No. 1 High Street

Despite the modern fascia board, No 1 retains some elements of a late nineteenth century style shopfront, and its brick elevation above with ornate cornicing also retains its original timber sash windows.

Trade directories reveal the building was occupied by a chemist as early as 1860 when Henry Langford ran a chemists from No.1. Kellys Directory lists William Boor, chemist trading from the premises by 1883. Directories show that William Boor continued to trade as a chemist and druggist until at least 1916.

The shop continued as a chemists with Ralph Scrafton taking over from Boor. Records from the 1930s through to 1960s show Scraftons still in business.

Items including bottles and labels are currently on display at the Wisbech and Fenland Museum relating to Boors and Scraftons. Other displays relating to historic shops in the area are well worth a visit.

Planning documents held by Fenland District Council show alterations to the shopfront and signage were made by Scraftons in 1969.

Do you remember who traded from No 1 in the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s? Do you have any memories or photos you’d like to share? Click on the link below:

Share your memories, photographs or stories..

In May 2020 a retired GP from Sheffield kindly got in touch to share some images of a medicine chest which he had inherited from a former practitioner. The chest included some wonderful chemists bottles from the C19th including one with a label on from “W. H. LANGFORD, Dispensing Chemist 1, High St, Wisbech”. How the chest made its way from WIsbech to Sheffield remains a mystery but how wonderful that the little glass bottle has survived for so long!

1 High Street

Comments about this page

  • This appears to be an early advert for the sale of no1.

    TO BE DISPOSED OF, THE BUSINESS of an Old Established DRAPER, GROCER, and TALLOW at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire., decidedly one the best situations the Town, being in the principal Street, opposite the largest Inn, and at the entrance to the Market-place where there is the greatest thoroughfare. A Lease of the Premises will be granted.—Apply. if by letter, post paid, to Mr. W. Squire, the Proprietor.
    Ref. Norfolk Chronicle – Saturday 23 August 1834

    By G Monger (18/07/2022)
  • W. BOOR, Chemist and Druggist, 1, High-st., Wisbech,
    has Vacancy for well-educated Youth as Apprentice.

    Stamford Mercury – Friday 16 August 1878 Page 8.

    This advert pushed Boor’s business back a little further.

    By G Monger (23/09/2020)
  • The original deeds to this premise are now held by Wisbech and Fenland Museum, some of which are hand written on vellum and date back to the 1700s. Reference is made to the ‘Castle Wall’ at the bottom of their back yard on one document. This paperwork was spotted in a cardboard box in Mrs Scrafton’s kitchen. When asked what was happening to them, I was told, “They are going to the ‘tip’…

    By Andy Ketley (10/09/2018)
  • 1984-1988 it was B & J Hotson Estate Agents. We sold the business to Abbey National who traded as Cornerstone. The business was sold by them and continued as an estate agents. It went down the pan in the 1990s.
    In about 1998 or 99 it opened as Fenland Estate Agents Ltd. I was a director (along with Paul Skoulding). I remained a director for several months but resigned and handed it over to the now 3 other directors. Unfortunately the business they ran was not successful and went under in (I think) 2001.

    By Barrie Hotson (15/09/2017)
  • Hi Barrie,
    Many thanks for additional information. Please do continue to share information, photos, memories etc. It helps to build up the story of the history of the High Street.

    By Taleyna Fletcher (19/09/2017)
  • From Ms Trudy McCoo:
    “I remember when this was Scrafton’s Chemist (Mrs Scrafton was my science teacher for a while when I was a pupil at the Queen’s Girls’ School, now the Queen Mary Centre. I recall the shop becoming a fashion boutique called ‘Justin’s’. I think the proprietor was Justin Salter, son of the late Gerald Salter, a local businessman.”
    Kind regards,
    Ms Trudy McCoo

    By Taleyna Fletcher (19/06/2017)

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