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Jones Bootmaker in Ipswich is closing down after 25 years of trading in the town

PUBLISHED: 15:31 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 21:14 09 August 2017

Vanessa Jacobs (left) and Peggy Gardner (right) at Jones Bootmaker in Ipswich which closes on Monday August 14. Picture ADAM HOWLETT

Vanessa Jacobs (left) and Peggy Gardner (right) at Jones Bootmaker in Ipswich which closes on Monday August 14. Picture ADAM HOWLETT

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A woman who has worked at the site of Jones Bootmakers in Ipswich for the last 45 years says she will be 'sad to see the doors shut for the last time' when it closes on Monday.

Peggy Gardner(left) and Vanessa Jacobs (right) outside Jones Bootmaker in Ipswich. Picture: ADAM HOWLETTPeggy Gardner(left) and Vanessa Jacobs (right) outside Jones Bootmaker in Ipswich. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Vanessa Jacobs, 61, started working in the Buttermarket shop in 1972 straight out of school, when it was known as Alderton’s.

After a fire devastated the building in August 1992, Jones the Bootmaker took over the space, keeping Mrs Jacobs, who worked in the children’s department, on the payroll.

The shop when it was rebranded as Jones. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDThe shop when it was rebranded as Jones. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Jones Bootmaker is set to close on Monday, August 14, as part of a number of closures nationwide.

Mrs Jacobs said it had been a joy working at the shop, especially the friends she has made with staff and customers.

The Buttermarket shop when it was A Jones and Sons. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDThe Buttermarket shop when it was A Jones and Sons. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

“When I started in 1972 when it was Aldertons, it was really old fashioned,” she said.

“The American bases were around then so we had a lot of them coming in and giving us tips.

Tractors and diggers are brought in to clear out the rubble and broken timber from the wreckage.Tractors and diggers are brought in to clear out the rubble and broken timber from the wreckage.

“All our stock was on the shelves in the shop floor back then, all stacked up high.

“We had to climb ladders to grab the shoes and had high-backed high chairs so we could fit customers shoes for them.

Vanessa Jacobs, top left, with staff at Jones. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDVanessa Jacobs, top left, with staff at Jones. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

“We used to have an x-ray machine at Alderton’s that took photos of the bones in your feet.

“I don’t think they would allow that now.

Team photo of staff at Jones Bootmaker a decade ago. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDTeam photo of staff at Jones Bootmaker a decade ago. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

“We also had an old boy upstairs doing repairs.

“I just loved being in the children’s department.

“I have seen generations grow up from babies to adults.

“So many people have been coming in to say how sad it is the shop is closing. It is a crying shame for the town.

“Everyone here had been lovely to work with.

“We have had some brilliant managers over the years at Jones.

“We had a man called Tony Russell, he was a lovely manager, and before that Gary Nicholson.

“It is the people and the customers I will miss.

“It will be sad to see the doors shut for the last time.”

Mrs Jacobs said she is planning to ‘take a breather’ before she decides what to do next.

Assistant manager Peggy Gardner, who has worked at Jones for seven years, added: “It is the families we will miss.

“They come in three times a year for school shoes - you get to see them grown up.”

Jones Bootmaker were unavailable for comment.

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