Days Gone By - Looking back at the opening of Ipswich’s new police station in the summer of 1968

The new Ipswich police headquarters from insurance company offices in Civic Drive in July 1968

The new Ipswich police headquarters from insurance company offices in Civic Drive in July 1968

In the summer of 1968 the Ipswich Police Station moved from under the Town Hall to a new building at the junction of Civic Drive and Elm Street. Last June work started to demolish this landmark building and the site is now being converted to a temporary surface car park.

The police station in Elm Street, Ipswich

The police station in Elm Street, Ipswich

In this weeks Days Gone By I have featured photographs my colleague at the EADT and Star Ivan Smith and I took, in June and July, 1968, featuring the new police station.

There are two photos of police officers lined up with their ‘Panda’ cars in the station car park in July 1968.

A view from the top floor of the Panda Patrol

A view from the top floor of the Panda Patrol

These light blue and white cars had replaced the cycling “Bobby” on the town’s housing estates. Do you remember them? A view from the top floor of Ipswich’s “Panda Patrol”

By 1968 Ipswich Borough Police Force had outgrown the old site with its entrance in Princes Street. In 1844 the police in Ipswich were a superintendent, three sergeants and fifty constables. In 1967 the Ipswich force was amalgamated with the East and West Suffolk forces to form the Suffolk Constabulary.

Police officers line up with their Panda cars in the station car park

Police officers line up with their Panda cars in the station car park

Who was the police cadet with home secretary, Jim Callaghan, at the new police station in July 1968.

Mr Callaghan, who formally opened the building, was Prime Minister from 1976 to 1979.

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And this photo shows some of the new recruits at Ipswich Police Station in 1968.

Can you add any names to the line up.

Officers at the new Ipswich police station

Officers at the new Ipswich police station

Perhaps you know this switchboard operator?

The new offices were much more spacious than the old Princes Street headquarters.

Who was on the switchboard at the new Ipswich police station in July 1968?

Who was on the switchboard at the new Ipswich police station in July 1968?

In this image, officers can be seen enjoying their new roomy accommodation.

These officers were demolished when the police station was torn down last summer - see video and photos of the demolition process here

Officers had much more space to work than at the old Princes Street headquarters

Officers had much more space to work than at the old Princes Street headquarters

The site is owned by Ipswich Borough Council nad is being converted to a temporary car park.

Back to the old days, and security was less of an issue in the early days of the new building, as this photo shows.

The reception desk at Elm Street

The reception desk at Elm Street

Taken in June 1968, the reception desk at Elm Street, Ipswich, was without glass security screen.

Other images show a photographer at work with evidence in 1968.

The photographer at work with evidence in 1968

The photographer at work with evidence in 1968

The control room at Elm Street, Ipswich, can also be seen - a very different scene to that at Martlesham today.

Police boxes were being phased out in the 1960s. This one was photographed in Ipswich in 1968. The boxes enabled offices to call the station in a time before personal radios.

The control room at Elm Street, Ipswich, in 1968.

The control room at Elm Street, Ipswich, in 1968.

If headquarters needed an officer to call in, a light would flash on the roof. Dr Who’s Tardis is a police box.

Who was working in this computer free office in 1968?

Police boxes were being phased out in the 1960s

Police boxes were being phased out in the 1960s

The large key to the door of the Princes Street, Ipswich, police station, was consigned to history.

A computer free office in 1968

A computer free office in 1968

Did you serve in the police force based in Ipswich or drive one of the Morris Minor “Panda Cars” featured? Share your memories via e-mail

The large key to the door of the Princes Street, Ipswich, police station, was consigned to history

The large key to the door of the Princes Street, Ipswich, police station, was consigned to history