East Street 88-89


This double fronted red brick property probably dates from the mid-19thC. The photo shows it in 2001 when it was still Diaper's shoe shop - a family business dating back to the 1920s when the large shop window was probably inserted. The double doors at the side indicate a previous use as a smithy - Frederick Kemp was the blacksmith in 1908. The building fell into total disrepair after the shop closed. The roof almost collapsed and for years the building was shrouded in scaffolding. Now (2019) a major rebuild has finished, creating two separate houses from the shop and the blacksmith's premises. In the process the large smithy doors and the 1920s shopfront have been removed, taking the property back to an approximation of the original domestic configuration. The new wooden sashes which incorporate double glazing units are unobtrusive and the windows match the original 2:2 pattern. Note also the high quality of the restored brickwork. The builders were RD Lane and Co. and their architect Mandy Sexton RIBA.

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