Everyday Life in Leiston in 1919

Everyday Life in Leiston in 1919

Leiston had a good range of shops and amenities, including the International Stores and Gunthorpe’s Stores, as well as Titlows, which in 1919 was a wine merchant’s.

In the week leading up to Saturday July 19th, the day of the Peace celebrations, the shop windows were beautifully decorated. You could purchase fire crackers from Gunthorpe’s for the celebrations.

Advertisements in the style of those published in the Leiston Observer, 12 July, 1919.

The Picture House had opened five years previously. Big stars of the silent film era included Lilian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin.

Popular songs of 1919 were 'I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles', 'After You’ve Gone', and the music hall favourite, 'My Old Man Said Follow the Van'.


Garretts had provided Leiston with a recreation ground and a large clubhouse. Consequently the town was able to support several sports groups, such as bowls, tennis, cricket and football. The football club had been established in 1880. After the war it was reformed as the Leiston Works Athletic Association. In 1919, they played in the Ipswich & District League and the East Anglian League.

Leiston Works Athletic Association (football club and officials) 1920.

Col Frank Garrett in bowler hat and white collar; Victor Garrett front row, far left.

Sizewell Road Leiston in 1908. The shops in the street would
have looked very similar ten years later,
although some fashions may have altered.

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