There was a time, O Best Beloved, when Upper Orwell Street in Ipswich
actually boasted a few proper shops. We can recall a nice hardware and
D.I.Y. shop (remember them?), Fruits of the Earth, the Singer sewing
machine shop and, of course, that fine haberdashers, Barnes of Ipswich.
Bedding, curtains, soft furnishings, bit and bobs, you know the sort of
thing. For some years we featured the vestigial sign painted on the
rear of the building and just about visible from Upper Barclay Street:
OF IPSWICH LTD.'
Above: the view over the high fence in Upper Barclay Street/Cox Lane
car park. The pink lettering is now almost indecipherable. Obligatory
pidgeon in shot.
So why do we award Barnes of Ipswich a page of its own now?
Well, the shop frontage is still there, many years after the business
moved to Tower Ramparts (later Yates' Wine Lodge, then The Robert
Ransome public house – see Egertons.). It
must be the planning (and therefore retail) blight which besets this
part of town that such an old shop name still exists, albeit peeping
over a 'yoof' mural which serves also to ensure that the shop windows
aren't smashed. The tiles on the roof are looking a
The shop stands opposite the Church of
St Michael, burnt down in 2011. To the left of the
long view above is the entrance to the stub of Union Street, leading to
the vestiges of Charles Court (featured on our Courts
& yards page). To the right of the shop is the former Duke of
Kent public house, later the Co-op Funeral
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Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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