Free port at store where Price was certainly right

Frank Price shop on Botolph Street in 1963. Picture: Archant library

Frank Price shop on Botolph Street in 1963. Picture: Archant library

Rock a Hula, Rock, Rock a Hula....Elvis was top of the pops and the hula-a-hoop was being demonstrated in a shop window in Norwich – being watched by two ladies on bikes while a smart-looking chap leaned up against the wall.

The Frank Price shop. Picture: submitted

The Frank Price shop. Picture: submitted - Credit: ARCHANT } NORFOLK 2003.

Happy days down at the department store where the 'Price was Right' until it stood in the way of a brave new world known as Anglia Square and was demolished.

Hands up all those who remember the big Price store which first opened as a haberdashery in Magdalen Street 130 years ago?

It moved into large premises fronting Magdalen Street and Botolph Street and was the pride of old Stump Cross, employing hundreds of people in more than 40 different departments.

The first Frank Price was a commercial traveller doing his rounds in Norfolk on a pony and trap before he and his wife opened a shop. He died in 1922.

A fab four in the Frank Price canteen yard during the 1950s. Photo: Archant Library

A fab four in the Frank Price canteen yard during the 1950s. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library


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The foundations had been laid for a grand department store which his son, also Frank, and Roy Price took over at the helm.

In the early days customers would be offered a glass of port to put a spring in their step - and at sale time the first Frank Price would head outside to give those waiting in queues cups of tea – laced with whisky.

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Imagine that happening today.

'We strive,' said Roy many years ago, 'to give service and civility. We believe in personal service for every customer for every purchase. If a customer wants something we will endeavour to supply it.'

Frank Prices on Botolph Street, 1962. Picture: submitted

Frank Prices on Botolph Street, 1962. Picture: submitted - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

People who worked at Price knew how to enjoy themselves and there was a great social side with days out. It wasn't so much a job, more a way of life and they were proud to be a member of the Price 'brigade'.

Some time former display and advertisement manager Robert Hannant gave us some of his photographs of staff outings. 'We all got on so well together. It was a wonderful place to work,' he said.

The shop also ran the 'Draw' with agents selling tickets and the winner would receive £5 to spend in the shop. It also had a mobile shop visiting hospitals across Norfolk and into Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

And when the end came in 1963 Roy Price – who went on to run a wool shop in Magdalen Road - worked night and day to help his 100 staff who left to find other jobs.

The Frank Price shop. Picture: submitted

The Frank Price shop. Picture: submitted - Credit: ARCHANT } NORFOLK 2003.

If you recognise anyone in the pictures or would like to tell us more about them you can email norfolkimagecurators@archant.co.uk

Frank Price fire patrol. Picture: Archant library

Frank Price fire patrol. Picture: Archant library

All the buildings seen in this picture of Magdalen Street were demolished to provide space for the f

All the buildings seen in this picture of Magdalen Street were demolished to provide space for the flyover built in 1971. Botolph Street is seen leading off to the left. The facing building is a branch of Barclays Bank and behind it was the departmental store of Frank Price whose shop ran through to the continuation of Magdalen Street just off the right hand side of the picture - 1960. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

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