NOSTALGIA: 11&12 Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds - from the Spanton Jarman collection

11&12 Abbeygate Street - Oliver & Son, grocers, tea-dealers and coffee roasters. From the Spanton Jarman collection

This picture shows Oliver & Son, grocers, tea-dealers and coffee roasters.

he shop front of today – Greggs – may still have the original gothic glazing bars from the late 18th century. Olivers went on to have the first telephone number in the town, Bury St Edmunds One. Beyond, is Nunn Hinnell and Summers, family and dispensing chemists. Further on, is the Thurlow Champness building with no clock, which dates the image to before 1900.

-- 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. They can be viewed at 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

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