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Historic town has a future worth investing in

PUBLISHED: 15:28 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:05 14 July 2020

There are some shops which seem to have been there all our lives�and one is Stead & Simpson who were selling and repairing boots and shoes in North Walsham many years ago. Picture: Mike Adcock Collection

There are some shops which seem to have been there all our lives�and one is Stead & Simpson who were selling and repairing boots and shoes in North Walsham many years ago. Picture: Mike Adcock Collection

Mike Adcock Collection

Let’s hear it for North Walsham…the Norfolk town which was recently described as “forgotten” when it comes to funding…but the people are fighting back.

Passing the time of day in King’s Arms Street, North Walsham, where the Bull was a popular Morgans pub. Picture: Mike Adcock CollectionPassing the time of day in King’s Arms Street, North Walsham, where the Bull was a popular Morgans pub. Picture: Mike Adcock Collection

Councillors, traders and residents are concerned that as new houses are being built the infrastructure is not being expanded at the same time – schools, doctor’s surgeries and the like.

But plans are afoot to give North Walsham the financial support it needs to move forward and let’s hope it makes a real different.

The town has a deep sense of history and deserves a bright future…a good place to be for people of all ages and from all walks of life. A place worth investing in.

These latest photographs from the Mike Adcock Collection take us on a journey back in time to when the horse and cart and pony and trap ruled the roads…although those noisy and new-fangled motors were arriving, maybe from “down the city” at Mann Egerton.

The days before cars took over – in Market Square. Can you spot the shop run by Mr Loads? Picture: Mike Adcock CollectionThe days before cars took over – in Market Square. Can you spot the shop run by Mr Loads? Picture: Mike Adcock Collection

The town stood on a branch line of the Great Eastern railway and a century or so ago there were magistrates and county courts, three banks, a post office, a police station, a corn exchange and the landmark Market Cross.

The weekly market was held on a Thursday and there was an annual horse and cattle fair which attracted big crowds.

According to the Norfolk 1890 book reproduced by the Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society and edited by Philip Tolley back in 2016, the Angel Hotel run by Mr E J Morris was a fine place to stay for commercial gentlemen and families.

The lovely old book illustrates how well we described amenities and the like in those days of old.

Having a mardle on the Market Place in North Walsham. Picture: Mike Adcock CollectionHaving a mardle on the Market Place in North Walsham. Picture: Mike Adcock Collection

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When it came to The Angel,

“It is elegantly furnished throughout and boats the best improved sanitary arrangements and every modern convenience to enhance the comfort of guests.”

“There is a commodious and well-fitted bar on the ground floor, where the choicest of wines, spirits, ales, stout and cigars, many always be obtained.

Waterloo House standing proud in North Walsham and named after Wellington�s defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. it had been a temperance hotel and then Benjamin Barker ran his drapery and outfitters business from it. Picture: Mike Adcock CollectionWaterloo House standing proud in North Walsham and named after Wellington�s defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. it had been a temperance hotel and then Benjamin Barker ran his drapery and outfitters business from it. Picture: Mike Adcock Collection

“And in addition to this there is a capital bowling green to the rear, much patronised by the elite of the town and district.”

Take a wander on the Market Place and you will come across the premises of Cubitt & Son, drapers, grocers and tea dealers which had already been established for 47 years.

Also on the Market Place and in Market Street was Mrs Durrant’s saddlery and harness business. She also had a shop at Bacton and “Hasboro.”

William Foster was a draper and milliner, George Gee was a carriage builder, Mr J J Harvey and a cabinet maker and upholsterer while Robert Hawes, R A Loveless sand A Walker were tea dealers and merchants.

A sign of the times ahead…motor cars had arrived. Mind you there was still room for a wheel barrow. Picture: Mike Adcock CollectionA sign of the times ahead…motor cars had arrived. Mind you there was still room for a wheel barrow. Picture: Mike Adcock Collection

If you needed a new outfit then W Loads would look after you while Horace Mace was the man for fancy goods from around the world.

And one of the busiest businesses in North Walsham was E & H Randell the iron and brass founders and general ironmongers who were based at St Nicholas’s Works.

Oh, and if you had a letter to post and fancied a drink after a day’s shopping then head for the King’s Arms where Mr H Perfect was “greatly esteemed for his courtesy and fair dealing.”

Described as a hotel and “Posting Establishment” It was a popular place to rest your head and the manageress was Ms Smith who previously worked at the Bell Hotel in Norwich.


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