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No. 72, High Street

Situated towards the Tuesday Market Place end of High Street and almost opposite, this shop which has a wide frontage, is in a good trading position. An archway on the right of the shop gave access to a useful yard with outbuildings which provided space for storage and workshops. For over 30 years the premises were used by cabinet makers, then No. 72 was linked with No. 71 by a china and glass dealer. From 1886 until about 1973 this was a boot and shoe shop.

c1836 – 1847 (Samuel Carse)

White’s Directory for 1836 lists Samuel Carse, a cabinet maker, at this address. In 1830 he was at No. 38, High Street, and prior to that he may have been in London. He is not listed in Lynn in 1822 (Pigot), and he married Mary Bennett in St. George, Hanover Square, London, where they were both living, on 29th May, 1823.

Samuel and Mary were living here in 1841, but he died in November, 1847, aged 56, and Mary died on 31st December that year, aged 53.

Samuel made provision in his will for the sale of his stock in trade to John and James Green (see below).

c1847 – c1863 (James Green)

Born in Lynn in about 1822, James Green took over the cabinet making business here at No. 72, as provided for in the will of Samuel Carse.

In 1849 he placed the following notice in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘UPHOLSTERY WAREHOUSE. JAMES GREEN, No. 72, High Street, LYNN, In returning thanks to his Friends for the support he has experienced during the period he has been in business, respectfully announces that his Upholstery Department is complete with every article, both useful and ornamental. His stock of PAPER HANGINGS is most extensive, from the commonest sort to the most recherché and expensive, consisting of all kinds of decorations for panelling, fancy borders, &c., &c. J. G. wishes to state that first-rate hands are kept for Papering Rooms as well as for every other part of his trade.’

James (b. c1823 in Lynn) was the son of Benjamin Green (b. c1803), a deal porter of Purfleet Street, Lynn, and his wife Elizabeth (b. c1802). One of his brothers was the High Street hosier and haberdasher Thomas Green (1830-1903) – see Nos. 6, 21, 22 & 44.

Sometime between 1841 and 1848, James married Maria Craske (b. c1820 in North Repps). They had three children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Mary Ann Barbara (b. 1848). 2) Maria (b. 1849 – d. 1859). 3) Alfred, a bookkeeper in Leeds in 1891 (b. 1850 – d. 1895).

It would appear that James’ wife Maria died in the early 1850s and that he married for a second time to a Susannah (records are inconclusive – he was married to a Maria in 1851 and to a Susannah in 1861, both from North Repps, according to the censuses). It is possible that his second wife was Maria Craske’s sister. James and Susannah had nine children, all born in Lynn:-

1) Eleanor – aka Ellen, a boarding house keeper at Hunstanton in 1911 (b. 1853). 2) Alice (b. 1854). 3) Anna (b. 1858 – m. Saddleton Frank Sainty, a civil engineer, in 1882 – d. 1911, aged 52). 4) John, a clergyman (b. c1860). 5) Walter, a wagon builder in 1901 (b. 1861 – m. Fanny Emma Abraham in 1893/4 – d. 1919, aged 57). 6) Herbert, an upholsterer in 1901 (b. 1863 – d. 1917, aged 53). 7) Emma (b. 1864). 8) Ada, a housekeeper / companion (b. 1865/6). 9)  Hugh, a hairdresser (b. 1868 – m. Ada Norman in 1893/4 – d. 1956, aged 87).

James was still here in 1863 but had moved to No. 110, High Street by 1868. He retired in 1887 and was living at Sutton Bridge in 1891, with his wife Susannah and youngest daughter Emma. He died in 1896, aged 73.

c1868 – 1886 (James Brown Rix)

By 1868, James Brown Rix, who ran a glass and china shop at No. 71, had taken on No. 72. In 1866 he advertised as ‘The MINERAL LAMP & OIL STORE. 71 & 72, High Street, King’s Lynn.’ He was listed at the combined premises up to and including 1883 (Kelly’s directory). Details of his family are given under No. 71. He may also be found under Nos. 89 and 90.

1886 – c1973 (Dicks Shoe Shop) (George Kirk) (Robert Kirk)

Dicks shoe shop (managed by George Kirk) moved here from No. 65, High Street in November, 1886, placing a notice in the Lynn Advertiser on 23rd October, 1886:-

‘IMPORTANT NOTICE! In consequence of REMOVING EARLY in NOVEMBER into our New Premises, 72, HIGH STREET, the whole of our Large Stock of BOOTS & SHOES are now being SOLD OFF at very GREAT REDUCTION in PRICES for CASH. This is a Genuine Sale, and Great Bargains offered to Buyers. DICKS, 65, High Street, Lynn.’

The following notice appeared in the Lynn Advertiser on 27th November, 1886:-

‘DICK’S NEW BOOT SHOP Is now opened with a splendid stock of GOOD WEARING BOOTS & SHOES Suitable for the Present and Coming Season Repairs done on the Premises. DICK’S – SIGN OF THE LIFE BOUY, 72, HIGH STREET – OPPOSITE NORFOLK STREET – LYNN.’

Details about Dick’s Boot Shop may be found under No. 65.

George Kirk had moved with the business from No. 65, on the corner of the Tuesday Market Place, to these premises. He owned another shop, at No 67 which he advertised to let in the Lynn Advertiser on 30th March, 1889.

George Kirk was living here with his wife and their eight children in 1891. More details about the family are given under No. 65.

The business continued under the name of Dick’s and the first mention of Geo. Kirk & Son is in an advertisement on 22nd January 1909:-


George Kirk had retired by 1910 and he died in 1919/20, aged 77, and Jane died in 1928, aged 80.

Robert Kirk took over his father’s business at No. 72 in about 1910, and he was living here in 1911. The first advertisement to use his name rather than his father’s was that of 28th, October 1910 in the Lynn Advertiser:-

‘BOOT REPAIRS. SEND YOUR REPAIRS TO R. KIRK, DICK’S BOOT STORES, 72, HIGH STREET, LYNN. Best Leather used, and returned same day if required.’

By 1913, the name of Dick’s had been dropped and the shop became Kirk’s, but occasionally advertising as R. Kirk, or Robert Kirk. By 1960, advertisements in the name of R. Kirk & Son Ltd. were appearing.

Robert Kirk married Lavina May Wright (b. 1886 in Lynn) in 1908. She was the daughter of Lynn photographer Jasper J. Wright, who had premises in London Road. Robert and Lavina had one son, Alan G. (b. 1911 – m. Pauline N. Bell in 1941 – d. 1958/9, aged 47).

It is not known when the business closed, the last directory entry for R. Kirk & Son being in Kelly’s for 1973.

Robert Kirk died in 1967/8, aged 93.

1985 (Halifax Building Society) (Halifax Bank)

The Halifax Building Society opened a branch here in 1985. When their fascia was fitted, removal of the old one revealed the R. Kirk sign

The Halifax Building society was founded in 1853 in the West Yorkshire town from which it took its name. In 1997 it de-mutualised and became Halifax plc, and in 2001 merged with the Bank of Scotland, forming HBOS, with the Halifax now a division within the Bank of Scotland. On 19th January 2009, HBOS was taken over by Lloyds Banking Group.