Clifford Road pupils reunited

IT was the year Harold Macmillan was British Prime Minister and Elvis Presley was wooing British music fans.But closer to home at Clifford Road Primary in Ipswich in 1957, class one pupils were celebrating the school's golden jubilee, defrosting milk on radiators and avoiding the cane.

By Amanda Cresswell

IT was the year Harold Macmillan was British Prime Minister and Elvis Presley was wooing British music fans.

But closer to home at Clifford Road Primary in Ipswich in 1957, class one pupils were celebrating the school's golden jubilee, defrosting milk on radiators and avoiding the cane.

The class of 1957 pupils returned to the school together for the first time since they left and enjoyed swapping classroom memories.


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Past pupil John Day, 57, of Sandpiper Road, Ipswich, a railway historian and chairman of the Ipswich Transport Society, said: "I remember we used to have third pints of milk and we used to put it on the radiator so it became warm milk with ice on top."

Organiser Marlene Hannaway (nee Marsh) had got in touch with all but four of the original class of 42. Some had moved abroad including two who now live in Australia.

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At Saturday's reunion, 21 of the original classmates got together and enjoyed a buffet and a display of memorabilia – including photographs of plays and their trip to Orford Castle, a punishment book and an apron made in needlework class.

Ex-pupil Mrs Hannaway, 57, who coaches sport and games at Orwell Park, said: "1957 was the golden school's jubilee year and we haven't met up since the day we left school, but we are hoping this will be the first reunion of many.

"In fact everyone hasn't changed that much and I can still remember where most of them sat in class."

The idea for the reunion was sparked off after Jackie Vandenbaard (nee Hodges) contacted Marlene and suggested one. She came all the way from Holland for the event.

Most of the original pupils were contacted through posters which were put in the school and in shops. An appeal was made in The Evening Star and via friendsreunited.com

Mrs Hannaway, a club coach for the Ipswich Ladies' Netball, said the school laid good foundations for all her former classmates.

Many went on to become teachers or lecturers, one is a civil engineer and another is now an ex-detective superintendent of the Metropolitan Police Force.

She said: "Everyone has done really well in their professions. They have either travelled, or done something really important with their lives.

"Our class teacher Mr Eric Jackson was quite a disciplinarian. He was firm but fair.

"The school did a lot for most people and left its mark on everybody who is here."

They enjoyed reminiscing and looking through the punishment book, which recorded what pupils got up to and how many strokes of the cane they received.

The one who featured the most was Vernon Smith, who could not attend as he was in Australia.

Mrs Hannaway said: "He was always getting the cane and was constantly in the book – for things like taking the lamps from the school of technology bicycles and snatching children's sweets from the playground."

The ex-classmates visited the Air Raid Shelter Museum in Clifford Road before meeting up at the school.

They hope the reunion will become one of many.

Anthony Eden resigned on January 9 and Macmillan became British Prime Minister.

Russia launched the first earth-orbiting satellite on October 4 and the Space Age began.

At the Oscars Around the World In 80 days received an academy award for best picture.

It was the year film legend Humphrey Bogart died.

Included in the top UK selling singles of 1957 was Nat 'King' Cole's When I Fall in Love, Elvis Presley's All Shook Up and Guy Mitchell's Singing the Blues.

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