Historical features of Market Place premises

As seen in the April picture of the Reepham Life 2018 Calendar, one of the noticeable features of the Robertson’s butcher’s premises is the stepping on the gable end that faces the Market Place.

A murky picture (above) of crowds celebrating Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 reveals a different roof shape with two chimneys, and an architect’s drawing in the Reepham Archive dates the alterations to the early 1900s.

John Hall had already been running his harness and saddle-making business there since at least 1890. By the mid-1920s his son Bertie was running the saddlery business and John had retired to live in the building next door that is now Mott’s Pharmacy; he was still living there in 1939.

The other photograph (below), possibly from the 1920s, shows the picket fence (or a similar one) that was still there when the building was occupied by L.L. Skipper in the 1980s.

Previously, Robert Barber, a watchmaker and jeweller, had lived in the current pharmacy building for more than 30 years.

Barber was born in Salle and had spent some time in the 1st Royal Dragoons, marrying in Dublin while stationed at the Royal Barracks. His two eldest children were christened at the garrison chapel at Arbour Hill, Dublin.

His next two daughters were christened in Ashted, Warwickshire, presumably while Robert was posted at Great Brook Street Barracks.

By 1871 he was living and working as a watchmaker in Cawston, moving to Reepham Market Place by the time of the 1881 Census.

Missing photo album returned

Reepham Archive is delighted to report that the missing album of historical photographs has been returned to the Bircham Centre and is now safely back in the library.

Janet Archer

  • The Reepham Archive is open to the public on the first Wednesday and Saturday of the month from 10 am – 12 noon (or by appointment), upstairs in the Bircham Centre, Market Place, Reepham. Email: reephamarchive@gmail.com