We Love Bury St Edmunds!

Shops of Then | Missing Shops

Over the last few years of We Love Bury St Edmunds Facebook Group, there has often been posts which remind us of the shops in town we used to have. Being the “Hive Mind” of so many people connected to the town, we all have memories that cross over with our fellow citizens.

I have compiled a few of the posts about these old stores. Can you remember any of them? Have we missed some? Please feel free to comment and add the ones we have omitted.


You can also see many of the old shops at our Jewels Gallery on this link


Missing Shops | Abbeygate Street

On the subject of missing shops, a few spring to mind!

Was it Boosey the stationer in Abbeygate Street Bury St Edmunds? And Harpers Music shop further along. I worked for Hubbards (which took over Harpers shop) My dad worked for RAP/Gibbards/Sidney Atkinson/Save and View/Coxheads/Loyds from about 1963! There was also a wool shop, a butcher, and a tobacconist there too!

Chris Skelhorn

Ridleys | Abbeygate Street

I have a vague recollection of a violin/instrument workshop above Ridleys on Abbeygate Street in the late 70s.

I used to see them working through the window when I was walking to Angel Hill after school. My imagination?

Amanda Bennett Stout

Selfs Cafe | Hollow Road

Can anyone remember the Cafe at what is now the exit to the sugar beet factory, for lorries, on opposite side of the road at Marlows entrance?

When l used to stop there after delivering beet in the 60s was the best greasy spoon ever ! Think the name was Selfs cafe or something like that, any photos would be great!

Richard Spittle

Hatter Street 1970

So many good shops! Maybe someone can remember at the top of Hatter Street where the lounge cafe is, many, many years ago there used to be a clothes shop. It was around 1970. It was very trendy, a bit Carnaby street type.

I remember getting really high platform shoes from there and a blue maxi coat. If I remember correctly it didn’t just sell clothes it was a bit like a bazaar. It was a great shop.

Annabels togs has been mentioned before another good shop gone.

Also near the top of St John street there was a shop that sold wooden carvings and all sorts of Asian and African type things.

Dot Horsman

Finches Bakery

I remember waiting for them to deliver freshly baked hot cross buns to our neighbourhood the sugar-beet corporation houses. I also remember the rag and bone man coming with his horse and cart and The coal Lorry!!

Linda Sjoborg

Is anyone old enough to remember the ice cream parlour?

My Mum worked there, must have been the forties/fifties? She says it was near the corner of Guildhall Street… she’s 90 now and would love to see a pic of it as it was but don’t suppose there are any around?

Sandy Jackson

Does anybody remember Townsends baby and toddler shop? Which used to be at the corner of Moyse’s hall.

It was where I had my first Saturday job. The lady I worked with was Mrs. Collis (collie) in 1965

Frank Diana Pulfer

Roy Tilbrook & Stephen Moodys Lists


Abbeygate St:  Bakers Oven,Lavells newsagent, Olivers Shoes, Hiltons Shoes, TSB Bank, Peter Dominic Wines, a HI- Fi shop ?, Strides, Barnarby Rudge, Jean Station, Prudential, Stead & Simpson 2nd store, Rumbelows, Escom computers, Savoury & Moore chemist, Abbey National, Britannia building society, A T Mays travel,  Hardy & Co, Harris Carpets

Barclays bank was Home, Topshop, Liptons and the Maypole supermarket

Betfred was the Job Centre

Bon Marche was Eastern Electric show room

Boots was Hunter and Olivers

Boots started in Bury somewhere down St John’s Street

Boots opticians was Donald and Aitchison opticians

Buttermarket:  Wimpy, Burger King, Linens Direct, Currys, Dixons, International again, Co op food, Saxone, Barratts, Sketchley, WHSmith, Colorama, Snappy Snaps, CRS department store, Smiths cleaners, Walker & Hall, Freeman Hardy Willis, Hush Puppies, Priceless, Granada TV rentals, Hogg Robinson Travel, Millets camping, Radio Rentals, Bowhill Elloitt, Anglia Building Society, Belfast Linen, Monsoon, Debenhams, Lewis Meeson, Lunn Poly Travel, Dewhurst,  Percy Waites, Baxters Butchers, Woolwich, Stage 1, Jewellers Guild, Four Corners (British Airways)

Carphone warehouse was another Lawson shop Further back there was a chain library there, where you paid a yearly subscription to borrow books

Cornhill:  Eastern Electricity, MVC, Sainsburys

Cornhill Walk:  Richard Shops, Select, etam, Tammy Girl, Miss Attitude, Index, Joshua Taylor department store, Clintons, New Look, Evans, Principles, Athena, Peoples Phone, Laura Ashley Units, Vodafone.


Edmondos was the Officers Club, Hamells, Shoetown and the Griffin Hotel

Fish and chip shop in Brentgovel Street (Hawkins)

Fosters and Greenwood menswear is all we can remember on the corner of Brentgrovel Street

Greggs on Brentgovel Street was Tooks (we think)

Holland & Barrett was Beaumonts health food (Brentgovel Street)

I Candy and H Samuel were 2 shops Scotch Wool Shop and Home & Colonional . They sold items from the British Empire along with meat, grain, flour. There was also sawdust on the floor

Iceland was St Edmunds Fayre, JS Sainsbury and a fur shop



Lorfords Tobacconist was Jennifer Florist

Mountain warehouse was Stead & Simpson

Natwest was a herbalist (which later moved to where Butterworths in the Travase is)

Part of Next and further back was a fish shop called Harveys. It had a marble slab all the way round facing the road

Oxfam was Hawkins Bazarre, Clarkes shoeshop and further back was Annettes dress shop

Pound for everything was Millhouse fabrics

Poundland and Sports Direct was Woolworths and Henshalls Ironmongers



Superdrug was Halfords , Castle Pub and also Smiths furniture store.

St Edmunds Fayre: Burton, John Menzies, Martin, Stead & Simpson, Liptons, TopShop / TopMan, Turners Shoes, ShoeFayre, Woolworths, Clarks, Peter Lord shoes, Hamells, Roy England shoes, Officers Club, Mothercare, Fosters, Outdoor Venture, Tooks, Next, Hepworths, Kendalls, Croydons jewellers, Dorothy Perkins, International supermarket, Halfords, Medicare

Thorntons was Dorothy Perkins before it moved to Burtons, It was also an International store supermarket

Three was Shoefayre



WH Smiths was John Menzies and Boots

The Works was Burtons and Dorothy Perkins, it also had a snooker hall above it,




Facebook Comments

Marlene Wales Yeah, I remember them very well, such a shame we don’t still have them. Our town was really good then. Thanks for sharing lovely memories. 

Lee Frost Pickwick news which was later Richards news in St. John’s street

Carole Roesler Aww miss the old Bury

Michael Brown Not so long ago but I have to admit although bury gained some ‘ names ‘ when the arc was built but I do miss the old auction which was where the car park now is

Michael Arbon There was a sweet shop at the top of Abbeygate Street. On the right-hand side going down. I think it was on the corner with Hatter Street. The owners were the Weston family. Can’t remember the shop name. The shop was originally owned by a famous lady pianist from Bury – whose name I can’t remember either!

Michael Arbon The lady was Kathleen Long – and perhaps the name of the shop was Long’s?? Still can’t remember!

Roger Skillings was Longs I think, I remember tins of Sharpe’s toffees, Christmas.

Vivien Dockerty My grandfather, A.C O’Neill owned Longs in the late 40s or 50s. I can’t be sure now of the dates but I was a young child at the time. There was a flat over the top that Mrs Pansy Grove lived in, she worked for my grandfather at his wholesale warehouse  at 4a St Mary’s Square (an ex chapel and now a residence). His house was next door. He also owned Deli Cream ice cream parlour up the corner by Cullen’s in the Buttermarket, the ice cream was made in his little factory behind the warehouse. He owned Stockbridges shop at 74 Whiting Street which became my home for nearly 20 years when my parents bought it from him and renamed it GH&D Tilley.

Minetta Webber Tooks was also in abbeygate street as well where Greggs is and also where the other Greggs is on the


Michael Brown Minetta Webber that’s a name from the past! I lived in a village in Herts and in the 60s there was a tooks mobile delivery , remember a cake known as the jap cake, can’t imagine it would be the same company though 🤔

Barbara Willingham Pawseys was the stationary shop next to the old TSB and Dunn’s restaurant on corner…if memory serves me right…

Janet Miller Barbara Willingham loved Dunn’s jam doughnuts always still warm

Roger Skillings Grooms, Pawsey’s was Hatter Street.

Barbara Willingham Pawseys printed the almanacs for BSE, yes you are right Groom’s.

Barbara Willingham Roger Skillings hello from my husband Howard…

Roger Skillings Barbara Willingham hello to you and Howard, first memories of Howard was when our Parents would have been having a drink in the Fox, Eastgate Street. We would have been having a vimto and packet of crisps in the Yard. Howard was a good footballer as I remember.

Barbara Willingham Roger Skillings Howard Willingham said Sunday nights at The Fox…he also remember you at Mrs. Elliott’s… yes he went on to play for the British Police…good to hear from you.

Roger Skillings Barbara Willingham that’s it, I wondered afterwards if it also might have been one of the other Pubs, maybe Suffolk Hunt, May Cobbold was Landlady at the Fox at the time. Can’t remember Mrs Elliott’s, wasn’t that a dancing class?, must have made Howard light on his feet for dancing round those big old football boots.

Barbara Willingham Yes May Cobbold was Howard’s god mother…Mrs Elliott was a dancing school on The Angel Hill…thought everybody went there…I don’t know about light on his feet…but he could certainly run fast..left wing or center forward…

Lesley Norburn Was Mrs Elliot also known as “Auntie Vi” to her younger students? I have a feeling I went to her old time dance classes

Barbara Willingham Also down on the right hand bottom next to Leeson’s Chemist shop was tobacconist and a China shop also T.H. Nice’s garage with petrol pump, Cramphorns pet shop…Barwell’s butchers…good old days with a grand choice of individually owned shops…

Denise Ardle Ridleys clothes shop is that still there my Mum used to go and buy her clothes there?

Barbara Willingham Denise Ardle not there now…also Fields…

Richard Allen Who remembers Rumblelows in Risbygate St

Michael Arbon Rogers toys on St Johns street and Pledgers shoeshop. What was the name of the butchers near the bottom of Abeygate street?

Barbara Willingham Michael Arbon Barwells

Jillian Pamela Crouch Henley’s pram shop on the right hand side opposite Corn Exchange.

Brian Warner Walkers Stores on the left of photo International stores on right Days sports shop , Whipps fishmongers

Roger Skillings I used to be sent there to get 6 pennoth of ‘Cat Fish.’

Janet Miller Quants and Elliots shoe shops

Richard Allen Yes I remember the X-ray shoe size machine in quants .Doubt it would be allowed today

Janet Miller Richard Allen me too

Ann Walter I miss Purdy’s, because all those years ago I could eat cake and not worry about my waistline.

Lee Frost Hopwoods butchers in St. John’s street

Richard Linton Andrews and plumptons

Richard Linton The model and toy shop down st John’s street. Scott’s?

Richard Allen ROGERS

Richard Linton Yes, rogers

Richard Allen That’s where I bought my Airfix kits. lol

Richard Linton I’m sure they had a market stall for a while

Richard Allen Yes they did

Marlene Wales Richard Linton, yeah they had a market stall every Saturday. 

Mark Honeyball Percy Waites where Body Shop is now, at the other end where I think is a phone shop was Cullens, we used to get our school uniforms from there.

Guy Robins My granny would ring Ridleys and put her weekly order in. I think the number was Bury St Edmunds 1. Drive her Wolsey motor car to the side door down Angle lane. Pull up on the cobble stones. The men would come out in their brown wharehouse coats. Put  the order in the back of the car or boot. Drive home. Same order every week. When she died in 1970 she had about 144 salt pots and about 200 pepper pots in the pantry ! Settled the account by cheque. The cobbles are still there but sadly not Ridleys or the men in brown coats ,nor the wolsey.

Emma Louise Brown So did mine he he just the same

Victoria Cooper Glasswells in the centre of town.

Denise Ardle Was it Boggis’s wet fish shop in St John’s Street used to get my sprats from there?

Janet Miller Denise Ardle yes it was

Mary Haydock Not so good for the washing hanging in the yard as the fishy smell came in with it. I lived above Mrs Chaters basket shop in St John St.

Steve Clarke I used to like going in that shop near the queen’s head that had barrels and barrels of cake mix stuff in them! Used to smell amazing!

Minetta Webber Used to like going in there as well

Marlene Wales Yeah, that shop was good because you could buy things by the scoop. I do wish we had all these shops back now.

Minetta Webber Marlene Wales so do I you could buy as little or as much you wanted

Tony Revens Henshalls Hardware and Meccano next to Woolworths. Townsend Toy Shop near Odeon Cinema also Taylor’s Hairdressers. F.G. Pawsey was 25/26 Matter Street

Tony Revens Pawseys was Hatter Street and George Ladies Hairdressers opposite Langton Garage

Richard Allen Marlowe & co Churchgate street. Premises haunted

Rosemary Glasswell Where Greg’s is in abbey gate street used to be Oliver’s grocers when I was little

Audrey Rose Caulfield Bring back happy memories

Richard Allen Jolly’s coffee bar

Richard Allen Audrey Rose Caulfield after all these years lol

Marlene Wales How great the town looks to see all the shops open for business. Really miss the town looking like this. Great shops all gone.

Mary Haydock Sneezums Jewellers near to the old Police station was broken into into while I lived in St John’s. They are still in town and given good service as ever.

The Way We Were

The Shops of Then and Now