Thomas Cross established his Florist, Seed merchant and Nurseryman’s shop opposite, at number 58 in 1892. The same year he moved to no 24 and between 1896 and 1900 to this building – now the Ivory cafe bar – where the business continued until 1969.
The nursery garden was at Chapel House, Barton Road, beyond Eastgate Street. The niche may have some antiquity and is shown in a picture of 1887. The image was taken for a guide to Bury in 1906. It is later thought itcontained a statue to St Phocas, a patron saint of gardeners.
-- This picture is part of a remarkable collection of 4,000 photographs in the care of Bury St Edmunds Past and Present Society which offers a glimpse into the town’s history.
Taken by two families of professional photographers, the Spantons and the Jarmans, the images span a period from the 1860s through to the outbreak of World War Two. The fragile glass plate negatives were donated to the society in 1997 and in recent years many of these have been ‘digitised’ thanks to a Lottery grant and donations - a furtehr £2,000 is needed to complete the task. They can be viewed at www.burypastandpresent.org.uk where you can also find details about membership and the group’s programme of events and lectures. The Spanton-Jarman collection is held at the Bury St Edmunds branch of the Suffolk Record Office. For more details about the Record Office, including its programme of talks and courses, visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/sro.