The shop we now know as Burtons was opened as a newsagents in 1895 by a Mr. Pratt who had formerly been a butler at Easneye house. He handed it down to his son in-law Mr. Chris Burton in 1930 who in turn handed it down to his son Mr. Ken Burton in 1945. Ken lived with his wife Eva in Gypsy Lane Amwell and ran the shop until 1981 when he sold it to a Mr. Brian Williams and wife Audrey.


Initially the shop was very small being only 10 feet deep or so with a nearly full length counter on the right, with just a little hidden squeeze through at the back. At first I have been told the shop just sold newspapers and pipe tobacco. [Grandmother sourced information]. Given the narrowness of the shop there was little space either side of the counter. The shop was extended in the 60's and again in the 70's with a resultant incremental growth in the range of goods offered.


Apart from using the shop frequently during the reign of Ken Burton I also at times helped him load the newspapers into the back of his car at the railway station, railway workers being ever helpful even at that ungodly hour. The papers then [up until late 70's I believe] arrived by the first train of the day at about 05.23 from Liverpool Street.  I suspect Ken Burton was there at the station most days at that time over a period of 36 years and probably helping his father before that.


The Burtons were well known in the village, Kens wife Eva came from Hunsdon and their shop was a bit of an institution.


Stuart Moye

Burtons Newsagents

40 High Street, Stanstead Abbotts

Outside Pratt’s shop.

Mr Pratt and wife perhaps?

Sign reads



Cigar sign may well be product of photographers improvement of picture?

Motor bike late 1920’s maybe

An advertisement for James Pratt from the SA Parish  magazine Nov 1912

(Burtons closed January 2017)