No. 23 High Street

No. 23 High Street is a four storey Grade II listed building. The listed building description suggests it dates to the early 18th century but re-fronted in the 19th century.

The earliest record of an occupant comes from the 1830 trade directory where Alfred Heald, watch and clock maker, silversmith and jeweller had a shop at No. 23. There is also records that indicate Alfred Heald was and agent for the Suffolk Amicable Fire Office. In 1861 Alfred lived at No.23 along with his wife Sarah, six children and an apprentice. By 1896 John Heald has taken over the business and he continued to operate from here until at least 1916. The Heald family may be one of the longest residing names on the High Street! A photograph from collections at Wisbech and Fenland Museum shows Healds shop (see right in photo) with its 19th century shop front.

By the 1930s John Kay Ltd, a grocers had taken over the shop and a trade directory for 10 years later shows they were still there.

An advert in the Wisbech Standard dating to 1956 reveal John Tyler & Sons Ltd of Leicester opened its new store at 23 High Street in March that year. It advertised that the new timber-panelled footwear shop was to be managed by Mr Roland Riley.

Photographs from the 1960s show the shop had become Continental Shoe Repairs by this time. Staff at the time believed a ghost was haunting the upper floors of the shop.. learn more about it here.

A planning application by Hawkins Estate Agents was submitted in 1973 to alter the shop use and frontage. Architects drawing of the new shop front were found within Fenland District Councils planning departments archives.

By 1989 Alliance and Leicester had moved into No 23 (as well as occupying No 22). By 2001 the shop had become Galibeo, recently it was a computer repair shop and today it is a bakery.

No. 23 High Street

Comments about this page

  • My 3x Grt Grandmothers’ Sister Sarah ( nee Clark) was married to Alfred Heald (.My 3x Grt Grandfather William Day married Mary Clark ) who was aGrt Grandfather to William Malcolm Day ,who eventually married Olive Trolley( No 22 High Street .1881 census.

    By Anna Mansawi (nee Vincent) (17/06/2017)

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