Hawes (Shoe repairs) & Wherstead Rd. Garage
49 Wherstead Road
end of Wherstead Road used to be the arterial
road to Wherstead village (now cut in two by the A14 behemoth) and
Shotley peninsula until it was by-passed by Vernon Street and Hawes
Street. Inevitably the 'villagey' feel to this sort of High Street both
benefits and suffers from such rerouting of traffic. On the plus side,
pedestrians have better access to shops and on the minus side there is
far less passing traffic. Small, specialist, 'old fashioned' shops
which were long ago driven out of business in the main centre of
Ipswich (probably due to high rates and rents) hang on in places like
Wherstead Road and St Matthews Street/Norwich Road. At number 49 we
find an echo of the 1940s and 50s in the shoe retailer and cobbler's:
of the original shop sign capitals were
still visible in December 2012:
HAWES ... SHOE REPAIRS'
Below: the shop in happier times, probably 1980s.
courtesy The Ipswich Society
Evening Star 25 September 2008:
out of shoe industry
LIFELONG shoe repairman from
Ipswich is bowing out of the industry after 47 years. C J Hawes has
been the heart and sole of Wherstead Road for nearly half a century but
the shop's owner is hanging up his boots at the end of the week and
taking a well deserved retirement. Colin Hawes entered the trade as a
15-year-old, taking over the business at the tender age of 20 after ill
health forced the previous owner to leave. Mr Hawes, of Brunswick Road,
has always applied the time-honoured techniques he was taught when he
started out. As well as selling new footwear, the 67-year-old still
uses traditional finishing and stitching machines for shoe and boot
repair and conventional sewing machines for other repair jobs. And, as
Mr Hawes explained, it's not just regular shoes he's accustomed to
fixing. He said: “I've met people from all walks of life and
customers have become my friends. “I used to do build ups for
people who had hip replacements and had lost a couple of inches in one
leg.” Mr Hawes also supplied 40 pairs of boots to army
enthusiasts, Khaki Chums, who dedicate time to discovering the
realities of being voluntary soldiers between 1899 and 1960. He
admitted he was unable to sell the business on because there is nobody
trained in the same skills.
regular customers have asked
Mr Hawes to reconsider his retirement but the tradesman is unwavering
and plans to enjoy his free time on holiday with wife, Doreen, and
tending his two allotment plots. He said: “Anyone with a wife
will know that they can find plenty for you to do.” Mr Hawes
started out in the shoe repair trade in 1956, achieving a City
Guilds qualification. He found work for a job for shoe repair service
in the Cattle Market aged just 15. Five years later he was given the
opportunity to start C J Hawes. This is the last of 2444 weeks Mr Hawes
has spent in charge of the business in Wherstead Road."
By TOM POTTER
It's only a few hundred yards (towards
the town) from the here to Christ's Hospital Buildings,
Tom's Cabin, the Bake
in Felaw Street, The Methodist Mission Room, The Old Bell and the Trinity
For other shop proprietor signs, see Serjeants Wallpapers & Paints (including
Stradbroke Bakery), Shortis Motorist Discount
Store, Brunswick Road Post Office.
487 Wherstead Road
'I came across this photo I took some years ago, may be 10 years ago,
when some work was being done on 487 Wherstead road, currently hidden.
Des Pawson.' This fugitive piece of lettering is still there, but
behind a framework which would, presumably, have borne a large sign.
The signwriter has had to cope with
painting drop-shadow characters on corrugated iron:
photo courtesy Des Pawson
The corrugated iron-clad, lean-to structure is still there in
still the same colour. It stands in the vicinity of Des Pawson's Museum
of Knots & Sailors' Ropework (see Links).
See also our Whaling station page
for the whereabouts of Halifax House.
Please email any comments
and contributions by clicking here.
throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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