IS IT REALLY TEN YEARS!
ASHTON ROBERTS ANNIVERSARY
Downham Market probably has its origins as a Saxon settlement. Its name derives from the Anglo Saxon ‘Dun’ meaning hill and ‘ham’ meaning settlement, so ‘settlement on the hill’.
When driving from Barroway Drove on the Fens, the town is clearly raised, with St Edmunds church above the other buildings.
The town had achieved market status by the year 1050, so became Downham Market.
The ancient beginnings of Downham reflect the character of the town today. It is a friendly, traditional, old fashioned place where people still have time for each other and strangers greet each other with a nod and a ‘good morning’.
It is ten years since Chris Roberts started his own business, Ashton Roberts Letting Agency here in Downham Market, having worked as an estate agent all his life, more recently in Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge. Chris chose Downham because he felt the town reflected all the qualities that he believes are important in business; quality service, traditional values, friendly face-to-face relationships and good value for money.
Chris started out in a small office, tucked behind the High Street and still fondly reminisces about the first property he let, a bungalow in Cock Drove. As property investing became more popular and demand from tenants grew, the business expanded, in 2007, into new premises at 38 High Street. The new office was previously a carpet shop and before that a large chemist, after which it was split in two, with the other half still occupied by Knots. With the increase in clients more staff were needed and Mel Lee joined Chris, then Helen Fisher became a business partner. Expansion continued, with an estate agency added to the letting business.
In the summer of 2013 Ashton Roberts moved to the current office in the delightful Grade II listed building that is 19A High Street, right on the market square, with views of the Victorian clock tower and the town hall. There is an old photograph, in the office, believed to date from the 1930’s, showing that this was once a family grocers and provision merchants, ‘India and China Tea Co’. Was this one of the earliest supermarket chains? The shop has housed many businesses, including a fruitiers called GR Sharp, ‘Steve’s Heels and Keys’, ‘Yankee Candles’, a nail bar, a wedding shop and a fashion store.
Settled in a prime position right in the middle of Downham Market, Ashton Roberts has gone from strength to strength. The lettings department has mushroomed as more and more landlords realise the importance of using an agency which is a licensed member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents. This means that both Chris and Helen are professionally qualified and trained to give up to date advice and guidance. Landlords’ and tenants’ money is protected by a Client Money Protection Scheme. With their zeal for personal service and old fashioned values the partners use their knowledge and experience to find the highest standard of tenants for their landlords.
The sales department is thriving as the combination of low selling fees and investment in modern technology and use of the internet makes a winning combination when advertising homes and finding the right buyer. In April 2016 Rebekah Watts joined the team and is already proving to be a huge asset, as the agency gets busier and busier.
Ashton Roberts are happy to advise anyone thinking of selling their home or investing in a rental property. Just pop in for a chat.