Days Gone By - Decade of change for one of town’s best-known areas
- Credit: David Kindreds archive
This week local history enthusiast David Kindred has gathered pictures of the changes in St Margaret’s Plain and St Margaret’s Street.
A small area of central Ipswich saw many changes in the 1930s. St Margaret’s Plain connects Crown Street and St Margaret’s Street and centuries old buildings were demolished and the road widened at each end.
The building at the junction of Soane Street had two gables, facing St Margaret’s Plain, demolished, with three new ones added facing St Margaret’s Street.
The architect was John Sherman, of Northgate Street, who also designed the frontage of the buildings in Tavern Street, that were then the premises of Croydon’s Jewellers, now partly occupied by Jack Wills clothing store.
A baker’s shop at the corner of Fonnereau Road was demolished, widening the entrance at Crown Street.
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Houses, shops, a pub and a shoeing smiths workshop were demolished on the South side in the mid 1930s and replaced with mock Tudor style buildings, which are presently being refurbished.
In today’s Days Gone By, I feature photographs of some of the changes to the area. Did you work at any of the shops or visit the public houses or clubs and that were there? If so send an e-mail here.
The photograph below is of St Margarets Plain and was taken in May 1910, during the Coronation celebrations of George V.
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The building on the left was the home and studio of photographer Harry Walters who recorded many events in the town. The Running Buck Inn, on the right, was on this site for over 300 years.
In 1966 a timber log cabin style building was built behind the main building and became Canes and Cindy’s nightclubs. The complex closed in June 1991 and the timber building was demolished in 1994. The former Running Buck building, now called The Key, is a Christian based centre run in conjunction with Bethesda Baptist Church next door.
The buildings in the next photograph were new when this shot was taken in the 1930s.
The shops then were (from the right), Green and Hatfield antique dealers, “Dawn” selling gowns, coats, jumpers, John Coopers fruit shop and Frederick Osborne boot repairs.
Parts of these premises are now being converted to mainly residential use. Several nightspots were on this site, including Dolce Vita, Prince of Orange, Falstaff and Bar Fontaine.
A cabman’s shelter was built on the Cornhill, in 1893.
It was removed to Christchurch Park just two years later.
This picture was taken as the shelter was pulled, by the Ipswich Corporation steam roller, across St Margarets Plain. The shelter now stands at the Westerfield Road park gate.
Most of the site on the south-side of St Margarets Plain had been cleared for rebuilding when this photograph was taken in 1936.
The building on the right, then occupied by Green and Hatfield’s antique shop, is still there today.
Next up the buildings on St Margarets Plain, photographed around 1900, were demolished in 1936.
The building on the left was the Dog and Partridge public house which closed in the 1890s.
The horses and soldiers from the Ipswich Barracks were at shoe smith George Cook.
The junction of St Margarets Plain (right) and Fonnereau Road (left) and St Margarets Plain around 1890.
All of these buildings were demolished and the Bethesda Baptist Church, which opened in July 1913, now stands here.
The next picture shows a crowd gathered after a car smashed into the window of Green and Hatfield’s antique shop.
The shop was at the corner of St Margarets Plain and Northgate Street, the collision happened in June 1918.
The damage to stock was £18 and £35 to the window, which was quite a lot of money a century ago.