Harwich’s Shops: Now & Then


Mary Roberts recently visited Harwich and captured these photos of the Harwich Old Bookshop, with it’s distinctive glass fascia, tiled panel in the entrance-way, and mosaic threshold sign.

Current glass fascia on the premises of the former Smith’s Grocers, Market Street, Harwich. Photo: Mary Roberts

Current glass fascia on the premises of the former Smith’s Grocers, Market Street, Harwich. Photo: Mary Roberts

Ceramic tiles at entrance of Smith’s Grocers, Market Street, Harwich. Photo: Mary Roberts

Mosaic threshold lettering for Smith’s Grocers, Market Street, Harwich. Photo: Mary Roberts

Her friend Christine then did some digging via the wonderful site, Harwich & Dovercourt, and discovered an archival photo of the shop in an article, Through the Shop Window. This features an undated archival photo, of the shop under the previous occupants of Smith the Greengrocer with the ceramic piece in the entrance-way clearly visible. This firm also commissioned the mosaic threshold sign.

Smith’s Grocers, Market Street, Harwich. Photo: www.harwichanddovercourt.co.uk

The details of the shop and its current location from the Harwich & Dovercourt website are given as follows:

Smith’s Greengrocers, 21 Market Street. The shop front remains much the same today and is now the premises of Harwich Old Books, behind the shop there is a carving known as the ‘Little Queen of Market Street’. Further back in the rear of the building there is another carving of a ‘King’. Walk through Market Street today and you are unlikely to see many people. very little retail therapy with only a general store and bookshop. Shops have been replaced by flats which stand empty or have been demolished. Market Street is almost residential.

Here are a couple of other photos that Mary captured while in Harwich, including a bona fide ghost sign…

Electric Palace, Harwich. Photo: Mary Roberts

Wellington, ghost sign in Harwich. Photo: Mary Roberts

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