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No 15, 15a & 15b Lorne Road


Thomas Doy - Southwold's first lamp lighter. He is also a chimney sweep (C1841)

Note: James Maggs records that the town was first lit by lamps in October 1836. It would be 12 years before the town would be lit by gas. Street lights at this time were oil-fired. Thomas was paid £30 pa and it was part of his contract to purchase the oil out of this sum and keep the lamps filled. A 6p in the pound lighting rate was levied on the population.(M).

Thomas Doy - Chimney Sweep (C)

William Doy - Thomas Doy's son, appears to have taken over the chimney sweep business whilst Thomas branches out as a coal merchant.(C) William is married to Harriet (nee Tink) and their son, Walter Christmas, born on Christmas day 1856, is 4 years old.

William Doy - William seems to have given up the Chimney Sweep business and is now recorded as a Carter. (C). His son, Walter Christmas takes up an apprenticeship with the G E Child foundry in the Market Place and, in 1877, at the age of 21, is working as a track layer on the new Southwold-Halesworth railway line. While helping to construct the railway bridge over the River Blyth, Walter Christmas is badly injured and spent nearly a year in Beccles Hospital. (Source: obituary)

William Doy - Now describes himself in the Census as a 'Farmer and Carter'. (The reference to farming may indicate the start of the family's dairy business) William and Harriet are both now 52 and have five children living at home.

Note: Their home may not have been here in Lorne Road at this time, but round the corner at the junction of Park Lane and what is now called Gardner Road. The Census gives it as ' Common Home'. William's property portfolio was fairly extensive. At his death on 7 November 1892, He owned at least two more freehold cottages close by and had the lease on California Cottage on Ferry Road.

Walter Christmas Doy, now aged 24, is married to Louisa (nee Welsh). They live very close, at one of William's properties, No 8 Mill Lane, and Walter has a job as a platelayer, maintaining the track on the Southwold-Halesworth railway line. (C)

Walter Christmas Doy - Goods and parcel agent for Southwold Railway. Also dairy owner. (K1896). Walter and Louisa have moved back into the family home and Walter is now running the business. The dairy side of the operation is run from a shop at the side of the building. The cows are grazed on the adjacent Common.

Note: Apart from No 15 (now called Lorne Cottage) and 15a (now called Ivy Cottage, but then also encompassing what is now 15b), Walter Christmas owned much of the property at the Gardner Road end of Lorne Road and Mill Lane, including Nos 4, 6, 8 and 10 Mill Lane and Nos 11, 13, 17 and 19 Lorne Road.

Walter Christmas Doy - Goods and parcel agent for Southwold Railway. Also dairy owner. (K1906)

Walter Christmas Doy
- Goods and parcel agent for Southwold Railway and Dairy. Walter Christmas' s son, Walter James (29) works on the Southwold Railway as a 'Carman' and lives nextdoor-but-one (No 11) with his wife, Ellen, and four children, the youngest, less than a year old is Spencer Frederick. (C)


Walter Doy & Son
- Coal Yard and Merchant (K1924).By this time the dairy business seems to have been closed. Walter Christmas Doy is now 67 and the business is run by his eldest son, Walter James Doy (43).

The Southwold - Halesworth Railway closes in 1929 which threatens the demise of the cartage side of the Doy business. However, Walter Christmas and Walter James manage to land a contract with London North East Railway to run the carting service from Halesworth Station. They invested in two Dodge lorries for the purpose. The venture is short-lived. Just a year or two later, the railway company purchases its own fleet of lorries and the Doy contract is cancelled. The Doy firm faces insolvency.


c 1931-32
Walter Doy & Son. - Walter James Doy, now in his 50s, decides, in the midst of the 1930s trade depression, that it is time to diversify! Although the company has been involved in coal transport and storage for some years, the plan is now to become an active coal merchant under the control of 22-year-old Spencer Frederick Doy (currently working as a carpenter with R J Allen at No 24 High Street). Spencer's father, Walter James Doy, while running the business as a whole, also takes over the John Baldry Corn Merchant business at No 33 High Street which now becomes the company's registered address.

Note: Spencer Frederick's daughter, Pat Peak, has contributed the following extract from a piece written by her father: "I was out of work and my father wanted to start a corn and coal business. He asked me if I would do the coal part of it, to which I said I would. The first time I went round with a three ton load of coal, I sold two hundredweight. But I gradually built up a business running two lorries with two and sometimes three men."

Walter Christmas Doy dies on 22 March this year aged 77, leaving the business to Walter James. The working buildings and all the residential addresses in Mill Lane and Lorne Road pass to his widow, Louisa, for her lifetime. After Louisa's death, their son, Walter James, acquires all the properties.

Walter James Doy dies this year, leaving the outbuildings and the business to his son, Spencer Frederick Doy.

Part of the site, the stable loft, is sublet to 'Nobby' Hutton and Dick Bird trading as 'Triard Carpenters & Builders'.

Note: Pat Peak (nee Doy) writes: "The outbuildings were not only where my father [Spencer Frederick] ran his business, but also our playground as children. We loved to play in the stables, in particular where the family had originally kept the horses and cows. Above the stables was the loft which housed 'Triard' builders owned by 'Nobby' Hutton and Dick Bird. We used to love visiting them as this was their carpentry workshop."



Spencer Frederick Doy - Changes the registered address of the business to that of his family home, No 19 Lorne Road although the business continues to run from the outbuildings of No 15.


The Doy business is sold to the national coal company, Charringtons.

The premises, including No 15 and its outbuildings, are sold to Graham Denny, trading as 'William Denny & Son', builders.

Duncan & Son - Builders



Now redeveloped as residential units known as Hollyhock Square

We are grateful for the input of Pat Peak and Pauline Bennett, daughters of Spencer Frederick Doy in helping us assemble this history. Also to Derek Self for identifying the photo of Edward Albert Self, his great-grandfather


Do you have any memories or records about this address? Can you correct any of our information or fill in any of our blanks? If so, please email Barry Tolfree
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BSD - Bernard Segrave-Daly
BCS = Bygones & Characters of Southwold by Barrett Jenkins
C = Census
CP = Cinema Programme 1958
CSP = Coronation Souvenir Programme 1953
G = Gales Trade Directory
GRO = General Register Office
K = Kelly's Directory
LM = Local memory
M = James Maggs' Southwold Diary 1818-1876
MCG = Methodist Church Guide 1930
NA = National Archives
PP = Pantomime Programme 1933
PLR = Petrol Licence Records

POD = Post Office Directory
PPP = Pier Pavilion Programme 1924, 1926
RCE = Rotary Club Exhibition 1969
SCM = Southwold Catholic Magazine 1923
SCTG = Southwold Corporation Tourist Guide
SER = Southwold Electoral Register
SFP = Southwold Scouts Fete Programme 1947
SG = Southwold Guide
SGCH = Southwold Golf Club Handbook
SLHR = Southwold Local History Recorder 1980s 1990s (Mrs R. McDermot)
SMHS = Southwold Museum & Historical Society

SN = Southwold & Neighbourhood 1903
SPM = Southwold Parish Magazine 1895 -1954
SR = Southwold Recorder 1927, 1932, 1934, 1935
SRB = Southwold Rate Book
SRT = Southwold Railway Timetable 1915
SSAS = Southwold Sea Angling Society Handbook 1909
SST = Southwold Summer Theatre Programmes
SSW = Southwold Shopping Week Programme, June/July 1922
STG = Southwold Town Guide 1930
SVL = Southwold Visitors List 1907, 1930
SVCP = Southwold Victory Celebration Programme 1946
SWCG = Southwold Wesleyan Church Guide

TTR = 'The Town Revisited' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 2000
TTT = ''To The Town' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 1988
W = White’s History, Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk 1874

Note on dates
Unless otherwise stated, dates given do not indicate the years in which the business started or finished but those for which there is firm evidence that it was trading at this address. Sources in brackets; key at bottom of page.

15 Lorne Road
15a is on the right of the building, defined by the white lintel where the dairy shop front once was. No 15 is the house on its right. 15 b is the main redbrick building to the left of the one-time shop. To the left of this is the new development, Hollyhock Square on the site of the former working buildings of the Doy company

15a and b Lorne Road in about 1916. The dairy (15a) is on the right of the building. The double doors on the left gable end are the entrance to a garage/cart shed.
Picture courtesy of Pat Peak
Click image to enlarge

The Doy family dairy herd in the snow.
Date not known.
Picture courtesy of Pat Peak
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Walter Christmas Doy with the family carriage in the yard at No 15.

Photo courtesy of Pat Peak
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Walter Christmas Doy at work in his yard. The little girl is his granddaughter, Kathleen, daughter of Ellen Wright. From the album of Walter's daughter, Gertrude.

Courtesy of Pat Peak
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Another photo of Kathleen, probably with her mother Ellen. The cow, one of the Doy's small dairy herd, is grazing on Nursmaid's Green. Part of the Doy premises on Lorne Road can be seen in the background on the right. From the album of Walter's daughter, Ellen's sister, Gertrude.

Courtesy of Pat Peak
Click photo to enlarge

Kathleen again, outside the Doy stables. From the album of her aunt Gertrude.

Courtesy of Pat Peak
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Advertisement in a Southwold Tourist Guide 1906.
With thanks to Prof J Hadgrat.

Click image to enlarge

Advertisement probably dating from the 1910s.

One of Walter Christmas and Louisa Doy's daughters. Gladys, on the right. The identity of the girl on the left is not known. (Possibly 1920s)
From the album of Walter's daughter, Gertrude.

Courtesy of Pat Peak
Click photo to enlarge

Louisa Doy (nee Welsh, wife of Walter Christmas) standiing with her daughter, Gladys on horseback, outside the family stable.From the album of Gladys's sister, Gertrude.

Courtesy of Pat Peak
Click photo to enlarge

Four daughters of Walter Christmas and Louisa Doy in front of the Jubilee Oak Tree, planted in 1897 on the site of the former Town or 'White' Mill on the Common. Left to right: Harriet, Gertrude, Ellen and Gladys. Photo , from Gertrude's album, probably dates from the 1920s. The RC church in the background was opened in 1916. The oak tree, sadly, did not survive long.

Courtesy of Pat Peak
Click photo to enlarge

William Campbell Doy, son of Walter Christmas and Louisa. Born 1900. Photo from his sister, Gertrude's album.

Courtesy of Pat Peak
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A cartoon postcard by local artist, Reg Carter, in the 'Sorrows of Southwold' seies' which lampooned the Southwold Railway. The W Doy cart is shown on the right and the man carrying the suitcase on his shoulder is based on Walter James Doy.

Click the image to enlarge

Walter C Doy 1927

The Doy delivery cart at Southwold Railway Station in 1927. The man on the cart is Edward Albert Self, an employee of Walter James Doy.

Southwold Museum P2400
Click the picture to enlarge

Harriet & Gladys, daughters of Walter Christmas and Louise Doy at the turnstile leading into Nursemaid's Green. Photo from the album of their sister, Gertrude. Part of the family firm's outbuildings in the background. Date estimated 1930s.

Courtesy of Pat Peak
Click photo to enlarge

The five Doy brothers photographed in 1939 just before going off to war. Left to right: Spencer, Walter Tom, Ronnie and Cyril. All survived the war, Cyril as a Japanese POW. Walter married and moved to Halesworth, Ronnie married and moved to London, Tom married and lived in Kessingland, Spencer took over the family business on the death of his father, Walter.

Photo courtesy of Tom's son, Ken Doy.

Click the image to enlarge

Spencer Doy and his daughter, Pat. in about 1949-50. Pat remembers that the lorry was maroon and nick-named 'Rosie'. Its successor was green and known as 'Charlie'
Photo courtesy of Pat Peak

15b on the right of the picture with the outbuildings which formed the work premises of the Doy coal business.. The picture was taken in 1973, just before the premises were sold to Graham Denny. The elderly lady in the foreground is Fanny Foster, a lady of formidable reputation who had been Town Mayor.

Photo courtesy of Pat Peak (daughter of Spencer Frederick Doy)

left to right: Spencer Frederick Doy, Ivor Faires, 'Tinny' Clifton outide 15b Lorne Road..

Photo courtesy of Pat Peak (daughter of Spencer Frederick Doy)
Click picture to enlarge


Left to right: Spencer Frederick Doy and Ivor Faires with their two lorries pictured on the edge of the Common.

Photo courtesy of Pat Peak (daughter of Spencer Frederick Doy)
Click picture to enlarge