Charity shop believed to be town's oldest 'unviable' and to close

Barnardo's will close its shop in Felixstowe town centre on January 21

Barnardo's will close its shop in Felixstowe town centre on January 21 - Credit: Google Street View

A charity shop believed to be a town's oldest is closing - after nearly four decades in the high street.

Barnardo's will be severing its long links with Felixstowe, which date back to the late 19th century, when it closes its shop in Hamilton Road this month.

Area business manager Andy Burr said: “Sadly Barnardo’s is having to close its Felixstowe store as it is no longer financially viable.

"We would like to say a huge thank you to the many staff, volunteers, shoppers and others who have supported it during the last 30 years or so and raised money to support our work with vulnerable children and families.

“The shop will close on Friday, January 21 and we are currently discounting the remaining stock. We are no longer accepting donations at Felixstowe but would welcome them at our two Ipswich stores.”

The shop is understood to have opened in the early 1980s and is believed to have been the first charity shop in the town centre - the only other at the resort at that stage being a shop supporting the St Elizabeth Hospice appeal in Beach Station Road, off the seafront.

Barnardo's first came to Felixstowe in 1886 when it opened a children's convalescent home at Chelsea Villas in Cobbold Road, not far from the junction with Ranelagh Road. 

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Ranelagh Hall - now home to the Ranelagh Road Christian Fellowship church - served as the convalescent home's church and gymnasium.

Later, in 1925, the charity moved to Harland House in Undercliff Road East. The seafront property served as a children's home and later for other purposes - including as a reception home and long-term mixed accommodation - until it closed in 1981.

It later became the St Mary's Nursing Home but that use has also now ceased and the property and its grounds is soon to be converted and developed with flats and houses.

Felixstowe still has 11 other charity shops.