Carrier bag advertising

This website doesn't usually include ephemera. At a time when carrier bags are getting a bad press for using up non-renewable resources and poisoning the environment, let's be proud that we haven't thrown these bags away...
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Anglia Cameras carrier1.  Ipswich Historic Lettering: Martin & Newby carrier2.  Ipswich Historic Lettering: Past Times carrier3.
1. Anglia Cameras traded for many years from 15-15a St Matthews Street:
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Anglia Cameras   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Anglia Cameras 2Photograph courtesy The Ipswich Society
Above: the closed shop, 2014; 15-19 St Mathews Street, 1997
2. See our Martin & Newby page for this very lettered company and store.

3. The national nostalgia-fest retail chain that was Past Times over-reached itself with more than one branch in some towns; it had a long, gruelling death as a result of the global meltdown in 2007-8. The Ipswich branch was at 19 Butter Market.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Evening Star carrier4.
4. A newspaper once existed in Ipswich called The Evening Star, but it started life in 1885 as The Star Of The East. Although its vintage is perhaps the turn of the twenty-first century, this promotional bag evokes a time when the Star arrived through the letter-box every weekday afternoon with the green-'un on Saturdays, featuring the football results. Part of the EastAnglian Daily Times stable of publications, it was printed and published from rather fine buildings in Carr Street, opposite the original Co-operative store; there were demolished to make way for the misbegotten 'Carr Precint' which had that tumbleweed feel to it for the public and for those brave, unhappy shopkeepers who tried to make a go of it there. It is now a discount-shop. The move to new offices in Lower Brook Street followed, but printing onsite eventually ceased and, in 2015, the business left the site.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: BHS carrier 1960s5.   
Ipswich Historic Lettering: BHS carrier6.   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Abacus bag 19757.
5. and 6. Ah... British Home Stores was the national chain at the mercy of asset-strippers; the Ipswich branch in Butter Market (formerly in the Art Deco building on the corner of Tavern Street and Tower Street) closed in 2016 (example no. 6 comes from this later period). The company was founded in 1928 by a group of U.S. entrepreneurs to emulate the success of Woolworth's. It had a total of 163 stores mainly located in high streets or shopping centres by the time of its closure, as well as 74 international stores across 18 separate territories. So many people lost their jobs. Thanks to Bev Bowery for unearthing the 1960s BHS bag (example no. 5). The company, from 1960 to the 1970s, used the 'Prova' trade mark on their clothing. Perhaps more famously, all Marks & Spencer garments were trademarked 'St Michael'. Just as Woolworth's branded goods 'Winfield' (the middle name of Frank W. Woolworth, 1852-1919, the American entrepreneur who founded the F. W. Woolworth Company), so Tesco had 'Delamare', Littlewoods had 'Keynote'.

7. Abacus, ('GREYFRIARS, IPSWICH tel. 55642'). Another one from Bev Bowery's archive. Abacus was a fashion shop in the ill-fated Greyfriars Shopping Centre. This paper bag for a wedding dress, 1975, has a suitable graphic design for the date and is a remarkable piece of retail archaeology – we can't imagine that there are many of these surviving.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Jones carrier8.
8. The Ipswich branch of Jones Bootmaker (trading as 'A. Jones & sons') in Butter Market took over the former Alderton's shoe shop after the disastrous fire which started in Hughes Electrical and swept through the Booksale remainders shop and the shoe shop in 1992 (stopping short of The Ancient House). In 1857 Alfred and Emma Jones opened a footwear shop in Bayswater, London. Jones was a pioneer in the installation of electric lighting in retail premises. Nine of their eleven sons became apprentices and subsequently store owners, trading as A. Jones and sons. A company innovation was the supply of ready-made shoes in three widths. Trading as Jones Bootmaker from 1996, the company went through a long string of being bought and sold by hedge funds and investment groups. The Ipswich branch closed in August 2017; there were seventy-two shops still operating elsewhere in Britain in 2018.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Debenhams carrier9.
9. Oh dear. Unthinkable a decade ago, the Debenhams (founded 1778) chain of department stores went into administration in November 2020 and finally closed the following year – the victim of speculation, asset-stripping and mismanagement. (See our Charles Street page for the evolution of Debenhams.

As determined recyclers/reusers of bags, who knows, we might have an old Woolworths bag in the understairs cupboard or up in the loft... Or even The Ancient House bookshop, Hatchards. If any browsers of this website have examples of trade bags branded with lost businesses, please use the link below to contact us.

See also our Cornhill page for a printed paper bag from Footman's of Waterloo House ('The Store of East Anglia').

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2004 Copyright throughout the Ipswich Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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