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Days Gone By: Memories of poor Victorian housing

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:14 17 October 2018

Residents in Permit Office Street, Ipswich, in the mid 1930s. The street was behind St Pancras Church. Tragedy came to this tiny street, of around twenty homes, during the First World War.

Residents in Permit Office Street, Ipswich, in the mid 1930s. The street was behind St Pancras Church. Tragedy came to this tiny street, of around twenty homes, during the First World War.

Dave Kindred

David Kindred takes a look back at Ipswich Cox Lane and The Convent of Jesus and Mary in Woodbridge Road. Does this article bring back memories for you?

A street party was held in Little Barlcay Street, Ipswich, in May 1937, for residents of the area to celebrate the coronation of King George Vl. After the party children were given a bag containing sweets, an apple, orange and a new penny. Most of the residents were moved to new housing on the Whitton estate when the area was demolished at the end of the 1930s.(Picture from David Kindred’s archive
A street party was held in Little Barlcay Street, Ipswich, in May 1937, for residents of the area to celebrate the coronation of King George Vl. After the party children were given a bag containing sweets, an apple, orange and a new penny. Most of the residents were moved to new housing on the Whitton estate when the area was demolished at the end of the 1930s.(Picture from David Kindred’s archive

Cox Lane, Ipswich, is known by most people today as the site of a large car park.

A reader has emailed me asking if anybody has memories, or family connections of the area of the Ipswich town centre, of tiny poor Victorian housing, in a maze of streets which was cleared in the mid 1930s.

Anita Mulder said “My grandmother was born at 15 Permit Office Street, Ipswich, in 1906. Her name was Violet Planten. Her father was Thomas and mother was Helena. I would like to know if anybody remembers the family?”

Little Barclay Street looking towards Permit Office Street, with an ice-cream vendor on the corner, in the mid 1930s. St Pancras Church in Orwell Place is in the background.  Picture courtesy Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service
Little Barclay Street looking towards Permit Office Street, with an ice-cream vendor on the corner, in the mid 1930s. St Pancras Church in Orwell Place is in the background. Picture courtesy Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service

Do you family connections with this part of Ipswich? To submit a letter, write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS or send an e-mail here.

The convent of Jesus and Mary in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, featured in Days Gone By recently and readers have sent their memories.

Monica Ames from Bury St Edmunds wrote in with her memories, she said: “I was a pupil at the convent in the 1950s. I am now 80 years old and wherever we lived in East Suffolk, (we moved a lot as my father was in the Police Force), I was sent to school at the convent, however far I had to travel.

Union Street, Ipswich, from Upper Orwell Street in the mid 30s. The shop on the corner was Netherclift’s tobacconists and confectioner. Picture courtesy Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service
Union Street, Ipswich, from Upper Orwell Street in the mid 30s. The shop on the corner was Netherclift’s tobacconists and confectioner. Picture courtesy Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service

“Sometimes I spent more time getting there than being in school, that is how important it was to my parents for me to have a convent education.

“As for the convent the nuns frightened me, so I was always very good. We had a male music teacher, Professor Langley, who shouted at us all the time, he made you sing even if you could not. I am having Panis Angelicus played at my funeral, because that is what reminds me of the convent.

My maiden name was Cook. Happy days, no I did not enjoy it all, but loved all my girlfriends. I wonder if any will make contact, I would love to hear from them.”

Sister Mildred (left) and Sister Imelda at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Ipswich, in 1977. Picture: JERRY TURNERSister Mildred (left) and Sister Imelda at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Ipswich, in 1977. Picture: JERRY TURNER

Jenny Clements emailed in and said: “I went to the school many years ago (before 1977) and our daughters also went there, but not until the 1980s, so I cannot name any of the pupils in the feature, but I think the PE teacher may be Christine Scully. The nuns are. Sister Mildred on the left and Sister Imelda. When I was at school they were known as Mothers not Sisters. They were both at the Convent for 68 and 73 years respectively and died in 1984 and 1992, aged 92 and 95. Although the school ceased being run by nuns in 1975 we still have an active Old Girls’ Association and have reunions twice a year.”

Also featured in this piece are pictures of the Automobile Association which was formed in 1905. It was a response to the motor car act of 1903 which introduced fines for breaking the speed limit. There were uniformed cyclists who warned drivers of speed traps ahead. The AA used a coded warning system with motor cycle and sidecar riders until the 1960s. A patrolman would always salute the driver of a passing car which showed an AA badge unless there was a speed trap nearby. If he did not salute it was a warning of a police speed trap. The AA Handbook included a message: “It cannot be too strongly emphasised that when a patrol fails to salute, the member should stop and ask the reason why, as it is certain that the patrol has something of importance to communicate.”

During the 1920s, members were issued with keys to roadside wooden telephone boxes which could be used to call the organisation for assistance There were almost 1,000 boxes in their heyday and they remained in use until the 1960s. One of those boxes was on the A12 at Copdock.

Upper Barclay Street, Ipswich, in the mid 1930s, in a photograph taken from Upper Orwell Street. The hanging sign on the left was for the General Gordon public house. When the pub closed it was demolished at the end of the decade and a new General Gordon was built in Cox Lane. It was renamed as the Earl Roberts in 1985.  Picture courtesy Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service
Upper Barclay Street, Ipswich, in the mid 1930s, in a photograph taken from Upper Orwell Street. The hanging sign on the left was for the General Gordon public house. When the pub closed it was demolished at the end of the decade and a new General Gordon was built in Cox Lane. It was renamed as the Earl Roberts in 1985. Picture courtesy Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service

Clearance of the area, that is now Cox Lane car park, had started when this picture was taken of Upper Barclay Street, Ipswich, at the end of the 1930s. Upper Orwell Street is in the background.  Picture courtesy Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service
Clearance of the area, that is now Cox Lane car park, had started when this picture was taken of Upper Barclay Street, Ipswich, at the end of the 1930s. Upper Orwell Street is in the background. Picture courtesy Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service

Children pose for the camera in Cox Lane, Ipswich, in the 1930s. Picture courtesy Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service
Children pose for the camera in Cox Lane, Ipswich, in the 1930s. Picture courtesy Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service

Cox Lane, Ipswich, in the mid 1930s, led to Permit Office Street, Barclay Street, Upper Barclay Street, Union Street. This photograph was taken from the junction with Tacket Street with Brown and Bradbrooks pawnbrokers, who also had branches in St Helens Street, Regent Street and Friars Street, Ipswich. Picture courtesy Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service
Cox Lane, Ipswich, in the mid 1930s, led to Permit Office Street, Barclay Street, Upper Barclay Street, Union Street. This photograph was taken from the junction with Tacket Street with Brown and Bradbrooks pawnbrokers, who also had branches in St Helens Street, Regent Street and Friars Street, Ipswich. Picture courtesy Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service

The AA service point on the A12 at Copdock in August 1963.  Picture: DAVID KINDRED
The AA service point on the A12 at Copdock in August 1963. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

An AA patrolman on the radio at Copdock in 1963. Do you have memories of the AA service point at Copdock? To submit a letter, 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   Picture: DAVID KINDRED
An AA patrolman on the radio at Copdock in 1963. Do you have memories of the AA service point at Copdock? To submit a letter, 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 Picture: DAVID KINDRED

AA patrolmen showing off their new uniforms in May 1969. Picture: IVAN SMITHAA patrolmen showing off their new uniforms in May 1969. Picture: IVAN SMITH

AA patrolmen showing off their new uniforms in May 1969.  Picture: IVAN SMITH
AA patrolmen showing off their new uniforms in May 1969. Picture: IVAN SMITH

Do you know any of the patrolmen in the photograph taken in Copdock in July 1970, when a presentation was made to patrolman Pearson?

Do you know any of the patrolmen in the photograph taken in Copdock in July 1970, when a presentation was made to patrolman Pearson?

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