No. 26-27 High Street

The current buildings at No 25 and 26-27 High Street are relatively modern, possibly thought to have been constructed around the early 1950s. Photographs from the 1960s show the current buildings were already constructed and occupied by this time. However historic photographs and records reveal more about the buildings which occupied the High Street here before.

No. 26

Leachs Printers, Booksellers and Stationers can be traced back to No. 26 High Street from trade directories as early as 1823-4. right up until at least 1896. Run for many years by Margaret Leach, the business also acted as an agent to or the building was shared with the Wisbech Humane Society (of which John Leach was a treasurer and secretary) and the Christian Knowledge Society Depot in 1883.

A photograph dated 1879 shows the building at the time it was operated by Leach and Son with a set of steps leading up to a central doorway with decorative window above and bow windows on either side. An undated photograph (possibly mid 20th century) provided by Roger Rawson shows Leach & Sons Printers and Bookshop on Nene Quay.

In the 1911 Wisbech Directory the International Tea Co are registered as occupying No 26 High Street and a photograph believed to be from Wisbech (undated) shows staff gathered in front of the shop at around that time. Although with a slight change of name, The International Tea Company Stores Ltd is still there in 1925.

No. 27

From 1830 until at least 1865, Theophilus Smith had a jewellers, silversmiths and watchmakers shop at No 27 until James Creak, boot and shoe maker took over in 1869 and by the time of the 1871 census, John Clark, also a shoe maker, and his wife and daughter were at the property.

William Henry Coulam, a grocer was running a shop here between around 1896 and 1900 and by 1904, Richard Bennett, stationer is occupying the shop until at least the time of the 1916 Trade Directory.

No. 26-27

Trade directories from the early 1930s indicate the International Tea Company Stores were trading from 26-27 by this time and their planning application submitted in 1967 shows they expanded into No 25 also at this time. By 1989 26-27 was occupied by McKays clothing stores who remained there until at least 2001.

Today the store is a small supermarket.


No. 26-27 High Street

Comments about this page

  • These printers produced the posters and bills of the day for the Georgian theatre. Some of their print products are in the Wisbech & Fenland museum. They were also newspaper printers.

    By Garry Monger (28/01/2021)
  • PRINTING OFFICE, CIRCULATING LIBRARY, AND PATENT MEDICINE WAREHOUSE, HIGH STREET, WISBECH. HENRY LEACH, BOOKSELLER AND STATIONER, TAKES the present opportunity of expressing his grateful acknowledgments to his numerous Friends In the Town and Vicinity of Wisbech, for their distinguished patronage during the partnership subsisting between his late Friend Mr. White and Himself, and respectfully assures them that his utmost exertions will be used to merit a continuance oftheir favors. Books bound in a neat and elegant style. 11th August, 1823.

    By Garry Monger (28/01/2021)
  • Theo Smith was an agent for ‘The World Hail Storm Insurance Company, London.
    The premium was 5d per acre.

    By G Monger (04/10/2019)
  • It appears that sometime prior to 1823 Mr Leach was in partnership with a Mr.White.

    By G Monger (25/09/2019)

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