The history and the journey
How Scrutton Bland became the business it is today
W hat’s in a name? For many firms today, their name has no connection to their product or service. You only have to think of Google, Ocado or Aviva, which mean little in isolation
but those earning over £160 a year would have been liable. So, for example, a lieutenant who earned £355 and seven shillings per year would be liable for income tax and after the tumult of war there were many thousands of people whose financial affairs needed sorting out.
until after some intensive marketing they enter the consciousness of the consumer. But for older firms such as Marks & Spencer, Rolls Royce, John Lewis and Barclays, the company was named after the founders. And so it was with Scrutton Bland. The Scrutton part of Scrutton
Alfred Scrutton’s grandson Tean Butcher still holds the family papers, and says that his grandfather is remembered as an entrepreneur who started Scrutton and Goodchild as a young man in his twenties, when he saw a timely business opportunity. Alfred was one of nine siblings; two of his brothers had died in the war, and tragically his sister Eva, who
Bland dates back to the partnership of Alfred
Scrutton and Francis Goodchild who began their firm in Ipswich in 1919 when they saw that many men returning from the Great War had tax problems. Income tax during the war had risen from a standard rate of 6% in 1914 to an astronomical 30% in 1918. A serviceman would have earned £18 five shillings a year so would not have met the income tax threshold,
was a nurse during the conflict, died in 1919 when the Spanish influenza epidemic swept the country. A strict Methodist and a Freemason, Alfred was teetotal throughout his life, although Tean says “he did lapse a bit in his later years”. His routine was always to have a good lunch with his clients followed by a half hour’s nap in the office, when the staff
Above: Fitzroy House, the new Ipswich offices of Scrutton Bland opened in 2014
had to tiptoe past his door. Alfred gave up practicing accountancy in the 1950s, although he continued to look after his favourite clients until well into his retirement. Scrutton and Goodchild set up their offices at The Thoroughfare in the centre of Ipswich, above what is now Coe’s newsagents and from certain angles and at particular times of the day you can still see the traces of the gold lettering that spelt out the company name.
Scrutton and Goodchild set up their offices at The Thoroughfare in the centre of Ipswich, above what is now Coe’s newsagents
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