Documented by Russell Sparke
Some recollections by Donny Farrow of a part of North Walsham of his childhood and what he has since learned as told to me. The area comprises that between upper Bacton Road and upper Mundesley Road, Vicarage Street and North Street. We start at Sainsbury's petrol station, the site of formerly Hannants Garage on an original field extending to lower back street. Then a builders' yard with two storey building (Hicks) later Greengrass. The white house still standing, then cottages to Preference Place inc. Harness Maker (Whitham) in one. Next came H. Grey & Son, general stores, formerly the Rose & Crown Pub and stable yard etc. Also once a bakery. Returning to Sainsbury's and crossing to the east side of Bacton Road there was another small builder's premises later Bower Gant & Vincent who built the flat-roofed structure now Motorcycle Dealers. Thence towards town cottages as far as Mr Chittock's Shoe shop, passage into Dog yard, then Craske fish shop and hairdresser, formerly the Dog Pub. Crossing again to Grey's shop, turning sharply down Back street now non-existent and part of car park (where new toilets are) a property known as the barn (once a blacksmiths shop) the barn being used as storage by a dealer in furniture etc. possibly Hubert Grey's father. Then followed four cottages with yards at rear (privies and water tap) a builders yard (Scott's) which extended to the aforementioned field. Further down, Empson House, still there, with extensive garden to the area bounded by Sainsbury's access from new car park. Finally on this side of Back street at it's confluence with "North Street" then Cock street one imagines, was a butcher's shop (Gunton) with two storey accomodation still there and another butcher's shop (Hewitt) on the corner of Mundesley Road. Across Mundesley road here was Malthouse Plain successively Egg Depot and Howard's Coachworks. Mundesley Road from here to the bottom of Vicarage street is much changed, since Gasworks, Cottages and shop have all gone. Between North street and Vicarage street was ? Lower House (Capt. Greenway) with garden extending behind (now Greenway Close development running roughly parallel with lower Vicarage street.) Returning to North Street entrance on Mundesley Road on the righthand side of the then named Cock street a large house called the Elms, at one time a private school for girls, a grocery shop (Mrs Ellis) then the Cock pub and yard (all still there inc. outbuildings now Cockerell catering then Galleys Yard and a shop on the corner of Vicarage Street. Crossing to the other side of Cock street, Mrs. Kim's shop, then cottages down hill (a narrow road then) I am unsure what came next but fairly convinced one or if not two substantial houses (Mrs Shepheard and family), Gordon Riseborough will clarify this perhaps. We then return to Bacton Road on the right hand side of Back Street comprising dwellings and yards at back (one such occupied by Mr Albert Varden an engineer with Randell's Agricultural business at the Foundry. A shop stood at the apex of Back Street and Vicarage Street (Mrs Richardson then Boldra) A butchers shop (Hunt) walled yard, then old Police Station before the move to Yarmouth Road. Adjoining this Mrs Kim's previously mentioned. Returning to top of Vicarage street on town side Johnny Youngman's stores, Sid Salmon cycle shop these two-storey possibly extending to old Vicarage with garden at rear, Wooden gate with ironwork for lamp still existing in wall to North side of Church. The Vicarage or part of it became Chas Mace's photo studios and presumably residence. There is still a single storey building before Brentnall House on Church Plain. On the plain itself at the back was garaging for the Ambulance, Hewitt Harness Maker, Bier loke to the Church, Mrs Chittock's & Mrs Ellis's shops on the corners to road into Ship Yard, itself demolished to accommodate St Nicholas Precinct. If you are still with me, we finally proceed down the hill of lower Vicarage street, first a bakery and shop(Cutting in our time previously another in recent photo) cottages then including one occupied by Arthur Self ? baker's delivery man to the Congregational Church Hall on the corner of road to Mitre Tavern Yard, across this two other dwellings one still standing wherein my old friend Eddie Cushion was born (Mr Cushion sen. a boiler fitter with Bowyer Gaze, predecessor of Plumbly & Gaze business). Next the Church Rooms, formerly Fishers' Theatre now Wilco. Another or maybe two dwellings still exist to Mundesley Road (once Nelson street at this point) Donny mentions the name Flaxman living here. At last we return to Back street on the North side of Vicarage street now all re-developed except large industrial style building once Frank Mann's Coachworks I imagine including next-door Palmer's Yard but more recently Guyton's furnishings, later Mobility Shop. Palmer's yard then separate property used by the Palmer family among other the distribution of Sunday Parpers In this yard various group photos of returning Servicemen and also Scouts departures to camp were taken. Then terraced cottages up to another shop opposite Mrs. Kim's on Back street. Lower Vicarage street would have had narrow pavements each side with doorsteps to the front door opening directly onto the street!
Donny must take the credit for this and I have tried to set it in some sort of order. I invite comment and correction as I cannot have got all this right!
Russell Sparke Christmas 2017