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Meet the Ipswich jeweller who has fixed 25,000 watches

PUBLISHED: 05:30 13 February 2020

John Andrews celebrates 50 years of his business Andrews Jewellers in Ipswich.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020

John Andrews celebrates 50 years of his business Andrews Jewellers in Ipswich. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Archant 2020

An Ipswich jeweller who has been in business for 50 years estimates he has fixed 25,000 watches over that time.

John Andrews celebrates 50 years of his business Andrews Jewellers in Ipswich.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020John Andrews celebrates 50 years of his business Andrews Jewellers in Ipswich. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

John Andrews, director of Andrews Jewellers in Ipswich Town Centre, has been in business since 1970.

He first trained as a watchmaker. Then, aged 26, started a small watch shop on St Stephens Lane, where the Buttermarket shopping centre now is.

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They moved to the current premises on the Butter Market in the 1980s.

Mr Andrews said: "It's gone very quickly, I have certainly enjoyed it. It's been a great challenge.

John Andrews celebrates 50 years of his business Andrews Jewellers in Ipswich.
Pictured are the staff
Byline: Sonya Duncan
(C) Archant 2020John Andrews celebrates 50 years of his business Andrews Jewellers in Ipswich. Pictured are the staff Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

"We started with a very small stock. I didn't have much to buy stock with in those days. I got married in August and started the business in the January."

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He puts his success down to good staff, some of which have been with him for 40 years, and being able to adapt to changing times.

At first he just fixed watches, then as time passed he moved onto selling watches before buying and selling vintage jewellery as well.

Now customers can design their own jewellery using computer-aided design (CAD) software and soon they will be able to buy online.

John, now 76, is semi-retired and the day-to-day running of the business is handled by his daughter Clare.

Clare said: "I think it is fantastic. There are so few family businesses left, especially in Ipswich.

"When I was a child he worked six days a week, 50 weeks a year. He took two weeks off at easter every year so we could have a family holiday."

In the future another generation of the family could take on the business.

Clare's two sons, 13 and 11, have expressed an interest in the trade and are already helping out behind the scenes.


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