Watton Brewery

Another very old Watton firm was Henry Siggins who became established in 1840 and had their Plumbing, Glazing and Decorating business at the junction of Harvey Street and Dereham Road, where Martin Anscombe's "POP IN" was until recently. Their business finished soon after the last war as there were no descendants in the family to carry on.

George Butcher's General and Furnishing Ironmongers business used to be where Roy Rudling's D.I.Y. Store now stands.

James Garner's Agricultural Engineers and Blacksmiths was another long established firm whose works were situated where Noel Dye now displays his Tractors and William Crane was apprenticed there at the age of 13 and retired at 70, having completed 57 years with the same firm, a fine record.

Waters & Sons, Builders were established in 1853.

Waters and Sons, Plumbers, Decorators and General Builders etc., was established in 1853 with works in the High Street and Norwich Road, later moving to larger premises on the Thetford Road. Following the death of Dan Waters in the 1950's, his son Deric took over the business for a short period before deciding to take a post in Hong Kong , where he became the Principal of the Morrison Hill Technical Institute, retiring in 1980 as Assistant Director of Education for Hong Kong . Since 1974 the business premises have been occupied by Aspect Special Products Department, where a dozen men are employed in the production of Special Roofing Tiles.

As shown in the above advertisement, the Watton Brewery was established in 1809, but it was not until 1831 that a small part of the building still standing in the High street was built by Edward Stevens, probably on the site of the earlier and smaller works.

His son Robert extended it in 1838 and managed it until his death in 1866. It was later purchased by Thomas Crawshay Frost and under his guidance the business expanded considerably so that in 1877 he built a large extension that doubled the brewery's output.

This work involved the erection of a much larger chimney that completely dominated the look along the sky line in the High Street until it became unsafe and was demolished in February 1975. Older residents claim that Watton had three wonderful wells that supplied a constant supply of excellent water to many of the inhabitants, either directly, or indirectly, until the mains supply arrived. One was under the Town Pump by the clock tower, another by the National School Pump and the third was in the brewery yard and until a few years ago several residents could remember this well and the horse that operated the machinery that pumped the water into the brewery, where it was used in the brewing of the beer.

Crawshay Frost sold the business about 1890 to William Cannand Co., of Wymondham and later it was acquired by Morgans Brewery of Norwich, who continued to brew beer in the town until about 1912. When Mr Frost was living at the Brewery House - now the "Chocolate Box" - it was his custom on Valentine's Day to collect a hundred or so new pennies from the Bank and after heating them on a dustpan over an open fire until nearly red hot, he threw them out of an upstairs window in­to the street for the children to scramble for and many a small finger got burnt in the fun. Today the brewery is occupied by the well known firm of Rapide Printing Works.

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