New fishmonger for historic St Augustine’s Street in Norwich set up by Lowestoft man
PUBLISHED: 11:08 16 February 2012 | UPDATED: 11:38 16 February 2012
A traditional fishmonger’s is returning to a historic Norwich street and the owners hope to be as successful as the last man to sell fish there, whose shop attracted queues around the block.
A traditional fishmonger’s is returning to an historic Norwich street and the owners hope to be as successful as the last man to sell fish there, whose shop attracted queues around the block.
Melvin Robinson, 52, has been a fisherman in Lowestoft for 26 years and has previously sold his catch at various markets across the region.
His new shop in St Augustine’s Street has been named M and M Fishmongers after his first name and his wife Marion.
St Augustine’s Street was formerly the home of Herbert Chettleburgh’s fishmonger, which closed more than a decade ago.
Mr Robinson said that he would continue to catch the fish off Lowestoft from his boat, Four Daughters, while his wife would sell them in the shop.
He said: “Quotas are so small now that I thought I would cut out the middle man.
“For the last seven years we have had a stall at Lowestoft market and we have sold fish at farmers’ markets, but this is a natural progression.
“There are very few of us fishermen left. When I started there were 200 commercial fishermen working out of Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Southwold, but the quota system only gives 4pc of Britain’s fishing rights to the country’s fleet of fishing vessels under 10m long – even though they make up 85 of the nation’s fleet.”
Kate Webster, who runs the shop next door, Junk and Gems, is optimistic that the street’s fortunes are picking up.
She said: “Residents want a mixture of shops in the street and hopefully the rest of the empty units will be taken up soon.”
She said the shop next door to her was also soon to be reopened selling home-made furniture. The new owner of that shop has already removed the fascia to reveal the name W D Batchelor newsagent and tobacconist, which is believed to have been the name of the shop before the second world war.
Stuart McLaren, chairman of St Augustine’s Community Together Residents’ Association, said: “We would welcome the new fishmonger and maybe it shows that some of the empty units in the street are starting to be taken up.”
As reported last month, Mr Chettleburgh left nearly £340,000 in his will to be split between the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, cancer charity the Big C, and the Salvation Army.
Mr Chettleburgh ran a fish shop in St Augustine’s Street for more than 20 years. He inherited the fish shop opened by his father Sidney after his brother Danny retired in the late 1960s, and quickly turned the shop into a success, running it with Violet, his wife. At times there would be people queuing down St Augustine’s and into Sussex Street waiting for the shop to open up.
Do you know of a new shop coming to Norwich? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.