The first mention of 'cycle maker, motor & electrical engineer' is in Kelly's 1908 directory, naming James Cole, who was also Hon. Sec. of Mulbarton & District Football Club. By 1922 the name listed is Charles James Frost - Charlie Frost, who had been serving the village since before the Great War.
Frost's garage was opposite the pond - the site is now the Mulberry Nursery. Charlie Frost and his sons, Claude and Desmond, built up a good reputation, and when they had the Ford franchise people came from a wide area to have their cars serviced there.
C J Frost advertised regularly on the back page of the East Carleton Parish Magazine:
1915: 'C. J. Frost, Cycle & Motor Agent, Mulbarton, Norfolk. Sole agent for BSA, New Hudson, Premier, Sparkbrook, and other Cycles. Cycles built to Customer's own specification from £3. 3s.0d; second-hand cycles from £1. He offered car tyres - any make; gas and oil lams from 3 shillings and 1 shilling respectively; inner tubes from 1/6d fitted; pram tyring a speciality.' And he was selling Pratt's and Shell petrol.
A footnote in the Magazine of January 1917: 'We call attention to our ad. Mr. Frost is serving with the R.N.A.S. and we must not let his business suffer in his absence for want of custom'
The Frost adverts in 1917-18, offered 'Car and Motor Cycle Requisities' and stated that 'Mr.C.J.Frost is serving in H.M.Forces but Mrs. Frost is carrying on the business with the exception of the execution of repairs.'
With the beginning of a transport boom in the '20s, the business expanded - this advert is from 1925:
By 1930, the advert is for C. J. Frost, Mulbarton and Tacolneston. He was advertising 'Hercules Cycle at £3.19s.6d.... Wireless Batteries in Stock. Charging done. Cars for hire, open or closed. Also Ten-seater Bus.' And there is mention of the Hardware department with 'lamp glasses, stoves, brushes, wicks, pails, enamel ware, kettles, tea-pots, etc.'
Memories of Frost's Garage
'Charles Frost did everything - he sold Valour stoves, bicycles, etc. He used to bring me my 5 gallon drum of Kerosene if I left the empty one at the shop. I bought a Raleigh cycle from him for £9.10 shilling (now £9.50), and later a child's seat for the back for £6.10 shillings. A lot of money to me, but they were good items, well made in those days.' (Dorothy Tungate)
Harry Cannel served his apprenticeship as a mechanic there, and a Mr Cadman from Flordon served in the shop. (Evelyn Smith) [Harry Cannell in photo above, serving petrol]
'C J Frost had the garage opposite the pond. He sold bicycles and repaired most things mechanical. He also charged accumulators for 'steam' radios. His right-hand man was Mr. Cadman from Flordon.' (Tony Kent)