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Gallery: Kindred Spirits rekindles memories of village life in Sproughton

PUBLISHED: 18:02 15 April 2015 | UPDATED: 09:39 17 April 2015


Lower Street, Sproughton in the early years of the twentieth century. The post office in the centre was then run by Charles Mee, who was secretary of the village club and reading room. The shop was also a grocery.

Lower Street, Sproughton in the early years of the twentieth century. The post office in the centre was then run by Charles Mee, who was secretary of the village club and reading room. The shop was also a grocery.

Dave Kindred

Sproughton village is around three miles from the Ipswich town centre and the ever expanding town is getting closer to the village, but it still manages to keep its own identity, writes David Kindred

There is All Saints Church, an eighteenth century water mill on the River Gipping, which was working until 1946, a school and public house. There is also a restored sixteenth century tithe barn, with a community shop, which the parish council obtained a grant to open in 2010 and is staffed by volunteers, all of which keeps village life alive.

Looking at photographs of the village taken over a century ago you can still recognise buildings and landmarks.

The 1960s saw a housing development, off Church Lane, bring many new residents to the heart of the village.

One of the pictures in our galler shows Lower Street, Sproughton in the early years of the 20th century. The post office in the centre was then run by Charles Mee, who was secretary of the village club and reading room. The shop was also a grocery.

The same view of Lower Street Sproughton today. (Photo David Kindred)
The same view of Lower Street Sproughton today. (Photo David Kindred)

We also show the same view of Lower Street Sproughton today.

A group of children are photographed in High Street, Sproughton in around 1906. This is now the busy B1113 linking the village to Bramford and Washbrook.

Another image shows the Wild Man public house from Lower Street Sproughton around 1910. The blacksmith’s shop on the right has now gone. A directory for the period lists John Bagley as the village blacksmith.

The photo of All Saints Church, Sproughton from the bank of the River Gipping dates back to the 1850s. This is one of the earliest photographic images of Suffolk taken by pioneering amateur photographer John Wiggin and is taken from a large wax paper negative. The cottage on the right is no longer there.

A 1970s aerial view shows the mainly 1960s housing development at Sproughton. Church Lane runs across the centre. High Street is at the top, Lower Street is in the top right corner and the school is on the left.

Two Edwardian photographs have been joined to produce a panoramic view of Lower Street looking towards the River Gipping.

The same view of Lower Street Sproughton today is also show in our gallery. The Blacksmith’s shop and some of the houses have gone. (Photo David Kindred)

A photo showing High Street, Sproughton, in 1910 shows little traffic but it would be difficult to stand in the middle of the road now while a photograph was taken. The junction with Burstall Lane and Lower Street is in the background.

The lock at Sproughton was one of fifteen on the River Gipping used when barges operated between Ipswich and Stowmarket. Completion of the locks saw navigation open in September 1793.

The completion of the rail line to Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds in the 1840s saw trade decline on the Gipping. In 1922 navigation was closed. The children in the river photo were sitting by the river around 1906. The road bridge is in the background.

One images shows Sproughton water mill from the bridge over the River Gipping, and this was also taken 1906, before repair work on the wooden bridge over the River Gipping at Sproughton in 1909.

Do you or did you live in Sproughton? Were you a pupil at the village school? E-mail David Kindred

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