Joseph William Button - Credit Draper (K1916).
Note: Joseph, who was born in Hackney in London, is not directly related to the other Buttons in Southwold, although it is believed that his ancestors were Suffolk people. Joseph's father, Ebenezer, had worked for a Bradford wool firm before setting up his own drapery business, Button Brothers, in Luton. When his son Joseph decided to go into business on his own account, it was with the financial backing of his father's firm. Joseph's first shop was an outfitter's in Kessingland, just up the coast from Southwold, which was close to his wife's home town, Lowestoft.
In 1910 Joseph decided to move the business to Southwold. He had now been married to Happy Victoria (nee Jacobs) for 15 years and they had five children. The house they found in Corporation Road (now Marlborough Road) was renamed 'Bradford House' in recognition of Joseph's father's origins and a purpose-built shop was created in the front. Happy Victoria's family were Lowestoft builders and doubtless had a lot tto do with the conversion. While this was taking place, the Button family rented No 3 Station Road as a temporary base.
It is not known exactly when the family moved in and opened for business but it was probably about 1912. The family lived above and behind the double-fronted shop which, in addition to drapery, sold ready-to-wear and bespoke tailoring. To the rear of the premises were stables where the Buttons kept a horse and cart for deliveries. The shop traded here throughout the war although the family moved inland temporarily while the living quarters were occupied by soldiers..