Days Gone By- look up and see the signs of Ipswich’s rich history

Parrs Bank stood at the junction of King Street and Princes Street, Ipswich. The sign on the wall,

Parrs Bank stood at the junction of King Street and Princes Street, Ipswich. The sign on the wall, above the pair of horses pulling the wagon on the left, is still there. This photograph was taken around 1912.

Reminders of the past are still on many properties in Ipswich, writes David Kindred.

The Parr's Bank sign on the wall in Princes Street, as it looks now.

The Parr's Bank sign on the wall in Princes Street, as it looks now.

Signs of long gone businesses are on many buildings, some in painted signs, others carved in stone. You often have to look high on buildings to see these reminders. Reader, Paul Hyder, has sent his observations of these surviving advertising and name signs. I have taken a walk round town and photographed some of the signs. There are many more. Which ones have you seen?

The advertising sign for Egertons garage in Crown Street is high on the building in the bottom cent

The advertising sign for Egertons garage in Crown Street is high on the building in the bottom centre of this aerial photograph from 1964. Egertons then occupied this building, which is now the Robert Ransome public house. (Photo by Tony Ray/Archant).

Mr Hyder writes: “I recently walked through the Ipswich town centre and at what was known as Cheapside, now Giles Circus, the Ipswich Building Society are in the process of taking over the building on the corner of King Street. On the wall of the building it says “Parr’s Bank Ltd.”

The sign for Egerton's garage on the back wall of what is now the Robert Ransome public house.

The sign for Egerton's garage on the back wall of what is now the Robert Ransome public house.

“This reminded me of several buildings in Ipswich that carry the name or occupation of a previous owner or business.

The sign for Egerton's garage on the back wall of what is now the Robert Ransome public house.

The sign for Egerton's garage on the back wall of what is now the Robert Ransome public house.

“In Princes Street and opposite the junction with Museum Street I saw, high up in the stonework on the front of a building, the words ‘Sun Buildings’, where the Sun Alliance or Sun Insurance office used to be. A little further on, on the opposite side of the road, above an archway, again in stone relief, I read ‘Fred Smith Central Livery and Bait Stables’. The archway had been the entrance to his business premises.

The sign for Egerton's garage on the back wall of what is now the Robert Ransome public house.

The sign for Egerton's garage on the back wall of what is now the Robert Ransome public house.


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“The building on the corner of Lower Brook Street and Tacket Street, in the stone work is the word ‘Price’ The shop had for many years, until the middle the of the 20th Century, been Price’s shoe shop.

The sign for Egerton's garage on the back wall of what is now the Robert Ransome public house.

The sign for Egerton's garage on the back wall of what is now the Robert Ransome public house.

“On the chimneys of the building at the corner of Upper Brook Street and The Buttermarket, which is now Boots Opticians, it says ‘Symonds for Kodak’. The corner site “was occupied until the 1950s by Symonds the chemist.

F. Prices' boot and shoe shop at the corner of Tacket Street and Lower Brook Street in 1959. This is

F. Prices' boot and shoe shop at the corner of Tacket Street and Lower Brook Street in 1959. This is now the Shamrock bar. (Photo by Keith Deal).

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At the back of the Robert Ransome public house, Tower Street, it says “Egerton’s Ipswich Ltd 100 yards and a green BP sign”. This was for Egerton’s garage which stood where Crown Pools is now. The garage was demolished in the early 1970s.

The building on the left of this photograph of Princes Street, Ipswich, still has Sun Buildings high

The building on the left of this photograph of Princes Street, Ipswich, still has Sun Buildings high on the front.

“It is not just in the town centre where such signs still exist.

Fred Smith and Company's Livery and Bait Stables is still promoted on this building in Princes Stree

Fred Smith and Company's Livery and Bait Stables is still promoted on this building in Princes Street, Ipswich.

“In Bramford Road, at the junction of Richmond Road, is a small shop, high up is painted ‘Bottled, Wines Ales and Stout’ this is a reminder that the premises used to be an off licence. Also on Bramford Road, between Gatacre Road and Sirdar Road, next to the Salvation Army Hall, on the side of Barbour’s chemist in very faded letters, “W B Kerridge The Peoples Cash Shop”.

The sign for Egerton's garage on the back wall of what is now the Robert Ransome public house.

The sign for Egerton's garage on the back wall of what is now the Robert Ransome public house.

“On the corner of Sirdar Road is another small shop and near the roof there is a “Hovis” bread sign. In Felixstowe Road, at the junction with Salisbury Road, painted on the wall is ‘J. W. How, Houses For Sale To Let’ “It seems that the business of estate agent might have been run from there.

“There must be lots of other such signs all over Ipswich. The most recent changes are to premises that were public houses and there are still a lot of reminders of the old trade. When you are walking around, take the odd look up, there is a lot of interesting things to see.”

Do any of the photographs featured this week bring memories for you? Send your memories via email

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