De Carle's Drug Stores, 9 St Augustine's Street, Norwich, c.1912
The gentleman on the right is possibly Mr H. E. De Carle, proprietor
A Norwich trade directory of 1867 lists a J. P. De Carle, chemists, in St Benedict's Street. Sometime before 1879 Joseph De Carle opened a branch of De Carle's Drug Stores at
9 St Augustine's Street, presumably taking over the business of John Cossey, chemist and druggist, who had previously traded there. The shop was located on the east side of the high street between two of St Augustine's many public houses, The Rose Inn and the Free Trade Tavern. The De Carles were possibly descended from Huguenot immigrants who settled in Norwich in the 17th century. In Norwich trade directories of 1783 and 1802 De Carles are listed as stone masons and bricklayers.
In addition to selling patent medicines, De Carle's manufactured its own fruit-flavoured drinks and cough linctus, 'Lungene' (see below), in premises in Rose Yard at the rear of their shop (see below). After the Second World War H. E. De Carle's Ltd went into parnership with Mr W. Coleman, to form Coleman & De Carle Ltd, with the Coleman side of the business specialising in photographic supplies and prescribing and dispensing spectacles. In the 1970s, under Mr Coleman's son, Peter Coleman, the chemists was closed and the business's name changed to Coleman Ophthalmic Opticians.
Today this successful local business trades under the management of Lester and Alison Fish as Coleman Opticians from the same premises it predecessor occcupied more than 130 years ago.
DeCarle's bottling factory in Rose Yard off
St Augustine's Street, Norwich. Drawing by A. G. Browne
Patriotic advertisment for Lungene in St Augustine's
parish magazine during the Great War (1914-18)
For more historic images of Coleman & De Carles click here.
Images courtesy Mr P. Coleman & Mr & Mrs Fish of Coleman Opticians