Shops & Trades

Everything to hand...

ON THIS PAGE you can find links to other pages with pictures and information on shops, services and trades in Mulbarton, past and present.

As in most villages until motor transport was readily available, people in Mulbarton could get most of their needs locally.

Until the post-World War 2 years, most people lived near the Church and around the Common. There were a number of general stores that sold similar things;

Mr Frost's garage had bikes, bike parts and repairs; paraffin for the stove; wireless (radio) valves, and other hardware needs;

and just up the road was Mrs Frost's shop for haberdashery and kitchen items and books for choosing wallpaper and paint.

The baker and the butcher sold their wares, the shoemaker could do all sorts of repairs,

and the Post Office that also sold sweets, postcards (including many of the pictures on this site) and other stationery.

MEMORIES of the 1940s:

'There was the post office run by Mr and Mrs Middleton and their daughter and daughter‑in-law. I used to save up to buy my dog licence there ‑ 7/6d due annually on the 1st January! Sweets were of course on ration for most of my young life and we were able to buy these at the post office and also at the other shops in the village. There was Funnell's small shop next to the bakery and we used to be able to leave our cycles in their shed when we caught the bus to Norwich as we lived so far from the bus stop. Charlie Frost had the garage for petrol (what there was) and sold cycles and cycle repair items ‑ most important to us - and also ran a taxi service.'

Before the Newsagent shop opened there was a local paper round - and there were other deliveries, too: coal, fresh fish, and - later - fish & chips. Shops in neighbouring villages would deliver, too. 

Delivery cart, Stebbings of Bracon Ash
Delivery cart, Stebbings of Bracon Ash

There were two mills - one quite central and one at the boundary with Swardeston. The carpenter (and coffin maker and undertaker!) was down the main road, on the edge of the Common; the blacksmith and wheelwright were at the bottom corner of the Common, by the Tradesman's Arms - and as the number of horses dwindled he offered welding and bespoke agricultural implements. When needed, next-door Bracon Ash had a harness shop (below).

A local telephone exchange arrived in the early 1920s, but most basic services - piped water, electricity, sewerage and a 'proper' surgery were mainly post-war luxuries that came as the village expanded.


The centre of population is now south of the Common, which is where most of the shops are now. There is the farmshop and a butcher at Paddock Farm, which also offers its own Humbleyard wine for sale.

The old 'Pond Shop' is now home to a clock & watch restoration business.

The former garage is now the Mulberry Bush Day Nursery (for children) - but hardware and key cutting is still available at Gray's nursery (for plants).

The chemist shop is now run by Boots and is next to the dental practice in rather larger premises than it once had to survive in!

We still have our Post Office - in the successor to Harrod's shop in Birchfield Lane that is now a One-Stop. Alongside is a hairdresser's salon.

And with the coming of the Mulberry Gardens estate we have a Co-op supermarket that contributes to community projects.

The so-called 'industrial estate' behind the dentist / chemist is more a retail park now - with the car repair & MOT centre; Russell's fish & chip shop (successor to the van); and the Summer Lotus Chinese take-away

The Long Barn facing the Common is the home of Omicron, where classic cars are restored and parts made for Lancia cars are shipped all over the world.

Mobile service continue to visit the village: the fortnightly mobile library; a milkman; Rington's tea & biscuits; 

As ever, there are small businesses run from people's homes, successors to the carpenters, builders, bricklayers, plumbers, etc of the past....

D J Ireland by the pond offer Groundwork & Paving services 

Kevin George, building services

(with more links from the Mulbarton Village webite)