Gallery: Kindred Spirits helps readers remember days of pupil power at Tower Ramparts and landmark Ipswich pubs now replaced by supermarkets
Readers have responded to Kindred Spirits features with their interesting memories.
Among subjects featured recently was Tower Ramparts School in the centre of Ipswich, with pupils building a stock car and a hovercraft, writes David Kindred.
I have looked through the Star’s picture files to see what other images I could find featuring the school and found a “pupil power” protest in May 1972 when children left the school to demonstrate their displeasure about school uniform and caning.
Did you take part in the protest or remember when caning was a common form of punishment in school?
‘It was great to see the photograph from Tower Ramparts in the paper today, especially as it features my husband Clive, who is second from the left at the back. He has told our children about working on the stock car at school and here is proof. This picture was taken a few months before we met at school in October 1974’.
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The photo in kindred-spirit about the Tower Ramparts engineering group brought back memories of my own time there. I remember taking motor mechanics/engineering as a subject myself under the guidance of Mr Perrin and Mr Brooks, only to discover it was not for me. I was in the very last year at Tower Ramparts leaving in the summer of 1978, during that last year most of us pupils spent half of our time at the old school and the other half at the new Stoke high school. One of the things I remember most at Tower Ramparts was trudging up to our playing field on Valley Road, having to go through Christchurch park where most pupils, if they were honest, would have a crafty smoke, I also fondly remember having to participate in cross country runs in the park in all sorts of weather and conditions. They certainly toughened us up and looking back did us no harm at all’.
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Mark Sharman. Wallace Road, Ipswich
I recently featured one of the most tragic events in Ipswich during the Second World War. It was late in the evening of August 2 ,1942, when a bomb hit an Anderson shelter in the garden of 501 Nacton Road and the corner of Lindbergh Road.
Mrs Kate Nunn and her eight children were killed. Husband and father Ernest was badly injured by the blast. The same bomb killed three others in adjoining houses. Malcolm Brewer wrote to Kindred Spirits with more information
‘This evoked some very sad memories for me for Kate Nunn was my aunt, my mother’s younger sister. At that time I was eight years old and on August 2, in the afternoon, I accompanied my mum on a visit to my aunt Kate’s. I remember seeing my mum crying uncontrollably the next morning after being given the tragic news. When my uncle Ernest, who we all knew as uncle Joe, regained consciousness a few days later, he told my mum that he recalled the events before the fatal tragedy.
The air raid siren had sounded and he was in the Anderson Shelter with all the family except my cousin Alice, who joined them in the shelter later as she arrived home from the cinema. My uncle Joe said that he was being curious and was leaning half forward in the shelter door to see what was happening . There was a sudden gust of very warm air and he never remembered any thing after that. It is possible his curiosity by some miracle had saved his life in being blown clear. One can only assume the bomb was intended for the Spitfire and Hurricane fighter station at Ipswich Airport some fifty yards across the road’.
Malcolm Brewer, Davey Close, Ipswich.
The Kindred Spirits feature about Ransomes and Rapier, the Ipswich engineering company, is still bringing response.
“I was born and lived in the Stoke area of Ipswich for over 80 years until I moved to another locality in Ipswich. I feel I can consider myself a real “Stokeite” and found it very hard to make the move.
When I was a young lad travelling over Stoke Bridge was like going abroad and seemed to need a passport to get back!
It was an industrialised part of Ipswich, which was full of history and characters. I was born and lived a stones throw from its largest works Ransomes and Rapier which in those days was run by the very popular Ipswich Labour MP Richard Stokes and employed hundreds of people.
My early memory of the company was when you could tell the time by their “Bull” horn, which sounded every lunch and leaving off time for the workers.
It was at this time that the Wherstead Road was engulfed by cyclists dashing home to other parts of Ipswich. They were joined by workers from the adjoining firm of Cocksedge’s who were also large employers, producing steel girders for the building industry.
Another feature for people of my age was the large Ransomes and Rapier canteen at the end of Bath Street which was opened to the public every Saturday evening. It was then one of the largest dance halls in Ipswich and always packed out every week.
The popular resident local band was Mervyn Dale, who I believe was an ex American GI.
Close by was another large employer, the Ipswich Locomotive yard., where rail equipment was serviced. In my youth they were all steam locomotives which had to be fired up for their journeys causing plenty of smoke and smell.
Being a very busy part of Ipswich there was a public house on nearly every street corner.
Douglas Winney. London Road. Ipswich.
‘I was really interested to see your feature on Ransomes and Rapier which appeared in the Ipswich Star on January 6, 2015.
In the photo sent in by Steve Carter, of the last few workers to leave Ransomes, my Dad was sixth from the left. His name was Brian Harvey and he worked at Ransomes all of his life as did his dad before him. I know he started straight from school as an apprentice and after his National Service in the RAF went back to Ransomes to continue his career as a fitter for the company. Dad eventually carried on to train many apprentices himself, one of them being the then future Ipswich Speedway rider John Louis, something he was very proud to tell people.
He would have been extremely proud to have seen your feature, but sadly he passed away on December 14, 2014, just a few weeks before it was published. I’m sure he would have been able to put names to the faces of many of the workers in your pictures’.
Shirley Harvey sent me another photograph taken at Ransomes and Rapier’s works.
Her father Brian Harvey is second left. Can you tell us more about this presentation photograph?
I asked readers if they remember when the Cobbold brewery kept dray horses in a field at the junction of Cliff Lane and Landseer Road, Ipswich.
“I can remember dray horses in the field at the bottom of Cliff Lane. My uncle was a drayman for Cobbold’s brewery for many years.
On Saturday mornings I used to push a wooden hand cart on an old pram loaded with horse manure up Cliff Lane to Holywells Park, along the top path to the Nacton Road gate, then up Alan Road, along Felixstowe Road to Newton Road where we lived. It took me most of the morning to get the manure home. It was worth it, I was teenager at the time and we had the best vegetables and rhubarb from our garden during the summer’.
Mr R Howard, Grove Lane, Ipswich
I featured the Ipswich hospitals recently and readers have added their memories.
‘It was April 1954 when I started my nursing training at the Ipswich and East Suffolk Hospital.There were twenty plus people at the Preliminary Training School, which was situated in a large house at the top of Fonnereau Road, almost opposite the Greyhound pub.
Most of us lived in at the hospital and were accommodated in Junior Home, which was situated within the hospital building. After a few weeks we were allocated to work on the wards and moved to live in Norton House on Henley Road.
Staff Nurses lived in a large house opposite the hospital gates at the top of Berners Street. Not long after this the two Ipswich Hospitals combined, Ipswich and East Suffolk became Anglesea Road Wing and The Borough General became Heath Road Wing.
At this stage we were allocated to work at either hospital. As student nurses we worked on large wards for 3 months and on smaller wards for 6 weeks. Doing a forty eight hour week. In this way we experienced all types of nursing including operating theatre and out patients department before we finished our 3 years training.
We worked all shifts. I was always on night duty at Christmas.
We went back to training school for a few weeks each year in order to prepare for exams which were set by both the hospital and the state.
At the end of training, having completed all our exams we became State Registered Nurses. Only about half of our set actually finished the training.
We were presented with our certificates in the new building by The Duchess of Gloucester and afterwards had our photograph taken at the front door of the hospital.
I was then a Staff Nurse at Heath Road Wing and working on a men’s surgical ward.
After a few weeks I had the experience of going by helicopter with a patient to Guys Hospital where the pilot had to land on a bomb site near the hospital .
As we did not have ear protectors on the aircraft (it was an RAF rescue plane based at Felixstowe and had all the interior padding removed) I could hardly hear when we landed and were bombarded by questions from many news reporters as this was a very rare occurrence’.
‘I had a bad traffic accident which took me to Anglesea Road Hospital. I was admitted to the Bell Jones Ward. My injuries included compound fracture to my upper left arm, lacerations to my left leg and other injuries. There was some thought that I could have lost my left arm, but a very lovely consultant saved it, a brilliant man. It is still working well today fifty years on.
I remember the sister on our ward. She was a lovely lady in her blue uniform. She was very strict. The nurses were very caring, extremely pleasant and understanding. They would give me a little drop of stout, which went down very well!
In my time on the ward I saw some pretty bad cases, but usually the matron, doctors and nurses portrayed absolute professionalism. I am indebted to them’.
Kevin Beardmore, Nacton Road, Ipswich
‘I really enjoyed the article on Anglesea Rd Hospital. I did much of my training there on Goodrich, Bolton, Patterson wards and theatres. I worked as a State Enrolled Nurse on Cobbold ward from 1972/76. The matron in the prize day photo was Miss McClelland. Miss Molly Mander, nurse tutor, is to matron’s right and maybe Sister Larter (Felix ward) extreme left.The retiring sister in another photograph is Hilda Bennett who was sister on Goodrich ward (female surgical). I think the gentleman in the suit is Mr Hartfall surgical consultant. I remember I.T.U. opening. I lived in Norton House the nurse’s home on Henley Road (when doors were locked at 10pm) and then moved to the flats at the top of Berners Street. Anglesea Road was a great hospital to work in, everyone was one big happy
family. The good old days when matron ruled’!
‘The lady in the left, receiving their awards at Anglesea hospital in May 1966, is my mum Heather Gosling. What a surprise to see that. Thank you’.
Mrs Jo Leeks
Memories of the yacht pond at Felixstowe have arrived from readers following the photographs I featured of it.
‘Your photo of the yacht pond brought back many happy memories from many years ago.
I lived in Stowmarket from 1934, where I was born, until about 1964 when I moved to Felixstowe.
I have a clear memory of when I was about three years old of a lovely sunny day, when with my mum and dad we came to Felixstowe on a bus and walked to the beach with my bucket and spade.
A walk to the yacht pond was a must when we had days out there. I never had a model yacht of my own, but always managed to find another child who did not mind sharing the sheer joy of seeing their yacht sailing smoothly on this huge (as it seemed then) pond.
The area around the pond was always a picture of lovely flowers, excited, happy and chatting children with lots of laughter. It was our family treat each year to have a day at Felixstowe or if we were really lucky more than one day.
So many memories though so sad to see all that remains of the yacht pond now’.
Eva Abbott, Queens Road, Felixstowe
‘My late father Leonard Rayner was a member of the Felixstowe Yacht Club during the late 1940s and 50s and raced his yacht there.
The club was established after the Second World war and had twenty-three active members and thirty non-active members and races held on a bi-weekly basis at first , but in 1951 they had a full programme of weekly fixtures in three different classes. The boats were often built by their owners from plans and they cost from £10 to £15 per foot according to type and some were 6 ft in length.
The annual rent for the clubhouse was £20 in 1950. The clubhouse was originally in the main building at the top of the step near the pond, but was replaced by toilets and ice cream parlour and the clubhouse moved nearer the road.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s I spent many afternoons and evenings around the yacht pond’.
Maureen Goodger, Holly Lane, Rushmere St Andrew
An e-mail to Kindred Spirits, recalling their time at the Royal William public house, London Road, Ipswich, came from Sandra and Keith Gardner. They have written again.
‘Every Christmas we held a customer’s children’s Christmas party and a Christmas fancy dress for the adult customers with music, raffles etc.
We forgot to mention that Nik Kershaw used to play at our pub when he was a member of local band Plimsoll Sandwich. Darts players Keith Deller and Bobby George used to hold competitions there, Ipswich Speedway team memberTim Hunt celebrated his 21st birthday there. His team mate Colin Cook and his wife Sue had their wedding reception there.
Comedian and actor Mike Reid used to call in for a “swift half” before going to the greyhound track opposite the pub. Frankie Howard and the film crew based themselves at the pub when they made the film in Ipswich ‘And I Said to Churchill’. Frankie Howard used to drink in the lounge. Unfortunately the film was never shown after all the hard work that was put into it’.
Sandra and Keith Gardner
‘I was born at 1 Domby Road, Ipswich in 1946. My first memory of the Royal William was playing in the lovely garden at the rear. My father would take us there on a Sunday evening. The landlord was then Fred Bugg, he was there for many years. When he retired his barman Reg took over with his wife Winnie (I can not remember their surname).
My brothers and sisters spent many evenings at the pub enjoying crisps and a Vimto drink while listening to the piano playing and people singing and dancing. I remember a lady, Lilly Harrison, who after a few drinks would sing to all the tunes played.
A trader, Mr Stewart, would come to the pub with his pony and trap. The pony was tied to the big sign post outside. Mr Stewart was banned from driving his car, but the pony knew the way home to Hadleigh Road after his owner had a few drinks!
The next landlord I can remember was Fred King. He took over when the pub was refurbished and became very popular with bands playing.
There was a landlord named Brian before Keith and Sandra Gardner. I used the pub until it was pulled down and the Lidl store built.
These are very fond memories of just one of the pubs that were once around’.
Colin Sparrow, Limes Avenue, Bramford