Brunswick Road Post Office

171 Brunswick Road
The way of the stand-alone post office in the 21st century: put it into the corner of another shop. This has happened in Bruswick Road. The enamelled metal sign in condensed sans serif capitals is quite high up above the shop-front.

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Brunswick Rd PO 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Brunswick Rd PO 22016 images
[UPDATE: 22.9.2016: 'I thought I would share this gem with you. A little piece of Brunswick Rd history has revealed itself this week – an old shop hoarding. Finally, a new tenant has been found to take on the former post office (a butcher, which will be warmly welcomed to the parade of shops). All the best to the new tenant. Regards, Samantha Mardell' Thanks to Sam for spotting this and sending it in.]
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Brunswick Rd PO 3Photo courtesy Sam Mardell
What an inventive use of the colon. Charles West probably commissioned the signwriter and, one assumes, they decided to truncate his first name due to space limitations. Or he might have been 'Chas' as in Chas and Dave... These days you wouldn't put the first product line on the shop sign, but what of that mysterious obliterated word above Stationery'? Perhaps it's 'Cards', or 'Papers'? And presumably this business ran the post office, too. See below for the list of proprietors and dates.

Proprietors at No. 171 Brunswick Road
The short section of Brunswick Road off Woodbridge Road was part of the St Helens Barracks housing built in the mid-19th century. Both Brunswick and Belevedere Roads formed a rectangle with Parade Road and didn't extend northwards very far (see our Parade Field Terrace page for a 1902 map). This state of affairs remained until the 1930s when houses past the 'kink' in the road (marking the transition from old to new) started to extend gradually towards the site of the parade of shops, including our Sub-Post Office. The first mention of no. 171 appears in the Kelly's Directory for Ipswich dated 1938: on the verge of the Second World War, the first owner is Charles Richold. The entries below indicate the edition of Kelly's when a different name is found:-
(1938) Richold, Chas. confctnr & post office;
(1941) Read, Wm. library,
confctnr & post office;
(1943) Read, William David
confctnr & post office;
(1952) Seager & Petch confectioners & post office;
(1960) Seager, Mrs F.E.
confectioners & post office;
(1962-3) Seager, S.A. & F.E.
confectioners & post office;
(1964-5) West, Chas.
confectioners & post office;
(1972) White (?)
confectioners & post office. [No further editions of Kelly's after this.]
It's interesting to see the addition of 'library' by the appropriately-named William Read in 1941. Boots the Chemist ran a famous lending library in their High Street shops. Clearly, also, Charles West – named on the image above – ran the business from c.1964 to c.1972. The enamelled metal sign on the brickwork above the shop-front must date from the shop's opening in 1938: a sub-post office from the very first.

[UPDATE 1.9.2018: 'I note your existing page on Ipswich Lettering with regards to 171 Brunswick Road.  I noticed the attached this week whilst the premises was being refitted for a new retailer, which appears to be from the 1960s when the Seager family occupied it. Just thought it may be of interest as your existing article shows the sign from the subsequent tenant - interesting that this week an earlier version revealed itself. Kind regards, Jeff Allum'. Many thanks to Jeff for recording this. Mrs F.E. Seager ran the shop in 1960 and, presumably with a family member, 1962-3, just before Chas. West took over in 1964. By the way, in 2018 the enamelled 'Brunswick Road Post Office' sign was moved down to the nearby Mace grocery shop.]
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Brunswick Rd PO 42018 image courtesy Jeff Allum

For other 'earlier shop proprietor' signs, see C.J. Hawes, Serjeants Wallpapers & Paints (including the Stradbroke Bakery shop), Shortis Motorist Discount Store,

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