the above Establishment, having engaged in another Line of  Business, begs to inform the Public that the whole of his Stock will be offered at an immense sacrifice from the original cost price.’

The shop was offered to let, and was taken by Robert James Weeding.

1844 – 1846 Robert James Weeding)

On 18th May, 1844, Robert Weeding placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘ROBERT J. WEEDING Most respectfully informs the inhabitants of Lynn and its Vicinity that he has taken the Linen Drapery and Silk Mercery Business lately carried on by Mr. W. Baker, 66, High Street, Lynn, and hopes by the strictest attention in selecting his Goods from the First Houses in Town, to merit a continuance of that patronage and support with which Mr. Baker has been favoured.’

Robert Weeding had received his training with London draper Philip Hardwick of Holborn. He was listed here in 1845 (White) but did not stay long in Lynn, leaving within two years for Essex, where he died in 1848, aged about 26.

c1846 – 1852 (John Coker) (Charlotte Coker)

John Coker, a linen and woollen draper, moved his business from Lowestoft’s High Street to Lynn’s in about 1846. He was listed here in 1846 (Kelly) and in 1850 (Slater).

Born in about 1816 in Little Walsingham, Norfolk, his father was James Coker (b. 1788 in North Elmham, Norfolk), who married Elizabeth Hobson on 2nd October, 1805. James and Elizabeth had six children, all born in Little Walsingham:-

1) William (b. c1815 – m. Fanny Fleming Rose on 21/03/1838 – d. 16/02/1900 in New York). 2) John – see below (b. c1816 – m. Charlotte Temple Rose on 20/06/1837 – d. 1851, aged about 35). 3) James (b. c1817 – m. Pleasance Playford on 16/10/1839 and Sophia Frohawk on 06/02/1867 – d. 1903, aged 86). 4) Sarah (b. 1818). 5) Hannah (b. c1820 – m. Charles Cummings on 20/10/1847 – d. 1863, aged about 43). 6) Harriet (b. 1823).

In 1838 John Coker married Charlotte Temple Rose (b. 1819 in North Barsham, Norfolk) and they had eight children:-

1) Charlotte Mary Elizabeth (b. 1838 in Walsingham). 2) John Rose (b. c1840 in Lowestoft – m. Frances Elizabeth Parker in 1894 – d. 1908, aged 68). 3) Walter Henry (b. 1841 in Lowestoft). 4) Rosanna Fanny (b. 1842/3 in Lowestoft – m. Dawson Plane in 1867). 5) James John, an insurance agent (b. 1843/4 – m. Sophia Baldwin in 1869, and Elizabeth Kate O’Brien in 1887 – d. 1913/14, aged 69). 6) Fanny Jane (b. 1845 in Waltham, Herts.). 7) Arthur Frederick, a saddler (b. 1846 in Lynn – m. Joanna Fagioli in 1869 – d. 1922, aged 75). 8) Florence Rose (b. 1848 in Lynn).

For more about Dawson Plane, see No. 102, High Street.

John Coker died either in late 1850 or early 1851, leaving Charlotte to look after their eight children and to carry on the business. She was here for less than three years, and died in June, 1855, aged 36.

1852 – c1883 (R. & G. Pratt) (Robert Pratt) (George Samuel Pratt)

R & G Pratt, hosiers and haberdashers, placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser on 11th September, 1852:-

‘NORFOLK HOUSE, 66 High Street, Lynn. Messrs. R & G PRATT, Linen Drapers, Silk Mercers etc., in expressing their thanks for the liberal patronage hitherto received, desire to call attention to their Autumn purchases, the whole of which,  having been selected with great care, will be offered at such prices as they hope will ensure a continuation of kind support. A vacancy for a RESPECTABLE YOUTH as an apprentice; also, for TWO IMPROVERS.’

Brothers Robert (b. c1821) and George Samuel Pratt (b. c1824 – m. Eliza Ann Garwood in 1873 – d.1892, aged 69), from Belchamp Otten in Essex, had set up business together that year. A year earlier (1851) Robert had been working as a linen draper’s assistant at Chelmsford, and George was a shopman at St. Albans.

Their father was George Pratt, a bricklayer.

Both brothers seem to have had some connection with Sudbury, where George Samuel was living at the time of his marriage on 1st June, 1873. He married Eliza Ann Garwood (b. c1851, the daughter of miller Richard Garwood) at the Old Meeting House, an Independent chapel in the Suffolk town

Robert married Lydia Horner Goldsmith (b. c1819 in Sudbury, Suffolk) the daughter of Thomas, the local postmaster, in 1853. They had two children, both born in Lynn:-

1) John Goldsmith (b. 1854 – d. January 1855). 2) Robert Goldsmith – see below (b. 1856 – d. 1918, aged 62).

Lydia Horner Pratt died in December, 1856, aged 38. Two years later Robert married Elizabeth Mary Plowright (b. c1826 in Lynn – d. 1909/10, aged 84), and they had four children, all born in Lynn:-

1) John Henry – became a partner in the ironmongery firm of H. Plowright & Pratt – see below (b. 1859 – d. 1944, aged 85). 2) Sarah Jane (b. 1860 – d. 1927, aged 67). 3) George Frederick – see below (b. 1862 – d. 1918, aged 54). 4) Charles Hugh (b. 1863/4 – not found in records after 1881 when he was an ironmonger’s apprentice).

By 1871, George had inherited some land in Essex and gave his occupation as ‘draper & landowner’. This may have been Coles Farm, Belchamp Otten, where he was living in 1891, after retiring from the drapery business.

Eliza, George Samuel Pratt’s wife, died between their marriage in 1873 and the census year 1881, when he was a widower.

It is not clear when the partnership between Robert and George ended, but it was between 1883, when they were listed in Kelly’s directory, and 1891, when George was recorded as a farmer at Belchamp Otten in the census.

In 1881, Robert had help in the business from two of his sons, Robert Goldsmith (an assistant), and George (an apprentice). A third son, Charles Hugh was employed as an apprentice ironmonger, most probably with H. B. Plowright & Son of Norfolk Street and Broad Street. Another son, John Henry was certainly working there, as an assistant to his grandfather the venerable Lynn ironmonger Henry Bradfield Plowright J.P., and was living at his house in King Street.  Henry Plowright died in 1883 at the age of 80 and the ironmongery firm became H. Plowright & Pratt (later Plowright, Pratt & Harbage), with Robert’s son John Henry becoming a partner.

Robert Pratt died in 1890, aged 69.

Following the death of their father, the Pratt brothers Robert Goldsmith and George Frederick both appear to have given up the drapery business. Robert Goldsmith joined Henry Plowright’s building materials company at 40, Tower Street, as a builder’s merchant. He moved from the High Street and was living at 7, Tower Street in 1891, with his mother and brothers George Frederick, now working as a librarian, and John Henry, the Norfolk Street ironmonger.

None of the Pratt siblings married. Robert Goldsmith died in 1918, aged 62, John Henry died in 1944, aged 85, Sarah Jane died in 1927, aged 67, and George Frederick died in 1917/18, aged 54. No records for Charles Hugh have been found after 1881.

c1889 (Hepworth & Son)

The next occupants were Hepworth & Son but it is not known how long they stayed here, nor where they went to next. They are not listed in the directories until 1904, when they were at Nos. 24 & 25, where further details of the company will be found. The following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser for 24th August, 1889:-

‘KING’S LYNN. To be let, with immediate possession, all that excellent Shop, Dwelling-house and Premises, situate No. 66, High Street, late in the occupation of Messrs. Hepworth & Son. For further particulars, apply at the office of Messrs. Jarvis & Son. King’s Lynn, 22nd August, 1889’.

c1890 – 1896 (George Walter Scott) (Arthur George Baxter) (Scott & Baxter)

According to White’s Directory entry for 1890, Nos. 65 & 66, High Street were occupied by George Walter Scott, a wholesale and retail fruiterer, florist and potato merchant. Again, however, there is some question about the numbering, the business being at Nos. 66 and 67. He began advertising in the Lynn Advertiser that year.

Born in Saddlebow in 1856, he was the son of John Scott who, for a time in the 1850’s and early 1860’s, was the innkeeper of ‘The Bull’ at Wiggenhall St. Mary the Virgin.

John’s parents were Robert (b. c1796) and Susan (b. c1796) Scott. Robert had been licensee at ‘The Bull’ between 1836 and 1846, but was listed as a farmer in 1841 and on his son’s marriage certificate in 1848. Robert and Susan had at least six children:-

1) William (b. c1816 – licensee at ‘The Bull’ in 1851 and 1856 – m. Elizabeth Samson). 2) Elizabeth (b. c1819). 3) Robert (b. c1822). 4) John (b. c1826 – m. Mary Ann Rippingill – d. 1861, aged about 35). 5) Susan (b. c1832). 6) Mary (b. c1838).

John Scott married Mary Ann (b. c1824 in Wiggenhall St. Germans), the daughter of farmer Edward Rippingill and his wife. John followed his father and elder brother into the licensed trade at ‘The Bull’. John and Mary Ann had seven children, all born in Saddlebow:-

1) Hannah (b. 1849). 2) William (b. 1850 – m. Sarah Elizabeth Newman – d. 1923, aged about 73). 3) John (b. 1852). 4) Robert, a market gardener (b. 1854 – m. Elizabeth Eger Bell in 1882/3 – d. 1903, aged 49). 5) Edward (b. 1856). 6) George Walter (b. 1856). The portrait of George Walter Scott (left) probably dates from the 1890s.

John Scott died in 1861, aged about 35, and his widow, Mary Ann, moved in with her parents, Edward and Sarah Rippingill, next door to the Bull. Edward was a market gardener and had a small farm of 14 acres and it may be that this is where his grandson George Walter Scott established his nursery and orchard business. George dropped his first name for everyday business use, preferring to be called Walter Scott, although the directories list his full name. In 1891, then aged 35, he was living here with his wife Louisa, 40, three of their children, a servant and an errand boy. He had married Louisa Hammond, the daughter of Henry Hammond, a farmer (b. c1816 in Stradsett), and they had five children:-

1) Henry Hammond, a fruit grower (b. 1884/5 – m. Angelina May Smith in 1908). 2) Sarah Margaret (b. 1887 – m. Samuel Stephen, a newspaper proprietor and editor, in 1909). 3) Louisa Hammond (b. 21/01/1889 – m. Hugh Seaton in 1914 – d. 1976/7). 4) Walter Hammond (b. 13/05/1891 – m. Annie M. Booer in 1940 – d. 1973). 5) Edith (b. 1892). 6. Alice Hammond (b. 1895).

On 6th January, 1894, Walter Scott announced in the Lynn Advertiser that he had formed a business partnership with Arthur Baxter. However, this was very short-lived and had been dissolved by 1896.

Arthur George Baxter

Arthur George Baxter was born in 1868 in Wisbech. His grandparents were James and Mary Baxter, who were living at the Old Horse Fair, Wisbech, in 1841, when James was a labourer. He had been born in Guildford, Surrey, in about 1791, and his wife Mary (b. c1796 – d. 1843–1849) was from Wisbech. James and Mary Baxter had at least four children, all born in Wisbech:-

1) Ann (b. c1826). 2) James (b. c1827). 3) Sarah (b. c1835). 4) Joseph – see below (b. c1837 m. Sarah Lenton in 1860 – d. 1920, aged 80).

Joseph was Arthur Baxter’s father and worked as a bargeman (c. 1871) and later as a foreman deal porter (c1901) in Wisbech. He married Sarah Lenton in 1860, and they had nine children, all born in Wisbech:-

1) Joseph Lenton, a fisherman – inmate in Workhouse c1911 – (b. 1863 – m. Sarah Kedge in 1886 – d. 1924/5, aged 61). 2) John Robert, a bricklayer in Spalding in 1911 (b. 1866 – d. 1936, aged 70). 3) Arthur George – see below (b. 1868 – m. Alice Eliza Orviss in 1893/4 – d. 1908/9, aged 39). 4) Ada (b. 1870 – m. Samuel James Fisher, an agricultural engine driver, in 1889 – d. 1950, aged 80). 5) William Lenton, a railway guard c1901, a telephone press department employee in 1911 (b. 1871/2 – m. Naomi Eliza Richardson in 1896 – d. 1949, aged 77). 6) Melinda (b. 1873/4 – m. Albert Ward in 1921). 7) Fred, a deal porter c1911 (b. 1874/5 – m. Elizabeth Jones in 1898 – d. 1960/1, aged 86). 8) Edith (b. 1877). 9) Annie Sophia (b. 1880).

Arthur married Alice, the daughter of Robert Orviss, a Lynn dentist in 1893/4. Arthur and Alice were living in Purfleet Street, Lynn, in 1871. They had one child, Phyllis Violet, born in 1898. Arthur died in 1909, aged 39. After his death, Alice opened a fruit and vegetable shop at 125, Norfolk Street and for many years was one of Lynn’s best-known and most distinctive businesswomen. A rather large lady in later years, and always dressed in black, she was an imposing and somewhat formidable figure.

The 1894 notice announcing the Scott & Baxter partnership gives the business address as No. 66, High Street, but Kelly’s Directory for 1896 had them at Nos. 66 and 67, when they were listed as ‘nurserymen, seedsmen & florists; English & foreign fruit merchants & jam manufacturers’. It may be that the partnership was dissolved soon after that directory had been compiled because advertisements that year only had Walter Scott’s name. The photograph, right, shows George Walter Scott in later life.

At some time in the 1890’s Walter Scott engaged the services of James Henry Martin, who worked as his assistant for a few years before taking over the business.

On 1st January, 1897, Walter Scott announced that he had sold his High Street business to James Henry Martin, and the notice below appeared in the Lynn News on that day. After relinquishing his shop, Walter concentrated on his Saddlebow nursery business.

1897 – c1927 (James Henry Martin)

James Martin was born in Wimbotsham, and was working as a gardener at the Stradsett Hall gardens near Downham Market in 1891. He then moved to Lynn to work for Walter Scott. When the latter sold to James in 1897, the business continued as before, being listed in Kelly’s directory for 1900 as ‘nurseryman, seedsman and florist, wholesale English and foreign fruit merchant and jam manufacturer’.  

James’ grandfather was John Martin (b. May 1804 in Wimbotsham), an agricultural labourer. He married Sarah Ann Gage (b. 1806 in Surrey) on 7th April, 1833, at St. Mary’s church, Wimbotsham. John and Sarah had twelve children, all born in Wimbotsham:-

1) Elizabeth (b. 1832/3 – m. Henry Johnson in 1858 – d.1917, aged 83). 2) James, a builder (b. 1834/5 – d. 1913, aged 78 in Surrey). 3) Anne Gage (b. 07/03/1837). 4. Sarah Gage (b. 07/03/1837). 5. Thomas (b. 1839). 6. Mary (b. 1840). 7. Ann (b. 1842). 8. Harriet (b. 1844). 9. Zillah Maria (b. 1845 – m. Roger Carter, a blacksmith, in 1872 – d. 1929, aged 84). 10. John – see below (b.15/05/1847 – m. Susanna Fendick in 1866 – d. 1922, aged 75). 11. Edward (b. 27/08/1848 – d. 1849). 12. William (b. 15/01/1850 – m. Ellen Grover in 1875).

John jnr., who was the father of James Henry Martin, was born on 15th May 1847. He married Susanna Fendick in 1866. They lived for many years in Stow Bridge Road, Wimbotsham where they ran a butcher’s and grocer’s shop. John and Susanna had eleven children:-

1) Elizabeth (b. 1866/7 – d. 1882, aged 14). 2) John Thomas, an agricultural labourer (b. 1868/9 – d. 1895, aged 26). 3) James Henry – see below (b. 1871 – m. Florence Margaret Proctor on 25/01/1903 – d. 17/04/1949, aged 77). 4) Annie (b. 1873 – died in infancy). 5) William Herbert (b. 1874/5 – d. 1901, aged 26). 6) Ernest Gage, a gardener in 1911 (b. 1877 – m. Beatrice Catchpole in 1905 – d. 1952, aged 74). 7) Albert Edward, a bricklayer (b. 1879 – d. 1904, aged 25). 8) Robert Gage, a seedsman’s assistant in Norwich in 1911 (b. 1882 – m. Ethel Cliff in 1902/3 – d. 1950/1, aged 69). 9) Rowland Vicars (b. 1884/5 – m. Mary A. E. Mann in 1915 – d. 1962, aged 77). 10) Elizabeth Mabel Millicent (b. 22/03/1887 – m. Robert Barlow Stoakley in 1913, d. 1976, aged 89). 11) Ella Grace (b. 1890 – m. Allan G. Skillings in 1918 – m. Alfred Mortimer in 1947 – d. 1950/1, aged 61).

Alongside Walter Scott’s notice in the newspaper announcing his departure in January, 1897, James Martin placed one seeking the continued support of their business clients (illus. below).

At this date, the premises were leased to James Martin and in 1901 he was recorded as the head of the household. He employed one servant and Arthur and Alice Baxter were boarding there, with their daughter Phyllis who was two years old. In 1908, the premises were advertised for sale and were purchased by James Martin. He remained there until about 1930. The photograph below shows James Martin in the centre of the group (moustache, with no hat and arms akimbo). It is likely that this photo dates from about 1900 and that one of the older men is Arthur Baxter. However, before long Arthur set up in business on his own account at 125, Norfolk Street, where he was listed in Kelly’s Directory for 1908. This was the business continued by Alice Baxter after her husband’s death the following year.

The entrance to the house at 66 High Street was down a long passageway to the left of the property. The arched entrance to this can be seen in the photograph behind the assistant standing third from the left. Hanging in the passageway were several coconut mats. These were rapidly deployed by the shop assistants whenever the fire brigade was called out from their premises near the Custom House. As the horses swung round the corner from the Tuesday Market Place into the High Street, drawing the fire tender behind them, they were liable to slip and fall on the shiny cobbles of the road surface, especially in wet or icy conditions. The mats gave them purchase to round the corner safely or to clamber back up if they fell.

James married Florence Margaret Proctor on 25th January 1903 at the Primitive Methodist Chapel, London Road, King’s Lynn. They had one child, Ivy Violet Florence Martin, born on 13th November, 1905 at No. 66, High Street. Ivy was to marry William Crawshay Scott jnr, the son of another prominent High Street trader, the proprietor of the house furnishers Scott & Son at Nos. 91 to 97.

In April, 1910, James Martin put in a planning application for alterations to the living accommodation at No. 66. He commissioned William Jarvis & Son, of Paradise Parade, to draw up the plans.

The ground floor of the living accommodation consisted of a small entrance lobby, giving access through a doorway to the stairs and, through a door to the left, to a living room. This was 16ft by 10ft, with a fireplace on the internal wall. The room had been divided off to create a narrow 4ft by 16ft store room / pantry with a Belfast sink and a second sink with drainer. Through a door to the back was a scullery, 9ft by 17ft and outside was a lean-to with a W.C. and a fuel store.

The proposals involved enlarging the entrance hall, knocking out the store to enlarge the living room to 16ft by 16ft, converting the old scullery to a kitchen with walk-in pantry, the building of a new lean-to with scullery and a separate W.C., with an internal door to the kitchen and an external door. The plans showed a ‘portable copper’ in the scullery.

James Martin was a Town Councillor for several years and advised the council on horticultural and arboricultural matters, including the layout of the Tower Gardens and the condition of the trees in The Walks. He also undertook contracts for floral decorations at functions, including weddings and Town Hall receptions. After giving up the High Street shop he moved to live in Tennyson Avenue and then Gaywood Road. For several years he retained his nursery in Goodwins Road (illus. above right).

James Martin gave up the occupancy of No. 67 in the latter half of the 1920’s, and Le Roi, a firm of dyers, was listed there in Kelly’s Directory for 1928.

James Martin vacated No. 66 in about 1930. He died on 17th April 1949, aged 77.

One of James Martin’s longest serving employees was Bert Victor Everett (b. 1887 – d. 10/04/1964, aged 77). He started working with Walter Scott at Saddlebow at the age of 14 and in 1904 he became an employee of James Martin at his Goodwin’s Road nurseries. He continued working for him for 27 years. He trained in all aspects of nursery work and specialised in floral decorations, including the large displays for functions at the Lynn Town Hall, which James Martin regularly undertook.

c1930 – 1936 (Ann & Co.)

The next occupier of No. 66 was Ann & Co. who had a shop in Tower Street and who sold brass items and toys. The advertisement, right, appeared in the Lynn Advertiser on 26th February, 1932 and they were listed in Kelly’s Directory for 1933/34 as ‘Specialists in reproductions of antique brass & all novelty gifts’.

They also sold second-hand brass and ironware. Another side to the business was fancy dress and wigs for carnival dances, however most of the promotions that they advertised in the local newspapers were for toys. At Christmastime they advertised their bazaar. In 1934, children were invited to take ‘a real slide through ‘The Alps’. Father Christmas was there to give every child a present and Mickey Mouse would shake each child’s hand. Admission was 6d. Amongst the toys on offer that year were ‘Charming Jungle Toys and Nightie Cases (Lions, Tigers, Zebras and Leopards); Pyjama-cases in Doggies and Donkeys: From 6/6 each. Special line in Bagatelle Boards at 1/3. Electric Speedways at 4/11. Huge Assortment of New Books, Toys and Games, from 6d. Card Games, including Lexicon and Sorry.’  

They stayed at No. 66 until the end of 1936, when the premises were sold and they held a clearance sale in December of that year.

1937 – 1973 (Walton Brothers)

The premises were bought by Walton Bros. who moved their men’s clothiers business from No. 38 into No. 66 on 1st February, 1937. More details about the business and the family will be found under No. 38.

There were three brothers in the partnership; John (Jack Dack), William (Billie) and James. Having established the business at No. 38, High Street, Walton Bros. expanded, with the brothers dividing the responsibility for managing the branches between the three of them. The first of their branches was at Sutton Bridge, which had opened by 1909 (Kelly) but had closed by 1926 (Kelly). The branch at Bridge Street, Downham Market seems to have been very short lived. It is only listed in one directory – Kelly (1912). Walton Bros. at Hunstanton was included in all the directories from 1928 to 1973, inclusive.

The Sutton Bridge branch was at 48, Bridge Road and was managed by Jack Dack. He married Annie Brummitt in 1907 and they had one son, John Ben Dack (known by his second name), who was born on 4th December, 1908. The family moved to Hunstanton, where Jack Dack took over the running of the Greevegate branch of the business.

Ben Walton married Peggy A. H. Johnson in 1933. He took over the King’s Lynn branch of the family business and oversaw the move from No. 38 to No. 66. He became a Special Constable in the town in 1936 and served as a Lieutenant in the royal Navy during the Second World War. In 1950 he won the St. Margaret’s Ward for the Conservatives and was deputy Mayor at the time of the Lynn floods in 1953. He became mayor in 1955 in controversial circumstances. For many years there had been an informal agreement between the Labour and Conservative groups on the council that they would take it in turns to nominate the Mayor. The Labour group announced in January 1955 that they would be nominating Mr. H. B. Fisher as the next Mayor and were taken by surprise when the Conservative group leader, Alderman W. Blomfield, announced the nomination of Mr. Walton at the Town Council meeting on Wednesday 23rd March. Mr. Walton served as president of Lynn Chamber of Trade, was chairman of the Watch Committee, a trustee of St. George’s Guildhall and a founder member of Lynn Round Table. He was appointed as a magistrate in October 1956.

Ben Walton retired from business in 1973. Peggy Walton died in 1989, aged 81, and Ben died in 1992, aged 83.

One of the longest serving members of staff at Walton Bros. was Robert Henry Tooke. Born on 6th June, 1911, he was the son of William Henry Tooke and Rebecca Bennett. Robert Tooke married May F. Taylor in 1937. He died in 1992, aged 80.

c1974 (Pearl Assurance Co.)

At some date in the 1970s Nos. 66 and 67 High Street were redeveloped as ‘Pearl Assurance House’ with two shop units below the first floor offices.

The Pearl Assurance Co. were at No. 66 in 1977 (Phone Directory).