Buntings

Arthur Bunting began in 1860 in partnership with the three 'Curl Brothers' in setting up a drapery on the corner of St Stephens Street and Rampant Horse Street in Norwich. However the partnership was short lived and, before the end of that year, the Curl Brothers had set up shop on the opposite side of Rampant Horse Street, now Debenhams. Despite the competition from ninety other drapery stores across Norwich, Bunting’s business grew quickly, and in 1866 Arthur Bunting & Co was incorporated.

In 1912 Arthur Bunting's son, John Walter Bunting, later Chamber President in 1929, was Director of the store, and work was completed on a whole new, modern look, designed by infamous local architect A F Scott.

The re-fitted, extended store now covered four floors to hold its extensive and refined offering. In 1926 Buntings were marketing themselves as "The Store for All", and even had an orchestral trio playing between 12:00 and 18:00 daily for the entertainment of customers

Buntings, along with the nearby Curls and Woolworths buildings and many others across the City, was severely damaged by German bomb raids in the Norwich Blitz of 1942.

The Woolworths and Curl Brother buildings were completely destroyed, however Buntings was able to rebuild from the rubble and was used as a NAAFI (Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes) Service club.

In 1950 the store was relocated from Rampant Horse Street to London Street. Their former site was refurbished and became home to Marks & Spencer in 1950.

The frontage of the old Buntings building is still visible today (apart from the third floor which was never re-built). However, Buntings suffered further misfortune in 1970 when a fire from the neighbouring Garland’s store spread and their store was devastated once more and the business was unable to recover.

 

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