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Do you remember these corner stores?

Alfred Lowe in his corner store in 1960. Lowes was on the corner of Warwick Road and Park Street, Ipswich. Image: Picture Ipswich

Many of us have happy childhood memories of riding or walking to the local corner store to buy a bag of lollies or an ice cream.

Then as adults parking out the front and dropping in to pick up some essentials on the way home.

Within easy reach, they were the go-to stores for local families before supermarkets became common.

Families would operate these small shops, that would sell just about everything from milk to toilet paper, the shopkeeper often becoming like extended family to their customers.

Facebook group Lost Ipswich administrator Greg ‘Jacko’ Lyons loves old-school corner shops.

“I love the look of them and the feel of them, they remind me of the things we used to do when we were kids,” he said.

“I used to walk to the shop, there were many around Ipswich and there are many stories shared on Lost Ipswich about the corner stores and the wonderful shopkeepers.”

Lost Ipswich has just amassed over 20,000 members who meet monthly to discuss all sorts of topics.

Lost Ipswich administrator Jacko Lyons

“There are a lot of people who love the history of Ipswich,” he said.

“Everyone has different memories of something.”

Corner stores are definitely a popular topic when it comes up on the site and My Lyons has collected many stories.

“There was a corner store called Lowes on Warwick Road,” he said.

“It was a common thing for the shopkeeper to hop on his bike and ride around the neighbourhood collecting orders, then had back to the shop to put the orders together before hopping back on his bike to make the deliveries on the same day,” he said.

Mr Lyons will be giving a presentation on Corner Stores at Cooneana Heritage Centre, 1041 Redbank Plains Road, New Chum, on Sunday, 29 September.

The cost is $7 for non-members of the Ipswich Historical Society and $5 for members.

This image slider shows Lowes from 1960 on the left and as it is today on the right

Lowes Store

In the early days it was McElwaines General Grocer & Draper shop on the corner of Warwick Road and Park Street, built in 1880.

Alfred Lowe worked at Cribb & Foote.

In 1910 he then went into partnership with Martin Glover to run the grocery store on Warwick Road.

The building was replaced with a brick building in 1920.

Later in 1928, Alfred and his brother Fred purchased the store and it became Lowe Brothers.

Alfred died in 1962 and his sons managed the shop for many years afterwards.

From the 1980s this building would have numerous tenants.

At the time it was owned by the Lowes it was known as ‘Lowes’ corner shop’

It went thru a progression of Restaurants – sometimes Moulin Rouge or Two Dogs and it also became a pie shop.

In 2015 it was a coffee shop Wild Poppy, and most recently a Greek restaurant called Arcadia.

McElwaine General Grocer & Draper shop, corner Warwick Road and Park. Date unknown but believed to be sometime between 1880 and 1920. Images: Picture Ipswich

Glover and Lowe shop on the corner of Warwick Road and Park Street, 1910-1920. 

The building when it was restaurant Moulin Rouge 1982. 

At 90A Woodend Road was the Woodend General Store. The date the picture on the left was taken is unknown but it believed to be sometime between 1950 to 1970. Picture: Lost Ipswich. The image on the right of the slider is the building today.

Woodend General Store

The Woodend General Store on Woodend Road was owned by Dave Wellings around 1948, then the Mole family from 1950 to 1957 before transferring to the Pocock family.

Mrs Joyce Pocock (nee Brown) was associated with the store at 90 Woodend Road from 1949. 

After leaving school Joyce Brown commenced working at the shop for owner, Dave & Anne Wellings. 

She continued working for the next owners, Alf and Alma Mole, until she married Hilary Pocock in 1955.

Her husband, Hilary, was born and lived in a small house at 82 Woodend Road and worked as a wages clerk with the Department of Works, Amberley. 

In 1960 they bought the shop off the Moles and ran a successful general store, which also provided home deliveries, while living in the small house behind the store. 

With the help of two carpenters Hilary built the house at 92 Woodend Road. 

When Joyce’s father died in 1963 her mother, Ivy, moved into the house behind the shop. 

In 1971 the Pocock’s had a swimming pool built and a coach, Arthur Calendar, conducted swimming classes.  After Arthur’s death his daughter Lorraine continued to teach swimming at the pool.

They leased the shop from 1979 until 1983 before selling.

Later owners included Ross Cummings, Bob Parker, Peter Cooke and Alex Moore.

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