paints & wallpapers
Serjeants paints & wallpapers,
37 Norwich Road
& Palmers Bakery, Shelley's barber shop
Every now and then we get a glimpse of a sign from a previous
shopfront, easy to cover up with modern wood, plastics, neon and so on.
See also C.J. Hawes in Wherstead Road and
H.T. Ablett on the seafront at Felixstowe.
This one seems to have lost its single strip of plastic (see the
foot of this page) in November 2014. Thanks to Janette Robinson for the
The serif'd drop-shadow capitals of 'PAINTS' and
'WALLPAPERS' either side of the cursive drop-shadow treatment
of the proprietors: 'Serjeants' (no possessive
apostrophe): it all takes us back to a time when a small shop could
stock these products and not be squeezed out of the market by warehouse
DIY stores on the edges of towns. At the time that these photographs
were taken, these huge emporia are themselves seeking ways in which
their stores can be reduced in size/changed to other uses.
A glimpse of the shop as it was before the sign came off:
Directly opposite this shop is the Maharani
The Stradbroke Bakery, 5A
[UPDATE April 2016: Sadly the
tiny Palmers Bakery shop a little towards the town on Norwich Road has
TAKEAWAY – BREAD – SNACKS – CONFECTIONERY
Palmers of Haughley Est. 1869'
The signs have been removed to reveal 'The STRADBROKE
BAKERY, TAKE-AWAY SNACKS'.
The Stradbroke Bakery still operates from Eye in
Suffolk, supplying local retailers.
Palmers still have a retail outlet in Meredith Road. The following
information is taken from and EADT
article, 23 August 2013, by James Marston.
"Haughley is a picture perfect
Suffolk village and since 1869 the Palmer family have ensured that the
village has its daily bread.
Today the Suffolk-wide family
business is run by father and son team Kenneth and Kieron Palmer and
still maintains the traditional baking methods that were used by their
forefathers. Keiron, 39, said: “We bought it as a going concern in 1869
but there has been baking on the site since about 1750. It was bought
by my great-great-grandfather William James Palmer. The business passed
to his son William Ewart Gladstone Palmer who developed the business by
buying a farm and a mill and property. It passed to my grandfather
,Roy, who died in 1989 and is now run by my father ,Kenneth, and me.”
It is a rich heritage and one that
the business is hugely proud of. Kieron said that over the years, as
lifestyles have changed, the business has changed and developed to meet
people’s needs. “We stopped home deliveries in the 1980s. No one is at
home during the day anymore, everyone works.” Today from the Haughley
bake house, Palmers supplies eight of its own shops in Haughley,
Stanton, Woolpit, Stowmarket, Ipswich, Needham Market and Claydon.
Keiron said: “The mill is now closed
and the farmland is contracted but the company still has a portfolio of
about 200 residential and commercial properties across the UK.”
Originally the site of Norman market stalls when Haughley was a
bustling town, the bake house itself dates from Tudor times. Inside the
ceilings are low and timbered as the bakers tidy up from the night’s
baking shift. Kieron, who learnt his skills as a baker from his father
and grandfather, said the company still uses 200-year-old brick ovens
to bake around 5,000 loaves of bread a week as well as a variety of
artisan breads, cakes and pastries. He added: “We are short staffed at
the moment so I started work at 2am. The first shift starts at 1am to
9am, the next shift works from 5am to 1pm and the final shift works
from 1pm to about 6pm. Everything is made on site and we transport the
goods ourselves to our bakeries and customers.”
As the consumer becomes ever more
discerning following food production issues such as the recent
horsemeat scandal, Palmers has noticed an increase in trade.
“We have survived two World Wars and
the Great Depression. Business is good at the moment. Businesses have
been through difficult times in recent years and though people still
need to eat they do cut back. We have noticed an increase in demand
recently.” Tourists have also boosted trade in the bakeries. He added:
“Tourism seems to be increasing and more and more people are staying at
home and holidaying in the UK.” Using simple ingredients - flour,
butter, sugar, eggs, salt, yeast – Palmers aims to source ingredients
locally. Kieron said the family business also benefits from loyal and
long serving staff. He said: “There is a sense of community here in
Haughley and it is a very pretty village.
“As much as we can we maintain those
traditional values of personal service and high quality products.” And
what’s it like working with other family members? Kieron is diplomatic.
He said: “Its fine. Though we do enjoy the odd lively discussion.”
Presumably there is no connection to the Palmers Door Mats sign in Upper Orwell
Shelley's barber shop 86
images courtesy Fraser Yates
'An old sign recently appeared for just a few hours when
refurbishment was taking place in Norwich Road and I happened to be
passing. I have attached in case it is of interest for the website.
Many will remember their visits to Shelley’s; part off the fabric of
Ipswich (and beyond). Shelleys was a traditional mens’ barbers and had
been going since before the 1930s. In the 1950s I remember going there
and all 4 (or 5) chairs being attended; it was a busy place. In the
later years it was run by Chris from Stowmarket with just one chair
being used, but all the fittings being virtually as they were in the
1950s. Regards, Fraser Yates.' Many thanks to Fraser for the photographs
For other shop proprietor signs, see C.J.
Hawes, Shortis Motorist Discount Store,
Brunswick Road Post Office.
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throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
No reproduction of text or images without express