Uncle Tom's Cabin

This rather attractive building stands at 198 Vernon Street on the junction with Austin Street in Over Stoke. To the left of the image in the rear of Vernon Street Co-operative store: the first such shop to open in Ipswich.
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On the Austin Street elevation high up on the gable (above left) has a terra cotta moulded surround with scrolls and the shell decoration, one can just make out that there are letterforms visible. Our close-up below with the raking morning sunshine shows that it once read:
'UNCLE TOMS
CABIN'
Although it is clear that somebody has roughly filled the characters and the whole painted over in the dominant yellow.
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This in itself tells its own story. This public house had its name changed for some time to 'The Orwell Mariner'. According to the Suffolk CAMRA website (see Links):
"The Orwell Mariner name came about in the 1980s, when Ipswich Borough Council threatened to close the pub down because of its "racist" name; a "fact" strangely lost on the pub's black clientèle (of whom there were many). Evidently the (no doubt white) person who made the ruling had never read Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery classic."

Originally only licensed as a beerhouse, according to the Ipswich licensing records the pub got its full licence on Februay 29 1960. The earliest licencee is listed as George Hartridge in 1871.

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On the gable above the front door things become clearer: the brewery logo:
'SP Ltd'
sits in a semicircle of terra cotta moulding with a decorative:
'UNCLE TOM'S CABIN'
with each word separated by a 'decimal point'. The lower wording is decorative with curving, elongated serifs on the 'C', 'L', 'E'  and a real whiplash on the lower curve of the 'S'. They sit between art nouveau scrolling and all looks as if it was intended to be gold against a black backgound panel, but the colour contrast is not that great now.
We think that the logo is that of Steward & Patteson Ltd, Pockthorpe Brewery, Barrack Street, Norwich. This company dates back to the 1790s and in 1963 was taken over by Watneys and eventually ceased brewing in January 1970. They seem to have had a variety of logos, some of  which can still be found on old public houses. Our example is particularly fine: exuberant interlaced characters with curling serifs.

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Uncle Tom's Cabin, which appears to have closed in May 2012, also has frosted windows which appear to be original. On the Austin Street side are: 'WINES', 'SPIRITS' and on each successive window at the front, including the glazed door: 'U', 'T' and 'C' (for the pub's initials). On the Vernon Street windows (shown above) are 'BEERS' and a repeat of the initials in one window: 'UTC'.

It's only a few hundred yards from the here to Christ's Hospital Buildings, The Methodist Mission Room, The Old Bell and the Trinity House buoy and the Bake Office (towards the town) and C.J. Hawes shop (towards Wherstead).

See our Pubs & Off licences page for more examples.



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