A collection of photograps of the Ives Shoe Shops in Halesworth.
Ives Shop in Bridge Street
Inside Ives Shoe Shop
If you go into the Hide Out Cafe you will see much of the original wood-work in place
From the Museum Newsletter, Spring 2019.
The Fire at Ives’ Shoe Factory
19th February 1900
BIG FIRE AT HALESWORTH
BOOT FACTORY AND HOUSES DESTROYED
A fire, the origin of which is clouded in obscurity caused great destruction of property at Halesworth on Monday night. It broke out in Mr. W.H. Ives boot factory about 7.30, half an hour after the men had left off work, and the contents of the building being of a very inflammable description, the flames spread with alarming rapidity, and the old houses in the vicinity were soon involved in the conflagration.
The discovery was made by Mrs. W.R. Ward, of the Thoro’fare, whilst crossing the bridge. Noticing a glimmer of light at the end of the currier’s shop nearest the river, she informed her husband, who at once saw that the shop was on fire, and Mr. A.J. Orford immediately conveyed the information to Mr. R. Jarmy, conductor of the Fire Brigade. Mr. W.E. Fairweather, on leaving his printing office, which adjoins Mr. Ives premises, at 7.30, also noticed a smell of fire, and on proceeding to the currier’s shop found that it was ablaze inside. A messenger was then despatched to acquaint Mr. Ives, who had only just returned from London.
Meanwhile the fire bells caused the firemen to quickly congregate, and turn out in command of Capt. W.C. Chilvers and Lieut. F. Kendall-Chapman. The large engine commenced working shortly before eight o’clock on the bridge, the hose being taken into Mr. Ives’ yard, with the object of preventing the fire from spreading to Mr. Fairweather’s premises and other properties close by in Rectory Street. The small engine was taken down Parson’s Lane and commenced work on the premises at the rear. It was impossible to say how far the fire would extend, and it was therefore deemed advisable to summon further help. Accordingly, telegrams were despatched to Beccles and Bungay for the assistance of the Brigades from those towns. A very large crowd of townspeople had by this time assembled, whilst the blaze attracted a number of the inhabitants from the surrounding villages. Soon after eight o’clock the shop belonging to Mr. Ives, and the adjoining house occupied by Mr. J. Bishop, caught fire, and the houses on the west side of Rectory Street, about eight in number, seemed in great danger, so much so that the inhabitants quickly removed their furniture. Two or three small tenements in Barrack Yard also ignited. The printing establishment of Mr. W.E. Fairweather next caught fire, and at this time it seemed as if his entire premises were doomed, but the Halesworth Brigade, by diligent effort, succeeded in saving the front premises, although the printing office at the back was completely destroyed. The house of Mr. E. Chatten hairdresser, standing between that occupied by Mr. J. Bishop and the river, caught fire before nine o’clock, but by that time the work of the two Halesworth engines and a large number of men with pails of water thrown on the fire from the roofs of houses in Rectory Street, began to tell, and hopes were entertained that with the arrival of the Beccles and Bungay engines the fire would be soon subdued. About 9.30 however, Mr. Ives’ roof fell in and the flames shooting up to an enormous height, matters again assumed a more serious aspect.
The fire had been noticed at Southwold shortly after eight o’clock, and thinking that it was not more than four or five miles distant, Capt. E.W. Moore (the Mayor) started with their engine about 8.30 in the direction of Henham, without waiting for a summons, and proceeded by Uggeshall and Holton to Halesworth, where they arrived about 9.37, and proceeded at once to the Rectory Canal. The engine being quickly got to work, lent valuable aid in saving Mr. Fairweather’s front premises. Soon after the end wall of Mr. W.H. Ives’ shop fell with a crash, and about this time the spectacle was a grand one. Messrs Smith and Co’s East Suffolk carriage works were being closely watched by a number of the employees, who were busily engaged in pouring water on the roofs of the buildings. About 10o/c the Beccles Fire Brigade, under Capt. Fuller, arrived, and Mr. A.E. Smith kindly allowed the engine to be taken through the works yard, in order to obtain water from the river at the rear of his premises. The employees at the carriage works did most of the pumping. The hose was laid on between Mr. Woodgate’s and Mr. Fairweather’s premises, and the powerful engine, which commenced work at 10.15, quickly made its presence felt. Shortly after ten o’clock the Bungay Brigade arrived, under the command of Capt. Norman and the engine was taken to the Rectory Canal, where the Southwold engine had been placed. It was quickly got to work, and the hose being placed along Rectory Street, was led over one of houses, and helped to subdue the fire in the printing office and Barrack Yard.
With five engines at work, all fear of the fire spreading was at an end. The Beccles and Bungay Brigades started for home about seven o’clock in the morning, and the Southwold engine ceased work about an hour later, the Halesworth engines remaining on the spot through the morning, and working at intervals as occasion required. The damage, most of which is covered by insurance is considerable, probably not less than £6,000 in all. Mr Ives, who is owner as well as occupier, is the greatest sufferer, though insured, his buildings being all destroyed, as well as the whole of his large stock-in-trade and the valuable machinery used in the boot factory. Mr Chatten’s house was only slightly damaged, whilst the range of houses in Rectory Street from Mr. Woodgate’s corner were saved. One or two of the old cottages in Barrack Yard were gutted, as was Mr. Bishop’s house, and the blacksmith’s shop occupied by Mr. M. Wright, of the Half Moon Inn, was somewhat damaged. The premises occupied by Mr. Fairwheather are the property of Mr. J. M. Canova, both of whom are insured. Several of the adjoining properties are damaged to some extent by heat and water. The police lent valuable assistance. Great sympathy is felt and expressed for all who have in a way suffered by the fire. The most serious effect is the throwing out of work of the whole of Mr. Ives employees, about 60 in number, some of whom have large families. Mr Ives wishes to express his appreciation of help and sympathy that has been extended to him.
The Ipswich Journal – Saturday 24 February 1900
It is reported that Mr Ives’ factory was totally destroyed, “… as well as the printing office of Mr W.E. Fairweather, and a shop occupied by Mr Bishop, the later not being insured. The fire threw out of work about 60 employees of Mr Ives for several weeks, after which the old-post office building was utilized by Mr Ives to carry on business until new workshops could be erected, which were completed by the month of June.”
Lamberts Family Almanack 1901
There are many things in the newspaper report which are interesting. Where is Barrack Yard and where is the Rectory Canal?
My guess that Barrack Yard is where I have put an * in the top map. The Rectory Canal could be the section of the river between the town bridge and the bridge in Rectory Lane. Any other ideas?