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No.98 High Street

Shoe Zone

No.96-98 Flats - Wellington House - The Dental Surgery

Shop History

2000 -

Shoe Zone


The Oliver Group


Hiltons Shoes

1974 - 1983

Hiltons Footwear Ltd.


New building built


Sheppard's closed

12th June 1953

- Newmarket UDC re-numbering map


Sheppard & Co: Mrs Ethel Simpson - Newmarket Directory


Sheppard & Co., Grocers, Provision Merchants: C. Simpson - Newmarket Street Directory


Sheppard, William Benjamin: Grocer - Kelly's Directory

1909 - 1912

Sheppard, Grocer, High Street - Telephone Book - Nkt.172


Sheppard's - Street Market Map


Margaret Pryer - Census


Sheppard, William Benjamin, grocer &c. & agent for W. & A. Gilbey Limited, wine & spirit merchants, High Street - Kelly’s Directory


Margaret Pryer - Grocer's Housekeper - Charles Simpson, assistant - Census


William B. Sheppard - Grocer - Census


William Benjamin Sheppard, grocer, and provision and British Wine Dealer, High Street
- White's Directory


William B. Sheppard - Grocer - Census


Ebenezer Bayley - Grocer - Census


  • The present building was built in 1974 at the same time that the single storey pre-fab next door was demolished. This temporary building had been constructed to replace the bomb-damaged original. Both No.96 & No.98 seemed to have always been closely associated with each other and No.96 may originally have been used as residential accommodation for workers at Sheppard's Grocers - it's difficult to tell from the earlier censuses.

  • William Benjamin Sheppard

  • William was born in 1832 in Brundish, Suffolk. He married his wife Ann (b. 1831, Ipswich) sometime before 1861; as in that year they were both listed on the census in Highworth, Wiltshire ... William being shown as a 'General Grocer'.

    He wasn't shown on the 1869 Post Office Directory for Newmarket, but by 1871 he'd moved into the shop in the High Street and was also shown living their in 1881. By 1891 although he still owned the shop he'd moved into Heathside - No.36 Bury Road where he's still shown in the 1896 Kelly's Directory.

    Curiously in 1901 William and Ann (aged 69 and 70 respectively) were living with their son - the Reverend William J.L. Sheppard (who was born while the family were living in Wiltshire), in St. Peter's Vicarage, Stoke St. Mary, Suffolk ... but then, 10 years later in 1911, they were both back in Heathside(?).

    [St. Peter's church in Ipswich is close to the Quayside - it was declared redundant in the early 1970s and was in a terrible state, at the time it was described as 'the most pitiful of all Ipswich churches'. It has subsequently been considerably refurbished and is now a music venue.]

  • Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds Branch
    Newmarket Urban District Council Records
    Reference EF 506
    • House, Bury Rd, for W.B. Sheppard (Holland & Son) EF 506/6/1/1/7 Aug 1896
    • Cottage, Bury Rd, for W. Sheppard (Holland & Son) EF 506/6/1/5/218 Oct 1899
    • House, Bury Rd, for W. Sheppard EF 506/6/1/7/54 (1901)
    • House and office, Bury Rd, for W.B. Sheppard (Holland & Sons) (Including correspondence in URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL v Sheppard over alleged breach of building bye-laws) EF 506/6/1/7/56 Jun-Jul 1901
    • Addition of smoking room, new house, Bury Rd, for W.B. Sheppard (Holland & Sons) EF 506/6/1/7/94 May 1902
    • Additions to cottage, Bury Rd, for W.B. Sheppard (Holland & Sons) EF 506/6/1/10/221 Jan 1905
    • Bay window, Heathside, Bury Rd, for W.B. Sheppard (Holland &Sons) EF 506/6/1/11/293 Oct 1906

  • While they were living with their son in 1901 their cook Eliza Allard was living in Heathside.

  • The High Street shop continued trading throughout this time and on the 1901 census William was still shown as an employer. The shop was then listed in the phone book from 1909 until 1912 - Nkt.172, and in the last of these years William had also had a phone installed in his house in Bury Road - Nkt.199

  • William lived until the grand-old-age of 98 and died on 18th February 1930, by then, although still in Bury Road, he was living in Althorp, moving sometime before 1916 (as he's shown in Althorp in Kelly's Directory of that year). Althorp first appears in the censuses in 1911, with Albert Upson living there, but it's not shown in the 1936 Street Directory and there's no house at that location today (which was somewhere between No.30 & No.32 Bury Road).

  • Sheppard & Co., Grocers, at No. 98 High Street was listed in the 1969 - 1972 phone book - Nkt.2172, but as detailed in the Shop History above the shop actually closed in 1971.

  • Photo of Newmarket, High Street 1929, ref. 81955t
    Reproduced courtesy of Francis Frith.

    Photo of Newmarket High Street 1929 - Sheppard's is just to the right of the 'KODAK SUPPLIES' flag.

  • Henry James Cole

  • On leaving school Henry went to work as an errand boy in Sheppard's. He was working his way up, and just before he joined the Army he was serving behind the counter.

    He enlisted in Newmarket on 7th August 1916. Two years later he was reported missing in France and presumed dead on 4th September 1918 and is commemorated on the Newmarket War Memorial.

  • Charles & Ethel Simpson

  • Charles Humphrey Simpson was originally just an assistant in Sheppard's in 1891. He married Ethel Gent in 1901 and in 1911 they lived in 8 Edith Villas, Rous Road. By then Charles was a 'Manager Grocer'. With them is their son Eric and daughter Hilda. They had a servant - so the grocery trade was clearly doing very well.

  • Based upon the fact that there's no mention of the shop in his probate it appears that at sometime after 1916 William Sheppard sold the grocers. The name was carried on though and Charles Simpson is listed in Sheppard's in the 1926 Newmarket Street Directory, then in 1936 his widow Ethel had taken over as manageress. From these details though it's not known if the Simpsons actually did own the shop.

  • Charles had died on 8th February 1932 and is his will he left Ethel £10,763 15s - so reiterating the above phrase - 'the grocery trade was clearly doing very well'.

  • In the later years it's known from Tony Pringle that their son Eric (Gent) Simpson had continued as manager. Eric lived to the age of 86 and died in 1990 in Bury St. Edmunds.

  • Note from webmaster - my Mum remembers Sheppard's grocery in it's later years - she said it was a dark and dingy place with shelves full of cans of food.

    The 1971 photo below shows how drab the building had become by then and although it hadn't been destroyed by the bomb that fell and demolished next door in 1941, it definitely looks as though it had suffered some significant damage - as the grand roof that was present in the early photos over both No.96 & No.98 is clearly missing. It's no surprise then that in 1974 the whole block was rebuilt.

  • Oliver Hilton Shoes - Shoe Zone

  • The name Oliver Hilton Shoes PLC was registered on 24th September 1981. Athough not all the details have been found, it's assumed that this was a contination of Hiltons Shoes before it - the shop in Newmarket was definitely renamed Olivers in the 1980s.

  • Shoe Zone acquired The Oliver Group PLC in 2000, rebranding all 258 stores with its own name sometime after.

  • Building Changes

  • Planning Application - F/74/1186
    96/98 High Street Newmarket Suffolk
    Application Registered 28-05-1974
    Advertisement Installation of shop front and interior fittings
    Decision Date 23-07-1974

  • Planning Application - F/74/1277
    Shop 2 96/98 High Street Newmarket Suffolk
    Application Registered 10-07-1974
    Shop 2 Installation of shop front and interior fittings as amended by letter dated 21/08/74 and accompanying drawing

  • Planning Application - F/97/369/ADI
    Application Registered 14-07-1997

  • Planning Application - F/98/109
    98 High Street, Newmarket
    Application Registered 26-02-1998
    Alterations to shop front
    Applicant The Oliver Group Plc

  • Planning Application - F/2007/0565/FUL
    98 High Street Newmarket
    Application Registered 09-07-2007
    Re-advertisement:- Installation of a new shop frontage (Development Affecting the Setting of a Listed Building)
    Applicant Shoe Zone Ltd

  • Many thanks to Peter Norman for his details about the Newmarket Street Market Map 1904 and the photos 'View from Palmers c. 2007',
    'Sheppards High Sreet c. 1971', 'Centre of High Street 1927', 'High Street by Sheppards c. 1911' and 'From Sun Lane c. 1890s'.


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No.98 High Street

No.98 High Street

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