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Palmers in Bury St Edmunds: Do you remember when...




News that one of Bury St Edmunds ' most visible shop fronts might soon be developed stole the headlines yesterday.

Palmers was a fixture in both fashion and homeware in Bury for decades.

The shop at the top of Abbeygate Street closed in January 2018 with the loss of 35 jobs.

Palmers in the Buttermarket, Bury St Edmunds is closingPicture: Mecha Morton (42668845)
Palmers in the Buttermarket, Bury St Edmunds is closingPicture: Mecha Morton (42668845)

Palmers Fashion Store traded in the town for 57 years, and was sold to Bury St Edmunds-based property company Pigeon Investment Management.

Bruce Sturrock, chairman of Palmers at the time, said he was 'extremely sad' it was necessary to close the store.

He added: "I tried very hard to expand our business in Bury by incorporating our St Andrew's Street property into the Cattle Market development. However, it was not to be.

Palmers in Bury St Edmunds has supported Bury in Bloom for many years.Pictured are some of the staff and a hanging basket. (42668863)
Palmers in Bury St Edmunds has supported Bury in Bloom for many years.Pictured are some of the staff and a hanging basket. (42668863)

"This has left us at a disadvantage and, combined with recession, high business rates and changes to shopping habits, the store is no longer profitable."

Palmers was begun as a drapers by Garwood Burton Palmer in Great Yarmouth in 1837.

It opened its Bury fashion store in 1961 and the Homestore in 1998. The Homestore has now also been redeveloped.

Independent Business of the month - Abbeygate StreetPictured: Palmers - Catherine Thompson, Kirsten Webb, Giselle Roadley-Battin, Jenny Knight and Natasha Kennedy (42668866)
Independent Business of the month - Abbeygate StreetPictured: Palmers - Catherine Thompson, Kirsten Webb, Giselle Roadley-Battin, Jenny Knight and Natasha Kennedy (42668866)

The family-owned business had hoped to move into the Cattle Market Development, which became the arc, but in 2003 St Edmundsbury Borough Council voted to give Debenhams the prime site.

However, in a Bury Free Press poll at the time, readers had voted for Palmers.

But when Palmers sold its Newmarket High Street store to Hughes Electrical in 2007, it said it would invest the money in its Bury stores.

It gave the Fashion Store what was intended to be a £500,000 makeover, though problems with the work saw it go £100,000 over budget.

This was partly down to the age of the building. During the work a time capsule in an earthenware pot was found, containing a vellum document dated 1803 and a coin of 1795.

That led to the staff placing their own time capsule in the building with a list of their names.

We trawled through the recent picture archives of the Bury Free Press to bring you these other images:

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