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Days Gone By: Structures that failed to change the face of Ipswich central shopping

PUBLISHED: 14:25 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:50 06 March 2018

Cowells store in the Buttermarket, Ipswich, in August 1963. The shop was built in 1892 and was demolished in the 1980s when the site was developed as the Buttermarket Shopping Centre. Limmer’s Restaurant and shop was on the left. Martins Bank was on the corner of Market Lane. The entrance to the Buttermarket Centre and the New Look store is where Cowells Store was. When this photograph was taken parking was allowed on the street. Picture: IVAN SMITH

Cowells store in the Buttermarket, Ipswich, in August 1963. The shop was built in 1892 and was demolished in the 1980s when the site was developed as the Buttermarket Shopping Centre. Limmer’s Restaurant and shop was on the left. Martins Bank was on the corner of Market Lane. The entrance to the Buttermarket Centre and the New Look store is where Cowells Store was. When this photograph was taken parking was allowed on the street. Picture: IVAN SMITH

Archant

Shops that have gone from the Ipswich town centre, and largely failed shopping developments in the town, feature in this weeks Days Gone By.

Cowells Store, Ipswich, sold a large range of goods including 
furniture, fabrics and toys. This photograph was taken in the fabrics department in August 1963. Picture: IVAN SMITH Cowells Store, Ipswich, sold a large range of goods including furniture, fabrics and toys. This photograph was taken in the fabrics department in August 1963. Picture: IVAN SMITH

Planners in the 1960s thought that vast, bleak, shopping arcades were the way forward.

The Carr Precinct was part of the mid 1960s redevelopment of the Carr Street, Ipswich area.

Sixties furniture styles at Cowells store in the Buttermarket, Ipswich, in 1963. Picture: IVAN SMITH 
Sixties furniture styles at Cowells store in the Buttermarket, Ipswich, in 1963. Picture: IVAN SMITH

Few of the units were ever let and the site was rebuilt with large units facing Carr Street.

The Greyfriars development saw an area of small houses and a cattle market demolished around Princes Street in the mid 1960s.

The Walk, Ipswich, was a 1930s shopping concept. It was cut through from Tavern Street to link with the Thoroughfare. All of the shops featured in this September 1972 photograph have been replaced. They include Turners Photographics, Clovers florists and Sacks and Brendlor who sold leather and fur items. Picture: BRIAN COALEY The Walk, Ipswich, was a 1930s shopping concept. It was cut through from Tavern Street to link with the Thoroughfare. All of the shops featured in this September 1972 photograph have been replaced. They include Turners Photographics, Clovers florists and Sacks and Brendlor who sold leather and fur items. Picture: BRIAN COALEY

Few shops opened at the brutal concrete-built site. The market was moved from the town centre, but customers did not follow and the market moved again. In 1982, insurance company Willis took over large parts of the site, converting the multi-storey car park for staff and as office space.

In 1984 the central area, the empty shops and plaza were demolished and replaced with a grassed area.

Croydon and Sons jewellers shop, in Tavern Street, had their clock returned after repairs in May 1966. Men worked rather precariously from ladders to refit the timepiece held aloft by a crane supplied by Ipswich company S Sacker Ltd. Boots then had a shop at the corner of St Lawrence Street. The former Croydons shop is now partly occupied by Jack Wills clothing store. Picture: DAVID KINDRED Croydon and Sons jewellers shop, in Tavern Street, had their clock returned after repairs in May 1966. Men worked rather precariously from ladders to refit the timepiece held aloft by a crane supplied by Ipswich company S Sacker Ltd. Boots then had a shop at the corner of St Lawrence Street. The former Croydons shop is now partly occupied by Jack Wills clothing store. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Pin Mill featured recently and readers have sent their memories of the hamlet and named some of those featured.

Jill Wright emailed in and said: I can name some people for the photos. The trio at J Ward’s boatyard were, Jack Ward his wife Irene and son Tony. The landlord of the Butt and Oyster was Pat Watts.

Workmen prepare Croydon’s clock for lifting back into position in May 1966. Tavern Street shops, in the background, are J and J Edwards tailors and outfitters and Footshape shoe shop. Do you know either of these men? Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Workmen prepare Croydon’s clock for lifting back into position in May 1966. Tavern Street shops, in the background, are J and J Edwards tailors and outfitters and Footshape shoe shop. Do you know either of these men? Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Sue Telling also sent an email saying: The picture of the landlord was Pat Watts. He and his wife Gladys ran the pub for many years.

They had a daughter Sarah who lives in Ipswich. Pat was well known for his well groomed moustache and smoking a pipe.

Carr Precinct, Ipswich, in September 1972. Few of the units were ever filled and the site was redeveloped. Picture: BRIAN COALEY 
Carr Precinct, Ipswich, in September 1972. Few of the units were ever filled and the site was redeveloped. Picture: BRIAN COALEY

My grandmother, Mildred Burroughs, was very good friends with the Watts and was a cook in the kitchen at the Butt.

As a child I lived with my mother in a caravan in the bottom of my grandmother’s house in Pin Mill, from around 1972/3-1975.

The Greyfriars development, in June 1982, soon before the site was sold for redevelopment. This photograph was taken from Greyfriars Road with Princes Street in the background. All of the buildings in the foreground were demolished, having stood empty for around 18 years. A Pricerite supermarket was in the unit bottom left for a few years until the early 1970s. Picture: IVAN SMITH The Greyfriars development, in June 1982, soon before the site was sold for redevelopment. This photograph was taken from Greyfriars Road with Princes Street in the background. All of the buildings in the foreground were demolished, having stood empty for around 18 years. A Pricerite supermarket was in the unit bottom left for a few years until the early 1970s. Picture: IVAN SMITH

My grandmother looked after me whilst my mum went to work and I would often be sat in front of the Aga in the kitchen at the Butt.

I ate the traditional dishes cooked, such as rabbit, hare, pheasant and fish such as cod and eels.

These shopping units at Greyfriars, Ipswich, stood empty for around 18 years before they were demolished. Picture: IVAN SMITH These shopping units at Greyfriars, Ipswich, stood empty for around 18 years before they were demolished. Picture: IVAN SMITH

I remember that the Watts had a dog, I think it was an old English Bulldog.

The house my grandmother owned is still in the family, but the caravan has long gone!

The “Grindle Dig” at Pin Mill in April 1984. Picture: OWEN HINES The “Grindle Dig” at Pin Mill in April 1984. Picture: OWEN HINES

Mark Grimwade also got in touch: In the photograph of the “Grindle Dig” I am bent forwards in the dark sweater.

In the 1964 dig, having been a Ransomes apprentice, I borrowed a horse plough and tried towing it up the Grindle with a Land Rover.

The plaza at Greyfriars, Ipswich, in 1982. This area was cleared and is now an open grassed area. The office block, St Clare House, in the background was re-clad. Picture: IVAN SMITH 
The plaza at Greyfriars, Ipswich, in 1982. This area was cleared and is now an open grassed area. The office block, St Clare House, in the background was re-clad. Picture: IVAN SMITH

The plough broke and the Land Rover slid sideways into the stream! So it was – and still is – back to shovels! Sadly, but understandably, no photos!

The photos in Days Gone By were great stuff for one who has sailed from, and mostly lived there, since the late 1940s.

St Francis House now stands on the site in the right foreground of this 1982 view from Princes Street, Civic Drive junction. Tracey's nightclub was in part of this building. The building in the background is St Clare House. Picture: IVAN SMITH St Francis House now stands on the site in the right foreground of this 1982 view from Princes Street, Civic Drive junction. Tracey's nightclub was in part of this building. The building in the background is St Clare House. Picture: IVAN SMITH

Do the photographs featured prompt memories you would like to share? 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 send an e-mail here.

The proposed first floor restaurant, in the centre of the plaza area at Greyfriars, was never occupied. The large windows were covered to protect it from vandals in the 1982 photograph. Picture: IVAN SMITH The proposed first floor restaurant, in the centre of the plaza area at Greyfriars, was never occupied. The large windows were covered to protect it from vandals in the 1982 photograph. Picture: IVAN SMITH

Reader, Jill Wright, has added names to this photograph taken at J Ward and Son Yacht Chandlery at Pin Mill in July 1976. Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL 
Reader, Jill Wright, has added names to this photograph taken at J Ward and Son Yacht Chandlery at Pin Mill in July 1976. Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL

Pat Watts, the Landlord at the Butt and Oyster, Pin Mill, photographed in July 1976. Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL Pat Watts, the Landlord at the Butt and Oyster, Pin Mill, photographed in July 1976. Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL

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