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Days Gone By: The work of photographer Frederick Gillson

PUBLISHED: 14:53 01 June 2018

Carr Street, Ipswich, from Major's Corner, in the late 1920s. The Tolly public house, the Beehive is on the left, it was built in the 1890s and opened in December 1899. It closed in March 1960 and was demolished. It was replaced with a Elmo supermarket, that building is now a restaurant. The buildings on the right, at the junction of old Foundry Lane and St Margarets Street, were demolished in the late 1960s   Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON

Carr Street, Ipswich, from Major's Corner, in the late 1920s. The Tolly public house, the Beehive is on the left, it was built in the 1890s and opened in December 1899. It closed in March 1960 and was demolished. It was replaced with a Elmo supermarket, that building is now a restaurant. The buildings on the right, at the junction of old Foundry Lane and St Margarets Street, were demolished in the late 1960s Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON

Dave Kindred

In 1894 the Post Office authorised the sending of picture postcards though the mail. This was the start of a popular trend to send short messages on the back of a photograph.

There was very little traffic on Bishops Hill, Ipswich, when this photograph was taken from near the gate to Holywells Park in the late 1920s   Picture: FREDERICK GILLSONThere was very little traffic on Bishops Hill, Ipswich, when this photograph was taken from near the gate to Holywells Park in the late 1920s Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON

Millions of cards were sold, often with photographs of landmarks where people were visiting on holiday to show where they were staying.

This provided work for photographers, who both supplied images for the mass produced printed cards and also real photograph cards printed in the darkroom in small numbers.

One of the Ipswich photographers, who sold real photograph cards, was Frederick Gillson, who first worked from his home at 54 Brooks Hall Road, Ipswich, from the 1920s. He later had premises at 79 Norwich Road, Ipswich, at the junction with Bramford Road.

Much of Mr Gillson’s work has survived through the thousands of his cards that were sold. Local directories suggest that he stopped trading at the end of the 1950s.

In this week’s Days Gone By I feature some of his postcard photographs of Ipswich.

Photographs of St Margarets Green, Ipswich, were published in a recent Days Gone By and reader Roger Newson has written asking if anybody has photographs of a shop which was there in the 1980s.

Roger Newson, from Felixstowe, said: “I have fond memories of The Globe Fantasy Bookshop at 21a St Margarets Green, Ipswich, from 1979 to 1989. When it closed it later became Central City Comics in Eagle Street, Ipswich. Globe’s co-owners were (among others) Dave Wright and the late, but much missed, Steve Bigerstaff. If anybody has any photographs or information I would be pleased to hear.

The Old Cattle Market bus station, Ipswich, around 1930. The sign in the background was advertising the Ipswich Ice Company in Turret Lane. This was a time when few had a refrigerator   Picture: FREDERICK GILLSONThe Old Cattle Market bus station, Ipswich, around 1930. The sign in the background was advertising the Ipswich Ice Company in Turret Lane. This was a time when few had a refrigerator Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON

The scene of a fire where horses were rescued in Ipswich featured recently, and Ipswich reader Keith Roper has sent me a cutting from the Ipswich Evening Star of January 21, 1909, giving details of the incident. The details are interesting as is the style of reporting, part of which I feature.

“An outbreak of fire, which, owing to the sudden and surprising reflection of the lurid glare in the atmosphere, caused great alarm, occurred in the western district of Ipswich just after eleven o’clock on Thursday night, and must have resulted in very considerable damage, of which no details are yet available.

“The scene of the outbreak was an area of about half an acre, or perhaps more, between the Norwich Road, Wellington Street and Waterloo Street, the last-named being a narrow lane with cottages on either side. Within this space, bounded on all sides by houses and other buildings, but with a narrow roadway running diagonally through it from Waterloo Street to Wellington Street, there was a veritable sea of flame, leaping waves and tongues of fire spreading about in all directions in a most alarming manner.

“The fire appears to have originated in the yard or one of the numerous sheds, belonging to Mr Arthur Girling, the builder, some of which are sub-let to other persons for various purposes. Mr Marriott, builder, of London Road, rents a portion of them, and a stable. Other adjacent buildings were occupied by Mr Pendell, a carter etc. The store of a rag and bone and marine store dealer named Page is also situated in the neighbourhood.

From this it will be seen that the character of the buildings and their contents was highly inflammable, and this will account for the astonishing rapidity with which the flames spread.

It seems that Mr R A Calvesbert, who keeps a small shop at the corner of Waterloo Street, noticed a smell like the burning of wood about half past ten o’clock, and he went out in his back yard to look round his sheds. Not finding any trace of fire in his immediate vicinity, he returned to the house and went to bed, from which he was awakened half an hour later by the cry of ‘Fire’ ringing out almost under his windows.

By this time the whole neighbourhood was in turmoil, and the excitement was tremendous. By half past eleven o’clock the whole of the three-cornered area above described was a seething mass of blazing timber, which threw off myriads of sparks and immense clouds of golden smoke, which converted the scene into a brilliant spectacle such as has seldom been surpassed in Ipswich on such terrible occasions.

The Cornhill, Ipswich, looking into Tavern Street, in the 1920s. The building to the left of the Post Office, the offices of the Essex and Suffolk Fire and Accident company, was replaced in 1928. The tower of St Lawrence Church is in the background  Picture: FREDERICK GILLSONThe Cornhill, Ipswich, looking into Tavern Street, in the 1920s. The building to the left of the Post Office, the offices of the Essex and Suffolk Fire and Accident company, was replaced in 1928. The tower of St Lawrence Church is in the background Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON

The fire brigade, as soon as the alarm was received, made all haste to the conflagration with the steamer and manual, and all the available police appeared very smartly from various directions with many of their officers, who at once undertook the control of the ever increasing crowds and the direction of the efforts of some of the many volunteers who assisted those inhabitants of Waterloo Street whose effects were in danger.”

Keith Roper

Ipswich.

Do you know more about Frederick Gillson, or have any of his postcards that recorded life in the past? To submit a letter, in less than 300 words, write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS or e-mail info@kindred-spirit#

The Cornhill, Ipswich, looking towards Westgate Street, in the early 1930s. The Lloyds Avenue arch was cut through the buildings on the right and opened to traffic in January 1931 Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON 

The Cornhill, Ipswich, looking towards Westgate Street, in the early 1930s. The Lloyds Avenue arch was cut through the buildings on the right and opened to traffic in January 1931 Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON

A post card photograph of the 1909 fire in Wellington Street area of Ipswich Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE
A post card photograph of the 1909 fire in Wellington Street area of Ipswich Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

The Cornhill, Ipswich, in the early 1930s, as a trolley bus heads into Princes Street. The spire in the centre background was on top of the Picture House cinema which opened in December 1910 and closed in 1959. The site of the cinema is now a branch of Boots   Picture: FREDERICK GILLSONThe Cornhill, Ipswich, in the early 1930s, as a trolley bus heads into Princes Street. The spire in the centre background was on top of the Picture House cinema which opened in December 1910 and closed in 1959. The site of the cinema is now a branch of Boots Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON

Shops on Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, close to Levington Road, around 1930. Photographers who supplied post cards would often feature the shop where the cards were sold. This picture was probably on sale at Ernest Garrods newsagents on the left. The other businesses featured are Stanley Coopers domestic stores and the Alnesbourne Dairies and Bakery  Picture: FREDERICK GILLSONShops on Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, close to Levington Road, around 1930. Photographers who supplied post cards would often feature the shop where the cards were sold. This picture was probably on sale at Ernest Garrods newsagents on the left. The other businesses featured are Stanley Coopers domestic stores and the Alnesbourne Dairies and Bakery Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON

The Old Cattle Market, Ipswich, looking into Dogs Head Street. This photograph appears to be in the 1930s. The row of shops on the left, up to St Stephens Lane, are now the site of part of the Buttermarket Centre Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON 


     

     
The Old Cattle Market, Ipswich, looking into Dogs Head Street. This photograph appears to be in the 1930s. The row of shops on the left, up to St Stephens Lane, are now the site of part of the Buttermarket Centre Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON    

A fire destroyed the premises of  Wrinch and Sons Ltd, manufacturer of garden furniture and garden buildings, in Portman Road, Ipswich, in July 1928. Post card photographers not only sold photographs of views and events, but in a time when local newspapers published few photographs the public’s appetite for images of disasters was good for trade. Often a typical “wish you were here” message would be written on the back of a postcard with no reference to the picture of disaster on the front Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON 
A fire destroyed the premises of Wrinch and Sons Ltd, manufacturer of garden furniture and garden buildings, in Portman Road, Ipswich, in July 1928. Post card photographers not only sold photographs of views and events, but in a time when local newspapers published few photographs the public’s appetite for images of disasters was good for trade. Often a typical “wish you were here” message would be written on the back of a postcard with no reference to the picture of disaster on the front Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON

Princes Street, Ipswich, in the 1920s as a trolley bus heads for the Cornhill Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON 
Princes Street, Ipswich, in the 1920s as a trolley bus heads for the Cornhill Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON

The junction of Princes Street and King Street (right), Ipswich. The building on the right, then a Westminster Bank, was built in 1901. It is now home to the Ipswich building Society Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON 
The junction of Princes Street and King Street (right), Ipswich. The building on the right, then a Westminster Bank, was built in 1901. It is now home to the Ipswich building Society Picture: FREDERICK GILLSON

Frederick Gillson operated from the building on the right of this photograph, which was taken in June, 1948. The Rose and Crown public house, at the junction of Norwich Road and Bramford Road, closed in July 2011. That building now stands partly demolished Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

Frederick Gillson operated from the building on the right of this photograph, which was taken in June, 1948. The Rose and Crown public house, at the junction of Norwich Road and Bramford Road, closed in July 2011. That building now stands partly demolished Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

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