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Days Gone By: The changing face of Majors Corner and St Margaret’s Street

PUBLISHED: 12:30 17 June 2018

Majors Corner in the early 1960s. The only building still standing in this view is the Regent Theatre on the extreme right. Botwoods garage on the right was demolished. An Odeon cinema was built on the site opening in March 1991. The buildings on the left were home to W Broughhalls shoe repair company, Saronys photographers and Avis Cook Ltd television and radio engineers. The centre of the junction then had a huge steel post in the middle supporting trolley bus wires and traffic lights. Driving from St Helen's Street is an American car, probably belonging to a serviceman from one of the local bases   Picture: HARRY DEDMAN

Majors Corner in the early 1960s. The only building still standing in this view is the Regent Theatre on the extreme right. Botwoods garage on the right was demolished. An Odeon cinema was built on the site opening in March 1991. The buildings on the left were home to W Broughhalls shoe repair company, Saronys photographers and Avis Cook Ltd television and radio engineers. The centre of the junction then had a huge steel post in the middle supporting trolley bus wires and traffic lights. Driving from St Helen's Street is an American car, probably belonging to a serviceman from one of the local bases Picture: HARRY DEDMAN

Dave Kindred

Plans were approved recently to convert the former Odeon Cinema in Ipswich to a church.

A trolley bus heading for a stop in St Margaret's Street, Ipswich, in February 1963. Botwoods garage and showrooms are on the left   Picture: ALAN VALENTINEA trolley bus heading for a stop in St Margaret's Street, Ipswich, in February 1963. Botwoods garage and showrooms are on the left Picture: ALAN VALENTINE

The short section of St Margaret’s Street, Ipswich, where the cinema opened in 1991, has seen many changes over past decades.

In this week’s Days Gone By I feature some of the changes in the area between Majors Corner and Woodbridge Road.

The site, where the cinema was built in 1990, was on the site of a row of small shops, most of which were demolished in the 1960s.

The junction of Old Foundry Road (left) St Margaret's Street at Majors Corner in the 1890s. The building on the left was replaced in the early years of the twentieth century. Botwoods garage stood on the site in the background. This is now the site of the former Odeon cinema. The photograph was taken from Carr Street   Picture: HARRY WALTERSThe junction of Old Foundry Road (left) St Margaret's Street at Majors Corner in the 1890s. The building on the left was replaced in the early years of the twentieth century. Botwoods garage stood on the site in the background. This is now the site of the former Odeon cinema. The photograph was taken from Carr Street Picture: HARRY WALTERS

Part of the site was also occupied by Botwoods Ltd and Mann Egertons garage, which was completed in 1924.

Majors Corner was named after property owner and dyer, Joshua Major, who owned a tenement there.

He was appointed as one of the surveyors of North Ward in 1659 and the junction became known as Majors Corner.

This battery tower wagon, built by Ransomes Sims and Jefferies, was being used to take down the trolley bus cables when Alan Valentine took this photograph at Majors Corner, Ipswich, in September 1963. Amazingly the same vehicle, with solid tyres, was used to install the cables for the trolley buses in the 1920s. Do you remember when this rather ugly machine was in use? Carr Street and Old Foundry Lane are in the background Picture: ALAN VALENTINEThis battery tower wagon, built by Ransomes Sims and Jefferies, was being used to take down the trolley bus cables when Alan Valentine took this photograph at Majors Corner, Ipswich, in September 1963. Amazingly the same vehicle, with solid tyres, was used to install the cables for the trolley buses in the 1920s. Do you remember when this rather ugly machine was in use? Carr Street and Old Foundry Lane are in the background Picture: ALAN VALENTINE

Do you remember any of the shops and businesses featured? To submit a letter, in less than 300 words, write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS or e-mail info@kindred-spirit.co.uk

Crowds lined the streets of Ipswich in June 1930 during a visit by the Prince of Wales who toured the town in an open topped car. The Regent theatre in the background opened the year before. This view of Majors Corner has the Beehive public house on the right Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE 
Crowds lined the streets of Ipswich in June 1930 during a visit by the Prince of Wales who toured the town in an open topped car. The Regent theatre in the background opened the year before. This view of Majors Corner has the Beehive public house on the right Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

The Odeon Cinema being built on the site between St Margaret's Street and Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, in 1990. It closed in 2005 Picture: CHARLIE GIRLINGThe Odeon Cinema being built on the site between St Margaret's Street and Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, in 1990. It closed in 2005 Picture: CHARLIE GIRLING

These buildings, at the junction of Old Foundry Road and Carr Street, at Majors Corner, were due to be demolished when this photograph was taken in 1968. They were then home to Avis Cook electrical goods dealers, Sarony’s photographers and W Broughton shoe repairers Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE
These buildings, at the junction of Old Foundry Road and Carr Street, at Majors Corner, were due to be demolished when this photograph was taken in 1968. They were then home to Avis Cook electrical goods dealers, Sarony’s photographers and W Broughton shoe repairers Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

The Beehive Inn, at the corner of Carr Street and Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich, opened on Christmas Eve 1899. It was built on the site of an oddly named beerhouse, the Shoulder of Mutton and a Round of Beef. The Beehive closed in March 1960 and was demolished. An Elmo supermarket opened on the site. The building is now a restaurant. This photograph was taken in the 1950s Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE
The Beehive Inn, at the corner of Carr Street and Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich, opened on Christmas Eve 1899. It was built on the site of an oddly named beerhouse, the Shoulder of Mutton and a Round of Beef. The Beehive closed in March 1960 and was demolished. An Elmo supermarket opened on the site. The building is now a restaurant. This photograph was taken in the 1950s Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

The Queen came to Ipswich in 1961. Crowds greeted her at Majors Corner as she toured the town by car. The supermarket which replaced the Beehive Inn is on the left of this picture taken from the Regent theatre, then the Gaumont    Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVEThe Queen came to Ipswich in 1961. Crowds greeted her at Majors Corner as she toured the town by car. The supermarket which replaced the Beehive Inn is on the left of this picture taken from the Regent theatre, then the Gaumont Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

Majors Corner, Ipswich, around 1925, looking towards St Helens Street. Botwood’s and Egerton's garage and showrooms are on the left. The Regent opened as a cinema on the site next to the garage and showrooms in 1929. The County Hall is in the background Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE
Majors Corner, Ipswich, around 1925, looking towards St Helens Street. Botwood’s and Egerton's garage and showrooms are on the left. The Regent opened as a cinema on the site next to the garage and showrooms in 1929. The County Hall is in the background Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

Victory in Europe Day, in May 1945, saw thousands of people on the streets celebrating. A huge queue formed to buy Ipswich made Peters ice-cream on a site between Old Foundry Road and St Margarets Street    Picture: GEORGE WILDEN COURTESY STOWMARKET HISTORY GROUPVictory in Europe Day, in May 1945, saw thousands of people on the streets celebrating. A huge queue formed to buy Ipswich made Peters ice-cream on a site between Old Foundry Road and St Margarets Street Picture: GEORGE WILDEN COURTESY STOWMARKET HISTORY GROUP

A policeman on point duty at the junction of St Margaret's Street, Woodbridge Road and Great Colman Street, Ipswich, was a familiar site for drivers until traffic lights were installed in the 1960s. Do you remember police officers on point duty or know who this is? Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVEA policeman on point duty at the junction of St Margaret's Street, Woodbridge Road and Great Colman Street, Ipswich, was a familiar site for drivers until traffic lights were installed in the 1960s. Do you remember police officers on point duty or know who this is? Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

Majors Corner from Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich, in the early years of the twentieth century. All of the buildings featured have been replaced Picture: HARRY WALTERS
Majors Corner from Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich, in the early years of the twentieth century. All of the buildings featured have been replaced Picture: HARRY WALTERS

St Margaret's Street, Ipswich, in November 1933. The shops on the left were then due for demolition The Odeon cinema was built in the early 1990s opposite these buildings Picture: GUY MAYNARD COURTESY COLCHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUMSt Margaret's Street, Ipswich, in November 1933. The shops on the left were then due for demolition The Odeon cinema was built in the early 1990s opposite these buildings Picture: GUY MAYNARD COURTESY COLCHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUM

The site of the Odeon cinema building in St Margarets Street, Ipswich, now due to be converted to a church, as it was in the mid 1930s. It was then a busy row of shops including H Sugar, greengrocer, Herbert Havel gramophone dealers and Leonard Payne ladies and gentlemen hairdressers Picture: GUY MAYNARD COURTESY COLCHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUM 
The site of the Odeon cinema building in St Margarets Street, Ipswich, now due to be converted to a church, as it was in the mid 1930s. It was then a busy row of shops including H Sugar, greengrocer, Herbert Havel gramophone dealers and Leonard Payne ladies and gentlemen hairdressers Picture: GUY MAYNARD COURTESY COLCHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUM

Shops in St Margaret's Street, Ipswich, photographed from near the junction with Great Colman Street in 1934   Picture: GUY MAYNARD COURTESY COLHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUMShops in St Margaret's Street, Ipswich, photographed from near the junction with Great Colman Street in 1934 Picture: GUY MAYNARD COURTESY COLHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUM

A crowd gathered at Majors Corner, Ipswich, around 1910, to watch a parade pass by. The County Hall in St Helens Street is in the centre background Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVEA crowd gathered at Majors Corner, Ipswich, around 1910, to watch a parade pass by. The County Hall in St Helens Street is in the centre background Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

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