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Tony Langford
14 Jan 2024 at 02:12
Beethoven House, 46 High Street, Kings Lynn.
The shop was taken over by Samuel Street’s music warehouse and given the name ‘Beethoven House’. Previously Mr Street had a shop at 94 High Street. Samuel Street and his son Samuel Grigson Street were organ builders and the shop sold pianos, organs, harmoniums, musical instruments and sheet music. Samuel Street Snr died in 1888.
Like his father, Samuel jnr. continued working as an organ builder and the outbuildings at the back of the shop housed his workshops. He was a pioneering motorist and owned a steam car and a very early De Dion Bouton, which proved to be a real head-turner as he drove through the streets of Lynn. As a practical person and craftsman, he was able to do his own car maintenance and even undertook alterations and modifications to the engine and mechanism of the motors that he owned. When he bought a new car to replace the De Dion Bouton, he took out the engine and used it to pump the organ at the back of his shop. He was the first person in the town to install his own electric power plant.
In March 1903 they introduced a range of player-pianos.
As the popularity for gramophones increased, Street’s advertised various gramophones and phonographs and records including, on 15th July 1904 in the Lynn Advertiser, one for ‘Nicole Records’.
Samuel Grigson Street remained a bachelor all of his life and early in 1918, when aged over 70, Samuel decided to retire from business and he handed it over on Armistice Day to Miss Daisy Regester, who had been his assistant at the shop for several years. Daisy retired in 1938.
In 1939 the business reopens as Clarkes Music Services.
Edwin Sinclair Clarke had an establishment in Wisbech and by taking over S.G. Street’s shop he expanded into Kings Lynn
A wartime difficulty was the shortage of materials for manufacturing goods for the domestic market, this appeal appearing in the Lynn News & Advertiser of 12th February 1943: -
‘WE WANT YOUR OLD RECORDS. We will Pay for Worn-out, Defaced and Unbroken Records: 3d each for H.M.V. 10 inch. 4½d each for H.M.V. 12 inch. 2½d each for Columbia, Parlophone, Regal, Decca, Rex, Brunswick & Panachord 10 inch. 4d each for the above makes of 12 inch. (Certain very old recordings being excepted). The reason we want your Old Records is, owing to shortage of shellac and other materials, we are now having to return to the makers Old Records to get New. The Government strongly recognises the usefulness of records as entertainment to supporting morale and the great help they give to the War Effort. We cannot oblige you to return an old record when you buy new, since any condition we imposed would be a breach of the Goods and Service Act, 1941. May we therefore induce you to Hand over all your Old Records at the above prices. CLARKE’S Music Services, 46, High Street, King’s Lynn. – Wisbech & Spalding.’

Clarkes vacated the premises in 1949

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