No. 12 High Street

The remaining structure of No. 12 High Street was demolished in 2020 due to its dilapidated state which was considered beyond repair following years of neglect and vandalism. The previous building was thought to have dated to the late 18th century.

Available records show that the shop at No 12 was a tailors/clothes shop from at least 1850 until its last occupants left in the late 1990s.

A trade directory from 1850 reveals that at this time the shop was occupied by John Cave, a linen draper, milliner and silk mercer. By the time of the 1861 census we can see John Cave lived at No 12 along with his wife Elizabeth, a daughter, 2 sons, 1 apprentice, 4 nieces and a servant. By 1869, the shop had been taken over by Henry James Barnes, also a silk mercer, followed shortly after by John Perry Rawlinson who remained at No 12 until at least 1896. A photograph reproduced here with kind permission from the Wisbech and Fenland Museum shows the name of Rawlinsons painted on the side of No 12.

In 1900 Alfred May occupied No 12 who later moved to the newly built shop at 9-10 in 1911. The shop may only have been let out by the Rawlinson famiy as we see H. Rawlinson return to no 12 in 1911

By 1916 the shop had become a tailors, hosiers and glovers under the occupation of Frederick William Oldham and Son.

Trade directories from the early 1930s shows that by this time Foster Bros. had moved into the shop and they were the last retailers to occupy the building before it became vacant in the late 1990s. In 1951, an application was submitted on behalf of Fosters to “take out existing columns, insert RSJs and replace the shopfront”. Later photographs from the 1990s show how this looked when installed.


No. 12 High Street

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