Ipswich Historic Lettering: Tramway poleStreet furniture

Our streets are littered with posts, boxes, signs and bollards to which someone once gave the rather flattering term: 'street furniture'.  Bits and pieces of kit which are of varying usefulness and aesthetic merit plus baffling objects which are, frankly, unknown in their utility. Some of these embody lettering.

Street furniture can be found on some of the other pages on this website; for example, a full roster of surviving (as of 2014) tramway poles on the St Helens Street page.












Postal Boxes
207 Woodbridge Road
'V - R' (corner of Woodbridge Road and North Hill Road)
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Defunct post box  Ipswich Historic Lettering: Post box 12013 images
Looking more like a postmodern art installation, this postal box was in use for as long as the 207 Woodbridge Road was in use as a post office. It was always a dangerous stop-off for the Royal Mail vans on the corner at the foot of Albion Hill, opposite the Duke of York public house; the drivers probably don't miss it. We think it closed down in around 2000, if not before. The 'VR' peeking over the plastic strip which blocks the letter slot stands for 'Victoria Regina' (meaning Queen Victoria in Latin) and indicates that the wall box was probably made at some date from 1885 onwards (see below).
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Defunct post box 3   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Defunct post box 2Connaught House 1887
The history of postal boxes is a huge study all its own and a quick check on the internet will demonstrate the complexity and variety. Suffice to say that, rather than try to extract the box from the rather weak-looking brickwork, the Royal Mail must have decided to blacken the familar red colour, remove everything they could and block the slot. It is also clear from the vertical breaks in the wall that a longer box may once have occupied the site.

Julian Stray, of The British Postal Museum & Archive responded with the following information:

'The black painted box means that it has now been withdrawn from use. ... They are Ludlow boxes (and Cole and Carpenter), for that is what the box is. As you can see, it has also had an addition to the front face at a later date.' The image to the right shows what the lettering and royal crest would once have looked like when the box was 'live'.

James Ludlow and Son
of Birmingham (1885-1965) were very prolific and hold a unique place in postbox history. For more than eighty years they were the main supplier of "economy" wall boxes for use in sub-post offices. This came about because any person taking on the role of Postmaster at an sub-post office without a pre-existing box was required to provide one at their own expense! This led to some rather wonderful locally made boxes, known as Carpenter's Boxes, coming in to use. To authenticate them, they were frequently adorned with an official Post Box plate which resembles those used on the Ludlow boxes. This information comes from Steve Knight's fascinating website.

St Peter's Street/Silent Street
We get the impression that this attractive Victorian pillar box appeared fairly recently on this corner. We recall first seeing it several years ago with one of them new-fangled 'modern'-type post boxes with rounded-off corners nearby. The latter has been removed. Any more information on this gratefully received.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Pillar box 1
The aperture of this beautiful piece of street furniture has been partially gagged by a nasty slotted dark grey plate with two bolts (see defunct example above). We can only assume that the Post Office didn't appreciate the objects being placed into it, or is it that since extra charges were imposed on larger/thicker mail, they wanted to ensure that only small letters and postcards are posted inside? Neither explanation is wholly satisfactory.

The central royal crest is flanked on opposing faces of the hexagonal box by:
'POST ... OFFICE'
with the centred 'VR' insignia beneath
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Pillar box 2  Ipswich Historic Lettering: Pillar box 3
The Steve Knight website cited above tells us that this is apparently a 'Penfold', which is an exact replica of a Victorian hexagonal pillar box of 1866, named after the architect J. W . Penfold. This suggests that it was installed by the Post Office in this ancient part of town (close to what was to become the site of Cardinal Wolsey's statue in 2011, also to Curson Lodge which can be seen behind the first full-length image of this box) to add an 'historic' flavour.

Lloyds Avenue
A few yards outside the Lloyds arch stand two Royal Mail boxes. The first is a moder, plastic affair for franked mail. The second is of more interest as it is an oval double post box in cast iron painted in the traditional pillar box red and black: a modern Royal Mail branded EiiR Type C double aperture pillar box.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Lloyds Ave Pillar box 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Lloyds Ave Pillar box 22013 images
The twin slots of the oval box used to be intended for first and second class mail, but it looks if this distinction isn't made here. At the rear of the box is the manufacturer's mark and date:
'MACHAN ENG
SCOTLAND
1993'
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Lloyds Ave Pillar box 3
Machan Engineering is a young foundry in Denny, Stirlingshire: "As well as street furniture, Machan also manufactures all the post boxes for the post office in the UK, supplies British Telecom with parts for the old red telephone boxes and refurbishes old red telephone boxes which are sent all over the world. So, next time you see a post box, red telephone box or item of street furniture, think Machan Engineering."

Museum Street
This example is situated at the side of the Monsoon shop at 33 Westgate Street.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Museum St pillar box 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Museum St pillar box 2
The manufacturer's name is in relief capitals around the front skirt of this double aperture pillar box:
'POST ... OFFICE
GR
MCDOWALL STEVEN & CO LTD
LONDON & GLASGOW'
'GR' (George Rex) refers to King George VI who ruled from 1936 to 1952 following the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Museum St pillar box 3   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Museum St pillar box 4-2016 images
McDowall Steven had their roots amongst the founders of the cast iron industry in Scotland in 1804. Many pillar boxes bear the company stamp, most of these originating from the period when the company relocated to Falkirk, taking over Laurieston Ironworks around 1912. See also our  Museum Street page.

Cliff Road
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cliff Road Pillar box 12014 images
The song by 1960s West Coast psychedelic funsters The United States of America Stranded in time could have been written for this location.  This  substantial cast iron, Elizabeth II  pillar box used to serve all the  dockside businesses down this side of the Wet Dock and Cliff Quay (see our Wet Dock map for location). It stands opposite the Ship Launch public house (at the time of photographing, The Ship Launch Chinese Restaurant and Bar) and the mid-19th century cottages beside it which appear on the The Ipswich Society's (see Links) original Local List book. One can only wonder how many letters and postal packages are collected by the Post Office from this box.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cliff Rd Pillar box 2   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Cliff Rd Pillar box
The casting at the back of the base bears the name of the manufacturer; it differs from the 'Machan' lettering shown on the Lloyds Avenue box, shown above. Almost impossible to photograph, after some research  we can confirm that the cameo lettering reads:
'CARRON COMPANY
STIRLINGSHIRE'
Carron Company, an ironworks established in 1759 on the banks of the River Carron near Falkirk, in Stirlingshire, Scotland, was to become one of several foundries producing pillar boxes (and was one of five foundries casting Sir Giles Gilbert Scott's classic red telephone boxes – see below).
Just across the road is the excellent '1919 RANSOMES' lettering on a brick warehouse.

Telephone kiosks
Henley Road. Once a very familiar feature of our towns, cities and villages, the K6 telephone kiosk designed by Giles Gilbert Scott in 1926 for The Post Office is becoming more common as a private garden feature than a utilitarian piece of street furniture. Here is an example of a telephone kiosk outside The Greyhound public house in Henley Road, which must date from before 2011, we think.
Before
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Greyhound 3Photograph courtesy John Norman  
After
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Greyhound 2   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Greyhound 12013 images
Here we are in 2013 with a few sad weeds and a darker, unpointed patch of brickwork marking the former location of the kiosk. As far as we are aware, there is only one K6 with a working public telephone in Ipswich and that is outside County Hall. An unsung survivor, albeit in 2014 with neither telephone nor door, is next to Stoke bridge. 1980s photographs of it appear on out Trinity House buoy page.
[UPDATE 20.5.2014: We have received a series of photographs of the removal of The Greyhound box, soon to be on its way to the great telephone exchange in the sky.]

Lincoln's Inn Fields. Central London seems to care more for its phone boxes better than most and this collection, presumably assembled deliberately rather than having evolved at this site, can be found in Carey Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields: two 1924 'K2' boxes flank a pair of 'K6' boxes with recent (and rather invasive) stone seating and cast iron bollards.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Phone boxes, Lincoln's Inn 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Phone boxes, Lincoln's Inn 2

'British Relay'
Ipswich Historic Lettering: British Relay box 12013 images
Jeffries Road. At first we assumed that this odd, corroded little box at the corner of St Helens Street and Jefferies Road was connected to the Ipswich Tramway system, evidence of which still exists in the form of power line poles in the area. A forgotten, decayed piece of street furniture, in ascending order of readability, the lettering is:
'HOOP[?]
METAL CASES
BRITISH RELAY'
However...
Ipswich Historic Lettering: British Relay box 3   Ipswich Historic Lettering: British Relay box 4
[UPDATE 13.1.2014 – Gordon Pugh writes: "Just saw on your site the pic of British Relay, could it be to do with this TV service (http://cambridge-back-chat.blogspot.co.uk/2008/03/1962-british-relay-worlds-finest.html)? Thanks to Gordon we now find that:"An option available to Cambridge [and Ipswich?] people that did give a little more choice of TV entertainment was an early form of cable or "wired" television called British Relay, which had arrived here in 1962. British Relay TV sets provided a clear, "electronically perfected" reception, the chance to view the London ITV service (which often provided a "regional variation" in programmes and news) and a built-in radio. Black British Relay cables stretched between houses and small round adaptor boxes soon became a familiar sight to Cambridge residents. British Relay was taken over by a company called Visionhire c. the late 1970s. You could rent British Relay radio and television sets from this company at least until the early 1980s (I'm not absolutely sure when the service ceased), although the TV/radio combination sets were being phased out. We were still renting a combination set in 1981." Andrew B.]
Bramford Road. Gordon adds that there are some round junction boxes which may be related to British Relay TV still to be found beneath the eaves of houses on Bramford Road and in the form of a loop of cable further down that road. Presumaby, as long as they are not in the way of repainting or repointing work, they are not worth the trouble of removal. Part of broadcasting history of which many, we assume, are unaware. There is an informative web page about British Relay (see Links).

Ipswich Historic Lettering: British Relay Bramford Rd
Above: round junction boxes above 27/29 Bramford Road; loops (and triangular boxes nearby) around 239 Bramford Road.

A similar green box can be found in Fuchsia Lane.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: British Relay Fuchsia La 2   Ipswich Historic Lettering: British Relay Fuchsia La 12014 images
Nestling beside a small brick pillar close to the corner of Fuchsia Lane and Cauldwell Hall Road is a British Relay box in somewhat better condition.
Warwick Road
Another stands beside the parking restriction post at the bottom of Warwick Road (also in the photograph: 'Grove Bakery'); it has 'BRITISH RELAY' picked out in white paint.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: British Relay Warwick 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: British Relay Warwick 22014 images
[UPDATE 16.11.2014: "Just found your website which I found very informative. On the British Relay TV system, as you and correspondents have stated it was a cable radio/ tv service that operated around the town from the late 1950s.

Both my parents, grandmother and several relatives in the Bramford Lane/Bramford Road/ Whitehouse estate areas  had this service and from memory on the radio side of the dial 1-4 you could get radio's 1,2,3 and radio Orwell. on the tv side 1=BBC1, 2=London ITV (later Channel 4) 3= ITV Anglia and 4=BBC2 - i imagine these channel number's on the tv side were in the order the stations arrived in.

I can also tell you the service stopped around 1985/86, Visonhire who had taken over the service sent a letter to every customer informing a changeover to aerial televisions and from memory at my grandmother's house on bramford Lane the Aerial contractor arrived and erected it while the same day a visionhire engineer arrived and installed a standard Phillips TV. I remember seeing a load of old British Relay sets in a skip at their dales road depot around this time

There are also several manhole covers around the town (one near the old police station on civic drive) in addition to the several 'green boxes' on street corners as well as the boxes on the houses you have published. My uncle who lives in my gran's old house still has the socket in the living room!

For those interested I have started a facebook page on BRW under 'British relay Wireless -remember them?'. Hope this is informative. many thanks - Darryl Tester" Many thanks to Darryl for this information.]


Water valve markers
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Ivry Street marker 2   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Ivry Street marker 1
Ivry Street. These medallions are quite common on Ipswich walls. This is the corner of Henley Road and Ivry Street.
'HVS
28FT.'
We're not sure what the letters in either side signify: 'HS' is common, but 'LH' and 'LS' used to feature on those seen in Bridge Street. A collection of such signs can be seen at 170 Foxhall Road (see Orianda Terrace on our Rosehill house names page). They indicate the position of valves on the water mains and are of late nineteenth or twentieth century date and other examples are recorded on our Bridge Street page, but have been removed. Another of these can be seen up the hill from here: near the corner of Henley Road and Park Road and yet another in Upper Orwell Street.

Ground-level (Ipswich Corporation Water Works)
Having made a page for this site based on the ground-level furniture on the Island of the Wet Dock, then the northern quays and the former Ransome's orwell Works site, we started to notice the drain, hydrant and manhole covers on Ipswich streets. This is the first example of ground-level street furniture in Ipswich to be added to the site, with more to come, we suspect.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hydrant ICWW2013 imagesIpswich Historic Lettering: Hydrant ICWW 2
Woodbridge Road. The first cast iron cover is sited in the pavement outside 228/230 Woodbridge Road, not far from the corner with North Hill Gardens.
'ICWW
J.BLAKEBOROUGH & SONS
HYDRAULIC ENGINEERS
BRIGHOUSE YORKSHIRE
FP'
The second cover is further down on the same side of Woodbridge Road, outside number 150 (on the corner with Palmerston Road). It shows decidedly more wear and damage (see close-up). The lettering is the same apart from the lower word 'Hydrant' replacing 'FP'.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: ICWW Fore St2014 image
Fore Street. The third example (above) shows another ICWW cover outside number 73 Fore Street, in better condition than the second, but with slightly different wording:
'ICWW
J. BLAKEBOROUGH & SONS LTD
VALVE MAKERS
BRIGHOUSE
HYDRANT'
During recent repaving of the area around Fore Street Pools and the Lord Nelson public house, this cover, set at an angle to the line of paving was left in place and concreted round. Good work. Thanks to Colin Gostling for drawing this one to out attention.

ICWW refers to Ipswich Corporation Water Works. Ipswich Water Works Company was a private company, its directors members of the local Cobbold and Orford families. Its operations were based in Back Street off of Fore Street (
later renamed Waterworks Street which now runs from Star Lane to Bond Street) in the St Clement district of the town. Just south of the Water Works the map shows Ransome's Lawn Mower Works – the building now now known as The Foyer fronting the 20th century extension to Star Lane. In 1892, an act of parliament enabled the Ipswich Borough corporation to purchase the Ipswich Water Works Company, effectively making it a council department (hence 'ICWW'). In 1973 it became part of the Anglia Water Authority, one of the ten regional public authorities set up to control all aspects of water management. It was privatised in 1989. Towns can only flourish with a clean wholesome supply of drinking water and the Corporation (and others) have been supplying the town for over 800 years, initially with piped water from springs close to the Wilderness Pond in Christchurch Park, but in Victorian times from springs in the Cauldwell (cold well) Hall area, with water piped to Waterworks Street where there was also a bored water supply.
'FP' is likely to stand for 'Full Port (valve)', although we're open to correction.
This section from an 1881 map clearly shows St Clement Church ('The Mariners' Church') and to the north, Ransome's Lawn Mower Works and the Water Works and reservoir above it.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Water Works map1881 map
The 'Sunday School' marked on the west side of Waterworks Street, on a line with Albert Street, must be the Ipswich Ragged Boys' School. We see from the map that Waterworks Street once turned a right-angle and ran along the side of St Clement Church graveyard. Reshaped and renamed 'Star Lane' under the Eastern Gyratory traffic system, this is commemorated by the unusual street nameplate on the corner with Grimwade Street:
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Star Lane sign 2   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Star Lane sign 12014 images
Manufacturer
J. Blakeborough & Sons Ltd were a large engineering company established by Joseph Blakeborough in 1866 and whose core business had been the design and manufacture of industrial water valves. Most of this work was specialised and of bespoke manufacture for the control of liquid flow. They had a large works and foundry at Brighouse in West Yorkshire that included ancillary works which in addition to their valves, also made cast-iron fire hydrant and manhole covers as well as fire fighting equipment during the 1920s and 1930s. During World War 2 (early 1940s) the company used their foundry to produce track links for British made tanks. In 1965 the company was bought by Hopkinsons Holdings of Huddersfield, also specialists in the manufacture of industrial valves. The fortunes of Blakeborough’s became more uncertain and a devastating fire in 1986 made their situation worse. In 1987 a partnership was formed with Wolstenholme Valves, a recent company set up by Chris Wolstenholme and a subsidiary of Hopkinsons Holdings at the time. The Blakeborough works at Brighouse was closed on 12th April 1989 all drawings and intellectual rights transferred to Golden Anderson Valves, Hopkinsons and Blackhall Engineering, who were all part of the Weir Group plc. Although valves ceased to be made under the Blakeborough name, these companies retained the drawings and rights to supply spares, maintain and refurbish old Blakeborough valve systems still in operation.

Bond Street. Another cast hydrant cover can be found on the pavement at the corner of Bond Street and Rope Walk. This features a local foundry:
'ICWW
C MILLS & CO
ST NICHOLAS FOUNDRY
IPSWICH

HYDRANT'

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Hydrant ICWW Rope Walk   Ipswich Historic Lettering: ICWW Hydrant Rope Walk 22013 images
This striking example of ground level lettering is in remarkable condition. It is very fitting that it is situated at the top of Waterworks Street. See our Dockside at ground level page for further 'C. Mills' examples and a note about the foundry.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Water Works 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Water Works 2
Above: Waterworks Street cottages and the commemorative plaque. See also our web page on Water in Ipswich for a photograph of the ICWW Thurleston Lane pumping station, built in 1919.

More ground level
596 Foxhall Road. "This is an early 1920s domestic drain cover. What is interesting is that there were only 5 houses built by my grandfather so it must have been a local supplier who was able to customise the covers.
It is in the middle of the drive near the front gates. We had two of these – one at the house end as well but it was broken when a lorry backed onto it in the 1960s.  I think it is the only one left as a check of the other houses from the road to the corner of Chilton Road shows they have all modernised the drives and replaced them.
My grandad was Harry Buss. -
Jen Greatrex" Many thanks to Jen for this intriguing bit of advertising matter; the uneven lettering suggests that this is a custom-made cover by a local foundry.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Drain cover GreatrexPhotograph courtesy Jen Greatrex 2014
'BUSS WEBB & SON LTD
BUILDERS
IPSWICH'
Chilton Road
Similarly, round the corner in Chilton Road where there are four of these, all from the same builder, in close proximity.
These are on 1930s drives.
'LFJ PACKARD
BUILDER
FOXHALL ROAD
IPSWICH'
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Drain cover Greatrex 2   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Drain cover Greatrex 3Photographs courtesy Jen Greatrex 2014

High Street. Close to the corner of High Street and Crown Street on the High Street pavement is an example of a curious modern drain cover which has been spotted elsewhere in the town. An oval cover set into a concrete surround: it's quite small and easily missed.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Drain Rod Point2014 image
'SUPER SLEVE
PATENT NO. I421734
DRAIN RODDING POINT'
192 Woodbridge Road has a cast Fire Hydrant outside on the pavement (and it came all the way from Exeter: couldn't they find any iron founders nearby?):
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Fire Hydrant
'GARTON & KING LTD.
FH
EXETER'
[UPDATE 21.2.2014: 'Hi there - saw your website on Iron and Street Furniture etc in Ipswich – Glad to see Ipswich was a customer of Garton & King – have you seen the website on the History of the Company – goes way way back to 1661! [see Links] Regards, Richard Holladay' Many thanks to Richard for these two examples of the company's output; the website has a fascinating story of the company. Captions as supplied by Richard.]
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Garton & King 1Large rectangular on NDWB installation Merrifield X on B3254
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Garton & King 2EDWB - everything facing the right way sq 18
[We assume that 'EDWB' is Exeter District Water Board.]

Not far from here is a very worn cast cover for a cross-pavement drain bearing a very worn: 'C. MILLS & CO. IPSWICH'. This foundry name can be found on several covers on The Island at the Wet Dock and in Derby Road (below).
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Woodbridge Road 3   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Woodbridge Road 4

It really is extraordinary how many elements are cut through our road and pavement surfaces. During a recent stroll in Crabbe Street, we lost count of the number of small circular (mainly plastic) covers in the pavement. Water, gas, electricity, traffic lights, telephones, cable services and some we can only guess at can be spotted at various locations, particularly close to residential buildings.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Rosehill ground 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Rosehill ground 2
Felixstowe Road area. A stroll around the Rosehill area reveals the wide variety of pavement and road level lettering on inspection and manhole covers. The familiar:
'POST-OFFICE-TELEPHONES'
in Felixstowe Road displays the familar 'surface of the moon' damaged concrete centre.
'ICWW'
appears in the centre of a rather new-looking cover (see above for information about Ipswich Corporation Water Works).
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Rosehill ground 3   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Rosehill ground 4
Just to give the lie to first impressions, the above left slightly battered, rusting cover bears the inscription on each side:
'B4D-16
www.peter-savage.co.uk
BS5834:PT2 300AN    GRADEA'
So, a very modern cover with its World Wide Web address. Much more workaday and to the point is:
'WATER
STOP TAP'

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Rosehill ground 5   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Rosehill ground 6
In Derby Road is another cover with diagonal split reading:
'BRICKHOUSE
8041
BS 5854 PT2
135 AN

GAS
1990
DUCTILE [KITEMARK]'
The older cover above right used to read:
'STOP
COCK'
but the latter word has been covered by a recent concrete surround.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Rosehill ground 7   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Rosehill ground 8
A more modern take on the 'WATER STOP TAP' cover. The road manhole cover above right features:
'MILLS & CO IPSWICH'
which is a foundry name also seen on the manhole covers on 'the island' at the Wet Dock and on Woodbridge Road (above).
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Rosehill ground 9
'POST-OFFICE
TELEGRAPHS'
These two covers stand on the south-western pavement crossing at the Derby Road / Cauldwell Hall Road / Foxhall Road junction. We're back to the familiar lumpy metal surrounds and grainy concrete centres. This time the lettering harks back to the days of wireless telegraphy. The General Post Office (GPO) was officially established in England in 1660 by Charles II and it eventually grew to combine the functions of state postal system and telecommunications carrier. In 1980 the telecommunications and postal sides were split prior to the splitting off of British Telecommunications into a totally separate publicly owned corporation the following year as a result of the British Telecommunications Act, 1981. Yes, 'The BT Research Station', a national centre built on the former airfield at Martlesham Heath was for many years known as 'The Post Office Research Station'. Nowadays, people call it just 'BT' which removes a great deal of the resonance of the name. When new forms of communication came into existence in the 19th and early 20th centuries the GPO claimed monopoly rights on the basis that like the postal service they involved delivery from a sender and to a receiver. The theory was used to expand state control of the mail service into every form of electronic communication possible on the basis that every sender used some form of distribution service. These distribution services were considered in law as forms of electronic post offices. This applied to telegraph and telephone switching stations. In the mid 19th century several private telegraph companies were established in the UK. The Telegraph Act 1868 granted the Postmaster-General the right to acquire inland telegraph companies in the United Kingdom and the Telegraph Act 1869 conferred on the Postmaster-General a monopoly in telegraphic communication in the UK. The responsibility for the ‘electric telegraphs’ was officially transferred to the GPO on Friday, 4 February 1870. Overseas telegraphs did not fall within the monopoly. The private telegraph companies that already existed were bought out. The new combined telegraph service had 1,058 telegraph offices in towns and cities and 1,874 offices at railway stations. 6,830,812 telegrams were transmitted in 1869 producing revenue of £550,000.
Definitions
Telegraph. 'Tele': from the Greek afar / ata distance, 'graphein': to write. An apparatus, system, or process for transmitting messages or signals to a distant place, especially by means of an electric device consisting essentially of a sending instrument and a distant receiving instrument connected by a conducting wire or other communications channel.
Telephone. The name was coined in 1835, "apparatus for signaling by musical notes" (devised by Sudré in 1828), from French téléphone (c.1830), from the Greek télé- "afar" + phone "voice/sound". Also used of other apparatus in the early 19th century, including "instrument similar to a foghorn for signalling from ship to ship" (1844). The electrical communication tool was first described in modern form by P.Reis (1861); developed by Alexander Graham Bell, and so called by him from 1876.

For more ground level lettering see 'the island' on the Wet Dock; a page of the ground level dockside furniture to be seen on the northern quays. Further round the dock is Ransome's Orwell Works site with remnants at ground level. An interesting cast, glazed manhole cover can be found in Museum Street.

Foxhall Road, petrol pump
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Foxhall petrol 32013 images
The elderly petrol pump standing in front of Ruskin Lifting Engineers Ltd at 84 - 86 Foxhall Road just about counts as street furniture, even though it's probably technically on private land. While in 2013 'Ruskin Lifting Engineers Ltd' (standing opposite the jaws of Ruskin Road) is still a going concern, one doubts whether the pump still functions...

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Foxhall petrol 2   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Foxhall petrol 1
The dial bears the numerals 0 to 19 then 'GALLONS' (with a small 'HALF GALLON' beneath the numeral 10). This suggests a 'clock face' display with two rotating hands: the smaller making a complete sweep for a gallon and the larger registering the number of gallons. The manufacturer's name in a cursive script: 'Avery-Hardoll' sits below the centre. At the top in capitals:
'SEE THAT BOTH HANDS ARE AT ZERO BEFORE DELIVERY COMMENCES'

For a classic piece of street furniture now fast disappearing, see the K6 telephone kiosk near Stoke Bridge.
See also our St Helens Street page for examples of street fruniture which relate to the old Ipswich tramways.


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