James William Bane (1869-1936) of Martham

James William Bane, Wine & Sprit Merchant. Traded as William Bane.

This branch of the Bane family was associated with Martham for several generations. James had many ancestors who lived in Martham before him and you may like to read about two of them who were his 3rd great uncle James Bane (1768-1834) and his great grandfather James Bane (1793-1861).  

James William Bane was born towards the end of 1869 in Hales, Norfolk as the first child of James Bane and Amelia, nee Lamb. He had two siblings, namely: Edith and Arthur. In his early years he lived with his parents at Hales and grandparents at Mundham, Norfolk. Perhaps it was a sign of the times to come but his father was a grocer and draper at North Creake in 1871. It was in North Creake that James met Katie Ann Pettit and they were married there on 4th November 1894.

Other members of his family were familiar with Martham and James must have been influenced by his father being a grocer where he probably helped out. Over at Martham the general store that was at what we now know as Norwich House had been a grocers since at least the mid 1850’s and perhaps earlier. Charles Purdy (1817-1880) had owned the shop, followed by William Lack (1819-1898) who took over in 1861. James took over after the death of William Lack and this is a photograph of the house and shop run by James. He traded under the name William Bane – perhaps because there were so many other James’ in the family.

William Bane’s shop at what is now Norwich House

James & Katie had the following children, the first three of which indicate their time at North Creake whilst the fourth arrived after they had moved to Martham where they were also recorded in the 1901 and 1911 census returns.

  1. Margaret Alice Bane was born in 1895 at North Creake. She married Marshal William Alcock in 1924 and they took over the Martham store after her father died.
  2. Doris Kate Bane was born in 1897 at North Creake. She died on 24th November 1918 in Martham aged only 21.
  3. Ella Elizabeth Bane was born on 27th March 1898 at North Creake. She died on 15th July 1985 at Norwich.
  4. Evelyn Ida Bane was born in 1904 at Martham.

This rather lovely photograph shows that William also had a small premises or warehouse at the railway station. The clock face is from St Mary the Virgin and must have been under repair. The reverse of the 1906 card says “William Bane, Central Supply Store, Martham.” William would have been 37 at the time.

Christmas 1928 advertsing

James and Katie continued to run the stores until his death on 7th June 1936. By this time, his daughter Margaret Alice Bane had married Marshal William Alcock in 1924 and they took over the shop. They lived there and traded under the name Central Supply Stores or Central Cash Stores but it became better known as Alcock’s.  Kelly’s Directory of 1937 has an entry that confirms the change of ownership as follows: Alcock M. W. (late Wm. Bane), grocer, provision & tea merchant, draper, clothier, wine & spirit merchant, & agent for Ind-Coope & Co. Central Supply Stores, The Green.”

Katie lived until 1st May 1950 and was buried with her husband at West Somerton Church.

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