The building at 123-124 High Street dates from c.1870 and from its inception seems to have housed a fish merchant on the ground floor with offices above. George Thomas is listed in local street directories from the 1870s as a fish merchant with premises in Waterloo Terrace on London Road and in Market Lane off the High Street. He also had a warehouse in French Street. It is likely that the Market Lane premises were the same as (or part of) the 123-124 High Street building, as Market Lane formerly ran along its southern side and the 1893 Goad Plan shows nos. 123-124 as occupied by Thomas and Mowat fish merchants.
Robert Mowat, born in Scotland in about 1853, went into partnership with George Thomas in the early 1890s: the firm of Thomas and Mowat is listed in directories from c.1893. By 1905 the firm was styled simply Mowats Ltd and remained that way until the early 1960s when it apparently ceased trading.
The building, now a restaurant, is Grade II listed. The ground floor interior retains original ceramic panels depicting marine subjects: sailing boats, Neptune, Venus and dolphins, reminders of its history as a fish market (see clipping below).

123-124 High Street

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The building as it looks today.

Newspaper clipping:

The Palatial Fish Shop


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