Gallery: Pollution hung heavy over Ipswich in days gone by, readers remember

Maltings 1970.
Huge flames from the maltings fire threatened houses in Bulstrode Road, Ipswich. Pho

Maltings 1970. Huge flames from the maltings fire threatened houses in Bulstrode Road, Ipswich. Photo by Alan Valentine.

More letters have arrived following the feature on the Gainsborough and Greenwich area of Ipswich. The first letter is from an Ipswich man who wishes to remain anonymous. It recalls a time when the air around the Greenwich estate was badly polluted.

“In the feature about the Landseer Road area of Ipswich you did not mention the Fisons’ acid works. This was a blot on the landscape from the mid 1930s for 40 years plus. Together with the rubbish tip it would also emit awful chemical smells into the surrounding area. It would vary in strength and direction of the wind. It was another awful blight on the area.

The works produced sulphuric acid using the lead chamber process. The acid was piped to the quayside factory to produce superphosphate from rock phosphate. The raw material for the acid works was iron pyrites from Spain. The manufacturing process was continuous.

Any older residents will probably recall the red dust, the brown acrid nitrous fumes from the chimney and the raised conveyer belt from the quayside up the hill to the pyrites store.

Some houses were only about 100 yards from the acid producing plant.” Fisons pensioner, Ipswich

“I was a pupil at Landseer Road School from 1937 to December 1940. It was then known as South Eastern Senior Boys. The headmaster was Mr Perkins. Other teachers were, Mr Simpson, Mr Basham, Mr Andrews, Mr Craig (sport), Mr Papworth (sport) Mr Hunt (craft), Mr Thomas (biology), Mr Collins (science), Mr Norman (music and art), Mr Ford, Mr Norfolk and Mr McQueen (both woodwork and metalwork).

We had excellent facilities including a gym which was outside the school quadrangle.

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The pupils were split into houses, Livingstone, Scott, Telford and Faraday. I was in Livingstone.

There was a garden, which pupils were allowed to work in, and extensive playing fields. Two other schools were in the same area, Raeburn Road and Robeck Road.” Kenneth Bristo, Ipswich

Do you remember when the Cobbold’s kept Suffolk Punch horses in the field at the bottom of Cliff Lane, Ipswich, opposite the brewery?