A look at the past: Our historic high street

25-29 High Street NUMBER 25 is a shop built about 1830 as part of the Crown premises. Early occupiers were watchmakers, jewellers and silversmiths. In 1839 it was John Jeffries, in 1890 James Bennett, in 1894 George Webb, in 1906 Walter Lee, and Frederi

25-29 High Street

NUMBER 25 is a shop built about 1830 as part of the Crown premises.

Early occupiers were watchmakers, jewellers and silversmiths.

In 1839 it was John Jeffries, in 1890 James Bennett, in 1894 George Webb, in 1906 Walter Lee, and Frederick Eley in 1909.


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Then a succession of gentleman's hairdressers were in occupation.

James Ballard was there in 1913, Frank Neate in 1935, and Rupert Prince - who also had a ladies salon - in 1937.

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Next came a series of ladies fashion shops.

Janet Roberts was there for many years as Amanda Jane, followed by Lady Jane then Breakers Clothing Company and Size Up; finally Mooch gift shop from 2000 to last August.

The shop is currently unoccupied.

At number 27, Ebenezer Chew opened his grocers shop in 1837.

In 1873 he retired and as E Chew & Sons, the business passed to his son Ebenezer who later added the china shop at number 27.

Hubert Chew, the third generation, was taken into partnership in 1901, becoming sole proprietor when his father retired in 1919.

Hubert retired in 1938 and the whole premises were sold to F C Larkinson.

At number 29, from 1841 to 1871 Thomas Powers ironmonger ran a china, glass and fancy goods shop.

Later it was Denny's China Shop.

It was then taken over by the Chews and sold to F C Larkinson in 1920.

Larkinson's Hitchin Street shop closed when alterations to the new shop in the art deco style were completed in 1941.

After Frederick Larkinson died in 1941 his daughter Mrs A C Denny took over and formed a limited company in 1948 as Larkinson (Fancy Goods) Ltd.

The store was altered and extended in 1965 and gained a reputation for style and quality.

They finally closed in 1985 when the directors were Philip and Geoffrey Denny. The building was demolished and sympathetically rebuilt as two shops and offices.

After rebuilding number 27 became an Eastern Electricity showroom.

When they closed Oxfam took over and in 1999 Age Concern opened their Charity Shop.

Nationwide Building Society moved into number 29 from its premises opposite and is still in occupation.

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