Author Archives: buildingourpast

Star Supply Stores

Stumbling across the wonderful Star Supply Stores on Lowestoft’s historical High Street – now Raphael Crafts – prompted a bit of research into this retail business. Star was one of many chains of grocers and provision dealers that thrived in English towns during the late … Continue reading

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Charles Morrison’s Diary, June 1864

Wednesday 1st June I had a letter from Robert. Thursday 2nd June The fishing very light. Not much doing. Friday 3rd June Pretty busy today. A light fishing. Saturday 4th June A light fishing. I was very busy today. I … Continue reading

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Remnants of Victorian Stornoway: the Lews (now Lewis) Hotel

It is intriguing to imagine how the Hebridean town of Stornoway would have looked in the 1860s, when Charles Morrison was writing his diary. The Lews Hotel, located close to Macdonald & Morrison’s shop on North Beach Street, was Stornoway’s principal … Continue reading

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Charles Morrison’s Diary, 15 to 31 May 1864

Sunday 15th May In the morning Mr McNeil preached from the 3rd chapter of Acts from the 1st to the 11th verse. In the evening he preached from Ephesians 2nd chapter 5th verse Even when we were dead in sins … Continue reading

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The Story of H. Samuel: ‘Britain’s Largest Jeweller’

The multiple jeweller H. Samuel has been around for at least 140 years, and has always made extravagant claims, from ‘The Empire’s Largest Jeweller’ to ‘Britain’s Largest Jeweller’. This last boast possibly remains true today. Like most jewellers, H. Samuel … Continue reading

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Charles Morrison’s Diary, 1 to 14 May 1864

Sunday 1st May In the morning Mr Paterson preached from the 3rd chapter of 1st John 2nd verse Beloved now are we the Sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be but we know that … Continue reading

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A Spotter’s Guide to Marks & Spencer

Conservative Neo-Classicism Marks & Spencer did not build shops until 1910, coinciding with Woolworth’s arrival on English soil (if, indeed, this was a coincidence – Woolworth was a direct rival!). The new and more familiar generation of M&S ‘super stores’ … Continue reading

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