Wig makers in Ipswich for over 40 years
On the 9th May 1932 Mr Jarman Senior started in business as a hairdresser and wigmaker at 6a Northgate Street, Ipswich and later his son joined the company. His son trained as a hairdresser in London.
With the creation of the National Health Service by the Labour Government it introduced essential medical appliances that became available through the hospitals and amongst these were hair wigs for those suffering hair loss. Here at Northgate Street the wig making business was relatively small scale and few people could afford wigs but with the introduction of the National Health Service wigs became more freely available and to meet this demand Mr Jarman applied for a contract to supply and clean wigs for the NHS and continued to hold this contract for many years. The work increased and the business grew.
In 1946 the firm was still trading from 6a Northgate Street and the properties 2 and 4 Northgate Street came onto the market. So, Mr Jarman Senior purchased the two properties at auction. The Jarman’s moved into the buildings in August 1948.
There was a department for gentleman’s hairdressing, a lady’s department and a wig making department. On a busy day over four hundred towels a day were used and each one laundered by the new in-house laundry service. It worked at a cycle of forty-eight hours turnaround. The towels were used one day, were washed the next and ready for use again the following day.
The business continued to grow throughout the sixties. Mr Jarman Senior died in April 1971 and Mr Jarman continued the business.
(Image of the shop at 2-4 Northgate Street in the mid 1970s)
At the end of the 1980’s Mr Jarman decided to sell the wig making business. Frobishers was contacted and were very interested in purchasing the business and at the end of the 1980’s Frobishers started trading from Jarman House having taken on the existing company. The wig making business that had begun in 1979 was moved to Northgate Street. The building was named Jarman House to reflect its passed ownership.
The business is now run by the Usher family and has grown enormously over the last 40 years. Recently the Usher family moved the business to its new premises at 23 St Helen’s Street, Ipswich. The building now occupied is a Grade II Listed Building and has had various uses over the last 100 years, from a Judge’s residence to a nightclub! Frobishers now has a new larger showroom, beautiful new fitting rooms, disabled access and an outside courtyard.