On enquiring about the location of Mellonie's Coal Yard, we received a contribution from Cllr John Mowles (having discussed this with his sister):“… between the Mellonie's fence and the (now) ‘Fore Snax' premises there was access to the dockside (as now) although we're unclear as to whether there was public access. We do know that the ‘Fore Snax' premises was a shop called Rutters. We used to buy batteries and accumulators for our pre-electric radio from there. I'm pretty sure they repaired bicycles and the like there, too. I remember the shop quite well and access was from Fore Street itself and not from any access road aforementioned.
What we (and presumably, all) are aware of is that opposite Rutters and was Jacksons chemists.”
'Fore Snax' at 90 Fore Street, with its very 1960s nomenclature, is a café which has had a number of names over the years, but many still know it as the Neptune Café.
It was assumed that the chemist's shop at 97 Fore Street was later 'E.J. Owles' (as recorded on the frosted door glass which can still be seen). At the time of this photograph it was owned by John Thomas Jackson and his wife Lydia [photograph courtesy John Michael Bryant] However, in 2017 Charles Simpson corrects this:
‘I have in my possession a copper printing plate (165x70mm) for an invoice header. This was found by my grandmother behind a stove at Jackson's Chemist Shop (The door now says "Owles" being a replacement) in Fore Street during the 1920 to 1960 period. My grandfather had bought the business from Mrs Jackson and spent his working life there as a chemist and poor man's doctor. The decorative script in a variety of typefaces surrounds a seated Chinese merchant, pagoda, palm (?) trees, sailing ship and oriental goods for export. The script includes "Ipswich St. Clements", "18-- (date)", "Bo(ught) of C. Barker", "Teas genuine as imported", "Grocer, Tea Dealer & Ship Chandler", "Cheese & Butter Warehouse", "Hops, Fruits, Spices, Coffee &c.” I believe the date to be c.1840. I don't believe Owles had anything to do with the property, I suspect the original door was broken and the Owles door came from a salvage yard. My grandfather, Brinley Davies, and his son, Evan, had the shop until the (?) early 1970s; I think the next occupant was the Labour Party. My mother confirms that E.J. Owles had nothing to do with the property, as far as she recollects. She well remembers sleeping under the dining table there as protection from the German bombs!' Charles also found this: ‘Mr. E. J. Owles, Ph.C, has removed his business from 55 Trafalgar Road, Greenwich, London, S.E., to No. 24 in the same thoroughfare. The former premises are to be pulled down and rebuilt.
‘Ipswich St. Clements 18..
Bot. [Bought] of C. Barker,
GROCER, TEA DEALER, & SHIP CHANDLER. Cheese & Butter Warehouse.
TEAS Genuine AS Imported. Hops, Fruits, Spices, Coffee &c.'
Charles adds: 'I have now found a lease document dated 13th June 1912 from Henry Beaumont Owles, wholesale grocer of Bungay to John Thomas Jackson, chemist for 97 Fore Street at £50 pa. Unsure of the relationship with E.J. Owles of Greenwich.'
Thomas Eldred's house. On the side of 97 Fore Street is a metal 'Maritime Ipswich 1982' plaque (cast by the Ipswich company Crane Ltd) telling us that this was the site of the house of Thomas Eldred (1561-1624), circumnavigator of the world. See the line and wash drawing of the original house, now demolished and replaced by the current building. Eldred was an Ipswich merchant and mariner who sailed with Thomas Cavendish (also of Suffolk) on the second English circumnavigation of the globe 1586-88. Sir Francis Drake's voyage 1577-80 was the first. Cavendish was born in 1560 at Trimley St Martin near Ipswich.
Inside the Upper Chamber in Christchurch Mansion is a panel of 16th century decorative painted plasterwork which was taken from ‘The House of Eldred The Navigator, Fore St. Ipswich. Presented by Mr J.D. Cobbold'.
See also Fore Street maps showing Listed buildings and Public houses.