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City's iconic plumbing business closes doors

PROUD HISTORY: Bill Cuthbert will be closing down the West Ipswich family business after 120 years.
PROUD HISTORY: Bill Cuthbert will be closing down the West Ipswich family business after 120 years. Sarah Harvey

AFTER more than 120 years Cuthberts Plumbing is closing its doors.

The business, founded by John Cuthbert in 1891, will close down for the final time today with owners Bill and Vicki Cuthbert retiring.

The Ipswich institution has been run by four generations of Cuthberts since its founding.

The company has twice replaced the roof of the Ipswich city hall, and has repaired the plumbing at RAAF Base Amberley for 17 years.

"It's going to be a bit sad," Vicki Cuthbert said.

"But we're definitely looking forward to spending more time with the grandkids.

"We'll be working to the beat of our own drum now."

LOOKING BACK: Cuthberts Plumbing in Ellenborough St in 1927.
LOOKING BACK: Cuthberts Plumbing in Ellenborough St in 1927. Contributed

Mr Cuthbert said remaining a local Ipswich business and providing quality service had always been a part of the company's ethos.

"Some of the work you see today, it's about getting in and getting out instead of doing the best job," he said. "That's never been what we've been about. If a job had an unrealistic deadline or a chance the deadline could be shortened then I would never put a tender in for it.

"It's a reputation the company built up and one I never thought worth risking for a big job."

Mr Cuthbert said the company had been blessed with their staff, with some members employed for more than 40 years.

Among the store's prize possessions are a number of plumbing machines more than 100 years old.

The machines were part of the original make up of the business with the Cuthberts hoping to donate them to a historic society or museum.

The machines were involved in the construction of some important works in Ipswich, including the re-roofing of the city hall.

The business was founded on July 8, 1891 by John Cuthbert at an Ellenborough St premises.

It remained there until the Cuthberts moved to Clay St before settling at their Pound St location.

John Cuthbert retired 52 years to the day of him starting the company. Four generations later, the business has gone from strength to strength, but as Bill Cuthbert puts it with a laugh "all things must come to an end".

FOUNDER: John Cuthbert (centre) in 1891.
FOUNDER: John Cuthbert (centre) in 1891. Contributed

Topics:  cuthberts plumbing, plumbing


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