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Days Gone By - A street used by everyone that has seen a century of change

PUBLISHED: 11:48 12 March 2019

The houses on the left of this mid 1930s photograph were set for demolition when this photograph was taken. The building on the right, with the Esso sign, then a garage and showroom, is now a Yates pub.  Picture: GUY MAYNARD COURTESY AND IPSWICH MUSEUM

The houses on the left of this mid 1930s photograph were set for demolition when this photograph was taken. The building on the right, with the Esso sign, then a garage and showroom, is now a Yates pub. Picture: GUY MAYNARD COURTESY AND IPSWICH MUSEUM

Guy Maynard courtesy Colchester and Ipswich Museum

Crown Street is one of the busiest cross-town routes in Ipswich, writes David Kindred.

The Crown public house (right), at the corner of Crown Street and Fitzroy Street (featured), closed in the late 1930s. Parts of the building remained in the 1950s. The houses of Fitzroy Street were demolished in the 1960s.  Picture: DAVID KINDRED'S ARCHIVEThe Crown public house (right), at the corner of Crown Street and Fitzroy Street (featured), closed in the late 1930s. Parts of the building remained in the 1950s. The houses of Fitzroy Street were demolished in the 1960s. Picture: DAVID KINDRED'S ARCHIVE

The street, which runs from St Matthews Street to the junction with Fonnereau Road, was, until the 1930s, much narrower and lined with shops and houses. During the mid 1930s most of the houses and shops were demolished and the area between Crown Street and Tower Ramparts was demolished and made into a car park with underground toilets. This is now the town’s bus station.

The section between St Matthews Street and High Street was widened and made into a dual carriageway in the 1970s.

In today’s Days Gone By I feature some of the changes this Ipswich street has seen.

Firefighters dealing with a blaze at Alfred Coopers corn merchants and pet supplies in Crown Street, close to the junction with High Street, in April 1953Firefighters dealing with a blaze at Alfred Coopers corn merchants and pet supplies in Crown Street, close to the junction with High Street, in April 1953

Did you or your family live or work in this part of central Ipswich? If so share your memories here.

The next photograph was taken in August 1956 and shows the houses and shops that stood between Crown Street (right) and Tower Ramparts which were demolished in the mid 1930s to create a car park. This area is now the town’s bus station.

Women'’s Land Army members, from Suffolk towns and villages, marched along Crown Street, Ipswich, in the 1940s. High Street is across the centre of the picture. St Matthews Street is in the distant background. All of the buildings featured have been replaced.  Picture: DAVID KINDRED'S ARCHIVEWomen'’s Land Army members, from Suffolk towns and villages, marched along Crown Street, Ipswich, in the 1940s. High Street is across the centre of the picture. St Matthews Street is in the distant background. All of the buildings featured have been replaced. Picture: DAVID KINDRED'S ARCHIVE

The large building on the left opened in September 1899 as the Higher Elementary Secondary School for Boys. It became the Ipswich Municipal Secondary School before becoming the Ipswich Central School in the 1930s and then Tower Ramparts Secondary Modern School.

Sailmakers shopping centre is now on this site. Electric House in the centre background was built in 1933 as showrooms and offices for the Ipswich Corporation Electric Supply Company.

Here is the Crown and Sceptre public house, at the corner of Crown Street and High Street, which was being demolished when this photograph was taken in July 1961.

Picture: FROM DAVID KINDRED'S ARCHIVEPicture: FROM DAVID KINDRED'S ARCHIVE

Safety for pedestrians amounted to little more than a line of string as workmen demolished the building.

The Crown and Sceptre closed in 1959. Traffic at the junction was then controlled by a policeman.

All of the buildings featured in this photograph of Crown Street, taken in June 1959, have been demolished.

Picture: DAVID KINDRED'S ARCHIVEPicture: DAVID KINDRED'S ARCHIVE

The houses on the left in the picture below were between Fitzroy Street and Chenery Street.

Egerton’s Garage in the background is now the site of Crown Pools.

The building on the right was the premises of William Pretty’s clothes manufacturers. This site is now a car park.

Picture: FROM DAVID KINDRED'S ARCHIVEPicture: FROM DAVID KINDRED'S ARCHIVE

Pictured is the Cricketers public house, Crown Street, which was built during the 1930s alterations.

It replaced the Cricketers Inn nearby, at the corner of William Street and Navarre Street, which was demolished.

The Millers Arms on the left at the corner of William Street closed in August 1936 and was demolished soon after.

Picture: GUY MAYNARD COURTESY AND IPSWICH MUSEUMPicture: GUY MAYNARD COURTESY AND IPSWICH MUSEUM

Next up is the W. J. Coes garage and the Crown Street Congregational Church at the corner of High Street in the mid 1960s.

The church was built in 1865 and was closed in January 1969. It reopened in November that year as a meeting place for the First United Church of Jesus Christ and renamed Bethel Church.

It closed again in December 1970 and was demolished in 1972.

Picture: TERRY NEEVESPicture: TERRY NEEVES

Patricia Jones (nee Howe) remembers when trolley buses passed by her home in Vernon Street.

This bus was photographed by Alan Valentine in September 1962 in Tower Ramparts.

The large building in the background of the picture below was Egerton’s garage; Crown Pools now stands on this site. The Cricketers public house is on the right.

Picture: ALAN VALENTINEPicture: ALAN VALENTINE

In the next picture you can see Crown Street, close to the junction with St Matthews Street, in the mid 1960s.

The shop featured included from the left, Aldridge’s Sports outfitters, Ipswich Flooring Service, Newsteads Bakery, S.Bloomfield confectioner, Vera Dunningham ladies hairdressers and a Aquatic and Aquarium shop.

Do you remember any of these shops?

Picture: TERRY NEAVESPicture: TERRY NEAVES

This picture shows the Temperance Hall, at the corner of Crown Street and High Street, was built in 1840.

The project was funded by Ipswich banker Richard Dykes Alexander. Around 1890 the building was take over by George Abbott’s Iron Works.

The building was demolished in 1963 soon after this photograph was taken. The offices of Scrutton Bland now stand here.

Picture: JACK KEENPicture: JACK KEEN

Take a look at Crown Street in 1934.

The town’s bus station now stands on the left of this view. Part of the then new Electric House is in the background.

All of the buildings on the left were demolished soon after this photograph was taken.

Picture: BY GUY MAYNARD COURTESY COLCHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUMPicture: BY GUY MAYNARD COURTESY COLCHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUM

All of these buildings in Crown Street were due for demolition when this photograph was taken in 1934.

The picture was taken from where the Cricketers public house is now, looking towards St Margarets Plain.

Picture: GUY MAYNARD COURTESY AND IPSWICH MUSEUMPicture: GUY MAYNARD COURTESY AND IPSWICH MUSEUM

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