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Days Gone By: Remembering the traditional trading of two popular shops

PUBLISHED: 15:26 22 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:35 23 August 2018

The fire brigade were called to deal with a blaze at Sneezums Fore Street, Ipswich shop (left) in February 1969. Martin and Newbys shop is in the background. Picture: IVAN SMITH

The fire brigade were called to deal with a blaze at Sneezums Fore Street, Ipswich shop (left) in February 1969. Martin and Newbys shop is in the background. Picture: IVAN SMITH

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Two department shops in Fore Street, Ipswich, trading in a way of shopping now mostly lost, were H and R Sneezum and Martin and Newby, writes David Kindred.

Sneezums sales often saw a large queue form outside the shop as some bargain hunters slept in the doorway overnight to secure their purchase. This queue, of mostly teenage boys, was at the shop in January 1966. It does not appear that Carnaby Street fashions of the swinging 60s had reached Ipswichs teenagers in 1966. Do you know anybody featured? Picture: COLIN MACERSneezums sales often saw a large queue form outside the shop as some bargain hunters slept in the doorway overnight to secure their purchase. This queue, of mostly teenage boys, was at the shop in January 1966. It does not appear that Carnaby Street fashions of the swinging 60s had reached Ipswichs teenagers in 1966. Do you know anybody featured? Picture: COLIN MACER

They were both staffed with expert counter staff who knew their trade. There was no self service, everybody was dealt with individually.

For over a century the Sneezum family ran pawn brokers shops in Ipswich. In 1925 there were four members of the family working at different sites. Arthur in Norwich Road, Raymond in Elm Street, William at 14-20 Fore Street and Henry at 89-91 Fore Street. By the late 1940s the pawn broker trade was largely a thing of the past and Sneezums moved “up market” as jewellers and goldsmiths.

In the 1950s Henry and Raymond became dealers in cameras and photographic equipment, sports outfitters and dealers in tools and musical instruments, at their shop at the corner of Fore Street and Lower Orwell Street.

Fore Street in 1961. H and R Sneezum’s shop on the right was at the junction of Lower Orwell Street. Sneezum’s were photographic dealers, gunsmiths and sports outfitters Picture: CONTRIBUTEDFore Street in 1961. H and R Sneezum’s shop on the right was at the junction of Lower Orwell Street. Sneezum’s were photographic dealers, gunsmiths and sports outfitters Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Martin and Newby’s Fore Street shop, on the other side of Lower Orwell Street, was opened in September 1873 by John Martin. He employed his nephew Frederick Newby. Mr Martin died in 1885 and Mr Newby took over the business. In 1897 the shop was demolished and a new shop built on the site. Mr Newby died in 1933 and generations of the Atkinson family ran the business, but retained the Martin and Newby name. The business extended during the twentieth century into Orwell Place. It closed in 2004.

Do you remember these two popular shops? To submit a letter, write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS or e-mail info@kindred-spirit.co.uk

What a bargain! This early riser grabbed a bargain in Sneezum’s January 1966 sale. His camera cost six pence (2.5p) Picture: COLIN MACERWhat a bargain! This early riser grabbed a bargain in Sneezum’s January 1966 sale. His camera cost six pence (2.5p) Picture: COLIN MACER

Some of the staff at Martin and Newby’s Ipswich shop in January 1998. Can you add names to these pictures from twenty years ago?  Picture: ANDREW HENDRYSome of the staff at Martin and Newby’s Ipswich shop in January 1998. Can you add names to these pictures from twenty years ago? Picture: ANDREW HENDRY

Some of the staff at Martin and Newby’s Ipswich shop in January 1998. Can you add names to these pictures from twenty years ago?  Picture: ANDREW HENDRYSome of the staff at Martin and Newby’s Ipswich shop in January 1998. Can you add names to these pictures from twenty years ago? Picture: ANDREW HENDRY

Teenagers huddled in the doorway of Sneezums Fore Street, Ipswich, trying to keep warm while they waited for the sale to start in January 1966. Picture:  COLIN MACERTeenagers huddled in the doorway of Sneezums Fore Street, Ipswich, trying to keep warm while they waited for the sale to start in January 1966. Picture: COLIN MACER

Some of the staff at Martin and Newby’s Ipswich shop in January 1998. Can you add names to these pictures from twenty years ago?  Picture: ANDREW HENDRYSome of the staff at Martin and Newby’s Ipswich shop in January 1998. Can you add names to these pictures from twenty years ago? Picture: ANDREW HENDRY

A 1990s photograph of Martin and Newbys shop in Fore Street, Ipswich. (Picture by David Miller).A 1990s photograph of Martin and Newbys shop in Fore Street, Ipswich. (Picture by David Miller).

This group of motor cycles were photographed outside Martin and Newbys Fore Street, Ipswich shop in the early years of the twentieth century.  (Picture from David Kindreds archive).This group of motor cycles were photographed outside Martin and Newbys Fore Street, Ipswich shop in the early years of the twentieth century. (Picture from David Kindreds archive).

A trolley bus crossing from Fore Street into Upper Orwell Street in January 1963. Martin and Newbys shop had extended into what was the Bulls Head public house, at the corner of Orwell Place, when it closed in 1955.  Sneezums shop is in the left background. (Picture: Alan Valentine).A trolley bus crossing from Fore Street into Upper Orwell Street in January 1963. Martin and Newbys shop had extended into what was the Bulls Head public house, at the corner of Orwell Place, when it closed in 1955. Sneezums shop is in the left background. (Picture: Alan Valentine).

Orwell Place, Ipswich in the 1990s when Martin and NewbyÕs shop was still trading. They closed in June 2004. The white building in the centre was, until 1955, the Bulls Head public house. Martin and NewbyÕs took over the site. On the left, at the corner of Eagle Street and Fore Street, is the Spread Eagle public house. This seventeenth century building was rebuilt in the nineteenth century Picture: DAVID MILLEROrwell Place, Ipswich in the 1990s when Martin and NewbyÕs shop was still trading. They closed in June 2004. The white building in the centre was, until 1955, the Bulls Head public house. Martin and NewbyÕs took over the site. On the left, at the corner of Eagle Street and Fore Street, is the Spread Eagle public house. This seventeenth century building was rebuilt in the nineteenth century Picture: DAVID MILLER

To many, this once piece of essential home equipment looks like something from a torture chamber. In the time before washing machines, spin and tumble dryers, a mangle was used to squeeze water from washing. The wet items were wound through the rollers by turning the handle. Did you have a mangle in your garden? This Martin and Newby model was on display at the shop in 1998 Picture: ANDREW HENDRYTo many, this once piece of essential home equipment looks like something from a torture chamber. In the time before washing machines, spin and tumble dryers, a mangle was used to squeeze water from washing. The wet items were wound through the rollers by turning the handle. Did you have a mangle in your garden? This Martin and Newby model was on display at the shop in 1998 Picture: ANDREW HENDRY

Some of the staff at Martin and Newby’s Ipswich shop in January 1998. Can you add names to these pictures from twenty years ago? Picture: ANDREW HENDRYSome of the staff at Martin and Newby’s Ipswich shop in January 1998. Can you add names to these pictures from twenty years ago? Picture: ANDREW HENDRY

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