Pyman’s Store, White Street

We are very lucky to have some lovely photographs of this store that was situated in White Street. It was a grocers and drapers although looking at the above photograph it seems to have been more of a general store. It flourished at a time when White Street was the poshest place to live in Martham with several of the wealthiest local families living on its doorstep.

James Pyman gave his name to the store but the same premises had been owned by the Linford family as far back as 1842 when Martha Linford, the widow of Moses Linford, was listed as the owner of plots 663, 664 and 667 in the Tithe Award and these covered the same plots that the (Pyman’s) Store stood on. Martha’s son William was recorded as being a grocer in Kelly’s Directory of 1845 and he remained as a grocer and draper at the White Street store until his death in 1882 as shown in every census from 1851 to 1881 inclusive. William’s wife was Marianne (nee Mallett)  and she appears in the 1883 copy of White’s Directory at Martham but had retired by 1891 and lived at Repps Road. So, the shop that became Pyman’s Stores existed long before James Pyman moved from West Norfolk to take it over somewhere around 1886/87. He was listed in the 1888 Register of Electors for Martham.

James and his wife Olivia moved to the village from West Norfolk having married at Snettisham where they had their first daughter in 1886. Having moved to Martham they had four more children the first of which was born here in 1887. James died in 1899 aged only 37 but his wife and daughter Marion continued to run the store. The above photo shows how they had a van and provided home deliveries and in the article shown below Margery Woods describes how she drove the delivery van during the war years.

The store was still trading in the early 1950’s and Terry Turner has this memory of it: “Pymans was a general store. They always had a bran tub at Christmas and I can still remember the excitement of feeling around in the sawdust, trying to find the toy that was hidden in there. Mrs (Marion) Bradfield kept the store when I was a child.”

Marion Pyman married Charles Bradfield in 1922. They had a son called Donald Bradfield who went on to own and run the Mushroom Farm off White Street; founded the Countryside Collection and was the last owner and occupier of Elmside House on White Street.

Looking towards The Green with Pyman’s entrance on the left.
Could this be James Pyman?
Pyman’s advert 1936

The story does not end there. Continue reading by clicking her on Durban House.

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