Stop 8: The Bumblebee Café-Information

The original building is known to have existed here since 1816. It was then a small business owned by Mr. Marshall, who ran a grocery store and bakery.

If you look at the building, you can see an extension to the front which was probably constructed in the1840s by the Rooks family, who had taken over the ownership of the property. The Rooks continued to run the same sort of business and by 1875, it was also functioning as a Post Office. The Rooks then built a third front extension to the left of the current front extension but this was demolished in 1984. Between the 1840s and 1984 this property at various times functioned as a baker’s, a butcher’s, a grocery store and a Post Office.

In 1931 the property was taken over by Mr Wiggington. He kept the trade going but by then it was no longer functioning as a Post Office or bakers. Shortly after 1931 Mr Wiggington was joined in business by Mr Herne and the Business was named “Wiggington and Herne” and they had their own liveried delivery van. In the 1970s the business was taken over by International Stores and they carried on with the grocery business.

In 1984, the extension used by the butchers was demolished and the building was re-modelled by the Halls. Over the next few years, it functioned as a car showroom, a tea room, and, on the Bowes Hill side there was at different times, a canoe store, a delicatessen and a furniture shop amongst other outlets. Between the 1930s and the 1950s, to the rear, there was a steel-lined grain store, a bake house, a slaughterhouse, a pound for keeping animals prior to slaughter and a paraffin fuel store. There was an entrance to this yard from Bowes Hill -you can still see traces of this where there is a gap in the brick wall. All the outbuildings were demolished in 1987.

It has been in its current incarnation as the Bumblebee Café since 2018 and is still owned by the Halls, who also own the nearby garage.

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