Serjeants paints & wallpapers
& Palmers Bakery, Shelley's barber shop
Serjeants paints & wallpapers, 37 Norwich Road
Ipswich Historic lettering: Serjeants 12014 images
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.
Ipswich Historic lettering: Serjeants 2
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 tip-off.
Ipswich Historic lettering: Serjeants 4-5-6
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.
Ipswich Historic lettering: Serjeants 3
A glimpse of the shop as it was before the sign came off:
Ipswich Historic lettering: Serjeants Mamoudou
Directly opposite this shop is the Maharani Restaurant.

The Stradbroke Bakery, 5A Norwich Road
[UPDATE April 2016: Sadly the tiny Palmers Bakery shop a little towards the town on Norwich Road has closed down.]

Ipswich Historic lettering: Palmers 1

'PALMERS BAKERY
TAKEAWAY – BREAD SNACKS – CONFECTIONERY

Palmers of Haughley Est. 1869'
Ipswich Historic lettering: Palmers 2   Ipswich Historic lettering: Palmers 3
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.
Ipswich Historic lettering: Palmers 4

Palmers Bakery
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 Street.

Shelley's barber shop 86 Norwich Road
Ipswich historic lettering: Shelleys close-up2016 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 and information.
Ipswich Historic lettering: Shelleys before   Ipswich Historic lettering: Shelleys after

For other shop proprietor signs, see C.J. Hawes, Shortis Motorist Discount Store, Brunswick Road Post Office.



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