14 Abbeygate street - Bury St. Edmunds

In 1745 George Lumley – Freeman of the clock makers company, carried out his business from 14 Abbeygate street. In 1784 he passed away leaving his widow – described as an “eminent Watchmaker”, who went into partnership with John Gudgeon from 1785 – 1800.

Many Clocks from this period survive.

John Gudgeon was succeeded by his son who carried on from 1801, Establishing the store in 1815 (the year of Waterloo).

John Vale took over in 1839 and in 1865 went into partnership with a Mr Richardson. A glance at their catalogue of 1890 shows a Diamond Solitare ring would cost from £2, a gold bangle 18 shillings and carnage clocks from a little over £2 which did come in a Russian leather fitted case.

In 1901 Edward Thurlow Champness, the son of the Headmaster of Northgate School Ipswich, bought the business from Mr Richardson and the Champness family lived above the shop until 1947.

In 1950 the business was passed down to his son Lt. Col. Peter Thurlow Champness. During this time we manufactured Silverware in a workshop behind the shop. The shop was extensively refitted, and we ceased selling spectacles, a normal line for jewellers at the time.