Days Gone By - A famous Ipswich store where you could buy almost anything
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.
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.
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.
Robert’s brother, John, took over after Robert died, aged just 31.
The business moved to the Waterloo House on the Cornhill.
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John Footman was joined by William Pretty and Alexander Nicholson and in 1842 the company moved to Westgate Street and a new Waterloo House.
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.
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The shop was demolished and rebuilt in the late 1970s in large sections as trading continues.
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.