Vestigial lettering in Ipswich

52 Charles Street
This page includes some of the faint traces of public (mainly trade) lettering to be found in the town. Once again, we include these because they exist, even though they may not be clearly readable at the screen resolution used on this website. Worry not: the signs are spelt out in the captions.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: H.H. Nears Ltd Coach Builders2001 image
'H.H. NEARS LTD'
is over the central bricked up entrance – note the different brick colour – with
'COACH ... BUILDERS'
on either side. The close-up of the central panel (below) reveals that the capitals had a drop-shadow, albeit heavily over-painted. This feature appears to be missing on the two outer panels.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: H.H. Nears Ltd Coach Builders enhanced
Although the lettering is not visible in this 1989 photograph (below) taken from the now-demolished Charles Street multi-storey car park (The Arboretum public house is at the left on High Street); the coach access appears still to be in operation, with its large central entrance – now blocked – and a ramp onto Charles Street.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: H.H. Nears Ltd Coach Builders 19891989 image
Only a few yards from here is the Charles Street gate with a plaque recording the donors.
Below: the H.H.Nears Ltd. sign in 2022: the central name sign is emerging from the obliterating white paint.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: H.H. Nears Ltd Coach Builders 20222022 image

24a Butter Market
Almost not there:
'MI(?)... WAI...'
 Largely covered by coloured masonry paint, these ancient-looking characters are a ghost of previous businesses and previous lives. This example comes from the Butter Market, between first storey windows above the door to no. 24a.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: vestige Butter Market 12020 image

22 Butter Market
[UPDATE 15.3.2020: 'Hi. Really great website! I noticed this fragment of a beautifully painted shop sign today. This is located above the lighting shop nearly opposite Patisserie Valerie in Ipswich. I'd love to know what the sign once said!?  Richard Crosby. Thanks to Richard for recording this. This surviving fragment shows the top part of (proprietor) '& SON' – a nice decorative lettering style in gold on black. Presumably, Buttermarket Lighting have removed the panel – or the wind blew it off. More research needed by us.]
Ipswich Historic Lettering: vestige Butter Market 2March 2020 image courtesy Richard Crosby
The businesses across the road have their names refected in the glazed surfaces. By 2020 they were Joules and Patisserie Valerie.
[UPDATE 19.6.20: Tim Leggett sent these photographs now that the whole (partial) sign is visible. Either 'Unnibell & Son' or (possibly) 'U.N. Nirell & Son'. Thanks to Tim for letting us know. The size of the lettering and its closeness to top of the space strongly suggest that there was a second line of text, probably giving the trade run from these premises.]
Ipswich Historic Lettering: vestige Butter Market 3June 2020 image courtesy Tim Leggett
[UPDATE 3.7.2020 (during Covid-19 lockdown): ‘Just a contribution which you may already know about re the sign under Buttermarket Lighting:  it may very probably be Frederick Charles Hunnibell’s piano and fine art depot as mentioned in his father’s page on Suffolk Artists (Charles Frederick Hunnibell). That page suggests (and not having access to Suffolk Archives currently, I cannot verify!) that he had a depot there for music, pianos and fine art from 1888-1892. I might spend some time looking into this in due course – I am currently writing a dissertation on Beccles and Blythburgh for my sins – not easy when so many records are not easily accessible currently!
Cheers and kind regards - such a treasure trove of great information you’ve kindly put together for us (and I really enjoyed your talk at the Ipswich Building Preservation Trust last year). Chris Strang.’ This is a very convincing answer to the conundrum of the (very) partial sign. The initial 'H' of Hunnibell (plus, possibly, the proprietor's initials 'F.C') was painted over – it is just visible to the left of the 'U'. In fact, on closer inspection, you can make out the ghost of previous lettering behind the decorative gold characters, visible on Tim's lower image. Many thanks to Chris for the solution and his kind comments.]

21 Butter Market, Butter Market Chambers
Ipswich Historic Lettering: vestige Butter Market Chambers 12023 images
In the late, hot summer of 2023, a visit to this charity shop – once Early Learning Centre, later Joules clothing – resulted in the photographs shown here. The U-shaped emporium has a shop-door on each side; in the crentre is a recessed porch giving access to the upper storey.
'BUTTER MARKET
CHAMBERS'
Ipswich Historic Lettering: vestige Butter Market Chambers 2
is picked out in large-and-small capitals on the inside of the 'borrowed light' upper window; the top line curves pleasingly in an arc above 'Chambers'. Althought this lettering appears to be fairly recent, there are traces of a blue background on the glass.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: vestige Butter Market Chambers 3   Ipswich Historic Lettering: vestige Butter Market Chambers 4
The double-doors below feature, on the right, two letter-boxes, apparently anonymous. However, they have recessed lettering above the apertures, now painted over:
'RADIO WANTS' and
'CAFE ST LAWRENCE'
The left door's letter-box is blocked over. It seems that there were once  two (or three) businesses above the shop at no. 21 Butter Market. Kelly's directories beckon...
For much more about Butter Market lettering, see our Ancient House page.

Old Foundry Road
Ipswich Historic Lettering: vestige Old Foundry Rd 12001 images
Ipswich Historic Lettering: vestige Old Foundry Rd 3   Ipswich Historic Lettering: vestige Old Foundry Rd 2
High above the street and on the side of the old Woodplan shop, Old Foundry Road (now a restaurant - the new proprietor questioned the photographer as why he was photographing his property...). An area of red brick (pictured above) which was presumably once covered by a sign and therefore not painted cream bears the legend: '...Y(?) ROAD' and a possible '...LS' below it. We wonder if it once read 'Old Foundry Mills'? It is certainly a tall mill-type structure which once had teagle doors over the street. It really is there. [UPDATE 21.8.2012: see our 1881 map of the Courts to show the site of a 'Corn Mill' here – indicated in red on the map.]

Barnes of Ipswich in Upper Orwell Street now has a page of its own.

Felixstowe Road/York Road
At the back of Lamden Gallery and framing/art shop at 137-143 Felixstowe Road (several shops knocked into one) is this mysterious cartouche, now obliterated by fawn paint: the more recently built flat-roofed extension unfortunately made this operation easy. Ghosts of characters are visible, but no words readable as yet. This sign faces up York Road to draw attention to what? A grocer, tobacconist, ironmonger at the corner shop of yore? Or just possibly, another Tolly Cobbold off licence?
See our new (2013) page Burroughes Bros devoted to this sign now that the words have become clearer.

Lamden Galleries2004 images

See the Cobbold's sign in St Peters Street for an even more vestigial sign, similar to the Globe sign.
 


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