Use the blue arrows <> on the left & right to go to the next-door shops
Click HERE to see photos of this building

No.16 & 16A High Street

16 .... St Nicholas Hospice Care
16A .. Your Move Estate Agents
The Chestnuts

Shop History

- Aft. 1978

Harper's Music Salon


Shop bought from Peggy Sayers by Terry Stoodley, Peter Shepherd and Erik Grainger


Harper's, music store

12th June 1953

Clock Tower Restaurant
- Newmarket UDC re-numbering map


The Chestnuts: Lewis Hayhow - Newmarket Directory


The Chestnuts: Leach E.H. - Newmarket Street Directory


Leach, Edward Hugh & Son, F.R.C.V.S., veterinary surgeons, High Street - Nkt.53
- Kelly's Directory

2nd April 1911

The Chestnuts: Edward Hugh Leach - Census


E.H. Leach, High Street, Veterinary Surgeon - Eastern Counties of England Directory


Leach, Edward Hugh, F.R.C.V.S. veterinary surgeon & shoeing smith, High Street
Kelly's Directory

1894 -

Abt. 1930s

Private House

The Chestnuts: occupier - Edward Hugh Leach, Veterinary Surgeon


Robert Fyson, retired medical practitioner - Census


Robert Fyson, surgeon in general practise - Census


Robert Fyson, surgeon - Census


Robert Fyson, surgeon - Census


Sarah More, female servant - Census


  • In Kelly's Directory for 1892 veterinary surgeon Edward Hugh Leach was listed in Upper Station Road. It was he who had the Chestnuts built in 1894, which included this building and what is now Clock Tower Mews in Exeter Road, which was his practice. The opposing unit that is now the Prezzo Restaurant was his forge.
    The other shops present at the Clock Tower end of the High Street, between this house and what was Stigwood's Confectioners (No.s 2-14 High Street) were not completed until c. 1938.

  • Edward Hugh Leach

  • Edward was born in Wigan, Lancashire. His parents were draper John Gaskell Leach & Alice (neé Watmough) and he was baptised at St Catherine, Wigan on 19th December 1852.

  • Edward's younger brother, Felix Watmough Leach, was also born in Wigan and baptised at All Saints, Wigan on 24th April 1867. Felix followed his brother to Newmarket and became a racehorse trainer, initially at Queensberry Lodge Stables, then further along the High Street at Graham Place and then also at Heath Farm (further details about that can be found of the page for the London Road).

    Felix's three sons; Felix, Jack and "Chubb" all followed in their father's footsteps as trainers, notably at Meddler Stud in Kentford, which the family continued to own up until November 2001.

    Henry Beresford (Chubb) Leach trained alongside his father at Queensberry Lodge, and it was he who was the father of the most recent family resident at Meddler Stud; William (Bill) Berkeley Leach.

  • Edward Hugh Leach can be seen on the 1911 census at the Chestnuts and on the 1926 Newmarket Street Directory.

    Curiously on a c.1910 photo you can see the front of the house without it's present shop frontage and the windows are all shuttered-up, then similarly on a c. 1920 photo (if anyone knows why this should be please let the webmaster know - E-MAIL)

    On the 1911 census the house next door is Alfred Hayhoe in Exeter House; so it's clear that there were no other buildings right next-door to the chestnuts at this time.

    On the 1905 photo below you can see the house with a wonderful tower on the garden side that's now gone, and on the 1930s photo you can see a sign up in front of the house saying 'THIS FREEHOLD PROPERTY FOR SALE ... TO BE LET'.

  • Edward died on 2nd September 1926:-

    London Gazette 23rd September 1927 p.6091

    The 1930's photo below of the Chestnuts shows the newly built adjacent shops, still with their builders boarding yet to be removed.

    Many thanks to Tony Pringle for his information about the history of this house.

  • Photo of Newmarket, High Street 1922, ref. 71915
    Reproduced courtesy of Francis Frith.

  • Harper's Music Salon

  • No.s 16 & 16A was the home of Harper's Music Salon for many years, later reducing in size to just No.16, the right-hand shop. It was the home of vinyl records for any music aficionado in Newmarket. For most Newmarket teenagers in the 1960s and 1970s there was always a weekly visit to Harper's, pocket money in hand, to buy the latest chart singles ... which in 1974 cost just 50p.

    The shop had started as the Harper's Music Saloon, music sellers and piano tuners, further down on the other side of the High Street in the right-hand shop of York Buildings - No.95 High Street (what later became Ashford's Department Store). It's not known exactly when it moved here, but it was still in York Buildings in the 1936 Newmarket Directory.

    For many years the manageress of Harper's was Mrs. Sayers - her son Pete Sayers, who also worked at the shop, became a very famous Country & Western singer & musician. According to details from his obituary in the Independent in 2005 his most famous legacy is that he'd brought the Grand Ole Opry to Newmarket in 1972 - it ran for quite a few years at the Kingsway Cinema - No.109 High Street.

    As well as his very famous Country & Western exploits Pete also had another more local alter-ego - Dennis of Grunty Fen.

    Dennis of Grunty Fen
    Many thanks to Geoffrey Woollard for this picture.

    Dennis of Grunty Fen live at Haddenham Steam Rally - 12th September 1993
    [click on the play button above to start the video]

    Pete and his bluegrass group the Radio Cowboys were keen to bring Country & Western to Newmarket and the surrounding area and performed at many local concerts ... including one as can be seen in the photo below in the playground of the old All Saints School in 1972.

    Pete Sayers - All Saints School 1972

    [Note from webmaster - Pete Sayers sold me my very first acoustic guitar at Harper's (I've still got it). In addition to selling vinyl records the shop also sold sheet music, notably of chart singles - I still have many copies. Mrs. Sayers lived a few doors along from my house in All Saints Road and I can remember the family and their major influence on Newmarket very well.]

    The success of the Sayers family is wider still - Pete's wife Liz was the one-time editor of the Newmarket Journal and their daughter is the UK record javelin thrower Goldie Sayers.

  • Building Changes

  • Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds Branch
    Newmarket Urban District Council Records
    Reference EF 506
  • Veterinary Infirmary Establishment near the Jubilee Clock Tower, Exeter Rd, for E.H. Leach (Heaton & Gibb) EF 506/6/1/H79 Jul 1894
  • House at corner of High St and Exeter Rd, for E.H. Leach (Heaton & Gibb) EF 506/6/1/H80 Aug 1894
  • House, surgery and stabling at corner of High St and Exeter Rd, for E.H. Leach (Heaton & Gibb) EF 506/6/1/H81 Aug 1894
  • Loft, stables at rear of The Chestnuts, for E.H. Leach EF 506/6/1/14/428 May 1912

  • Planning Application - F/82/428
    16 High Street Newmarket Suffolk
    Application Registered 23-07-1982
    Division of existing single retail unit into 2 no. self contained lock up retail units as amended by letter dated 1.9.82 and drawing no. 8212.2 recieved 2.9.82.

    Harper's Music used to occupy the whole shop frontage of the Chestnut's ... the above 1982 planning application shows when they applied to convert the house into two units in which they then occupied only one.
    This two shop arrangement is still the same today.

  • Postcards courtesy of Roger Newman:-
    'The Clock Tower Chestnuts'
    'The Clock Tower Chestnuts 30s'
    'Clock Tower from High St 25.04.11'
    'Clock Tower from Bury Rd 1905'

  • Many thanks to 'Old Newmarket' for the photos 'The Clock Tower c. 1950s', 'The Clock Tower 1930s', 'The Clock Tower c. 1920s' & 'The Clock Tower c. 1905'.

  • Many thanks to Dr Paul Saban for help with information regarding the medical history of Newmarket.


St. Nicholas Hospice Care & Your Move Estate Agents

The Clock Tower c. 1950s

The Clock Tower 1930s

The Clock Tower Chestnuts 30s

The Clock Tower c. 1920s

Edward Hugh Leach 1911 Census

Clock Tower from High St 25.04.11

The Clock Tower Chestnuts

The Clock Tower c. 1905

The Clock Tower from Bury Rd 1905