See also our Maggi Hambling Scallop sculpture page. See the photographs of the Saxmundham to Aldeburgh branch line stations.
We know that Aldeburgh High Street boasts some fine buildings, mostly on the smaller scale, but proclaiming age and often wealth. Opposite the Aldeburgh Cinema this painted sign is so high that it is often missed. A puzzle: 'DINING ROOMS' is certainly at the bottom, but the rest -probably in more than one layer of lettering - needs some more decoding.

Drink Doggie Drink-Doggie Close-up
Here's the lettering on the front wall of 171 Main Street, now part of the Regatta Restaurant:
'To the Glory of God
and dear memory of
These Headquarters were given to St John Ambulance Brigade
by his wife
Margaret Maud Sheldrick
May 1948.'

Then, above a canine drinking fountain ...
'In grateful memory of
and his doggerel'

'Drink, Doggie drink, man is your debtor
And you never present your bill,
But faithful serve, for worse, for better,
Drink, Doggie, drink your fill.'

Aldeburgh: A Gnomon* of Sundials  [*We have no authentification for the use of this collective noun.]
sundial 1-sundial 2-sundial 3-sundial 4
The first is on the Moot Hall on the sea front. The next two splendid examples are nearby (the second, appropriately, in Dial Lane) and the fourth, a 'lost' one in Hertford Place - at the Slaughden Quay end of town, the numerals rather faded. The support for the shadow-casting gnomon is 's' shaped in number 3, straight in number 2 and serpentine in 1 and 4. The first three are south facing, but number four is west facing, so the gnomon rises from just to the left of the bottom of the dial to achieve the correct reading from the sun. Roman numerals abound, also sundial wisdom:
1. HORAS NON NUMERO NISI SERENAS: 'I count the bright hours only' [as a sundial works only in the sunshine, this is 'either totally useless or utterly false'] with the date 1650 below square pillars supporting a broken scrolled pediment,

3. SEMPER FIDELIS: 'Always faithful'.
Example 2 has been beautifully restored with golden sun and rays above the house name 'CORREGGIO' (after the 16th century painter of Lombardy), the characters individually painted on beach pebbles set in cement. (See Links page for Suffolk Sundials and more sundials at Woodbridge and Guildford.)

Other examples of lettering in Aldeburgh...

Wm. Reade, Crabbe Street
W.C. Reade
'Wm. C. READE of ALDEBURGH Ltd. BUILDERS and CONTRACTORS' survives close to the Jubilee Hall (original home of Britten's Aldeburgh Festival) on the wall of Reade's old workshops. Black painted brick with white lettering. The superior 'TD' of Ltd., the serif caps of the upper line and the block caps of the lower provide a varied sign readable from way past the Moot Hall. We believe that this wall had been demolished by 2012.

Below: close to the promenade an unusual red brick building (rendered and cream washed above the ground floor) with a gated area or tiny courtyard.
AD 1898i-Ipswich Historic Lettering: Aldeburgh AD1898
The decorative terra cotta frieze bears the interlaced lettering and numerals seen on Ipswich Co-op stores in Cauldwell Hall Road (1898) and Surbiton Road (1904), also Castle Hill Community Centre (1893) and  Morpeth House, (1893); also in Sudbury's Masonic Hall (1886) and on the Fludyer's Arms Felixstowe (1904).
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Aldeburgh AD1898 close-up

Howells and Brooks, Chemist, Main Street
Howells and Brooks, Chemist in Main Street has a central blank window (where the olde worlde street lamp is casting its shadow in the photograph above) bearing the list: 'Toiletries, Perfume [this in cursive script], Cosmetics, Dispensing Chemist, Films'.  The 'leading edges' of the building bear the vertical word: 'CHEMIST' painted in black against snow white, see also the chemists shop in Ipswich's Felixstowe Road ,Ipswich. And a few doors away:

O. & C Butcher Ltd, Main Street
O&C Butcher-gents outfitters-Aertex
'O. & C Butcher Ltd: Ladies Shop' [Ampersand and 'Ladies Shop' in small caps] is painted, white on black, high above the shop front and is probably preserved and retouched by the white washer of the whole building. Inside the entrance is one of the few surviving island glazed displays in the country and wonderful art deco stained glass above the other display windows: 'Ladies Outfitting & Shoes' and 'Gentlemens Outfitting & Shoes'. We have included the sticker in the internal display window: 'AERTEX Men's Wear / VANTELLA Shirts' for its period resonance. The present proprietors presumably like it too.

Milepost, Main Street
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Aldeburgh milepost 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Aldeburgh milepost 2
2015 images
The milepost has a curved top and is well preserved with its use of the truncated spelling, common at one time: 'Aldeborough': 


It stands close to the White Hart Inn.  There is another milestone embedded in the wall of Milestone House on the A1094. More mileposts/milestones here.

Crespigney Cottages and The Old Custom House, Main Street
And while we're down this end of the Main Street:
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Aldeburgh Crespigney Cottages   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Aldeburgh Old Custom House2005 images

'Crespigney Cottages' and 'The Old Custom House', the latter one of the famous houses in Aldeburgh, its front door nearly on the first storey accessed by a worn stone staircase.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Aldeburgh Crespigney Cottages, Old Custom House
Let's take a walk back up the shingle towards Thorpeness and discover Maggi Hambling's sculpture commemorating Britten, way up the beach, as it has lettering cut into it.

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