Store had 'are you being served?' feel

Corder's store in Ipswich always had an upmarket feel.Carpeted floors and a restaurant for afternoon tea gave the place an old style “are you being served” charm.

Corder's store in Ipswich always had an upmarket feel.

Carpeted floors and a restaurant for afternoon tea gave the place an old style “are you being served” charm.

The huge shop was between Tavern Street and the Buttermarket. Anne Routh of High Street, Ipswich, sent me a photograph of the Tavern Street entrance to the store. Anne said: “I worked for Corder's during the early 1970s as the manager of the Wedgwood Rooms, which was a shop within a shop. This was when the in store shops selling China ware was in the basement area, accessed mainly from the Buttermarket entrance. Corder's was the premier store in Ipswich for many years. Their services even included a funeral furnishing department.

“When I was there Hilary Upward was the managing director. Hilary had been in charge from the 1950s until the shop closed. Hilary was a wonderful gentleman to work for and we kept in touch long after I left the store. Sadly Hilary died in April 2007.”


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Frederick Corders shop was a feature of Ipswich for generations. The shop was established in 1787. It was then a small shop, but became a “fashion, drapery and furnishing house. A directory for Ipswich from 1844 lists Edward and Henry Shewell Corder's drapery shop in Tavern Street.

The site in now broken into smaller units with Waterstone's book shop occupying a large part of the Buttermarket site.

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Do the photographs of Corder's store in the centre of Ipswich prompt any memories for you? Write with your memories to Dave Kindred, Kindred Spirits, Evening Star 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich. IP4 1AN.

I recently featured a photograph from Clive Bedwell, of Corton near Lowestoft, of an Ipswich Sea Cadets football team of 1950. Clive asked if anybody has memories of the cadets from the 1950s.

Mr R Sheeran of Humber Doucy Lane, Ipswich, said: “I spent a very happy three years as a Sea Cadet. When I lived in Kent I joined the Dartford SCC (TS Anson) at 12-years-old. At the age of fifteen my family moved to Ipswich in 1951 and I transferred to the Ipswich SCC at Yarmouth Road. What a change, at the Dartford unit discipline wasn't the top of the list; we called Commander Webb, Spider Sir! At Ipswich, under Lieutenant Jack Cousens who ran a very tight ship, it was discipline, dress and punctuality at the top of his list.

“I joined the band and reached the silver bugler stage, which meant I was called upon to do solos Reveille and Last Post in St Mary Le Tower Church on Remembrance Day services. Our band entered several competitions throughout the country and won our share, mainly due to the respect for our Drum Major Lawrence Kaye. We were all very proud of him and played our best marching behind him, because he was one of the best Drum Majors in the SCC.

“Lawrence lived near Rushmere Heath and every morning, weather permitting, used to go on the Heath before work and practice. He could throw the mace up in the air and catch it on the way down, without looking. We used to lead the Ipswich Carnivals through the town to Christchurch Park, it was only then Lawrence had to look because of the Trolleybus cables”.

“Our discipline also showed in our Guard, and often the band and guard were asked if we could give a show at a fete, garden party etcetera. We used to get a crowd looking over the fence at Yarmouth Road on parade nights. Sub Lieutenant “Jono” Johnson taught the band and Sub-lieutenant “Mac” MacIntyre schooled the guard together, in those days we were a unit to be reckoned with.

“Every year we had an Admiralty Inspection at our unit which covered everything from the state and cleanliness of our headquarters, interviews with cadets, achievements in the past year and of course our marching band and guard display.

“If you passed your inspection the unit was awarded a pennant, for three in a row you were awarded a bargee, after the first one, Ipswich unit received one every year for several years.”

“Other activities through the years were 2.02 and 3.03 rifle shooting at the TA Centre and the Butts at Felixstowe, we also had a decommissioned motor torpedo boat moored in the River Orwell adjacent to Chelmondiston Quay, for weekend camps where we learnt sailing and how to walk through mud to get ashore. Church parades with the whole unit were once a month, guard, band and cadets, I was fortunate one month to meet a secretary at Trinity Church, who worked for the Eastern Area SCC in Anglesea Road, who I later married and we are now in our 51st year.

“At 18-years-old I was training to be an electrician, which meant college two nights and one day a week which also meant homework. Reluctantly as the SCC wanted two evenings a week for parade and another for band practice I had to put my career first, so I left. I missed those days and I recommend anyone to join today and build your confidence and discipline to enable you to go through life knowing the rights and wrongs.”

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Do you have memories of the Sea Cadets? Write to Kindred Spirits at the Evening Star.

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