Felixstowe Road / Derby Road

'Beaumont Terrace', 97 Felixstowe Road
A noticeably large cartouche sits above this small front door.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Beaumont Terrace 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Beaumont Terrace 22015 images

'Deans Villas A.D. 1869'
, 113-115 Felixstowe Road
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Deans Villas   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Deans Villas b
For more on these smart little scrolls with their crosses in the upper corners, see our Named buildings page. 

'J.W. HOW.'
, 126 Felixstowe Road
Examples of trade lettering can be found in and around Felixstowe Road near to the Royal Oak public house. This enigmatic set of lettering is displayed on the side wall of the house at 126 Felixstowe Road (the name plaque reads 'Victoria House - 1894'), on the corner of Salisbury Road.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: J.W. How 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: J.W. How 22012 images  
We decipher this as:
'J.W. HOW.
[running beneath 'House' is a word beginning with 'A' and probably ending in 'S']
(word obliterated)
[Salisbury Road streetsign] FOR SALE &(?)
[running beneath the final line above:
'105 ... '; there's also RD.' at the end]
The proprietor (whatever he did) appears to have painted over earlier lettering as well as obliterating some with a brick-coloured paint. It is noticeable that the property appears to have stretched along Salisbury Road; it is now a separate address. One wonders if Mr How lived at the rear and offered his property fronting Felixstowe Road for let, carefully indicating the 'OFFICE' doorway (now bricked up to accomodate a small double-glazed window) with a serpentine arrow – which we only recently noticed. There is some, now indistinct, lettering beneath the arrow:
 The other interpretation is that the panel beneath the word 'House' covers up that good or service which Mr How was offering for sale and to let.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: J.W. How 42013 photo courtesy Paul Horne
[UPDATE 1.11.2014: doing spot-searches through Stevens' and Kelly's Directories for this address, we see:-
1913   126 Porter, Samuel Henry
1925   126 How, James Wm. decorator
1926   126 Piggott, Sydney Geo. hairdresser
1935   126 Cox, Oswald wireless engineer; also at 126   Webb, Eveline ladies hairdresser
1936   126 How, James Wm. decorator [reappears]
1941   126 How, J. W. & Son builders; 126a Flynn, Mrs; 126b Lait, Miss
1943                                     ditto
1947   126 Pyman, Edwin B.; 126a Green, Cecil; 126b Lait, Miss
N.B. How, J.W. builder (works) appears at an unlisted address (probably a yard) next to 107 Newton Road. See County Supply Stores.]

Levington Road street nameplate
A little further up Felixstowe Road is an unusually-shaped street nameplate (a similar formation is seen in Eagle Street).
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Levington Road street sign   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Levington Road street sign2018 images

'Chevallier Terrace 1880', 137-143 Felixstowe Road
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Chevallier Terrace 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Chevallier Terrace 2
2015 images
This terrace of shops is now one business, but still bears a well-known Ipswich and Suffolk name: 'Chevallier' (see also Chevallier Street). The Chevallier family intermingled with our local brewing and banking magnates, the Cobbolds; so far we haven't identified any particular eventin 1880 in the Cobbold Family History Trust timeline (see Links) which might have sparked the naming at that time. Harriet Temple Chevallier married John Wilkinson Cobbold in Aspall, Suffolk in 1796. Their son, John Chevallier Cobbold, was born in 1797 and took his mother's surname as a middle name. John Chevallier Cobbold had a significant influence on railway development in East Anglia (see EUR).
The building is also home to the reappearing
Burroughes Bros Corn, Flour & Meal Stores sign at the rear, visible from York Road.

Chemist 159 Felixstowe Road
Across Felixstowe Road and a bit further up towards The Royal Oak, is the Lloyds Pharmacy at number 159, resplendant with its vertical 'CHEMIST' lettering on the leading edge of the side wall. Although recently repainted, these letterforms look as though they've been in place for many years. The centred extended caps in shiny white against the black panel are very eye-catching and get across that jump from the 'M' to the 'S' with a slender 'I' remarkably effectively in this format. See also the examples 'H.W. Turner' (and the Berners Street 'Hotel' on the same page).

'Royal Oak House 1895', 188 Felixstowe Road
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Royal Oak 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Royal Oak 2
2015 images
Above: Suburban Paranoia Nightmare Clutter Shock. This used to be a house. With a name. And date. The view from outside these premises across Felixstowe Road is of the Royal Oak public house (see below), once well-known as the terminus for electric trams into town (they couldn't travel up Derby Road and loop round because they were too heavy for the hump-backed bridge over the Felixstowe railway line). Empty for a couple of years when these photographs were taken, this imposing building is due for conversion into sheltered accomodation. Past the single storey section at the rear is a yard with stable, hay-loft and outbuildings.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Royal Oak 3   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Royal Oak 4  
[UPDATE 7.6.2018: 'On Wednesday evening [30 May], the TSB on the corner of Hatfield Road and Felixstowe Road was quickly updating the signs across the top of the building. For a brief while the previous shop was revealed:
PHONE- 77747


Thought you might like to see this. Please do feel free to add the photos of the "Hawards" sign.  I was so pleased to stumble across the work being done just at the moment the sign was visible.  I wonder how long ago that shop was there.  I've lived in Murray Road for nearly 30 years, so it's certainly further back than that. I should add that it was my husband, Jon, that took these particular photos as he had his phone on him at the time. Best wishes, Lynda George.' Many thanks to Lynda and her husband for their alacrity in photographing this glimpse of local history. The drop-shadow on the words 'Bakers' and 'Hawards' – in two different fonts – is particularly satisfying.]
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Royal Oak Hawards Bakers   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Royal Oak Hawards Bakers2018 images courtesy Lynda George
See our Confectionery Works page under '81 Great Whip Street, Bake Office' for a period photograph of another Hawards Bakers shop. It remains a matter of conjecture as to whether the Haward (pronounced 'Howard') bakery family is related to the noted local architect, Birkin Haward, who designed many modernist buildings in 1960s and 1970s Ipswich including the Civic College (later Suffolk College) and many schools (not to mention their geodesic domes).

Below, the view of Royal Oak House from the upper window of The Royal Oak in November 2015:
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Royal Oak House 3

Family Grocer 181 Felixstowe Road (rear)
As drivers queue at the traffic lights in nearby Derby Road (opposite the Royal Oak) they may have noticed on the back wall of 181 Felixstowe Road the words:
(complete with full stop, now covered by recent plasatic pipework.).  The name of the proprietor at the top has been obliterated but the paint has weathered enough for the name to be (just) visible. In 2000 we used to think that this read:
Weathering has since caused it to look more like:
'?. GUMMER'   or   '? CAMMER'
by 2012, but the former can't be right, surely? See below for updated evidence.
This particular shop has changed hands a number of times (hence at least two names on the sign?) since it was a corner shop selling groceries (remember them?). One of its more recent incarnations was a linguistic curiosity: the hair salon immortalised as "Rena's Canse". Perhaps the proprietor was Rena and she wanted to proclaim herself as a Renaissance Hairdresser? A sign of the times is that this shop became a tattoo parlour. Now closed.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Family Grocer 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Family Grocer 22012 images
A modern house facing Derby Road now blocks the eye-line of the advertisement and 'Family Grocer.' remains as a fading reminder of a time before out-of-town supermarkets when the corner shop serving local shoppers was a mainstay of the town's economy.
Below: the view of the former grocer's shop from an upper window in The Royal Oak in November 2015:
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Family Grocer 4   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Family Grocer 52015 images

[UPDATE 29.10.2014:
Entry details
Stevens Directory 1881
No detail

Stevens 1885
After Royal Oak & Derby Road:
Barham, David carter and contractor, Stanley House; Emsden, Wm. Jas. labourer, Suffolk Villas;
Friend, Chester gardener, Suffolk Villas;
Tyler, Geo. Wm. bricklayer, Norfolk Villa etc.
Mainly un-numbered houses
Stevens 1894
After Derby Road:
Rickby, Wm.; Diland, Isaac, Dorset Villas;
Cattell, Thos Edward, Frankfort House etc.

Kelly's 1906
After Derby Road:
Gammer, Arthur grocer & provision merchant, Derby House;
Grayston, Miss Sarah Jane, draper;
then Dorset Villas (2 market gardeners)
'A. GAMMER' whose name appears, obscured, above 'FAMILY GROCER' sign, Derby Road;
also first mention of a draper next door
K 1909, 1910

K 1912
ditto; now numbered: 181 Gammer; 183 Grayston; then 195, 199 etc.

K 1913
ditto; now no. 185 has appeared (Sharp, Mrs)

K 1915, 1915

K 1918
ditto, but 181 Gammer; 183-185 Grayston, draper, then 195, 197 etc.
The drapery business now fills two shop premises
K 1920, 1921

K 1922
181 Prentice, Henry E, grocer
183 & 185 Prentice Percy Jn.outfitter
First appearance of Prentices at both businesses
K 1923,4,5,6

K 1927
ditto, but 185a Caurah & Horne, fruiterers & florists; floral wreaths;
then 187 Partington, G. seedsman, 195 etc.

K 1928
ditto, but 185a not listed, then 187 etc.

K 1929
181 Webb, Stephen Bertie, grocer;
183-185 Prentice, Percy Jn. & Sons outfitters; 187 seedsman
Webb replaces Prentice at 181
K 1930,'1,'2,'3,'4

K 1935
ditto, but 181 not listed

K 1936
ditto, but 181 Cowdell, Harry fruitr

K 1937
ditto, but 181 not listed
K 1938
ditto, but 181 Martin's house furnishers
Martin at 181
K 1939

K 1940
ditto, but 187 also listed as a florist

K 1941

K 1943
ditto, but 187 Partington, Miss G.

K 1947
ditto,  but 183 also listed:
Prentice, Raymond H.

K 1949

K 1952
181 Newsteads Bakeries Ltd bakers;
183-185 Prentice, Percy Jn. & Sons outfitters, etc.
Newsteads at 181
K 1954
ditto, but 187 Meadows, Gordon ladies & gentleman's hairdresser; Tel. 77477

K 1956, '60, 62-63

K 1964-65
181 Newsteads, 183 & 185 Prentice, P.J. & Sons outfitters & tailors; Tel. 77781;
185 Prentice, Raymond H.;
187 Meadows, G. hairdresser
Presumably Prentice, Raymond H. is living in the flat above the shop
K 1966, '67, '68, '69, '71

K 1972
181 not listed; 183 & 185 Prentice etc.;
183 & 185 Prentice Raymond H.;
187 Meadows etc.

K 1973, '75
(last available directory)
This 2014 research indicates that the mystery lettering in Derby Road above 'Family Grocer' reads: 'A. GAMMER' (proprietor c.1906-1922), overpainted with 'H.E. PRENTICE' (proprietor 1922-1929), later obliterated and weathered.]

P.J. Prentice, 185 Felixstowe Road
[UPDATE 4.8.2012: A 1920s photograph of 'The Royal Oak crossroads' clearly shows the proprietor's name on the face of the building visible to travellers coming down Felixstowe Road towards the town:
is partially obscured by a small advertisement banner, but clear. Here also is the retouched 'Family Grocer' name which is in slightly smaller capitals. The assumption is that P.J. Prentice once owned the corner premises as well as the next door shop.]
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Family Grocer 3
[UPDATE 16.8.2012: Eureka. Another piece of hidden historic trade lettering emerges from a recent visit. On Felixstowe Road we went to the gap between the first and second blocks from the Derby Road corner. This is a tricky site with only a narrow gap between the buildings and – on the day we visited – parts of the wall in shadow. Sure enough, high up we can still see the proprietor's name in caps, but it gets better:
[pale rectangle : FOR?]
LADIES & GENTS  [overpainted 'MENS' (larger)]
Ipswich Historic Lettering: P.J. Prentice 1   Ipswich Historic Lettering: P.J. Prentice 2a2012 images 
Above left:
unretouched image; above right: retouched (the 'P.' of 'P.J. Prentice appears to have been lost at the top)
The white frontage of the shop at number 187 obtrudes from the right in these photographs. This pair of images shows enhancements to reduce shadow contrast and retouched lettering to indicate the lower sign. The large white-painted 'MENS' is dominant over the first part of the earlier 'LADIES & GENTS', but there might be more (the obvious would be '& WOMENS' or '& LADIES'). The 'AND' between 'Tailoring' and 'Outfitting' is not very clear; this has probably been repainted at least once, as has the whole sign. The different colouring in the background of the business name and the lower part suggest that someone has tried to obliterate all or part of the sign. To put the tin lid on it, the 1920s photograph of the shops indicates that the buildings to the right were once single storey, but have been increased in height at a later date, thus rendering the sign useless. See the 'Nestles Milk' sign on Bramford Road for a similar case.

From the table above, we can confirm that 'P.J. (Percy John) PRENTICE' was the proprietor of the outfitters at 183-185 Felixstowe Road established in 1922 and the firm's name is still there in the last available Kelly's Directory in 1975.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: P.J. Prentice 52013 images
Businesses come and go in this part of the world and Derby Carpets, a tattoo joint, a tanning shop and a party business have come and gone, but Lady Prentice clothing has been there for years and must surely be the inheritor of the 'Prentice' trade name found painted on the side wall of no. 185. We would suggest at the end of all this that 'A. GAMMER' was painted on the noticeable edge of the corner block visible in Derby Road to advertise the 'Family Grocer' and the 'H.E. Prentice' sign was eventually painted over it and the top part eventually obliterated. Similarly 'P.J. PRENTICE' was painted on the leading edge of 185 Felixstowe Road to advertise the clothier business to travellers towards the town. Ironically, both sites have been closely built by later structures.

The seven years when Prentice the grocer shared the building with Prentice the clothier is reflected for a much longer period in Leiston where Barnard Brothers ran a rather upmarket grocery on the corner of Valley Road and High Street and a few doors up High Street stood Barnard Brothers outfitters.
[UPDATE 6.9.2016: in the inexorable spread of the supermarket area around the Rosehill Co-op store, having swallowed the Concord Films Council buildings when the stores were first built, the neighbouring shops are coming down, all fronting Felixstowe Road. We will investigate to see if the PRENTICE sign is affected by all this.]
[UPDATE 18.10.2016: The demolition of everything to the right of this corner block is complete and the site walled with white shuttering. It was a matter of taking over a short step-ladder and a camera to capture the, now, fully exposed wall of the P.J.Prentice shop.]
Ipswich Historic Lettering: P.J. Prentice 2016a2016 image
It looks pretty certain that the  centred word below 'P.J. Prentice' is 'FOR'. In the background is the old Royal Oak public house, now The Oak Café
(see above).
Ipswich Historic Lettering: P.J. Prentice 2016bclose-up

See also our Felixstowe Road F.L.S. houses page.
Our Rosehill houses page includes several from Derby Road.
See Burroughes Bros for a reappearing sign at the rear of 137-143 Felixstowe Road.

It's only short distance from here to  Foxhall Road and Cauldwell Hall Road.

Please email any comments and contributions by clicking here.
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