The life and times of a historic street

Our ancient Stratton Street properties – 48 to 52 High Street IN 1841, number 48/50 appears to have been occupied by Joseph Crouch, a butcher, with cottages adjoining. He was followed by Abraham Robarts in around 1860. John Marsom took over the shop fr

Our ancient Stratton Street properties - 48 to 52 High Street

IN 1841, number 48/50 appears to have been occupied by Joseph Crouch, a butcher, with cottages adjoining.

He was followed by Abraham Robarts in around 1860.

John Marsom took over the shop from him in 1898 until 1922, when it was purchased by G W Nicholson.


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The final butcher was J S Danes in 1934.

Sadie's Dress Shop moved there from 4 Shortmead Street in 1947.

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Bonfield's Cake Shop occupied number 50 in the 1930s and '40s.

It later became a door accessories shop.

Number 48/50 was replaced by a controversial three-storey building in 1968.

At number 48, the National Provincial Bank moved in. This branch closed following its merger with Westminster Bank.

The Trustee Savings Bank opened in 1972 and closed in 2001 after it merged with Lloyds Bank.

It is now J R Turner Bookmakers.

The opticians P G Allder and Partners was at number 50 until it moved to its Hitchin Street premises in 1995.

The district council then used the building to house a temporary model of the new 1997 Market Square design, which remained there until about 2000.

It was then the Bridal Shop and is now Headmaster's hairdressers, which has recently moved from number 58.

Number 52 was several cottages in 1828 extending to Back Street at the rear.

W B Fordham, brewer, of Ashwell became interested in the site in 1828 and put James Millard in residence in 1841.

Despite an assurance that it would not be used as a licensed premises it became The Bushel and Strike in 1848, owned by E K and H Fordham, with four cottages.

James Millard was the first licensee.

The pub closed in 1911 and was sold to Harold Hubbard, greengrocer, with living accommodation.

His sons carried on until about 1976.

There were alterations at the rear with the old cottages replaced by various extensions, and a new block of flats was built behind in Back Street.

By 1995 William Brown had opened its estate agents shop.

This was followed by Homes and Mortgages.

This shop closed on May 24, 2006 and the shop is still empty.

The former residence at the property was converted into a shop with various occupants.

Sheringtons Gifts and Cards was there in 1988 and Wendy House in 2001.

It was then Kennedy and Co Estate Agents, and Fly fashions recently moved there from Station Road.

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