End of an era for Ipswich jeweller

FROM amethysts to anoraks!That's the transformation that's due to take place at one of the best-known stores in Ipswich town centre next month.Up-market jewellers Preston and Duckworth – formerly Croydons – is to move out of its landmark Tavern Street premises to a new smaller shop around the corner.

FROM amethysts to anoraks!

That's the transformation that's due to take place at one of the best-known stores in Ipswich town centre next month.

Up-market jewellers Preston and Duckworth - formerly Croydons - is to move out of its landmark Tavern Street premises to a new smaller shop around the corner.

Meanwhile outdoor equipment specialists Millets is due to move into the store - which is considerably larger than its current shop in Carr Street.

Preston and Duckworth is to relocate to smaller, but "more suitable" premises on the Buttermarket in what used to be Lawleys.

A jeweller has occupied the site of the current building since it was opened by Charles Croydon back in 1865.

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Neil Duckworth, chairman of the group which has five other stores in the UK and is opening its seventh in Chelsea, said it was no longer feasible for the business to operate in the vast listed building, which has three floors and offers 7,000 sq ft of retail space.

He said: "There is enough space for a small department store. As a modern jeweller's we just don't need that sort of space. It's massive.

"Jewellery by nature of what it is, is very small, we needed to be somewhere that would better reflect what we do and the image we want to portray as an upmarket jeweller."

He also said it would cost far too much money to renovate the building - probably around £500,000-£600,000.

All members of staff are to be kept on. They will move out on Saturday, February 21 and trading on a limited scale will begin in their new premises the following Monday.

All other services - including home delivery and repairs would carry on as usual with the resident jeweller.

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