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Posted: 5th Jul 2018


We recently had a member visit our Ravenswood branch to show us a passbook which was issued in 1936, the year George VI ascended the throne following the abdication of his brother Edward VIII, and, closer to home, the year Ipswich Town Football Club turned professional.

In 1936 we’d been in operation for 87 years, helping the people of Ipswich, Suffolk and beyond to buy a home and save for the future. In 1989 we employed an Archivist to help us catalogue and maintain our vast collection of materials, which are now on permanent loan to Suffolk Records Office.

Within our collection the oldest passbook we have was issued on 14 October 1893, for Mr John Girling. Mr Girling had been renting a property at 2 New Cardinal Street in the town and took out a mortgage with us to buy a plot of land in Dover Road, Ipswich, on the same date. The mortgage deed for the property is also in our possession. We know from census data that in 1891, whilst renting, Mr Girling was aged 55 and employed as a milling machine foreman, living with his wife, four sons, three daughters and two stepdaughters.

Do you have an old passbook at home? We’d love to hear how many are still in possession!

As we haven’t always been the Ipswich Building Society (this was our last name change in 1975), try looking out for the following names:
- Ipswich and Suffolk Permanent Benefit Building Society – this is our original name, along with our sister arm the Ipswich and Suffolk Freehold Land Society (‘FLS’). Whilst the FLS function was wound up in 1965, we kept this name until 1969 when we then dropped the words “permanent benefit” from our title, leaving us as the Ipswich and Suffolk Building Society
- Ipswich and District Building Society – this is a mutual organisation we took in, and as part of the arrangement in 1975 we then lost the “and Suffolk” words from our name, leaving us the Ipswich Building Society.

Tell us about your old passbook on our Twitter or Facebook pages, or visit one of our branches.
Want to learn more? Read about our history by clicking here.

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