Remembering what a treat it was to shop in Footman's department store

TV presenter Judith Chalmers signing autographs at Footman's, Ipswich, in March 1971

TV presenter Judith Chalmers signing autographs at Footman's, Ipswich, in March 1971 - Credit: Archant

Do you remember shopping at Footman's in Ipswich?

Photos of the much-loved department store  from the 1960s and 1970s  feature in our latest Days Gone By feature.

Bargain hunters at a Footman’s sale in July 1966.

Bargain hunters at a Footman’s sale in July 1966. - Credit: David Kindred/Archant

Following the sad news that Debenhams is preparing for closure, readers have been sharing their memories of the famous Footman Pretty & Co store, which stood on the site for more than a century.

Furniture repairs and restoration at Footman’s in September 1966.

Furniture repairs and restoration at Footman’s in September 1966. - Credit: Ivan Smith/Archant

Peter Talbot wrote: "I worked at Footman's in 1969-1970 on the provision counter, which was on the ground floor near the entrance in Lloyd Avenue.

Allan Smethurst , ‘The Singing Postman’ signing autographs at Footman’s store in Ipswich in April 1966.

Allan Smethurst , ‘The Singing Postman’ signing autographs at Footman’s store in Ipswich in April 1966. - Credit: David Kindred/Archant

"The service we had to provide was first class, because the customer was always right. The staff always called the customer 'Sir' or 'Madam' and never questioned their request.

Westgate Street, Ipswich, in January 1965

Westgate Street, Ipswich, in January 1965. Shops on the left were John Collier tailors, Stone’s electrical, the Crown and Anchor Hotel and Footman’s department store. - Credit: Ivan Smith/Archant

"I was taught how to cut ham off the bone in front of the customer, so it was imperative that it was cut correctly every time.

A fashion show at Footmans store in Ipswich in March 1965.

A fashion show at Footmans store in Ipswich in March 1965. - Credit: Archant


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"Watching our every move, we had floor walkers, who moved about the department waiting for anything which was not correct. I remember the ladies coming into the store with fur coats and the men with suits.

STAR MEMORY FRAME NOSTALGIAA Polaroid presentation at Footmans, Ipswich, in August 1971

A Polaroid presentation at Footman's, Ipswich, in August 1971 - Credit: Archant

"Under the store is where we had the cold storage preparation area, and the tunnels which ran from Lloyds Avenue through to Westgate Street, so I expect they were filled in when Debenhams was built.

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"I learned a lot at Footman's in the food trade and was sorry when it was demolished. We will have to see what will happen next in this very important part of town."

Stella Burgess wrote: "I loved Footman Pretty as a child. The food hall seemed huge, with every sort of lovely food on display and all the lovely smells too.

Fashions on show at Footman's Ipswich store in September 1966. 

Fashions on show at Footman's Ipswich store in September 1966. - Credit: David Kindred/Archant

"I loved the way the flights of stairs seemed to twist and turn to different floors. Of course, my favourite floor was the toy department, and I had to be dragged out every time.

"It would seem old fashioned now but then it was a real treat to go there especially as it was post war and treats were limited."

What are your memories of Footman's and other shops in Ipswich over the years? Email judy.rimmer@archant.co.uk

To order copies of photos, visit our website   or call Diane Townsend on  01603 772449.


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