Category Archives: Spotter’s Guides

Spotting Historic Shopfronts: Hitchin

Initial impressions suggest that Hitchin in Hertfordshire is rich in historic shopfronts. Closer inspection, however, reveals much renewal at street level, whilst more authentic evidence of Hitchin’s commercial past survives above its shops (for example, look up to spot Freeman … Continue reading

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Spotting Historic Shopfronts: Saffron Walden

Not surprisingly, the Essex market town of Saffron Walden is rich in historic shopfronts. Here is a motley selection to enjoy! No. 1 Myddleton Place An unrestored example of a late medieval shop can be seen on the corner of … Continue reading

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Spotting Historic Shopfronts: Great Yarmouth

Baird’s / Dunn’s, 10a-11 Regent Street The Irishman James Baird (1839-1917) set up as a boot and shoe dealer in Great Yarmouth in 1862. He specialised in footwear with waterproof soles made of ‘gutta percha’ (gum harvested from tropical trees), … Continue reading

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Spotting Historic Shopfronts: Baldock

A plum spot on the Great North Road meant that the small market town of Baldock in Hertfordshire became an ideal staging post for people journeying north from London. From the 17th century onwards it was chock-a-block with coaching inns, … Continue reading

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Spotting Historic Shopfronts: Cambridge

21 Market Street Cambridge is rich in historic shopfronts. Here are a few interesting examples to look out for on shopping trips in town! Two Art Nouveau Shopfronts from the 1920s Surprisingly, the elegant art nouveau shopfront at 21 Market … Continue reading

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A Spotter’s Guide to Traditional Chemists’ Shops

The Mortar and Pestle The mortar and pestle has been used by apothecaries, chemists and druggists for centuries to grind medicinal powders. It remains one of the chemist’s favourite symbols, depicted on shop signs to proclaim the nature of the … Continue reading

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A Spotter’s Guide to the High Street: Jewellers’ Clocks & Time Balls

Just as pawnbrokers signal their presence with three suspended balls, and barbers have their red and white striped poles, so jewellers, clockmakers and watchmakers have traditionally attracted attention with elaborate projecting clocks, turret clocks or time balls. Examples can be … Continue reading

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