High Street

Brandon’s High Street was once a popular stopping off point for weary travellers, leading to the many inns and taverns lining the street.  The High Street once boasted such an array of shops that there was little need to venture out of town, and the shops were very well supported.  The motor vehicle changed all that.

White’s Suffolk Directory of 1892, lists the following businesses operating along the High Street at the time:

  • John Lee Barber & Co. – malsters
  • John Beeby – wine & spirit, coal merchant
  • Osborne Chapman – draper & outfitter
  • Walter Waspe Chapman – grocer, china, etc.
  • Edwin Clarke – White Hart Hotel
  • Herbert Claxton – ironmonger & general smithy
  • William Curtis – ironmonger & engineer
  • Charles Diggon – saddler & harness maker
  • Harry Edwards – baker
  • Daniel Garner Richards – game dealer
  • William George Gentle – butcher
  • James Osborne – plumber, glazier & decorator
  • Frederick Rissbrook – baker & confectioner
  • Fuller Rolfe – Postmaster, assistant overseer, collector of taxes, Secretary to Lighting Inspectors, Secretary to Grammar School Foundation, and to Reading Room Co., farmer
  • Harry Toombs – hairdresser, tobacconist
  • Frederick George Wood – solicitor

Kelly’s Directory of 1933 lists the following:

  • E.A. Bacon & Co. – draper
  • Barclays Bank Ltd, (Cyril Clapper, sub-manager): – bank
  • Edward Vincent Beaumont – physician & medical officer, public vaccinator, factory surgeon for Brandon district, medical officer to the Post Office
  • Bell Inn (C. Tillett)
  • F.W. Bradley Lt. – dentists
  • Brandon Clothing Co. – boot & shoe dealers, ladies & gents outfitters, wool merchant
  • Brandon Conservative Club, Paget Hall
  • H.J. Bromhall – chemist
  • Walter Horace Bryant – dentist
  • J.W. Caban & Son – hairdresser
  • J.T. Capron – solicitor
  • Winifred Chapman – insurance agent
  • George Clarke – antique dealer
  • Sidney A. Coates – boarding house
  • Josiah George Collen – grocer
  • Francis C. Diggon – harness maker
  • George Dunger – boot & shoe repair
  • Arthur Footer – tobacconist
  • M Froud & Son – builders
  • Montague Froud – corn & flour dealer
  • Frederick William Gentle – butchers
  • William H Goodhall – draper
  • Green Bros. – timer merchant
  • Mrs M.E. Green – printer
  • Hanbury & Co. – motor car depot
  • Mrs Elsie & William Hancock – fishmongers
  • Harry Henman – cycle agent
  • F. Holmes & sons – coal & coke, corn & seed merchants, haulage contractors
  • Joseph Welch Housman – outfitter
  • Stanley Hunt (manager), Potter & Moss –
  • Percy Hyam – baker
  • International Tea Co.’s Stores Ltd. – grocers
  • Robert John Kerrison – watch & clock maker
  • Ronald E. Major – solicitor & commissioner for oaths (Winter & Marchant), bank chambers
  • William Mayes – boot & shoe repair
  • S.E. Moore – butcher
  • William Murrell & Son – coal & coke merchants
  • Miss Evelyn Murrell – corsetiere
  • William John Murrell – watch & clock maker
  • Oakes & Son – gents’ outfitter
  • Alfred E. Osborne – plumber & painter
  • The Ouseside Bowling Club (F.W. Ridsdale , secretary)
  • Ouse Private Hotel (Arthur Rolph)
  • Paget Hall (L. Fendick, secretary)
  • Potter & Moss Ltd. – wine merchants
  • Railway Hotel (Frank W. Holmes, proprietor)
  • Ram Hotel (Percy John Robb, proprietor)
  • Arthur Charles Rivett – grocer
  • George Wells – hairdresser
  • White Hart Hotel (Thomas Gore, proprietor)
  • Winter & Martin – solicitors, bank chambers
  • Alfred John Winter – solicitor & commissioner for oaths, bank chamber
Val Grass Brandon resident
I think the toy shop was run by a miss Tombs, and a miss Crooker, and they always had their small white dog sitting on the counter. Remember being taken to buy school clothes from Goodhalls, and Bruce Edwards, calling in greens the news agents where the flower shop is now , over the road from aldi,s, and getting my comic,s , auntie Marcia worked in there at that time, so my mum would always stop and natter with her, shopping at Budgens and International stores, the bus only used to run from weeting on a tuesday and thursday morning, so had to walk down on a saturday, if we got to much shopping would call in at Holmes garage and get a taxi home for about 25p. Remember going up the metal stairs at the back of then hyams on the corner to have my hair cut a flairs hairdressers. Remember the market being big when, and you could buy loads of things. How Brandon has changed, certainly not for the better.
Leon Rings
I can remember Goodalls which had just about everything, counter draws full of clothes and linen also shoes and plimsolls. Also Harry Henman's repaired bikes and sold toys, bikes, pots and pans and much more. Fells also sold bikes, electrical items and air rifles ... you could enact Harry Worth on their cornered window. Woolet and Mitchell for home entertainment. Froud pet store. I also remember Edwards the tobacconists sold hot roasted peanuts, yum! The co op were Mr G's complex stands, Mrs Greens at bottom of town and her sister Mrs Lenton who managed WH Smith and sons news agents from the station platform store. Sweet shops on store street and Mr Watson along London road beside Towlers court entrance. Mr Watson placed a notice in his shop window on one occasion stating free sweets tomorrow, 3 days we went to collect and he replied, " no it's tomorrow
Paula Duke Her mother's WW2 memories
Just been speaking to my mum, she worked in Challiss' in the late 40's. She said Hillary Elmer was the delivery 'boy' using a shop bike to deliver groceries. He would be loaded up front and back and how he didn't have an accident she said was a miracle. She also mentioned some other shops that you may not have heard of. Cyril Oak(e)s - Gents Tailors, before it became Edwards Wool Shop. Rivetts - before Brentnalls took over. Mayes the boot mender's, she remembers going with her father to buy a piece of leather to mend her shoes. There was also a fish and chip shop behind Blanella's hairdressers which stood where the carpet shop is now. Fred Holmes - coal and corn merchants, which was behind what is now Barclays Bank, their car-park I suppose. Before Corbett's, it was Statham's selling groceries and hardware. She also wonders if anyone remembers a potted meat factory on London Road, she thinks it may have been somewhere near the old clothing factory but not sure.