project is a tribute to the many years' dogged research conducted by the late Ronnie
Waters who died in 2015, aged 91. Many generations of Waters have lived and worked
in Southwold... mainly as fishermen, battling exhaustion,
hazardous seas, unpredictable fortunes and, more often than
not, grinding poverty.
Thanks to his grandmother who put her foot down, Ronnie's father
was the first Waters to take a shore trade - as a painter
and decorator. Ronnie himself started his working life in
the 1930s as a butcher's boy with the London Central Meat
Company which had a branch in the High
Street. Thanks to the patience and dedication of an
enlightened manager he learned his trade quickly and well.
After the War he returned to Southwold to work as a butcher
first in Baggotts in Trinity
Street and later at the Co-op Butcher in Station
Road. By 1954 he was the Manager of Hutsons in the Market
Place where he stayed for the next 34 years.
In the meantime Ronnie was
building a distinguished reputation in public life in what
was at that time a fully fledged Borough, first as a Councillor
and latterly as Chairman of the Council, and Chairman of
the Policy and Finance Committee. In that capacity he helped
to steer the town through the traumatic transition from
Borough to Parish during the big shakeup of Local Government
Always fascinated by local
history and with a rich personal knowledge-base of Southwold
trades, Ronnie decided in his retirement to devote himself
to documenting the history of the town's commercial enterprises.
Initially, the time parameters of the project were from
1900 to the turn of the Millennium but it soon became obvious
that it was impossible to be strict about this. Often he
found that the only way of making sense of the stories was
to follow them back as far as they would take him.
Ronnie completed most of his research in about 2005. The fact that it has not seen
the light of day until recently has been mainly because of the
difficulty in finding a way to present and publish it in
a meaningful format. As a book it would be very bulky, expensive
to print in small quantities and problematic to cross-reference.
I approached Ronnie in 2009 and suggested a website. This is the result. Digital publication has proved to be an ideal solution. Not only is it a much cheaper medium than print, but it also lends itself brilliantly to cross-referencing, searching and indexing. Best of all, it lets the whole thing evolve on a daily basis as more data becomes available. Since Ronnie handed the project over to me, it has expanded greatly, partly through my own researches but very largely as the result of information and photographs contributed by visitors to the site from all over the world. There have been many hundreds of them, some Southwold-born, many descendants of Southwold tradespeople and many, too, who remember childhood holidays in the town. Ronnie, though he never touched a computer, was hugely supportive of this website which, apart from having become my personal obsession, is also a living monument to a very special Son of Southwold.
Thank you to photographer Stephen Wolfenden for permitting us to use the images from his three Southwold books.
We are grateful to the following for sharing their memories, research and documents relating to Southwold's businesses and business people:
Paul Scriven, MBE
David Baker - for sundry memorabilia and photos
John and Valerie Baker and Jonathan Hadgraft for introducing me to this fascinating aerial photo of the town in possibly the late 1940s.
Dorothy Ball for photographs of Eversley School in the 1920s
Jayne Barnett (nee Hyslop) - for information about No 59 and 71 High Street and No 10 Market Place and the businesses run by her parents, Michael and Joyce Hyslop.
Robin Barr-Hamilton - for a photo of and information about his grandfather, Basil Douglas Barr-Hamilton and The Southwold Steam Laundry.
Sylvia Barsby (nee Raffles)- for sharing her childhood memories of the 'Dutch Barn' restaurant and the 1953 floods. Also Sarah Groves of Adnams for permitting us to reproduce a letter from Sylvia's father, Major Raffles.
Alan John Blowers - for a wealth of information and photos about the Blowers family of No 42 High Street and elsewhere in Southwold
Jim Blythe - for information on the Blythe, Marshall and Crick families and for sharing the contents of his late father's news scrapbooks.
Andrew Bootman - for providing memories, photograph and a descendency chart of the Carter family of Nos 14 - 18 Victoria Street.
Robin Buncombe - for information on Nos 51 and 51a High Street
Laurette Burton - for information on the history of the Roman Catholic Church.
Peggy Cannell - for a photograph of Park Farm Dairy's delivery cart from 53a High Street
Nigel Chapman for giving permission for us to reproduce the photo of his father,'Shrimp' making deliveries for the Manor Farm Dairy.
Richard, Helen and Jenny Cook - for information and photographs relating to their family's ownership of businesses at Nos 5 and 8 East Street.
Heather Cooper - for memories of 94-96 High Street
Matthew Coward - for information on No 7 St James Green.
Revd Lesley Crawley - for identifying location of Bradford House
Julie Dawson of Canada for a photograph of her watercolour of Black Mill.
Marguerite Jill Day - for information on her Great Great Grandfather, George Juler and other members of this watchmaking family at No 82 High Street.
Ian Denney - for information about no 4 -6 Trinity Street and 2 - 6 Church Street
Anne Dewar (nee Dunton) for information about the Osborne and Dunton families of No 5 East Street. Also to Richard, Helen and Jenny Cook for information and photographs relating to their years at the same address.
Dudley Diaper - for a photo of 'Le Petit Bijou' restaurant (No 76 High Street) in 1976
John Dixon - for memories of Frank Hurr and information about the Hurr and Eastaugh families
Gary Doy - for photographs of his grandfather, Freddie Wells, and of Walter Rockall.
Sue Doy for memories and photos of her father Freddie Wells and the Pit Stop Cafe
Jim Elmes - for information and pictures about 71 High Street and also the Golf Club
Janet Fawcett - (nee Pulham, for family photos of No 17 Stradbroke Road
Margaret Frost - for allowing us access to the unpublished memoir of her father, Cyril Steley and his account of life in Southwold in the early part of the 20th century.
Murray Gellatly - for images of the pub sign of the 'Marquess (sic) of Lorne' - No 2 High Street and various ephemera from his collection
Alan Goldsmith (Chicago), Alan Goldsmith (Surrey) and the late John (Wiggy) Goldsmith (Southwold) for information about the Goldsmith family... Also Tina Indyka - of Australia, for information about and photos of her great grandfather, Henry George Goldsmith and his family of No 10 North Green
Lavinia Greenwood (nee Malim) of Canada for her memories of summer holidays between the wars at The Dutch Barn
Claire Guppy - for information on No 69 High Street whose freehold she owns
Jonathan Hadgraft for many contributions from his website southwold-northroad.com
Peter & Mike Hardy for giving us access to the Marcus Dawkins photographic collection
Mary Harris - for allowing us to quote from "Memories of Southwold 1920 - 1939", an unpublished memoir by her late husband, J B Harris
Alan Hatfield - of Leiston, for supplying details of the career of Thomas Edward Key (1864-1911), architect of the Station Hotel, Randolph Hotel and Southwold Hospital.
Jane Haward - for giving us access to historic title deeds, indentures and documents relating to Baggott's Mill and the buildings subsequently erected on this site. Also Peggy Cannell for information on the Baggott family and .Nigel Bedingfield - Editor/ Director of icenipost.com for allowing us to reproduce the picture of Bolderston & Baggott's bread cart..
Hilary Huckstep - for information and pictures relating to Reg Carter and 78 High Street and for help with much else
Lyn Knights - for information about the Denny family
Danielle Knott - for information about her ancestor Eaton Moore and for allowing us to reproduce a portrait of him in her possession.
Charles Lee - for information aboutt No 76 High Street
David Lee - for information on No 21 High Street and also Elizabeth Morgan of New South Wales for information on and photographs of her great grandparents, Charlie and Ellen Goffin who were butchers at this address. Thanks also to John Goffin for permission to reproduce pictures from his collection.
Peter Lee - for information on the history of 58 Stradbroke Road
The Leedham-Green family - for memories of Dr John Leedham-Green and Dr Mary Leedham-Green
'Kay' for allowing us to reproduce photos of Ernest Allen's Fire service medals in her possession.
Martin - from Garden Gnome Software, for kindly volunteering to create our first 'virtual tour' from our panorama of the High Street / Victoria Street junction, at no charge.
Gary May - for memories and family photos of his family at No 33 Station Road and No 12 Queen Street between the 1940s and 1970s
Keith May - for information about his family including lifeboatman, Sam May, and for help with several other addresses
Maggie Mayne (nee Priday) - for information about Douglas House Wool Shop, No 12 Stradbroke Road, and her adoptive mother, Miss Joan Priday.
Mike Medland - for his research on the history of No 1 South Green now lodged in Southwold Museum
Neil Moran - for information about the 'Marquis of Lorne' No 2 High Street
Christine Miller - for the genealogy of the Debney family whose business occupied her home at No 7 South Green. Also..Heather Martin of Adelaide, South Australia - for information about her Debney ancestors.
Diane Miller (nee Wyatt) for a price list of Chaplin & Carter of No 14 Stradbroke Road. Also for information about and photos of her time as a pupil of Roses Way School at No 26 North Parade.
John Miller - for his research on No 19 High Street
David O'Keeffe - for information about the Victoria Hotel, East Street
Margaret Palmer - for allowing us to use many images from the postcard collection of her late son, Robert
Philip and Arnold Pacey - for allowing us to publish part of the unpublished memoir of their mother, Mildred Button of Bradford House, Corporation Road. Also Revd Lesley Crawley for helping us to identify the location of Bradford House.
Bharat Patel - for photo of International Stores, No 18 Queen Street
Pat Peak and Pauline Bennet for information on their Doy ancestors of 15 Lorne Road
Shirley Pennington - for her memories of Victoria Street and 78 High Street
Elizabeth Pilgrim - for an early image of the F Eastaugh bakery and Restaurant
Jeannette Radley-Kane - for information about 14 Stradbroke Road
Linda Rhodes - for photographing the exposed original shop sign for No 18 Queen Street.
Bernard Segrave-Daly - for his research on the history of the inns of Southwold.
Judith Simmons (nee Hurst) for help with various aspects of Southwold in the 1950s and 60s and for allowing us the freedom to 'mine' her book "Growing up in Southwold"
Sian Slater for old photos of her home, Acton Lodge on South Green
Margaret Stacey - for her extensive research on No 26 North Parade ('Strathmore')
Carol Stone (nee Powditch) - for extensive information on the Powditch and Strowger families and for providing advertising material from 1909
Katie Sullivan - for information on ownership of the Pier Avenue Hotel.
Ann Thornton - for memories of her father and Grandfather, Barrett and Frederick Jenkins and for permitting us to reproduce many of the photographs in Barrett's books about Southwold.
Steven Todd - for information on No 5 Chester Road.
Margaret Turnbull - For providing a number of local historical source documents
Adam Twycross - for documentary confirmation that Edgar Smith traded from No 19 Market Place
Kay Waters - for sharing her research on The Red Lion, The Pinkney's Lane Wine Shop and The Victoria Tavern
David Weight for a collection of 1997-98 photos of shopfronts
Steven Wells - for memories of his father and grandfather and their shoe repair business at No 50 Church Street.
Michael West - for details of Southwold's past librarians
Mike Wilkinson - for details on the recent history of the Blyth Hotel.
Claire Wrathall - for indormation about her great grandfather, Dr Richard Wilson Mullock
David Wright - for memories and memorabilia of Barclay's Bank and the Geraldine Nash School of Dancing. Also Cllr Sue Doy (nee Susan Wells) for photos of the Geraldine Nash School of Dancing in the 1950s
Anne Young - for information on No 78 High Street