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No 84-86 High Street

This Grade II Listed property was originally combined with No 82 as a single residence. Built in the early-to-mid 17th century, the building was divided into three living units in the early 19th Century and converted into shops at the beginning of the 20th Century. For much of the 20th century, 84 and 86 were combined with No 88 as Stead & Simpsons shoe shop.

Herbert Edwin Leckenby - Boot Maker (K1908).

Note: Herbert also had boot, shoe and clothing shops in Halesworth where he lived. The Southwold shop was presumably run by a local manager. One of the Halesworth shops, on Quay Street (pictured right), is run under the brand 'Public Benefit Boot and Clothing Stores'. The Public Benefit movement was started in 1875 in Hull by William Henry Franklin and grew to encompass 200 branches most run by shareholder owners. It was a not-for-profit, nationwide enterprise of shops and factories selling affordable boots and clothing at low margins which were ploughed back into the business to fund new branches.

In 1912, after Herbert had relinquished his Southwold shop to Stead & Simpson next door (see below), he took over the Ives Boot factory and shop in Halesworth which he runs throughout WW1. However it will revert back to the Ives family in 1921. Interestingly, the Ives also appear to have Southwold Connections. HSF Ives ran a shoe shop at No 10 Queen Street just after the Second War.

Our thanks to Herbert Edwin Leckenby's Granddaughter, Rachel Round, for most of the above information and for the photo, right.


Stead & Simpson - Boot & Shoe Maker (K1916) - a retail branch of the Midlands-based shoe manufacturer founded in 1834. The Stead & Simpson shop actually seems to have opened at least eight years earlier in the premises next door (No 88). This year, Stead & Simpson have the opportunity of taking over the Leckenby business and expand into 84 and 86 in addition to 88.

The manager at this time is Frederick Cox (Source: Cyril Steley)

Stead & Simpson - Boot & Shoe Maker (K1924)

Stead & Simpson - Boot & Shoe Maker (SRB1936)



Stead & Simpson - Boot & Shoe Maker (SRB1954)

Stead & Simpson - Shoe retailer. The company ceases its manufacturing business in the 1960s to concentrate on retailing.


Stead & Simpson - Shoe retailer (SER1972)

Andrew J & Freda P Balls - 'Southwold Shoes'. This new shoe shop which opens this year, occupies only 84 and 86. The Balls have previously run No 64 close by as a children's wear shop

Andrew J & Freda P Balls- 'Southwold Shoes'. The shop closes this year (SLHR)

Julie Church - 'Daddylonglegs', Shoe retailer, opens this year. (SLHR)


Julie Church - 'Daddylonglegs', Shoe retailer


Do you have any memories or records about this address? Can you correct any of our information or fill in any of our blanks? If so, please email Barry Tolfree
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BSD - Bernard Segrave-Daly
BCS = Bygones & Characters of Southwold by Barrett Jenkins
C = Census
CP = Cinema Programme 1958
CSP = Coronation Souvenir Programme 1953
G = Gales Trade Directory
GRO = General Register Office
K = Kelly's Directory
LM = Local memory
M = James Maggs' Southwold Diary 1818-1876
MCG = Methodist Church Guide 1930
NA = National Archives
PP = Pantomime Programme 1933
PLR = Petrol Licence Records

POD = Post Office Directory
PPP = Pier Pavilion Programme 1924, 1926
RCE = Rotary Club Exhibition 1969
SCM = Southwold Catholic Magazine 1923
SCTG = Southwold Corporation Tourist Guide
SER = Southwold Electoral Register
SFP = Southwold Scouts Fete Programme 1947
SG = Southwold Guide
SGCH = Southwold Golf Club Handbook
SLHR = Southwold Local History Recorder 1980s 1990s (Mrs R. McDermot)
SMHS = Southwold Museum & Historical Society

SN = Southwold & Neighbourhood 1903
SPM = Southwold Parish Magazine 1895 -1954
SR = Southwold Recorder 1927, 1932, 1934, 1935
SRB = Southwold Rate Book
SRT = Southwold Railway Timetable 1915
SSAS = Southwold Sea Angling Society Handbook 1909
SST = Southwold Summer Theatre Programmes
SSW = Southwold Shopping Week Programme, June/July 1922
STG = Southwold Town Guide 1930
SVL = Southwold Visitors List 1907, 1930
SVCP = Southwold Victory Celebration Programme 1946
SWCG = Southwold Wesleyan Church Guide

TTR = 'The Town Revisited' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 2000
TTT = ''To The Town' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 1988
W = White’s History, Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk 1874

Note on dates
Unless otherwise stated, dates given do not indicate the years in which the business started or finished but those for which there is firm evidence that it was trading at this address. Sources in brackets; key at bottom of page.


Herbert Edwin Leckenby (on the left) pictured outside his 'Public Benefit Boot and Clothing Company' in Quay Street, Halesworth.
Picture supplied by Rachel Round.
Click image to view the whole scene.

Stead & Simpson in 1915
From a postcard in the Robert Palmer collection.
Click the picture to enlarge

No 84-86 in 1998 just after Southwold Shoes closed.
Photo courtesy of David Weight