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Days Gone By: Do you have family members who attended the Ipswich Central School?

PUBLISHED: 12:46 03 January 2017 | UPDATED: 13:05 03 January 2017

George Brunning (third right back row) in his class at Ipswich Central School, Tower Ramparts, Ipswich.

George Brunning (third right back row) in his class at Ipswich Central School, Tower Ramparts, Ipswich.

Dave Kindred

Anybody who was at school up to the 1970s will recall how punishment was administered with a cane or slipper.

Staff and pupils at the Ipswich Central School in 1929 when it was at Smart Street, Ipswich. Staff and pupils at the Ipswich Central School in 1929 when it was at Smart Street, Ipswich.

The “victim” would be called in front of the teacher or headmaster and hit, usually with very painful results. Few would complain, as this was considered a normal part of the day.

Ninety-five-year-old George Brunning, who grew up in the Stoke area of Ipswich, has sent me his memories of moving from Wherstead Road School, Ipswich, to the Ipswich Central School in the 1930s, where the headmaster kept a selection of canes in a glass case behind his desk and would ask the child to choose which grade he would like to be hit with!

Crown Street, Ipswich in the 1930s as the area now used as a bus station was cleared of buildings to create a car park. The school building on the right, where George Brunning attended, is now the site of Sailmakers Shopping Centre. Egerton's garage on the left is now the site of Crown Pools, which was officially opened by the Mayor of Ipswich Peter Gardiner in May 1984. Crown Street, Ipswich in the 1930s as the area now used as a bus station was cleared of buildings to create a car park. The school building on the right, where George Brunning attended, is now the site of Sailmakers Shopping Centre. Egerton's garage on the left is now the site of Crown Pools, which was officially opened by the Mayor of Ipswich Peter Gardiner in May 1984.

From George Brunning, Ipswich

I won a scholarship from Wherstead Road School to the then highly regarded Ipswich Central School, Smart Street, together with three other lads from Wherstead Road School. We were at the start of a good period of education, although the school and staff moved to Tower Ramparts around the time I started.

The school building on Tower Ramparts, Ipswich, where George Brunning attended in the 1930s. It opened in September 1899 as the Higher Elementary Secondary School for Boys. It became the Ipswich Municipal Secondary School before becoming the Ipswich Central School in the 1930s and then Tower Ramparts Secondary Modern School. The area in the foreground is now a station for the town buses. The school building on Tower Ramparts, Ipswich, where George Brunning attended in the 1930s. It opened in September 1899 as the Higher Elementary Secondary School for Boys. It became the Ipswich Municipal Secondary School before becoming the Ipswich Central School in the 1930s and then Tower Ramparts Secondary Modern School. The area in the foreground is now a station for the town buses.

The system was that pupils of the elementary schools, including Argyle Street, Bramford Road, Nacton Road and St Mary’s, went to the Central Municipal (Muni) School, or if you attained an outstanding high pass, you went to the Ipswich School. I only knew one boy who attained this honour, he was in my class at Wherstead Road. He was a pale faced lad with glasses who could finish a task of ten sums before I had finished the first one - he could not play football though!

The Central School differed from the elementary schools, they concentrated on commercial and engineering. The teachers were Mr A ‘Whiskers” Welburn headmaster, Mr “Johnny” Fallows, English, Mr Foley engineering, Mr Gosling shorthand and bookkeeping, Mr Jones science, Mr Bill Baird French shorthand, Miss “Granny” Welburn-French (the headmaster’s elderly sister), Mr Turner “Uncle” History and Mr Chapman, geography.

Houses which stood on the town rampart in the centre of Ipswich were demolished in the mid 1930s. The building in the left background became the Ipswich Central School in the 1930s. It closed as Tower Ramparts Secondary and was demolished in 1979. Sailmakers shopping centre now stands on the site of the school. Houses which stood on the town rampart in the centre of Ipswich were demolished in the mid 1930s. The building in the left background became the Ipswich Central School in the 1930s. It closed as Tower Ramparts Secondary and was demolished in 1979. Sailmakers shopping centre now stands on the site of the school.

I enjoyed my first couple of years at the “Muni”. Mr Welburn, as well as being a great headmaster, was a fantastic choir master. The school won the Suffolk Shield for choir boys on several occasions. He was also the choir master at St Mary Le Tower Church in Tower Street, Ipswich.

A downside at the school was the dreaded cane. Only the headmaster was allowed to use it. The teacher would fill in the culprit’s name in the punishment book with details of the “crime”. The culprit had to take the book to the headmaster’s office - knock on the door and be told to wait, a punishment in itself. On the command “enter”, after he had read the crime, he told you to choose a cane from a glass case behind his desk. You had the choice of four ranging from thick to thin. You were told to hold out your hand and get “One of the best” or more.

George Brunning (left back row) at his handicraft class at Ipswich Central School. The handicraft centre was in Turret Lane. George has recalled the names of some of his classmates. From the left on the back row are: Brunning, Messenger, Dolan, Bird, unknown, Snell, Sharman and unknown. Middle row: Crisp, Thompson, Jefferies, Skippen, Strutt and Chinery. Front row: Unknown, Brown, Wilkinson and Hunter. George Brunning (left back row) at his handicraft class at Ipswich Central School. The handicraft centre was in Turret Lane. George has recalled the names of some of his classmates. From the left on the back row are: Brunning, Messenger, Dolan, Bird, unknown, Snell, Sharman and unknown. Middle row: Crisp, Thompson, Jefferies, Skippen, Strutt and Chinery. Front row: Unknown, Brown, Wilkinson and Hunter.

One day something happened in Billy Baird’s class. I am not sure what, but he shouted out from his high teacher’s chair “Who did it?” he grabbed the punishment book, then after filling in all the names, we were all marched to “Whisker’s” office who kept saying “Who did it?”. As most of us did not know what it was, nobody answered, so he told us to stand in a line and have us three cuts of the cane each. It hurt and we all went to the cloakroom to hold our hands under the cold tap, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. Later we found out what had caused the trouble. Somebody had pinned Mr Baird’s trousers to his false leg without him noticing.

The Central School students came from all over Ipswich, its reputation was well known all over the town. Its distinctive green caps advertising where the lad was educated. Local companies like solicitors, architects and business houses all used to favour the pupils.

The building in Smart Street became a Primary School. It was due for closure when this photograph of parents and pupils was taken in May 1964. Are you in the picture or were you a pupil there? Write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS or e-mail info@kindred-spirit.co.uk The building in Smart Street became a Primary School. It was due for closure when this photograph of parents and pupils was taken in May 1964. Are you in the picture or were you a pupil there? Write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS or e-mail info@kindred-spirit.co.uk

The school’s time was limited, shortly after I left in the mid 1930s it became a Secondary school, no scholarship required, all the traditions of a fine school gone at the whim of the education committee.

From Beryl Sims, nee Corbett

Beryl Sims favourite Ipswich Town Player was Doug Moran (second left). The players in this 1962 forward line up are from the left: Roy Stephenson, Doug Moran, Ray Crawford, Ted Phillips and Jimmy Leadbetter. Beryl Sims favourite Ipswich Town Player was Doug Moran (second left). The players in this 1962 forward line up are from the left: Roy Stephenson, Doug Moran, Ray Crawford, Ted Phillips and Jimmy Leadbetter.

You recently featured three items which reminded me of my youth. When I was 18 I needed a bank account and my friend Judith was working at the Westminster Bank in Princes Street, so of course that was where I opened my account. The interior photo in Days Gone By might show her near the door serving a customer, but as I can only see the back of her head I’m not sure.

I grew up in Alderman Road so I was very familiar with the football club, though I never paid to see a match. They used to open the gates 15 minutes before the end and I used to go in then with my friends to watch the end of matches. Doug Moran was always my favourite, but it must have been on looks as I had no idea about football. We used to know the score from the type of applause: half-hearted - opponent’s goal; loud and boisterous - home goal; expectant ‘ah’ followed by disappointed ‘oh’ - near miss.

Scott's newsagents shop at the corner of Alderman Road and Handford Road, Ipswich, is recalled by Beryl Sims. Demolition work was under way in the area when Jack Keen took this photograph in 1969. Do you call this shop? Write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS or e-mail info@kindred-spirit.co.uk Scott's newsagents shop at the corner of Alderman Road and Handford Road, Ipswich, is recalled by Beryl Sims. Demolition work was under way in the area when Jack Keen took this photograph in 1969. Do you call this shop? Write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS or e-mail info@kindred-spirit.co.uk

The house in Alderman Road was tied to the Ipswich Steam Laundry. My father had known the owner, Mr Lucas, in the army and after the war he wrote offering my father a job. Mr Lucas owned the first car I encountered, a dark green Wolsey 4/44 registration DPV 179 (I wanted to have one just like it when I grew up, but of course I never did). Before the war my father had been a patrolman with the AA so there wasn’t much he didn’t know about engines. His garage was round the back of the laundry, on Handford Road - a large draughty place with a corrugated tin roof painted pink (or faded red). He was responsible for keeping the fleet of lorries running plus attending to any problems with the machinery in the laundry.

Alderman Road was one of the last in Ipswich to have gas street lights.

Alderman Road, Ipswich, was one of the streets flooded by heavy rain and melting snow from the Gipping Valley in 1939. This picture shows men in a boat passing the Ipswich Steam laundry (left). Alderman Road, Ipswich, was one of the streets flooded by heavy rain and melting snow from the Gipping Valley in 1939. This picture shows men in a boat passing the Ipswich Steam laundry (left).

I was always being sent on errands to the shops on The Mount, Peck’s or Buckingham’s, or to Scott’s the paper shop at the corner of Handford Road. I wonder if you might have a photo of Scott’s? I just remember it as a little dark shop with jars of sweets on the shelves and OXO tins. (I’m still convinced that The Mount is where Ipswich castle would have stood, but some historians disagree.)

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