'Chopper' was a Star seller

THUNDERING sounds of a press printing the Evening Star was a feature of Carr Street, Ipswich, until publishers, the East Anglian Daily Times Company, moved to Lower Brook Street in May 1966.

David Kindred

THUNDERING sounds of a press printing the Evening Star was a feature of Carr Street, Ipswich, until publishers, the East Anglian Daily Times Company, moved to Lower Brook Street in May 1966.

These days were recalled in Kindred Spirits recently and reader Chris Bolton wondered if anybody could remember “The little man who sold newspapers outside the office”. Alan Theobald said the man was his father, Ray or “Chopper” Theobald.

He said: “Ray won distinction while serving with the Royal Tank regiment in World War Two. He also won the Military Medal in Italy.

“He gained the nickname 'Chopper' there after an incident involving an officer's pet duck and a rather large axe! After serving in the war he worked in the morning as a Co-op milkman, then from lunchtime in to the evenings selling papers outside the newspaper office in Carr Street.

“He joined the East Anglian Daily Times Company full time in the early 1960s.

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“I was born in 1956 and used to visit the EADT printing and packing room from a very early age, also I would go with dad to deliver papers to the villages surrounding Ipswich in a little white Morris 1000 van, but for me the best bit had to be waiting for him at the top of our road for the moment when I could hop on to his knee and drive the van the short way home.

“At one point the East Anglian Daily Times Company was almost a family firm with six members of the Theobald family working there, my brother also a Ray, uncle Peter and Norman and two of my dad's cousins Harrold and Denis as well as my father.

“Dad worked at the EADT until he retired due to ill health and then later moved to Kettering. Sadly both mum and dad died in 1998. I would like to thank you for jogging a load of happy memories, as well as a few tears.”

Mr A Skeet, of Renfrew Road, Ipswich, added: “His name was Raymond Theobold. He worked for the Ipswich Co-operative Dairy Department, delivering milk in the Woodbridge and Newbourne area.

“I was employed by the Co-op delivering milk in the Capel, Bentley, Brantham and Tattingstone area and saw Raymond ever day.

“His nickname was 'Titch', because of his height. When delivering milk on a Friday or Saturday it took us longer, because it entailed collecting money. Titch used to stop at the Newbourne Fox public house for a short break. In the summertime, on a hot day, we had to make the stops short because of the effect on the milk in the heat.”

Elizabeth Montgomery, who now lives in Gosport, said: “I remember well the old East Anglian Daily Times offices, as I used to go to Woolworths store almost opposite to spend my 6d pocket money on a Saturday in the 1940s and early 50s.

“My next door neighbour worked at the newspaper and I was invited to the Christmas party for workers' children. Happy memories. I wish they had not pulled the building down, as it was quite a landmark.”

Gerald Pilbro, of Waterford Road, Ipswich, was a paper delivery boy at Churchyards newsagents in St Helen's Street from 1955 to 1957. “My job was to get the Green 'Uns from Carr Street on a Saturday evening. There were always a lot of boys and girls waiting for the press to start and our newsagent's names to be called.

“The press would start with a slow rumble and quickly gather speed.”

- What are your memories of the EADT building? Write to Kindred Spirits at Press House, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.