Trades & Tradespeople

Varied Local Trades

Mulbarton, like most villages before motor transport was common, must have been pretty self-sufficient. Old Directories indicate the range of services that existed, and there is more detailed information on some of these on other pages - click on the LINKS.

The boot & shoe maker
The boot & shoe maker

To the north of Butler House (once Cracknel's shop) was a shoemaker - and many lasts were dug up when the foundations of the garage of Butler House was laid. 
'On the Norwich side of Cracknell's was the snob shop (shoe repairer). He was Bert Harbour from Flordon. A lot of men repaired their own boots.'  
Mr. Harbor later moved to a small shop next to the Tradesman's Arms.

In the same area there was a barber's shop for a while - in fine weather customers sat outside for a haircut!

Corner of B1113 & East Carleton Road: we believe the barber's shop was through the doorway behind the person crouching with a dog.
Corner of B1113 & East Carleton Road: we believe the barber's shop was through the doorway behind the person crouching with a dog.

White's Directory, Norfolk, 1845:

Two millers; Butchers; Shoemaker; three Tailors; Wheelwright; Blacksmith; Maltster 

Post Office Directory, 1869:

Plumber, Painter, etc; Carpenter; Butcher; Pork Butcher; two Millers; Boot and Shoe Maker; Wheelwright & Carpenter; Blacksmith; Tailor.

White's Directory, 1883:

Builder & contractor; two butchers and a pork butcher; wheelwright; blacksmith; shoemaker; miller; tailor.

Below - a bill for boot repairs for 1887-8 sent to Mr Turner of Paddock Farm, presumably for his workmen's boots. It is signed by Samuel Gowing who is listed in White's 1883 Directory as 'shoemaker, clerk and sub-postmaster'. A busy man! (see above)

Kelly's Directory, 1904:

Builder; Butcher; Blacksmith; Wheelwright; Shoemaker; two Millers.

Kelly's Directory, 1933:

Two Butchers - retail and wholesale; two Painters; Blacksmith, agricultural implement maker and acetylene welder; Cycle & Motor agent [Frost's Garage]; two Boot & Shoe repairers; two or three Carpenters

More Recent Small Business

As the village developed during and after the '60s, a number of small businesses developed. A small trading estate behind the old school still houses a car repair business as well as the fish-and-chip shop, a Chinese takeaway and a warehouse.

On Norwich Road Falcon Acoustics made parts for Hi-Fi units (below and title photo) - the showroom and studio being in the old Bracon Ash school. 

Rosalind (‘Topsy’) winding…
Rosalind (‘Topsy’) winding…

The old tithe barn facing the Common was converted into a kitchen showroom for Norfolk Pride who wanted to expand into larger premises than they had at the old industrial estate. Their old showroom and office became the fish-and-chip shop with flat above. The barn is now the home of Omicron - where classic cars are refurbished and Lancia spares are made and shipped all over the world.