Kings Road | Hazells’ Histories
With the opening of the new Borough cemetery, 1855, at the end of Field Lane it was decided to re-name the lane, Cemetery Road. This was changed again in 1911 to Kings Road in honour of the coronation of George V. Kings Road has had a very eventful history and is now bisected by the inner relief road Parkway, which opened in 1978. Once there was a windmill and four public houses including the short lived ‘Soldiers Home’ plying their trade, the mill and pubs now gone. The Wheatsheaf beer house stood on the corner with Chalk Road only received its full licence in 1961, closing twenty years later to become a hair salon with the very apt name The Mane Attraction, now called The Yellow House. From the 19thC The Butchers Arms PH was once a great favourite with Bobys workers due to its close proximity to their factory entrance; The Butchers closed in 1991. The Cricketers pub which suffered demolition to allow Parkway to be built was popular with locals especially when Bury Town FC were at home. The club one of the oldest none league sides in the country from 1874, was formed as The Bury St Edmunds Football Club at the Suffolk Hotel. They played their matches at the then named Cricket Field later known simply as The Kings Road Ground. The record ground attendance was when they played Cambridge Town in the Eastern Counties League in 1949 in front of 4,343 people! Perhaps their most successful side was in the early 1960s when they regularly attracted large crowds with Frewers bakers shop at the entrance to the ground doing a roaring trade in filled rolls for the fans. The last game played at Kings Road was on April 30th 1976 against a West Ham XI in front of 1,750 people, the score a creditable 2-2. The club subsequently re-located to Ram Meadow.
During the latter half of the 19thC grocer Thomas Ridley lived at Linden House, Cemetery Road; in 1911 it was re-numbered 147, Kings Road. Thomas was twice mayor of Bury in 1878 and 1882 and was very much involved with the local Baptist Church. His house was to become the offices of Anglian Water during the 20thC. Adjacent are cottages, Salem Place, a name forever to be linked to witches; curiously Salem is a shortened version of Jerusalem! On the corner with Mill Road was where Saunders Fruit & Veg shop used to be, later becoming Gladys Lockwood’s wool shop, her husband Ron was a local builder who had a yard to the rear. Opposite Victoria Street Hanchets once had their premises, the site is now awaiting development. Previously they had been further down Kings Road in a stone fronted house, one of only two in the town. Arthur Hanchet & Co had taken over the old Bury firm of De Carle Stonemasons around 1883. Hanchets were very busy around the turn of the 20thC putting up two Protestant memorials in the Great Churchyard and Whiting Street as well as re-cutting the five abbots graves stone coffin lids in the Chapter House in the abbey gardens in 1903 cost, one old penny per letter! Another shop that was re-located was that of L P Miller & Son suppliers of carpets, rugs, vinyls and linos, they were known as the ‘Lino Kings’. Their premises were demolished to make way for Parkway. Opposite Prospect Row, son, Peter Miller, re-opened in new purpose built premises on the site of a former school run by the National Society. Founded in 1811 for the purpose of educating the poor, the school was here for a short while during the early part of the 19thC, Thomas Reach of Southgate Street was among its first headmasters before the school moved to Risbygate Street. When Peter retired his shop became a saddlery and pet store then later a complete change of use becoming the Co-operative Funeral Care. Opposite in what was the Bury Free Press car park, John William Clarke had a photography studio in the late 19thC, he was the first commercial photographer in Bury St Edmunds. The BFP was started in 1817 by Thomas Lucia who acquired this site in 1874. On his death local solicitor Henry Bankes Ashton ran the paper for Lucia’s trustees from the corner Abbeygate/Guildhall Street till Henry persuaded press magnate Richard Winfrey to buy the BFP. He went on to expand it with his son Pat, eventually selling out to EMAP, East Anglian Midland Press who in turn was acquired by Johnston Press. In April 1980 an arsonist set fire to the BFP building and many important archives were lost; the fire was one of several in the town that year. Over the years as technology increased so the staff decreased. Many locals though still fondly refer to the BFP as the ‘Bury Bummer’, from an era when it was cut into small squares for another purpose!
The text on this page is taken from pages 41 to 43 of the book written by Martyn Taylor, published by Amberly Publishing 2016.
If you wish to continue the journey through the streets A to Z of Bury St Edmunds, or indeed read more about the history of Bury St Edmunds, you can purchase Martyn’s book from St Edmundsbury Cathedral shop, Waterstones and Moyses Hall.
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