Elliott Street Bakery
66A / 66B Gibbons
Street (probably originally 66 Elliott Street –doorway now
Elliott Street is one of the modest streets of small
terraced houses which
survive between Handford Road and London Road. The importance of the
bakery in times past is symbolised by the sign at the corner with
Street. The corner shop doorway and the shop window to the right
would welcome customers; both of these have been bricked in; it is not
certain whether the upstairs window would have been bricked in when the
bakery was in operation.
This remarkable survivor is one of the finest examples
of trade lettering
we have found in Ipswich. Time has caused the layers of paint to
weather and the
block capitals in black with a cream coloured drop shadow (close
inspection reveals that this element was originally yellow), plus date:
can now be seen floating on earlier cursive
lettering, minus the date (this effect is known as a palimpsest – see
our page Background information on ghost signs).
All this on a traditional cream-white painted cartouche. The signwriter
of the original lettering certainly left a more personal touch. The
serpentine cross on the double-'t', the flourish underlining
'Elliott' springing from the final 't', the unusual flourish from the
top of the capital 'S' of 'St', the uncomfortable inter-character
spacing of the first two serif'd capitals of 'BAKERY' and two curly
underlines running behind the later date at the bottom.
23.1.2023: The drain cover visible in the gutter of Gibbons Street
(above) bears a foundry mark and is shown on our Railings page in a section on Cocksedge &
The naming of the street
Borin Van Loon gave a talk on this website project
to the annual Recorders' Day in October, 2004 organised by Suffolk
Local History Council which exists to encourage, promote and assist the
study and research of local history in the county of Suffolk. An
audience member said that she recalled regular visits to the bakery in
Elliott Street when she was young and lived in the area. The name of
the street is said to commemorate a slavery
abolitionist as does Gibbons Street; however,
the spelling of 'Eliot' differs. See
that page for an 1867
map of the area.
Chris Rudland wites: "My Nan has recently shown me a photograph of my
Great Grandfather in full WWI uniform sat on a horse outside his shop
Rudland & Sons, Elliott Street Stores. There are signs up
advertising Bovril and Soap amongst others and a prominent sign showing
our family name and Elliott Street Stores. It is on a corner and
looks remarkably similar to the Bakery. There is a woman shop
worker and 2 small children in the doorway in the photo but we do not
know who they are.
So far my limited Google searches have not come up with anything apart
from the picture of the bakery on your website. I believe that
this Bakery once was my Great Grandfather's shop. We don't know
the date range when he was owner of it but we know he served in WWI and
the last use of the shop must have been as a Bakery as the lettering is
still on the wall dated 1907.
So its safe to assume he owned it up until 1907."
image 2022 image
By 2019 weathering has had its inevitable effect on the painted
surface. By 2022 the sign does not appear to have suffered further.
Perhaps we should draw from this that historic trade signs are best
left alone to weather gracefully, away from human hand. Despite the
radical changes wrought on the old shop: door bricked in, windows and
doors inserted, this piece of Ipswich history holds its own.
Below: the only building in the street named by a tablet set into the
This is sited above the alleway between nos. 33 and 35 Elliott Street.
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throughout the Ipswich
Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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