Long Melford has much to please the eye. A big Suffolk wool church, a village green bordered by both a turreted gateway and a gabled garden building for the Hall, plus a red brick conduit house surrounded by the sweeping greensward.
But, whilst these eyecatchers don't exactly pale into insignificance, it was this little building that brought about the squealing of brakes and an abrupt u-turn yesterday afternoon.
In 1868 a Mr. Row was station master at Long Melford station. Possibly as a result of reading his staff magazine and newspapers, his eyes must have narrowed at the commercial possibilities of insuring passengers against railway mishaps. And so this little office opened, and was so successful that Mr. Row left the Great Eastern Railway and went into the insurance business full-time. Remarkably, that's what still goes on here, with the name Row still shining on the brass plates outside. Once restricted to just carefully-incised stone lettering, signing additions have subsequently appeared in a very ad hoc fashion over the years, creating, for me, a high spot on the high street..