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No. 68, High Street

 For many years this was a public house, having a number of different names, including, the ‘Bull’ (1450), the ‘Black Bull’ (1777 & 1791), the ‘Earl of Derby’ (by 1870), the ‘Earl of Beaconsfield’ (c1879), the ‘Beaconsfield Restaurant’ (c1880), the ‘Earl Beaconsfield Restaurant’ (1888). At some date it was also called the ‘Central Temperance Hotel’.

The licence appears to have changed hands rather frequently, with no licensee holding it for more than a year or two. Between 1891 and 1900 there were six licensees: William Asher; John Archer Collison; Thomas Matthews; John King; Robert Henry Watkins; and William Thomas Fox. The licence was extinguished on 21st January, 1909.

1791 (Clark Callow) (the Black Bull)

 1822 (John Blackburne) (the Black Bull)

 1830 (William John Cawston) (the Black Bull)

 1836 – 1839 (John Durrant) (the Black Bull or the Bull)

John Durrant died on 13th January, 1839, while he was publican at the ‘Black Bull’. He was 42 years old.

1839 – 1858 (Robert Munson) (the Bull)

Robert Munson (b. c1803 in Heacham) was the publican at the Bull by 1841 when he was recorded here with his wife, Rebecca (née Proctor – b. c1806 in Lynn), and two of their children, Jane and Lawrence.

Robert and Rebecca had a tragic experience with their children, four of them dying very young; Robert Benjamin and Lawrence (November 1841, both infants), Henry James (January, 1843, an infant), and Jane (November, 1845, aged three). Another son, Robert Cope, born in 1842, died in 1865, aged 18.

Robert held the licence until 1858 and he died two years later, aged about 57. His widow, Rebecca, then took the licence of the Star Inn, 12, Norfolk Street, and it may be that Robert had moved there from the Bull. Rebecca was living at the Star in 1861 with her two surviving sons Robert Cope, a merchant’s clerk, and Henry Proctor (b. 1847 – a house and ship painter in Poplar in 1911 – m. Maria Sanford in 1866 – d. 1927/8, aged 81). Also staying with them was Rebecca’s father, William Proctor, who had been a fisherman but was infirm. William (b. c1783 in Norwich) and his wife Phoebe (b. c1785 in Lynn) had lived in Purfleet Street. Phoebe died in 1857 and William died towards the end of 1861.

In 1871, Rebecca was living at Blackfriars Street, where she took in boarders. In 1881 she was living with her brother Able in Albion Street. She died in 1886, aged 80.

1861 (Robert Hensby) (the Black Bull)

Robert Hensby was born in Hunstanton in about 1823. He married Ann Allen (b. c1825 in Thornham) in Lynn in 1846. They did not have any children.

Robert and Ann were living on the premises in 1861 but they had moved on within a few years.

In 1863, Robert was the licensee at the ‘Crystal Fountain Inn’ in Blackfriars Road, and his licence was renewed in 1865. Their next move was to the ‘King George’ in New Conduit Street. Robert was the licensee there for some thirteen years, from at about 1868 until his death in 1881, aged 58. Ann took over the licence at the ‘King George’ in 1881 and was still there in 1883. She died in 1885, aged 61.

1865 (James Eglington) (the Black Bull)

James Eglington was listed as the licensee at the ‘Black Bull’ in Kelly’s Post Office Directory for 1865.

1869 (Thomas Grimes) (the Black Bull)

1871 – 1879 (Thomas Underwood Bullock) (the Earl of Derby Inn)

The ‘Black Bull’ later became known as the ‘Earl of Derby Inn’, the licensee being Thomas Underwood Bullock in the 1870s. In 1871, he was living on the premises with his wife and two sons, recorded as a Greenwich Pensioner, aged 42, and a publican. They had a lodger and a visitor staying with them. Thomas Bullock was ex Royal Navy and in his advertisement in the Lynn Advertiser on 1st January, 1876 included the N.B: ‘Sailors will find this house a home’.

Born in London in about 1824, Thomas Underwood Bullock married Emily Smithson (b. c1841 in Docking) in 1857. They had two sons:-

1) Thomas Edward (b. 1858/9 in Brancaster – a gas fitter in 1881 and a telegrapher’s labourer in 1901 – d. 1923/4, aged 65, in Islington.) 2) Frederick Martin (b. 1864 in King’s Lynn – a clerk in 1881).

After leaving the ‘Earl of Derby’ in 1879, Thomas Bullock became licensee at the ‘Town Arms Inn’ at 1, Queen Street, where the family was living in 1881. Emily died later that year, aged 40, and Thomas died in 1889/90, aged 56.

1879 – 1881 (Thomas Swain) (the Beaconsfield Restaurant)

By 1879, it had become the ‘Beaconsfield Restaurant’, the licensee being Thomas Swain of Swain & Co. (see No. 60 for further details).  In 1881 Thomas Swain was living at 27, Lansdowne Street, Lynn and listed as ‘Wine Merchant at present out of business’.

1881 (Robert Stanton) (the Beaconsfield)

Robert Stanton, publican, his wife and two servants were living at 68, High Street, in 1881 but he was not the licensee for long.

Robert was the youngest son of Thomas Stanton of Rushall, Norfolk, a farmer who had been born in Pulham in about 1811. Thomas married Eliza Stephenson (b. c1814 in Topcroft) in Needham on 28th November, 1833. They had ten children, all born in Rushall:-

1) Thomas (b. c1834). 2) Anna (b. c1836). 3) Ellen (b. c1838). 4) William (b. 1843). 5) Emily (b. 1845). 6) Margaret (b. 1848). 7) Robert (b. 1850 – died in infancy). 8) John (b. 1851). 9) Mary Jane (b. 1853). 10) Robert (b. 1856).

It appears that Robert Stanton relinquished the licence within a year.

1881 – 1885 (Robert Loombe Carpenter) (Elijah Eyre & Co.)

On Saturday, 16th July 1881, the following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘ELIJAH EYRE & CO’s Retail Wine, Spirit, Ale, Stout & Mineral Water Stores, High Street, King’s Lynn (Late Beaconsfield Restaurant), ROBERT L. CARPENTER, MANAGER. Messrs. Eyre & Co., beg to announce that they have opened the above stores for the purpose of supplying their Friends and the public generally in retail quantities with their well-known and genuine articles. MINERAL WATER SUPPLIED TO THE WHOLESALE TRADE.’

For details about the family of Robert Loombe Carpenter, see No. 8.

1885 (Thomas William Donger) (the Beaconsfield)

Robert Loombe Carpenter was succeeded as licensee by Thomas William Donger in 1885, and the premises reverted to the ‘Beaconsfield’.

Thomas Donger had another fulltime job, as a sail maker, and he combined this with the role of publican at the Beaconsfield for a short time. He was born in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, in about 1842, and married Charlotte Ann Armes (b. 1847 in Wisbech) in 1868. Thomas and Charlotte had five children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Thomas William (b. 1876). 2) Grace Annie (b. 1878). 3) Daisy Ethel (b. 1880). 4) Horace William, a sail maker (b. 1885 – m. May Simpson in 1916/7 – d. 1936, aged 51). 5) Jenny Bell (b. 1889 – m. Horace James Watson, a bricklayer, in 1909/10).

Thomas William Donger died in 1915, aged 74, and Charlotte died in Lynn in 1930, aged 83.

1888 (William James Humphrey) (the Beaconsfield)

Thomas Donger was followed by William James Humphrey, the brewers’ agent, who held the licence in his name for a few months until another tenant could be found.

William James Humphrey was born in Norwich in 1852. His grandparents were James (b. c1786) and Sarah (b. c1789), and they had at least five children:-

1) Mary (b. c1817). 2) William jnr. (b. c1824 – m. see below). 3) Lucy (b. c1826). 4) Mariah (b. c1828). 5) Sarah (b. c1829).

William jnr. was born in East Dereham. He and his wife Elizabeth Mary (b. c1830 in Lynn) had one son, William James, who married Alice Charlotte Chapman (b. c1854 in Norwich) on 5th September, 1875 in Norwich. At that date he was working as a railway official but by 1881 had become a brewer’s agent and was living in Marshall Street, Lynn, with Elizabeth and her mother, Mary Chapman (b. c1820 in Strumpshaw, Norfolk). William James and Alice had one son, John William, a brewer’s clerk in 1901 (b. c1876).

Alice died in 1921/2, aged 67 and William James Humphrey died in Lynn in 1925, aged 73.

1888 (Henry Hagger Wright) (the Beaconsfield)

The premises were refurbished and opened as the ‘EARL BEACONSFIELD RESTAURANT’ in 1888, the following notice appearing in the Lynn Advertiser on 28th April that year:-

‘EARL BEACONSFIELD RESTAURANT, HIGH STREET, KING’S LYNN. HENRY H. WRIGHT LATE OF DOCKING begs to inform his friends and the public that he has taken the above-named Restaurant, which has undergone thorough repair, and, being under New Management, hopes, by civility and attention, to receive a share of public support.’

Henry Hagger Wright was another licensee to stay for a very short time. Born into a Docking farming family in 1854, Henry spent most of his life working as a gamekeeper and was here for less than two years.

His father William (b. c1801 in Stanhoe) ran a farm of 800 acres in Fring. He married Alice Hagger (b. c1818 in Shoreditch, Middlesex) in Lynn in 1845. William and Alice had six children, all born in Fring:-

1) Robert (b. 1849 – d. 1851). 2) Alice Mary (b. 1848 – d. 1852). 3) William James, a horse breaker in 1891 (b. 1851 – m. Alice Mary Houchen in 1874).  4) Eleanor Jane (b. 1852/3 – m. Richard Burgis, a farmer at Fring, in 1875 – d. 1917, aged 64). 5) Henry Hagger – see below (b. 1855 – m. Emily Hollingworth in 1879 – d. 1935, aged 80). 6. Charles Edward, a farmer (b. 1857).

Whilst Eleanor married an apparently successful farmer, and Charles did well enough to retire from farming by the age of 32, William James suffered mixed fortunes as a horse breaker. It is not clear whether he left Norfolk, but his wife Alice worked as a hosiery winder in Leicester and was a pauper in the city’s workhouse in 1901. She was still there ten years later but was employed in the kitchens as a cook. Her husband had died by this latter date.

Henry Hagger Wright married Emily Hollingworth (b. Horncastle, Lincolnshire, in 1854) in 1879. Of their eight children, only the following five appear in the censuses, the first four born in Docking:-

1) Florenia Emily (b. 1880 – m. Joseph James Howard, a shipping agent’s clerk, in 1906 – d. 1947, aged 66). 2) Hilda Ethel (b. 1881 – m. Ernest James Slator, a farm implement sales agent, in 1903 – d. 1955/6, aged 74). 3) Alice Elizabeth (b. 1882). 4) Mabel Edith, a school teacher in 1911 (b. 1885). 5) Irene Rosa (b. 1892 in South Wootton – m. Robert Clark in 1929 – d. 1969, aged 77).

Since he was a publican for such a short time, Henry never appears as such in any census. He started out as a farmer in Docking (1881) and had moved to South Wootton by 1891 when he was working as a gamekeeper. In both 1901 and 1911, he was living in Habberley, Pontesbury, Atcham, Shropshire, and still working as a gamekeeper. However, he came back to Norfolk, where Emily died in 1932, aged 78, and he died in 1935 in Lynn, aged 80.

1890 (John Sadler) (the Beaconsfield)

By 1890, John Sadler, 50, from Docking, had become the innkeeper and was living here with his wife in 1891.

Born in 1840, John was the son of agricultural labourer Robert Sadler (b. c1793 in Docking) and his wife Ann (b. c1801 in Syderstone). Robert and Ann had seven or more children, all born in Docking:-

1) William (b. c1822). 2) Phoebe (b. c1828). 3) Mary A. (b. c1831). 4) Sarah (b. c1836). 5) John (see below). 6) Ellen (b. c1844). 7) Martha (b. c1846).

At the age of ten, John was working as a cow keeper in Docking. He later joined the army but had left by 1881. He married Clara Cicely Bennett in Lynn in 1887. It may be that they were at the Beaconsfield for only a very short time, but it is not known when they left or where they went.

1891 (William Asher) (the Beaconsfield)

William Asher took the licence in 1891 immediately after John Sadler left.

1892 – 1897 (John Archer Collison) (the Beaconsfield)

John Archer Collison was born in Lynn in 1841 and worked as a bricklayer all of his life. He held the licence at the Beaconsfield for five years while continuing to work as a bricklayer.

His parents were Archer and Jane Collison. Archer Collison was born in Grimston in about 1812 and was a bricklayer. He married Jane Catton (b. c1815 in Lynn) in 1838 and they had seven children:-

1) John Archer – see below (b. 1841 – m. Caroline Goodbody in 1864 – d. 1917, aged 75). 2) Mary Ann (b. 1844). 3) Elizabeth (b. 1846). 4) Jane (b. 1848). 5) Sarah (b. 1851). 6) Samuel (b. 1852/3 – m. Martha Greever in 1877 – d. 1929, aged 76, in Lynn). 7) Hannah (b. 1854 – m. Charles William Dale, a dock porter, in 1877).

John Archer Collison married Caroline Goodbody in Lynn in 1864. They had seven children:-

1) Alfred James, a fish hawker in 1911 (b. 1864/5 – d. 1938, aged 74). 2) Agnes (b. 1867 – m. Robert James Cotton in 1885/6). 3) Frederick Herbert (b. 1869 – m. Mary A. Wilkinson in 1911 and Sarah Wilkinson in 1929 – d. 1954, aged 84). 4) Ann Louisa (b. 1870/1 – m. Henry Leman, a fisherman, in 1895/6 – d. 1921, aged 49). 5) Albert Arthur, an iron moulder, in 1911 (b. 1873 – m. Harriet Gagen in 1908). 6) Ethel (b. 1877 – m. William Rains, a commercial traveller, in 1897/8 – d. 1962, aged 85). 7) Frank Archer (b. 1879 – d. 1885, aged 5).

They were living in Baptist Yard, off Broad Street, in 1871 but moved to Austin Street prior to taking on the Beaconsfield licence. John held the licence but the business was managed by his son Alfred, and he was assisted by his mother, Caroline, and his sisters Agnes and Annie Louise. Having given up the Beaconsfield, John and Caroline moved to Softley’s Yard, off Broad Street (1901) and then to Purfleet Street (1911).

Caroline Collison died in 1916, aged 72, and John died a few months later, aged 75.

1897 (Thomas Matthews) (the Beaconsfield)

Thomas Matthews held the licence for about a year in 1897/8.

1898 (John King) (the Beaconsfield)

John King was another who held the licence for just one year.

1899 (Robert Henry Watkins) (the Beaconsfield)

Robert Henry Watkins was here in 1899.

1899 – 1908 (William Thomas Fox) (the Beaconsfield)

William Thomas Fox was born in Wells, Norfolk in 1847, and worked as a carpenter and builder, combining this with the job of a publican.

His parents were Henry and Ann Fox. Henry was born in Wells in about 1818, and his wife came from Cley. They had eight or more children, all born in Wells:-

1) Henry (b. c1837 – d. 1860/61). 2) Samuel (b. 1839 – d. 1855). 3) Susannah (b. 1841). 4) Ann Rebecca (b. 1843). 5) Mary Eliza (b. 1845 – m. Alfred Theobald Brady, a plumber & glazier from Norwich, in 1865 – d. 1914, aged 69). 6) William Thomas – see below (b. 1847 – m. Sarah Simpson in 1872 – d. 1923, aged 75 ). 7) Caroline (b. c1848). 8) Edward (b. c1856).

William Thomas Fox moved to Cheshire, where he met his future wife, Sarah Simpson (b. Stockport c1860). They married in 1872, but did not have any children. In 1881 they were living at Cheadle, and William was working as a joiner and employed three men.

By 1899, William and Sarah had moved to Lynn and he had become the publican of the Beaconsfield / Earl of Derby. He stayed until 1908 when the licence was reviewed and referred for compensation. The licence was extinct in 1909.

William Thomas Fox died in 1923, aged 75.

c1910 – c1950 (Halford Cycle Co. Ltd.)

The Halford Cycle Company was formed by Frederick William Rushbrooke who opened his first cycle shop in Halford Street, Leicester, in 1902. He had started out as a wholesale ironmonger in Birmingham in 1892.

Born on 9th December, 1861 in Willenhall, Staffordshire, his parents were Joshua and Harriet Rushbrooke. Joshua was born in Coddenham, Suffolk, in about 1818. By 1841 he had become the miller at Top Mill, Long Buckby, Northamptonshire. Ten years later he was running Birchills Mills at Walsall, Staffordshire, and employing four men. In 1861 he was living in Stafford Street, Willenhall, where he had a grocery and bakery. He stayed at Stafford Street for over twenty years.

Joshua married Harriet Tildesley (b. c1826 in Willenhall) in 1849. They had nine children, all born in Willenhall:-

1) George Richard (b. 1850 – d. 1857, aged 7). 2) Fanny Jane (b. 1851 – d. 1889, aged 38). 3) Joshua, a miller (b. 1852/3 – m. Susan Hall in 1878 – d. 1933, aged 80). 4) Harriet Violetta (b. 1860 – m. Thomas Richard Tildesley, a building contractor, in 1883 – d. 1932, aged 71). 5) Frederick William – see below (b. 09/12/1861 – m. Lily Jenks Wilkinson in 1896 – d. 1953, aged 91). 6) Thomas John, Borough Surveyor for High Wycombe in 1911 (b. 13/02/1864 – m. Susannah Hardy in 1896 – d. 1951, aged 87). 7) Ellen Mahalath (b. 1865/6 – m. George Braithwaite Miller, a Wesleyan Methodist Minister, in 1899 – d. 1960, aged 94). 8) Charlotte Annie (b. 1868 – m. William Comer Sheldon, a cashier, in 1899 – d. 1961, aged 93). 9) Emmeline Mary (b. 1870 – m. Theophilus L. Parsons, a dairyman, in 1918 – d. 1964/5, aged 94).

Frederick William Rushbrooke trained as a ‘Factor’s apprentice’ (1881) before working on his own account as a wholesale ironmonger.  In 1901 he was still working as a hardware merchant but within a year he had opened a cycle store in Halford Street, Leicester.

In 1896 Frederick Rushbrooke married Lily Jenks Wilkinson (b. 1868 in Handsworth, Staffordshire, the daughter of an electro-plate manufacturer). They set up home in Sutton Coldfield and had five children, all born in the town:-

1) Marjorie (b. 1898). 2) Kathleen Primrose (b. 21/04/1900 – d. 1980, aged 80). 3) Christabel (b. 31/03/1904 – d. 1998, aged 94). 4) Frederick Donald (b. 1905 – m. Mavis Kendon in 1937 – d. 1996, aged 91). 5) Janet Lily (b. 01/06/1907 – d. 1993, aged 86).

In 1906, the Halford Cycle Company was formed, taking its name from the street in Leicester.

The businesses expanded rapidly and in 1911 new premises were opened in Moor Street, Birmingham. By 1912 they had 65 branches and in 1931 they opened their 200th store.

Frederick Donald Rushbrooke went into the company and his son Maxwell Mark (b. 1942 – m. Margaret Worthington in 1975) continued the family connection.

Halfords purchased the Birmingham Bicycle Co. in 1945.

Frederick Rushbrooke died in 1953, aged 91. Lily had died in 1938, aged 69.

The company name was shortened to Halfords Limited in 1965 and in 1968 its 300th store was opened. In 1969 Halfords Ltd. was bought by Burmah Oil. There were further changes in ownership in 1989, when the company was bought by the Ward White Group, which in turn was acquired by The Boots Company. It was bought by CVC Capital Partners in 2002.

Halfords vacated No. 68, High Street in about 1950.

1951 – c1972 (H. E. Randall Ltd.)

The boot and shoe dealers, H. E. Randall Ltd. of Northampton opened a branch at No. 68 in July 1951 and it remained here for almost twenty years.

Henry Edward Randall was born in Northampton in 1847/8. His father was Henry Ross Randall (b. c1822 – d. 1901 in Lambeth, aged 79) who married Elizabeth Cooper Dickens (b. c 1818 in Northamptonshire) in 1845. They had three children:-

1) Henry Edward – see below (b. 1847/8 – m. Elizabeth Wright in 1873 – d. 18/07/1930, aged 82). 2) Emma Dickens (b. 1850 – d. 1853/4). 3) Emily Ross (b. 1856 – m. William Edward George, a builder’s clerk, in 1883 – d. 1921/2, aged 66).

Henry snr. worked as a draper until at least 1851, before becoming a shoe warehouseman (1871).

In 1870, when aged just 21, Henry Edward Randall established a shoe factory in Northampton and equipped it with the most up-to-date tools and machinery. Within ten years he was employing 200 men. He married Elizabeth Wright (b. c1854 in Northampton) in 1873. They had six children, all born in Northampton:-

1) Lizzie Florence (b. 1874 – m. Ernest Rogers Bull, a dental surgeon, in 1896). 2) Harry Charles (b. 1875/6 – d. 1943, aged 67). 3) Herbert Edward, a jockey in 1911 (b. 1876/7 – m.1904). 4) Arthur Ross (b. 1878 – d. 1944/5, aged 67).  5) Beatrice Mary (b. c11882 – m. Theodore Howard Lloyd in 1906). 6) Frances Dorothy (b. 1886 – m. Thomas Edgar Manning, a brewer, in 1910 – d. 1968, aged 82).

H. E. Randall was a keen tennis player and turned his attention to developing a durable tennis shoe with soles that did not fall off – a common problem at the time. The normal shoes had rubber soles which were glued or stitched onto the canvas or leather uppers. If they were glued, they worked loose and if they were stitched, the thread cut through the rubber and the sole fell off. In the early 1880s, Randall introduced his ‘Tenacious’ tennis shoes. These had extra thick vulcanised rubber soles which were glued and stitched to the uppers. For many years, H. E. Randall Ltd. held several Royal Warrants.

Henry Randall was a Conservative Alderman in Northampton for many years, serving as mayor in 1893/4 and again 1896/7. He was knighted in 1905. He was a racehorse owner and his horse Genius won both the Ascot Stakes and the Goodwood Stakes. His son Herbert, a well-known amateur jockey, regularly rode for him.

Henry Randall died in Northampton on 18th July, 1930, aged 82, and Elizabeth died in 1945, aged 91.

c1968 – c2000 (Eastern Gas) (British Gas)

Eastern Gas opened a showroom here in about 1968. The premises were refurbished as the British Gas Energy Centre in July 1995.

c2000 – 2013 (Jessops)

The business was founded by Frank Edgar Jessop in Leicester. He had been born in Walsall, Staffordshire on 15th December, 1905. His grandfather was Josiah Benjamin Jessop (b. 1847 in Stone, Staffs.) who married Matilda Jane King in 1869. They had five children:-

1) Thomas Vernon, a general hawker (b. 1870 in Oldbury, West Bromwich – d. 1912, aged 42). 2) Emily Jane (b. 1873 – m. Charles Edward Stackhouse in 1897 – d. 1928, aged 54). 3) Edgar Charles, an artificial teeth manufacturer (b. 1875 – m. Susan Dixon in 1895 – d. 1961, aged 86). 4) Frank Albert – see below – (b. 1879 – m. Anne Eliza Cattle in 1879 – d. 1972, aged 93).

Josiah was a chemist. In 1871 he was at Harborne in Worcestershire, and ten years later he was in Wolverhampton, and gave his occupation as a ‘Mechanical Dentist’. By 1891 he had run into trouble and was a prisoner at H.M. Prison, Stafford. He died in 1899, aged 50. Matilda ran the shop for a while after his death but was living in lodgings in 1911. She died in 1912, aged 67.

Frank Albert Jessop was Frank Edgar’s father. Born in Walsall in 1879, he was working on his own account as an artificial teeth maker in 1901. He was a chemist and druggist in 1911.  He married Anne (Annie) Eliza Cattle (b. 1879 in Carshalton, Surrey) in 1898 and they had four children, all born in Walsall:-

1) Mabel Daisy Leah (b. 1900 m. Michael Jones in 1922). 2) Irene Annie (b. 1901 m. Harry Harvey in 1928 d. 1956, aged 55). 3) Charles Henry (b. 07/07/1903 – d. 1972, aged 68). 4) Frank Edgar (b. 15/12/1905 – d. 24/12/2001, aged 96).

Frank Jessop decided to concentrate on his main interest and to turn his chemist’s shop into one devoted to photography and, in particular, cine films and cameras. His son Alan (b.1940) joined the company and he transformed it into a cut-price photographic retailer.

By the 1970s, it had expanded greatly and a new 20,000 sq ft store was built in Hinckley Road, Leicester. At the time it was judged to be the largest photographic store in the world. In the 1980s, another store was opened in Finchley Road, London, and soon there were 50 Jessops’ shops around the country. The company took advantage of the digital camera boom and there were soon over 200 shops. Jessops claimed to be the only specialist nationwide camera retailer and at its height had over 250 outlets.

Alan Jessop retired in 1996 and the business was sold in a management buy-out.

Frank Jessop died on 24th December, 2001 at his home in Cropston, Leicestershire.

In 2002 Jessops was bought by the venture capital division of Dutch bank Amro, and in 2004 it was floated on the London Stock Market. However, it was beginning to struggle against the competition of other high street shops and out of town stores and, in particular, internet competitors. In 2007 there were a number of store closures. In 2009 it nearly collapsed and was taken off the stock market. In spite of a major redesign of its stores, there were further closures and the business finally succumbed in July, 2013.

The Lynn shop closed in January, 2013.