EDitorial ± 4-Aug-2003

Writing On The Wall

Feeling the benefit of the motor's newly fitted platinum-encrusted coil springs, the mechanics' greedy laughter echoing in my ears, I had no choice but to turn left out of the garage. Then, to avoid going further out of my way, I took a right. Straightening the wheel in this less-travelled road, I glanced up and beheld the writing on the wall.

Nestled (!) between Ezekiel and Hosea:

In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace.
— Daniel, chapter 5, verse 5

View from Windsor Road of 184 Bramford Road: NEST RICHES

For Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, this spelled bad news. I, on the other hand, was darn happy. See, a month or so before, I'd stumbled across a fascinating website put together by Borin Van Loon – great name – all about old lettering around Ipswich. He describes and shows stacks of examples, most (but not all) of which I'd seen before. Since finding his site, I'd been keeping my eyes peeled trying and failing to find a new/old sighting.

Side-on, from Windsor Road, it appears to say NEST RICHES, like something from The Times cryptic. Stand in the right spot on Bramford Road, however, and it plainly reads:


Now a house with Legend Kindergarten next door, 184 Bramford Road was once a shop, as I can just about remember. Five minutes flicking through Kelly's directories in the Record Office yielded the following facts about the premises:

  • 1975 – Alliance Food Stores
  • 1960 – Bowman, Arch. Thos. (general store)
  • 1940 – Rouse, Alex (shopkeeper)
  • 1913 – Squirrell, Victor (shopkeeper)

Number 186 didn't appear until 1927 (home to Bert Nichols), and promptly obscured most of the lettering.

Old poster for Nestle's Swiss milk - no additives, entirely neutral   No more than a few feet now separate 186 and 184

Seems that Nestle's used this slogan for a while, as shown by the above poster. There is a third line of lettering, ending with "merchant", but you'd need to be taller than me to read it.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

Full cream, semi-skimmed, skimmed:

  • condensed milk, anyone?
  • shame that Nestle are now the UK's least ethical company (see baby milk link)
  • keep looking - keep watching the skies!

Be seeing you!