Bakery, Topall Tea and W.B.
6 Dogs Head Street
These two examples of
traders lettering are a few
hundred yards apart. Above, at 6 Dogs Head Street:
more or less follows the slope of
lower roof of the adjoining property. This is above a kebab takeaway
in Dog's Head Street, opposite Sainsbury's. The
trade name within the
inverted commas brings to mind the Edme Brewery (it's lettered on a
brick built industrial chimney) at Mistley near Manningtree on the
Stour - a company now better known for its homebrew kits.
from our Coat of Arms page shows, just
visible, extra 'Edme Bakery' lettering on the east facing side wall of
Many of the buses arriving from Felixstowe and Woodbridge areas would
drive through the garage (at the right of the photograph) in order to
gain entry to the Old Cattle Market bus station. The building beside
the garage was Eastern Counties booking and information office. This
was previously the Ipswich Arms public house. The town crest can be
seen in the small brick gable. All of these buildings associated with
Eastern Counties have since been demolished, but the coat of arms was
clearly rescued (or another version made) and resited as we see it
Below is the ghost of a painted advertisment on
the end wall of
building at 8-10 Eagle
Street (is it 'Topaz'... 'Topak'...?):
sits on a cream background. There are larger
'A. R' under the 'first part of 'Drink': presumably an earlier sign.
This is a challenge for those who like to spend their time trying to
decipher old signs: the slogan comes and goes as you stare at it. You
have to ensure that you're reading darker characters against light
background to make out 'Topall'.
The photograph above left shows to the right the end of
the Spread Eagle public house which has
Eagle Street and Fore Street street nameplates.
[UPDATE 28.5.2014: After
torrential rain, which may have been a factor, the sign changes and the
shop's proprietor and business appears more dominant:
word 'Clothier' in small caps running across the word 'Topal'.]
2008: The photograph of the Old Cattle
Market from around 1908 - below - shows not only the long demolished
buildings to the left of Dogs Head Street and no. 46 (clearly numbered
on the right and which stands where the country bus station now
operates), but very recognisably the Plough public house and behind it
the 'Edme' Bakery lettering which survives to this day.]
[UPDATE February 2007: This
solved the Topaz/Topak (sic) Tea brand name mystery on the building in
Eagle Street. Browsing through the book of Dave
'Suffolk from the Archive' period photographs, we found a shot of
Orwell Place (formerly Stepples Street) looking away from the town
centre towards Eagle Street - you can recognise the timbering and
fenestration of the Spread Eagle public house at the left in the image
below. It is the painted advertisement on the side wall of the building
on the right which catches the eye:
'(cropped word at top), IMPORTED
Having examined the side wall of the building
today, there is clear evidence of a reddish brick paint over the whole
surface, which suggests that the lettering is still hiding beneath it.]
8 Orwell Place
The side wall of 8 Orwell Place also appears in this 1980s
photograph from the Ipswich Society Image Archive. The panel reads: 'KAYS
WAYS PAYS' and presumably refers to the business once carried
out at the premises of H.F. Williams. The close-up shows the traces of
the earlier, curving 'DRINK TOPALL' lettering between 'KAYS' and
'WAYS'. 'Kays Ways Pays' was the motto, or advertising slogan, used by
the mail-order company Kays of Worcester in the 1950s and 1960s.
was used to encourage
both existing and new agents to sell the company's products and
services, that were on offer in the catalogue, to their customers.
Here, however, it was aimed directly at the public.
Photograph courtesy The Ipswich Society
10 Eagle Street
And on the other side of the Topall Tea advertisement:
The Leaning Tower
Eagle Street with a blank cartouche high up which once carried
Below: the sign, still indecipherable in 2015, photographed from
the junction with Waterworks Street.
Just round the corner from the 'Drink Topall Tea'
sign is 'Palmer's Door Mats &c.'
as a comparison.
119 Bramford Road
On a much larger scale:
remains proudly on the end wall of the chemist, J.R.
Barbour at 119 Bramford
Road, close to the Suffolk Record Office and the two lettering examples
of Bramford Road School. In this
from 2001, the lettering is partially obscured by a container
a discolouration on the wall. In pristine state it must have been an
advertisement of affordable tailoring for the people for those
from the Bramford direction. The retouched image (below) gives an
This must be one of the biggest examples of trade
lettering in Ipswich,
rivalling in its scale (if not its quality and elaboration) the example
in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe: 'E.F.
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throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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