Marian Jordan sent these
photographs of this lost sign – in fact, it's covered in cement render
– which was once very noticeable on the side wall of number 62
Road (the house entrance is in Darwin Road). Although you wouldn't know
it today, this was a corner shop for many years. 'I
thought you might be interested to see this painted wall advertising
sign that was on the side of a house (corner of Darwin Road and
Wellesley Road) when we moved there in 1980. The original advert
says The British Flag Stores, Provision Merchant, then sometime later a
hoarding was placed on top of it. The photo was taken by my
husband prior to covering the wall with rendering. It was no
longer a shop when we moved in. Marian Jordan (we now live in
image courtesy Marian Jordan
probable phases of signs
1. Original name (‘H…..L’) in capitals arranged in an arc. The name of
the trader here must be ‘HORACE SQUIRRELL’ who ran the shop from 1923
Below it is: ‘GROCER [almost obscured] … PROVISION MERCHANT.’ in
capitals (this effect is known as a palimpsest
our page Background information on ghost signs).
At some point the whole section of brickwork from the ground well up
into the gable was painted with pale paint (which has weathered)
presumably to obliterate the first sign.
was painted over it. The sign-writer has used a cursive italic
‘The’ with stylish capitals, replete with a full stop (which
can’t decide whether it should be inside or outside the double inverted
commas). White with a drop-shadow, including a dividing bar with
flourish. Further word(s) below which are covered in a dark painted
rectangle – note the tail of a ‘Q’ and a stray full stop with
drop-shadow to the right, just above the degraded ‘DARWIN ROAD’ street
nameplate. This must surely be: ‘H.F. SQUIRRELL.’
This name must have been obliterated around 1937 when Walter
Edward Tremlett took over the business. It would indicate that the
shop was named The "British Flag Stores" by Horace Squirell at some
time from 1923 to 1936. Clearly a patriot, Mr Squirrell – had he been
trading today – might have had a large Union Flag with his name painted
on the wall. Pluralising the word 'Store' might be seen as overselling
a corner shop...
3. An advertising board was screwed to the wall partially covering the
sign; later (probably) two smaller signs (note the blue border paint)
were substituted. A photograph of the side of the shop taken in the
late 1950s shows these two signs, one for ‘Robin Starch’ shown in a
bleached-out photograph taken in the 1950s in a booklet entitled 'Twixt
Potteries and California' by M. G. Smith, (proceeds of the sale for the
benefit of Clifford Road Primary School). Marian adds: ‘When we moved
in to the property it had three addresses – 62 Wellesley Road,
62a Wellesley Road and 2 Darwin Road. As it was no longer a shop
we kept only the Darwin Road address.’ One feature confirmed by the
late 1950s photograph is the traditional
corner shop entrance (set at 45 degrees) and shop window.
The house today (shown below in a 1987 photograph when the Jordans sold
the property) is
separated from the Wellesey Road terraced houses by a brick wall; its
front door is round the corner, so is now 2 Darwin Road, after decades
'62 Wellesley Road'.
image courtesy Marian Jordan
Note that the rendering of the upper part of the house
resulted in the removal of old street nameplates and the installation
of the one see here 'DARWIN ROAD', screwed to the low brick wall.
62 Wellesley Road
Kelly’s Directory entries
1894 and 1906. Not many residents shown in this early year of the
1909 to 1910. Gardiner Wm., builder & contractor.
1912 to 1922. Squirrell Geo., grocer.
1923 to 1936. Squirrell Horace Frank, grocer.
1937. Tremlett Wltr Edwd., grocer.
1938 to 1952. Sheppard Frank, grocer.
1956 to 1973. Barker Leslie W., grocer & general stores [names of
the trade vary slightly and the last entry just says ‘shopkpr’; a
number of residents – presumably living in the flat above the shop
(62a) are also listed.]
1975. Jordan N., grocer [this is the last available volume of Kelly’s].
There is no trace of “The British Flag Stores” in any of the listings.
Note that several later Kelly's
give names of people living over the shop. 1956: Mrs E.M. Sheppard;
1966: Leslie W. Barker (the proprietor); 1967: Jean Bingham; 1969: Jas.
J. Wyard; 1971: Sydney Tuthill.
Marian adds: 'My husband Barry has names of some of the previous
Mrs N Jordan (his stepmother) who ran it as a shop for a while before
closing it. Permission was granted in 1979 to change it from a shop to
a dwelling house.
In 1908 a William Gardiner and his wife Rebecca (nee Hardwick) lived at
62 Wellesley Road. She was a distant paternal relative of my
husband (2nd great grand aunt) although we had no previous knowledge of
this until we began family history research.'
Many thanks to Marian for the
information, press cuttings and photographs.
[UPDATE: 1.11.2019: in
conducting unrelated research, we came across a full page advertisement
in the 1964-1965 Kelly's Directory
'L.W. Gardiner & Son Ltd, Builders
Office and Works DARWIN ROAD, IPSWICH
Phone 55236 – After 6P.M. 41062'
Given the Mr Gardiner, builder, who originally owned the corner
shop in 1909, it seems likely that this is a direct descendant, in the
same trade and living/trading from a nearby address in Darwin Road.]
The failed bid to sell
beer at The British Flag Stores
The first owner of 62 Welleseley Road, William Gardiner, placed an
announcement in the local press (East Anglian Daily Times 18.1.1909):
‘I, WILLIAM GARDINER, residing at 62, Wellesley Road, Ipswich, Builder
and Shopkeeper, do HEREBY GIVE NOTICE, that it is my intention to apply
at the General Annual Licensing Meeting for the said County Borough, to
be holden on the 3rd day of February next, for a Licence or Certificate
authorising me to apply for and hold an Excise Licence to sell by
retail at premises being a house and shop situated at 62, Wellesley
Road, aforesaid, and known as ‘The British Flag Stores’ (of which
premises I am the occupier and owner), Beer to be consumed off the
premises, in pursuance of the Beerhouse Act, 1830, and Acts amending
Given under my hand this 9th day of January 1909.’
This passage indicates that William Gardiner, despite the description
in Kelly's listings,
1909 to 1910 ('builder &
contractor'), was the person to name the shop 'The
British Flag Stores' as
early as 1909 and to run it as
a shopkeeper. The name stuck for at least thirty years.
Given that the Second Boer War started in 1899 and the British
Empire was at the height of its powers at the time that Mr Gardiner
named his shop, this probably explains is patriotic name.
The ensuing article (Ipswich Evening Star / Daily Herald on 3.3.1909) summarises the
hearing and tells us about the shop.
'APPLICATION FOR OFF BEER LICENCE REFUSED.
'Mr. W. Marshall appeared to support the application of William
Gardiner, owner of the British Flag Stores, 62, Wellesley Road, for an
outdoor beer licence. Mr. W.R. Elliston (instructed by Block and
Cullingham) opposed for the licensee of the New Park Stores and Messrs.
Tollemache. Mr. A.S. Leighton for the licence holder of the Blooming
Fuchsia, and the Colchester Brewery Co., and Mr. A.F. Vulliamy objected
on his own behalf.
[This first paragraph indicates what
William Gardiner was up against: two existing, local beer outlets
– one an off-sales corner shop and one a nearby public house – along
with the powerful brewery companies which supplied them. In addition.
an individual might oppose on the grounds of sobriety. The location of
the shop the 'New Park Stores' is revealed in the 1905 application to
sell beer made by William Flaxman Fisher in 1905; 'situated at the
junction of a new road, intended to be called Gladstone Road and
Foxhall Road. The most likely candidate is the west corner of the
junction (no. 42), once a bicycle shop, now returned to a corner
grocery. It's also close to the Alexandra
Park, opened 1904.]
Rd/Gladstone Rd junction, 2017
'Mr. Marshall explained that the applicant was the owner and resident
occupier of the premises. He had been in the town since 1883. had been
a builder for seven years and for the last 15 months had carried on a
business as general stores. He was also serving in the Territorial Army
as a Drum major. He (Mr. Marshall) believed several of the Bench had
viewed the premises and locality, and it appeared only necessary to see
the number of new houses around to satisfy them that there was a
requirement for a licence. The shop was fifteen ft. by eleven
and-a-half ft. Within a radius of 250 yards there had been 250 houses
bult within the last three years, and there was room for another 150.
Three or four years [ago] the Magistrates had granted a licence to the
New Park Stores, the only licence granted in that district for several
years. Those stores were 316 yards away, and between the two places
were 150 houses. At the corner was the Blooming Fuchsia, 416 yards
away, whilst the Lion's Head was over 500 yards away. Mr. Marshall said
he admired the consistency and courage with which Mr. Vulliamy attended
year after [year] to oppose on his own behalf, but he thought that the
Magistrates would take cognisance of the fact that the gentleman was
not resident in the locality. He characterised the other opposition as
more trade opposition. – Mr. Marshall was not allowed to habd in a
memorial [petition] signed by 150 residents in the locality.
'Answering Mr. Rowley Elliston, applicant said that he made a similar
application last year, and it was declined. The only difference in the
position now was that a few more houses had been built. He did not know
that the Park Ale Stores were licensed on the condition that the owners
gave up the St. Matthew's Ale Stores. He sold anything from a pound of
cheese to a pair of boot-laces – in fact, anything he could get
anything out of. He admitted that he would have to sell beer from the
same shop he sold his other goods from, but it would be from a
'Mr. Elliston: What did your premises cost? –Applicant: That is my
Mr. Elliston: It is the business of the Bench.
The Bench considered the question a legitimate one, the applicant said
that the house cost about £500.
Mr. Vulliamy: Would you sell it to me if I gave you a good price?
–Applicant: No, they're no good to you. I don't intend to sell.
Wouldn't you sell to a brewer if they offered you twice the
value? – No, I shouldn't.
Messrs. Harry James Jones and Lucas, residents in the Wellesley Road,
gave evidence as to the necessity and convenience of a licence being
Mr. W. Rowley Elliston alluded to the fact that owners of the New Park
Stores surrendered the St. Matthew's Ale Stores, which they valued at
£1,500, that the position of affairs had not changed from last year
when a similar application was refused, double the original value.
'Mr. Vulliamy submitted there was ample accommodation for obtaining
beer in the district. He had had experience of licences being granted
to those who owned property and the owner selling it after a year for a
price about the original value.
'By a majority the Bench refused the application.'
Note also the nearby lost trade sign painted on the side
wall of a house on the corner of Foxhall Road and Orwell Road, another former corner shop in
the suburbs of Ipswich.
Also the 'Woottons
Cure For Corns' sign still existing (but hidden) in Camden Road.
Please email any comments
and contributions by clicking here.
throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
No reproduction of text or images without express