Woottons sign, Camden Road


Just when we think we've covered all the trade signs in Ipswich, Morvyn Finch gets in touch in March 2020. 'Walking down Camden Road, I spotted this on side of a house. I wasn't able to take photo at the time.'
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Camden Road Woottons advert2020 images
Peaking out from a very narrow alleyway, the passer-by might notice a 'W..' and 'C...' from the pavement.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Camden Road Woottons advert
The scale of the sign is quite a surprise when, with permission, we got closer. It's still a difficult sign to make out as it spreads across the whole depth of the side wall.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Camden Road Woottons advert
The photograph below is taken vertically and the shine on the painted characters (the once white lettering appears to have been overpainted in black, which has degraded somewhat) shows 'TRY' near to the apex of the roof. Although interrupted by the central heating vent, copper overflow pipe and angled drainpipe, the sign can finally be resolved:
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Camden Road Woottons advert
‘TRY
WOOTTONS
CURE FOR CORNS’
The slightly smaller and central 'FOR' acts as a fulcrum for 'CURE' and 'CORNS' to really emaphasise the function of the product – presumably an ointment with which to annoint those painful podiatric excrescences. The somewhat pleading 'TRY' suggests that this was a new preparation when the sign was painted. For a note about 'Woottons' see point 5 below.

Clearly the sign was a considerable eye-catcher for those walking northwards up the residential street that is Camden Road towards Foxhall Chippy and the Foxhall Road junction with The Heathlands public house (formerly The Asylum Hotel – as shown on our California page – and now a small supermarket) across the road. However, this advertisement poses all sorts of questions:-
‘CLENYU
COTTAGES
1882[?]’
so the advertisement was painted after that date, presumably with a payment to the residents from Woottons – or was the first resident Mr Wootton himself? The residential  developments during the Victorian and Edwardian periods tended to be rather piecemeal in nature; houses or groups of houses, being erected by different landowners/builders at different dates. Infilling of plots followed and this is probably what happened to the sign in Camden Road.
  • 5. We wonder if there is any relation to Woottons (it's the same spelling) in Tavern Street? The shop was once Woottons hair-dressers but, judging by the readable lettering above the old shop, it dealt in products and services revolving around the body. Perhaps they produced their own patent medicines, including a cure for corns?
Note also the nearby lost trade sign painted on the side wall of a house on the corner of Foxhall Road and Orwell Road.



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