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Days Gone By - A famous Ipswich store where you could buy almost anything

PUBLISHED: 13:00 11 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:21 11 April 2017

Do they come in pairs? A challenge for visitors to FootmanÕs sale in July 1966. (Photo by David Kindred/Archant).

Do they come in pairs? A challenge for visitors to FootmanÕs sale in July 1966. (Photo by David Kindred/Archant).

Archant

One of Ipswich’s largest department stores is Debenhams, which stands on a site between Westgate Street and Tower Ramparts, writes David Kindred as he takes his weekly look back at the history of Ipswich.

A section of the furniture department at FootmanÕs store in the 1930s, when the average cost of a three piece suite was around £20.
A section of the furniture department at FootmanÕs store in the 1930s, when the average cost of a three piece suite was around £20.

For over a century the site was home to Footman’s, a shop where most things could be bought, from groceries, furniture, the latest records or a loaf of bread.

Huge queues would form for the sales at FootmanÕs store. 
Huge queues would form for the sales at FootmanÕs store.

Huge queues would form for the sales at FootmanÕs store. 
Huge queues would form for the sales at FootmanÕs store.

The business was founded by Robert Footman as a linen, draper and silk mercer in the Buttermarket, Ipswich, on June 21, 1815, three days after the Battle of Waterloo.

Unusual visitors to Lloyds Avenue, Ipswich, as this promotion for ÒAtoraUnusual visitors to Lloyds Avenue, Ipswich, as this promotion for ÒAtora" suet arrived at FootmanÕs store in the 1950s.

A range of cheeses at FootmanÕs store in 1966. (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).
A range of cheeses at FootmanÕs store in 1966. (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).

Robert’s brother, John, took over after Robert died, aged just 31.

Furniture repairs and restoration at FootmanÕs in September 1966. (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).
Furniture repairs and restoration at FootmanÕs in September 1966. (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).

Furniture repairs and restoration at FootmanÕs in September 1966. (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).
Furniture repairs and restoration at FootmanÕs in September 1966. (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).

The business moved to the Waterloo House on the Cornhill.


Who was working in the carpet department at FootmanÕs in 1966? (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant). Who was working in the carpet department at FootmanÕs in 1966? (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).

Who were these men working in the bakery at FootmanÕs Ipswich in 1966? (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).
Who were these men working in the bakery at FootmanÕs Ipswich in 1966? (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).

John Footman was joined by William Pretty and Alexander Nicholson and in 1842 the company moved to Westgate Street and a new Waterloo House.

Who were these men working in the bakery at FootmanÕs Ipswich in 1966? (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).
Who were these men working in the bakery at FootmanÕs Ipswich in 1966? (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).

017 Kindred 11 April 17_ (11)-a017 Kindred 11 April 17_ (11)-a

Many will remember the bakers shop inside the Lloyds Avenue entrance, the ‘posh’ top floor restaurant, the large furniture and carpet department and the big queues that formed for the sales.

Sept 65Sept 65


The Lloyds Avenue entrance to FootmanÕs department store in September 1965. (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).
The Lloyds Avenue entrance to FootmanÕs department store in September 1965. (Photo by Ivan Smith/Archant).

The shop was demolished and rebuilt in the late 1970s in large sections as trading continues.

Bargain hunters at a FootmanÕs sale in July 1966. (Photo by David Kindred/Archant).
Bargain hunters at a FootmanÕs sale in July 1966. (Photo by David Kindred/Archant).

What memories do you have of Footman’s? Write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS or share your memories via email.

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