Walking back in time

7th December 2017 8:00 AM
'THE' HANDSHAKE: Timothy Frome Stephens and David Lee reenact the handshake between Anthony Frome and Samuel Lee that took place in 1938 sealing a lease deal that would last over 50 years. 'THE' HANDSHAKE: Timothy Frome Stephens and David Lee reenact the handshake between Anthony Frome and Samuel Lee that took place in 1938 sealing a lease deal that would last over 50 years. Kim Micke

NEARLY 80 years ago Samuel Lee and Anthony Frome sealed a lease deal with a handshake, not knowing it would last for over 54 years.

On Monday morning, Samuel's son David Lee and Anthony's grandson Timothy Frome Stephens attended the Rogers St car park and Fromes Lane walkway opening celebrating their families' long history with Stanthorpe.

In 1920, the Lees built the building adjacent to Fromes Lane to run a printing and stationary store called Samuel Lee & Co.

"When his (Timothy's) grandfather came to town, he was looking for a premise to set up a business,” David said.

"So he came to my father. They had a discussion, they set on a price, they had a handshake and 54 years later, he was still here.”

A seventh generation printer, David's family continued to run the shop until 2010 working next to the Fromes for many decades.

From 1938 to 1992, Anthony and Barbara Frome walked up and down Fromes Lane to get to their part of the store, a drapery called Michael & Co, and in the 60s, the lane was named Fromes Lane acknowledging the Fromes' involvement in the Stanthorpe community.

"My grandmother's parents had a drapery in Tenterfield (Michael & Co) and when they came here they named it Michael & Co to maintain the branding even though they were Fromes,” Timothy said.

"My grandfather was there from 1938 to 1992. Probably two thirds of it (the shop) was the printing and stationary business and then one third was the drapery,” Timothy said.

"And every day, my grandfather walked up and down this lane to his store, several times a day and my grandmother Barbara.”

Anthony Frome stayed in business until he was well into his 80s and he continued to walk up and down Fromes Ln for over 54 years.

Timothy said the family was honoured the side street was still named Fromes Lane. "We fully expected the name to change but I am really glad it stayed that way,” he said.

"Bless this lane and all those who walk down it.”