The history of 111 High Street in Huntingdon includes Woolworths and a hotel
- Credit: KARL BROCKETT
The building at 111 High Street, in Huntingdon, is a Grade Two listed building. It has had various occupants over the years and with a variety of different types of business.
The fountain hotel was present here by 1812 and it was a famous posting house. The publican then was a Mr J.Butt. But the establishment closed around 1911.
When it came on the market, it was suggested that it be purchased by the town council as part of a scheme for street improvement, but it never came to anything.
However, Murkett Brothers acquired the building, which also included the old corn exchange.
The entire front of the hotel was rebuilt but with little interference with the original architecture. The showrooms were created either side of the entrance leading to the paddock at the rear. Workshops were built in that area.
The actual corn exchange was converted into a cinema that was run by the Murkett brothers.
There is some great nostalgia and history to our Huntingdonshire local cinemas and we may do a column on them in the future.
After the Murkett Brothers moved to new premises in Huntingdon, the next resident was the famous shopping company Woolworths.
Although originally Woolworths was located at 51 High Street Huntingdon. That was from 1935 until they moved into 111 High street in 1970.
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Woolworths also had been a focal point for meeting people over a famous Woolies breakfast before going to the busy local market and shops. Many may remember the Pic-and-Mix sweet counters.
I for one remember the Woolworths manager in the 1980s. A Mr Mark Gamble who was a great musician. He also played for a short while in a local punk band with Roger Quince and myself.
I’m sure many of our local community remember people and memories of the High street Huntingdon. Sadly in December 2008 the shop closed.
Later the building became a 99p store and that has also now closed. It now stands vacant.
Contact the Huntingdonshire Community Nostalgia Group on Facebook.
When it came on the market it was suggested to be purchased by the Town Council to be involved in a scheme for street improvement but it never came to anything.
However Murkett brothers acquired the building which also included the old Corn Exchange.