Days Gone By: Memories of poor Victorian housing
- Credit: Colchester and Ipswich Museum Se
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?
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?”
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.
“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.
- 1 School submits plan to turn site into 7 homes
- 2 Boy, 14, injured in altercation near Ipswich primary school
- 3 Severe delays on A14 outside Ipswich after vehicle sheds turf on road
- 4 Missing Ipswich man found safe
- 5 Staff shortages hit 98% of firms, including Suffolk hotels and restaurants
- 6 Evicted Suffolk family to move into £6,000 double-decker bus bought on eBay
- 7 Police hunting two men with Suffolk links after cannabis farm discovered
- 8 Emergency services attending incident in Suffolk town
- 9 Aging gas main replacement works begin around Ipswich
- 10 Delicious food and drink as artisan market returns to Ipswich Cornhill
“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.”
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.