No. 28 High Street

The building which currently occupies no.s 28 and 29 High Street is relatively modern, dating to no earlier than the early 1960s. The building which stood on the site previously was a much smaller building compared to those surrounding it, comprising just two storeys with two dormer windows. This building can be clearly identified on a number of historic photographs and postcards dating from the 19th century right up until the early 1960s.

Trade directories and census records reveal that No 28 High Street was a linen and woollen drapers operated by Thomas Harman and later by Sarah Harman from at least 1823/4 until 1851.  By 1865, Robert Blood was registered as occupying the shop in a valuation book, although it was still owned by Sarah Harman.

The 1871 census reveals that Robert Blood, was residing at No.28 along with his wife Ellen, three sons and a servant. Robert Blood (to later become Robert Blood and Sons by 1932-3), a linen and woollen draper continued to trade from No 28 until  at least 1940 making Bloods one of the longest surviving names on the High Street. An undated photograph shows Bloods shop front occupying the ground floor of the earlier building in this location.

Photographs from the 1960s show the shop was empty having been recently occupied by Cyril McClement at that time.

In 1963 a Planning Application was submitted on behalf of Elmo Stores Ltd to demolish the existing building on the site to erect a supermarket at 28-29. An architects drawing of it prior to demolition was found amongst the planning documents. It appears that the supermarket was never actually built as another planning application was submitted in 1965 for “Rebuilding of 28/29 High Street” for Sketchley Dry Cleaners.

Documents held by Fenland District Councils planning and conservation team include those relating to a planning application submitted by Sketchley Dry Cleaners in 1966 to install a new shop front.

Sketchleys left No 28 sometime after 2001 and the shop is currently a hair and beauty salon.

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No. 28 High Street

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