Colourful memories came thundering back

TREASURED colour photographs of Ipswich in the 1960s appeared in a recent Kindred Spirits.

David Kindred

TREASURED colour photographs of Ipswich in the 1960s appeared in a recent Kindred Spirits. They were taken by former Ipswich man Alan Valentine, who now lives in Newcastle. I photographed the same scenes today and Alan's photographs brought memories for readers. Chris Bolton, of The Street, Weybread, near Eye, said: “I enjoyed Alan Valentine's photographs, having studied them for about an hour! What a shame the East Anglian Daily Times company works and offices in Carr Street were pulled down when at least the fa�ade could have been retained and certainly would be these days.

“Unfortunately they were in such a hurry to get rid of everything in the 60s, a great mistake. That fa�ade with its turret would be so much more pleasant to look at today than the concrete rubbish there now. Just after the Second World War, when my father was manager of the Freeman Hardy & Willis shoe shop, just out of Alan's photograph, we lived at 9, Carr Street. I used to use Little Colman Street regularly and was fascinated to watch the presses rolling at the newspaper offices when the Star was printed in the afternoons, with their great reels of paper spinning round at high speed. In summer, if the windows were open, the noise was quite exciting for a four-year-old.

“I wonder if anyone else remembers the little man who used to sell the newspapers outside the EADT offices. I used to stand for hours with my nose up against the window pane watching him in fascination. He never got run over in spite of wandering incessantly through the traffic from side-to-side. Just crossing over was forbidden for a four-year-old. Not only did he continuously sell papers to every passer-by, he also passed them into vehicles, taking the money and giving change out from his leather pouch and all the time greeting everybody and calling out non stop “get your paper here - all the latest - town triumphant - council in disarray - read all about it” etc. He was everywhere at once and never stopped to draw breath. I would just love him to know how much he fascinated me and how great I thought he was.

“The picture of the docks also sparked memories of my father. When he returned from the war he decided I had to be taught to walk properly. Every Sunday morning we went to the docks and used to walk along the concrete edge, which is about two feet wide, maybe less, while he checked my progress from behind me. I think the object was to teach me to look where I was going or risk tripping over a mooring rope and falling into the drink. I never had the slightest fear or any inkling of danger from being on the wrong side of those rusty old chains; neither did I ever fall in. A few months ago, when I tried walking round the edge for the first time since those days, I found it quite daunting. Maybe being over six feet tall and therefore much higher off the ground was responsible, but certainly getting older dulls your spirit of adventure!”

Pat Mahoney, of Pinecroft Road, Ipswich, saw her grandfather's shop in Alan Valentine's photograph of the Mount area of Ipswich in the 60s. Pat said: “My grandfather, Wilfred Taylor, who was known as Bill, ran the greengrocers from 1940 until his death in 1952, when his son, Stanley Wilfred Taylor and his wife Ethel, took over. I have a photograph which shows my grandfather with his grandaughter, Pamela, and Doris Warner who helped in the shop. I remember plenty of work done out the back in the way of pickling everything from walnuts to mustard pickle. Those were the days!”

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