Hazells’ Histories: BRENTGOVEL STREET
This name supposedly means burnt ground, the street running from Risbygate Street until it meets Looms Lane. Many changes have taken place here over the years from when it was a major through road for the town; the Eastern Counties Omnibus Station was situated slap bang in the middle. This is gone, a Macdonalds now on the site. Opposite here was the wonderful Art Deco cinema of Oscar Deutsch which opened in 1937. As a 1300 seater it was the first to be purposely designed for sound films but also had provision for an orchestra and a stage; many a child can remember attending ‘Saturday morning pictures’. It was renamed the Focus in 1975 but attendances dwindled, maybe a re-furbishment might have helped but the final curtain fell in 1982. Demolition followed along with the auctioneer premises of Chevell Lawrence, the barber shop of Ethelbert Taylor and The White Lion PH on the corner with Short Brackland. This dated from the middle of the 18thC and was a carriers Inn at one time, their heavy wagons laden down with all sorts of merchandise. ‘Ladies of the night’ were also reputed to have plied their trade at one time in the darkened corners of the Lion yard. Throughout the 20thC many market stallholders kept their stalls under cover here. In place of these buildings is an extremely dubious shopping mall, Cornhill Walk, an eclectic mix of shops would give you a wonderful shopping experience so we were led to believe. Well, not so, as at September 2015 this retail centre which suffered badly by the opening of the Arc complex was in receivership awaiting an uncertain future.
The text on this page is taken from pages 80 and 81 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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