Days Gone By: Memories of working at and visiting Footman’s department store in Ipswich

The basement department at Footmans, Ipswich store was converted to a Grotto for the Christmas perio

The basement department at Footmans, Ipswich store was converted to a Grotto for the Christmas period where children could ride on electric cars and visit Father Christmas. Do you remember this?

One of Ipswich’s largest former department stores featured in a recent Days Gone By and for many readers it has provoked a walk down memory lane, writes David Kindred.


Footmans.
The Lloyds Avenue, Ipswich entrance to Footman’s department store.

Footmans. The Lloyds Avenue, Ipswich entrance to Footmans department store.

For more than a century, Footman’s, which was in the former Debenhams site, sold items ranging from groceries and furniture to the latest records.

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

STAR MEMORY FRAME NOSTALGIA A Polaroid presentation at Footmans, Ipswich, in August 1971 NEG 25013 ES 17.8.09

• Footman’s was a store where you could buy almost anything

The latest fashion on show at Footmans Ipswich store in September 1966. (Photo by Dave Kindred/Archa

The latest fashion on show at Footmans Ipswich store in September 1966. (Photo by Dave Kindred/Archant)

Eric Pearce, from Ipswich, wrote in to say he worked at the store for 16 years in the bedding workshop repairing spring interior mattresses.

The latest fashion on show at Footmans Ipswich store in September 1966. (Photo by Dave Kindred/Archa

The latest fashion on show at Footmans Ipswich store in September 1966. (Photo by Dave Kindred/Archant)

He said: “I worked with Mr Proctor, Don Pearce and Joe Denny. I started in 1950, then was called up for National Service in 1953 to 1955.

The top floor restaurant at Footmans, Ipswich store.

The top floor restaurant at Footmans, Ipswich store.

“I returned to Footmans and transferred to the furniture department where I worked for Mr H Hall and Mr Raven, then after a short while moved to the transport and removal department. I can remember names, such as Billy Bennet, Roy Smith, Ray Lister, Kenny Chalcraft, Noel King, Ron and Reg Davis and Ald Revins.

Walter Birch (right) worked in the chair repairing department for all of his working life.

Walter Birch (right) worked in the chair repairing department for all of his working life.

“I also met my wife Margaret who worked in the restaurant.”

Lyn Stammers, from Woodbridge, has fond memories of Footmans and visiting the restaurant for tea and cake.

Most Read

“I was always envious as I watched Knickerbocker Glory being made knowing I could not have one,” she recalled.

“Albert was the lift operator. I liked to watch the assistants slicing the ham and preparing the cheese in the food hall. It was a wonderful place.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter