THE KLONDYKE, BURY ST EDMUNDS
The Klondyke gold rush of 1896-9 in The Yukon, Canada was a stampede of over 100,000 prospectors after gold had been discovered in Bonanza Creek. A hastily constructed wooden town known today as Dawson City was to provide those few who struck it rich with all their needs. Despite the gold petering out, the last remnants lasting until 1903, there are still occasional forages into the area with modern equipment by miners though tourists are more numerous.
Klondyke in Bury St Edmunds was originally a row of sixteen Victorian terrace houses from 1899, some rendered, some brick, today accessed by vehicle via a partly pot-holed lane from Beeton’s Way or by foot from what was the original access from Northgate Avenue.
Local firm R Boby Ltd had in 1899/1900 acquired 27 acres of land near Northgate Railway station for the building of a foundry since their St Andrews Works foundry was no longer large enough and the cottages were for some of their workers. Greene King purchased them from Charles Mumford in 1923, the former owner and nephew of Robert Boby. There were in 1924 at least sixty employees at work in the Northgate Foundry, Bobys themselves one of the largest employers in the town. Bobys foundry closed in 1966, no trace of it remains other than scraps of scattered slag.
There is also no evidence of the WW2 anti-aircraft gun emplacement that was once here, the large concrete base and metal plate it swivelled on has gone, probably under one of the playing fields of St Benedict and County Upper schools that now sandwich the Klondyke.
Number 16 is the only property in the row with a cellar as it was built for the foundry foreman. A further house no.17 was added to the terrace in 1993.
The text on this page is taken from pages 46 to 48 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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