F W Neeve’s Shop in Church Street. Postcard courtesy Carol Ewin
Messrs Neeve & Neave – the two owners of different Supply Stores
Between the census of 1911 and the publication of Kelly’s Directory of 1912, Frederick Neeve put his shop sign above the door to his premises in Church Street, Great Ellingham.
The name of Frederick William Neeve as a grocer, draper, milliner, outfitter and dressmaker also appears in Kelly’s Trade Directory of 1912. The shop was also described as a general supply stores.
Mr Herbert J Neave’s Shop in Church Street near to the junction with the Attleborough Road
Further along Church Street (and not far from the junction with the Attleborough Road), Herbert Joseph Neave ran his supply stores. Herbert Neave is also listed in the same directory of 1912 as a grocer and draper.
Did the same sounding surname of the owners of the two shops in the same street cause confusion? Perhaps the locals referred to the two shops by differents names?
Frederick William Neeve
Frederick Neeve was a sub-postmaster, grocer & draper in Honing, Norfolk (a village between Worstead and East Ruston) before coming to Great Ellingham.
Living in Honing
The 1911 census captures 46 year old sub-postmaster Frederick William Neeve with his 49 year old wife, Alice Jane, at the Post Office in Honing. Although the couple had been married for 19 years, they had had no children. Lowestoft born Alice is an assistant to her husband.
With the couple is 30 year old single man George William Jackson. The census describes George as a nephew to Frederick. However, I suspect that George is Alice’s nephew. Along with Alice, George is also an assistant to Frederick. 15 year old domestic servant Eliza Blanche Ward completes the household.
Ten years earlier, the 1901 census finds grocer & draper Frederick (listed as ‘Fred’) and Alice living in the Street, Honing. Then aged 20, nephew George Jackson is aleady living with the couple along with Alice’s widowed mother, 80 year old Ipswich born Mary A Flowerdew. The household also has a 12 year old domestic servant, Alice Hubbard.
In 1901, Frederick is said to be aged 35 and Alice 45 – some 10 years older than Frederick. Ten years later (1911), the age gap on the census return has been reduced to just three years! Further, at the time of their marriage, the age difference between the couple was just four years. However, it is not unusual to find discrepancies in the ages of people listed on census returns and other documentation. Sometimes, and for various reasons, people were not always truthful when it came to their age.
Marriage at St Nicholas, Great Yarmouth
27 year old grocer Frederick William Neeve of Erpingham married 31 year old spinster, Alice Jane Flowerday, in the Parish Church of St Nicholas, Great Yarmouth on February 23rd, 1892. Alice, of 10 Arundel Road, Great Yarmouth, was the daughter of coal dealer, Joseph Flowerday.
The name of Frederick’s father is not recorded in the marriage register. Why was this?
The census return of 1911 mentions that Frederick was born in Great Yarmouth. However, the census of 1901 indicates that Frederick was uncertain of his place of birth, but that it may have been Suffolk.
Given that no father’s name for Frederick is given in the marriage register, Frederick may have had little (or no) recollection of his father, or his early life.
I have not yet been able to find Frederick on any of the earlier census returns. His early life is also a mystery to me.
Tenant Arthur J Pollard
Turning back to Frederick’s time in Great Ellingham, Kelly’s Directory of 1925 lists both Herbert Joseph Neave and Frederick William Neeve as grocers in Great Ellingham.
Frederick and Alice Neeve ran their shop in Church Street until Frederick retired. In 1926, he let the shop and part of the dwelling to Arthur J Pollard.
Frederick William Neeve and his wife Alice Jane (née Flowerday). Photograph courtesy Carol Ewin
Methodists Frederick Neeve & Herbert Neave
Both Frederick Neeve and Herbert Neave had associations with the Great Ellingham Methodist Chapel. The Eastern Daily Press of the 29th August, 1936, reported on the ‘Gift to Great Ellingham Methodist Chapel‘.
Great Ellingham Methodist Church. Courtesy Carol Ewin
Frederick Neeve generously gifted the installation of electric light in the chapel (and school). A service at the chapel took place on the previous Tuesday, at which the electric light had been switched on for the first time. Herbert Neave had presided over the event.
Death of Frederick Neeve
Frederick Neeve retained the ownership of the shop premises (including the living accommodation) until his death on the 14th August, 1943.
In his will, Frederick appointed his good friend (and tenant) Arthur Pollard as his sole executor. On the 1st December, 1943, the shop premises with the living accommodation was assented to Arthur Pollard.
History of Frederick Neeve’s Shop
The fine thatched building which housed Frederick Neeve’s shop is one of the oldest properties in Great Ellingham. You can read more about the history of this building here.
[Updated 29 July 2022]
Kelly’s Directory 1912. Norfolk Family History Society, Kirby Hall, 70 St Giles St, Norwich NR2 1LS
Kelly’s Directory 1925. Attleborough Heritage Group, Attleborough Community & Enterprise Centre, Church Street, Attleborough, NR17 2AH
1901 census RG13/1820/36
1911 census RG14/11135/124
Great Yarmouth, St Nicholas Parish Registers. Norfolk Record Office PD/28. Also available at FamilySearch.org
Eastern Daily Press Saturday 29th August, 1936. Viewed via localrecall.co.uk 10th August, 2020
Thanks to Carol Ewin
Deeds & Documents – thanks to Erica Betts