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Researched by John Langley 2006/7 with later additions by John Meads

Burton Latimer Shops - Section D
Mid-High Street

A view of the High Street looking north in 1910
The High Street looking north c1910. Henry Chapman's hardware and grocery store is on Duke Street corner. Opposite are Loak's greengrocery, the Post Office and the Dairy.

In 1897, all the land from the Hilly Farm boundary to the Dukes Arms was bought by Charles Barlow. In March 1898 he sold three plots to Thomas Stokes, George Sturman and Mrs. Ann Meads and two months later he sold the remainder, which was the bulk of it, to a group acting acting on behalf of the town’s Non Conformists to enable them to build the Board School. He retained the southernmost part, which comprised cow sheds and yard belonging to his shop, Barlow’s No: 2 Stores (later to be known as The Dairy). In 1903 he sold part of these premises to Thomas Charles who then built the Post Office.
The first recorded tenant of the shops at 101/103 High Street was Frank Smith; however, from information given to John Meads by Frank Smith’s grand-daughter, we know that he was not the first occupant of the shops and, from information gleaned from the 1901 census, John has a theory that it is possible that at that time they could have been rented by Thomas Charles, postmaster, and Henry Popham, tailor. It is known for a fact that Ann Meads and her husband William (John’s grandparents) were living at 105 High Street in 1901, so the other two premises sold by Charles Barlow in 1898 would appear to have been 101 and 103, which, again according to Frank Smith’s grand-daughter, were rented properties where her family were tenants for many years

101 High Street (Shop 48)

Mabel Smith at 101 High Street. As noted above, the first recorded known proprietors of this shop were Frank Smith’s family. This shop was first run by Mabel Smith who had married Daniel Congreve in 1915. It was confectionery and sweet shop also selling toys. They continued this business until the late 1940s. Then their son Richard Congreve converted the shop into a radio and television shop. Richard continued his business until the middle of the 1980s when he retired. The shop was closed and became his private residence. After his death the premises were sold and renovated and in March 2006 became the new premises of Latimer Opticians owned by Mrs. H.E. Bailey, previously at 94G High Street. 

The photograph on the left shows Mabel Smith, later Mabel Congreve, standing at the door of 101 High Street circa 1914. Note the toys in the shop window, the other side of the shop sold confectionery.

103 High Street (Shop 49)

The first recorded known proprietors of this shop were also Frank Smith’s family. Like 101, it was divided in two parts. One side was a drapery run by Frank’s daughter Gertrude Robinson, who had married Charles Robinson in 1911, and the on the other side her father Frank Smith sold antique furniture. Mr. Congreve and Mr. Robinson also went out in a van to the surrounding villages selling drapery and clothing until the outbreak of WWII. The shop remained theirs until about 1947 when Ray Hudson and Len Wheaton took over the shop selling china, glass and leather goods. In the 1950s until the middle of the 1960s it became a hardware shop run by Eddie Toms. In 1966 Gertrude Wittering and her daughter-in law Pat took over the shop. Previous to this Charlie and Gertrude Wittering had lived next door at 105, the school house, as Charlie was caretaker, they had run a dry cleaning agency there since the late 1940s. Charlie died in 1965 so Gertrude had to leave the house and, with Pat, she moved to temporary accomodation at 40 High Street provided for them by the Smith family which had the newsagents next door at number 42. They were there for about a year until, in 1966, the business moved to 103. Pat's husband John worked for Express Dry Cleaners Rushden, where the cleaning was done. They continued this business until 1976. This business was the last in this shop and it was closed and became a private residence.

94 High Street (Shop 51)

This building was built in 1897, it was originally built as a Coffee House, as an alternative to the working mens’ clubs. It was formed in early 1897 as can be seen from this extract from the Northamton Mercury dated Friday 12 March 1897:

The Coffee House in 1910
The Burton Latimer Coffee House circa 1910. Now better
known as the Barclays Bank building.

BURTON LATIMER COFFEE HOUSE COMPANY, LIMITED - This company has been registered by Waterlow & Bros. and Layton, Limited, Birchin-lane, with a capital of £1,500 in £1 shares. The object is duly indicated by the title. There shall not be less than seven nor more than 15 directors. Qualifications, one share. Remuneration as the company may decide. Registered office, Alexander-street, Burton Latimer, Northants

It was first managed by Thomas and Elizabeth Tapsell. At the time of the 1911 census its manager was Joseph White and his wife Frances Sophia White, who had moved from a shop in Alexandra Street. By 1918 it was known as the Palace Café and was run by Charles and Mary Gossage who hade moved from the dairy business opposite. It became Barclays Bank in the 1920s. From about 1959 to 1975 the premises were shared with the Post Office run by Alice and Jack Dacre. They lived in the rear and the flat on the 1st floor, number 92. Jack died in 1962, Alice continued to run the post office until 1975 when she retired age 78. The Post Office then transferred to the newsagent business at 10 Churchill Way in 1975. The whole building then returned to Barclays and remains so in 2007. (Note: the branch closed on 1 Dec 2017)

98 High Street (Shop 52)

This shop was built in 1903 and the first known owner was George Sturman, his business was grocer greengrocer fruitier and florist, until about 1924. The next occupier was George Farrow who, in 1920, had married Gertie Baxendale, whose father had been a market gardener and florist in Church Street for some years. George and Gertie Farrow, trading as confectioners, florists and fruiterers, were there for about ten years until the next owners Emily and Thomas Caborn who were listed there in 1931as fruiterers.

The next owner was Harry Yeomans who moved from 1, Kettering Road with his wife Sarah and son Eddie who, with his wife Louie, helped run the shop. Their business was fruit and vegetables, grocery and confectionery. Harry retired about 1960 and Eddie continued the business until 1980, when he retired.  John Murphy then purchased the shop; he refitted it and opened as an estate agent. By 1983 the shop had passed to Derek Smith who continued to operate as an estate agent until about 1985 when Latimer Insurance Services moved in.  They also acted as agents for the Nationwide Building Society who, in the early 1990s, moved in themselves and refurbished the premises and stayed there until 1999. It then again became an estate agents run by Pattison Lane and remained so until 2009, when the Nonno Pino Restaurant which had operated in the former Palace Cinema building transferred part of its operation to this building, which enjoys a High Street frontage.

100 High Street (Shop 53)

This shop was built in 1903 as a lock-up shop, the first recorded occupier being Albert Norman Gadsby, a chemists. In August 1907 there was a fire which caused severe damage to the shop and stock. It is not known whether he continued his business after repairs as by about 1910 Fox and Perkins owned the shop. Thomas E. Fox was a member of the family with links to other businesses connected with the boot and shoe and leather trade in Burton Latimer and William Henry Perkins, the other partner, was a former professional footballer - read about his sporting career here. Their business was bespoke boot making and selling and repairing boots and shoes

By about 1917 it was taken over by George Sturman as a drapery shop, he already had the grocery shop next door number 98, until about 1923 when he moved to 5 Duke Street. Then John H Bull occupied the shop. It was again a boot and shoe shop sales and repairs, until the middle of the 1930s. Then the Sturman family occupied the shop again with Florence and May Sturman selling ladies clothes and cloth material, which was purchased from Ideal Clothiers and the shop became known as The Ideal Shop, with subsequent owners keeping the name. By 1949 Betty Coley had taken over, but only selling ladies clothes. It is not known quite how long she had the shop, but by 1960 it was owned by Mary Tuck (née Wright) still as a ladies clothes shop. About 1980 the property was purchased by the Burton Latimer Co-operative Society and joined to their chemists shop next door (102 High Street) to make one large shop, and remains so in 2007 - now owned by Lloyds' chemists.

102 High Street (Shop 54 )

Henry Chapman's grocery store, early 1900s. Bennett's chemist shop 1950s
Nos: 98, 100 and 102 High Street in the early 1900s.
No.100, Henry Chapman's grocery and hardware
shop, is nearest the camera.
100 High Street in the 1950s when owned by C.A. Bennett, the first in a series of chemists to occupy it.

This shop was built in 1903 and its first owner was Henry Chapman, it was a grocery and general store and he traded there until 1920. The next proprietor was Lewis Stebbings who came from Wellingborough and ran it as a provision merchant and wine business until 1930.

Then in 1930 there was a change of trade when the shop was occupied by C A Bennett and became a dispensing chemist and wine merchant. The shop was known as Bennett’s until about 1961 when it was purchased by the Burton Latimer Co-operative Society. It continued as a pharmacy managed by Bob Walker. In about 1980 it was combined with next door 100 High Street to make one large pharmacy store. Towards the end of the 1980s the business was sold to Green's Pharmacists, and subsequently became Lloyds’ Pharmacists. It traded as such until May 2012, when the business relocated to the extended Burton Latimer Medical Centre in Higham Road. The premises remain empty to date (December 2012).

111 High Street (Shop 55)

Barlow's No: 2 Store Meads Dairy
Barlow's No: 2 Store
circa 1900
The same premises when in the ownership of the
Meads family and trading as Meads Dairy

This shop was 19th century addition to an 18th century farmhouse and is a Grade II listed building. The first recorded owner of the shop was William Sharpe, described as grocer in 1854, whose daughter married Charles Barlow in 1877. William died in 1880 and his widow Anne continued to run the shop until it was bought by Charles Barlow and called “Barlow’s No: 2 Store”. Cows were kept at the rear and the shop was managed by his farm bailiff’s wife Harriett Hollingsworth who sold groceries and dairy produce. In about 1902, the tenancy was taken over by Charles Gossage who traded as “The Burton Dairy” until 1915 when the tenancy was taken over by William Meads who bought the premises from Charles Barlow five years later.

William started a retail milk round and ran the shop as a dairy with his wife Anne until 1935 when his son Walter and his wife Phyllis took over. This continued as “Meads Dairy”. In 1970, Walter died and the milk rounds were then run by his son John and the shop by his widow Phyllis and later by his daughter Cynthia. By this time, in addition to traditional dairy goods, the shop was selling a much wider range of foodstuffs including bread, cakes and confectionary, cooked meats, soft drinks and general provisions. The business closed in 1995 and the premises became a private residence. On the death of Phyllis Meads, the property was subsequently sold. It is currently the showroom, offices and stores of Griffiths Air Conditioning.

117 High Street (Shop 56)

Post Office in the 1920s
This 1920s photograph shows the Post Office on the left
and the adjoining greengrocer J Eady
In 1903, Charles Barlow, who owned 111 High Street, sold a plot of land, part of his property next door, to Thomas Nichols Charles who, the same year, erected the house and shop, which was to become the post office for the next fifty years.  Thomas’s wife Winifred Amelia was the sub-postmistress and ran the shop. As well as the post office, it was a newsagents, stationers and lending library. Thomas Charles had moved down the street from 101 where he was listed on the 1901 census as newsagent and stationer and his wife as sub-postmistress. Jack Dacre, whose occupation at that time was given as bootmaker, married Alice Bird in March 1920 and in April the “Kettering Leader” announced that Mrs. Dacre had been appointed post-mistress. Winifred Amelia Charles owned the shop for the whole time that Jack and Alice Dacre ran the Post Office. Jack and Alice remained there until 1959 when the post office was moved to share the Barclays Bank building 94 High Street, and they moved and lived in the flat on the first floor (92 High Street).

The shop was then purchased by the Smith family from Winifred Charles in 1959, they already had the newsagents shop at 42 High Street, they continued to run it as a newsagent and stationers, a branch of Smith's Paper Shop. After the purchase Jack Smith senior and son Ray ran this shop. Then in about the middle of the 1960s Bill and Jean Condliffe moved there to run it (Jean was Jack’s daughter). Jack senior, who had retired, lived in Meeting Lane but sometimes still helped in the business, Jack junior, who lived at the other shop 42 High Street, and Bill Condliffe both died in 1973. The businesses at 42 and 117 High Street were sold in April 1974 (they also previously had a shop in the nearby village of Isham but that had been sold earlier.)  June and Jean then retired. This shop along with 42 High Street was also sold to Eddie Bird and continued as a newsagent, also trading as Burton Newsagents. The shop was purchased by David Trent in 1979, trading as “Trent Photographic” and including a photography studio. In 1981, he added a video tape library and also carried out video recording at weddings and similar events. He moved in 2000 and sold the shop to Peter Turvey who traded as “Grandad’s Toys” selling building materials in the shop and by mail order for the model making and dolls' house market. It still remains in the same ownership but the shop has been closed as a retail outlet.

119 High Street ( Shop 57)

Len Sharman's butcher's shop 1960s
William and Violet Downing standing outside 119 High
Street in the 1940s
119 High Street when a butcher's shop owned by Les Sharman
121 High Street can be seen next door before its
conversion to retail premises.

This shop stands on the site of a shop destroyed by fire which was previously occupied by the Co-operative Society. A Northampton Mercury article in April 1888 states:
CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY - A general meeting of the members was held on Friday, April 20, in the National Schoolroom, (kindly lent). Mr. S. Mason was voted to the chair. Besides other business, the meeting unanimously elected Mr. Alfred Tailby, as storekeeper and salesman. The society have secured commodious premises near the Duke's Arms, and are expected to commence business in about a fortnight.

An advertisement in the Northampton Mercury regarding the sale of the Duke's Arms in September 1890 contains this: Also two Stone-built and Thatched COTTAGES, with shop, adjoining the above (the Duke's Arms) and now in the occupation of the Co-operative Scociety, at an annual rent of £19.

After this, the first known owner of this shop was John E Loak, his business was grocer, fruiterer and greengrocer. He had the shop until about 1917. From 1918 the shop was taken over by J Eady continuing in the same type of business, and by 1926 he had changed to a greengrocer and fried fish and chip shop, by the end of the 1930s he was assisted by a Mrs. Keech. In about 1938 it became W A [Bill] Downing’s fish and chip shop until 1953.

There was then a change of trade to butchery when the shop was taken over by Les Sharman who was there until 1963 when he moved to 3 Duke Street.

In a 1989 advertisement,
Burton Insurance Services, 119 High Street, stated that they had been trading five years - whether at this address or not is not clear (see number 121 below)

121 High Street (Shop 58)

During most of this time, number 121 was not a shop but was a small cottage between 119 High Street and the Dukes Arms public house. A Miss Vickerstaff owned both the shops and the flat above the shops from about 1960. Sometime during this period number 121 was converted into a shop and was a wool shop run by her.

Max Green leased both of the shops and the flat from her in about 1967. Number 121 he continued as a wool shop. Number 119 was unoccupied and he opened it as a shoes and accessories shop. It is not known whether 119 had been empty since Les Sharman moved or was occupied by someone else. Max ran these shops until 1979. Max Green sold the businesses to George Benford in 1979 but he only ran them for a short period. From 1985 to 1988 it was run by Irene Drage and Susan Bailey as the first “Countdown" shop, selling clothes, gifts and household items.

There have been a considerable number of owners and different trades for both shops, sometimes separated and sometimes both shops with the same trader.  These include, an electrical shop run Adrian Byland, fishing tackle sales, Jonathan Brown estate agents which included an agency of the Market Harborough Building Society, a computer shop, a second hand goods shop, a health and tanning and nail-care studio. The current owners trade as The Courtyard Cafe. They succeeded Cookies, a bread and confectionery shop with a small café who in turn followed Munch early in 2007.

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