Days Gone By - A street used by everyone that has seen a century of change
PUBLISHED: 11:48 12 March 2019
Guy Maynard courtesy Colchester and Ipswich Museum
Crown Street is one of the busiest cross-town routes in Ipswich, writes David Kindred.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.