Happy memories of Ipswich days gone by

HILARY Wooton (nee Buckman) contacted me with her thoughts on recent Kindred Spirits features.

David Kindred

HILARY Wooton (nee Buckman) contacted me with her thoughts on recent Kindred Spirits features.

Hilary said: “My husband often recollects how he and his young junior school friends used to change the wires at the junction of Spring Road and St John's Hill so that the arms came off and the conductor had to get out a long pole and put the arms back on the right wires.

“The boys had of course quickly disappeared by then. He has given me permission to mention this now on the understanding that no one will come after him 70 years later to reprimand him for his actions!

“We both recall when freight trains took goods along the dock side. I have memories of having to get off my bicycle at the approach to Stoke Bridge to let the train go by.

“At that time my husband was working for Ransomes & Rapier and cycled that route every day.

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“January 1963 was the month when our eldest child was christened in Museum Street Methodist Church and my husband and I remember that particular Sunday.

“We were living in Westerfield Road at the time and had to collect my mother from Medway Road; it took several attempts to get the car up Bishops Hill, and the water in the hot water tank in our house froze.

“Readers also recalled, in Kindred Spirits, life in the area of Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich. My husband grew up in Cowper Street and my grandmother lived nearby in Spring Road.

“I used to shop for her at the Co-op in Cauldwell Hall Road and was always fascinated by the overhead metal boxes which took the money over to the cash desk.

“Every Sunday we went for tea with grandma, and I walked through Fuchsia Lane to join my parents after attending Sunday school in Alan Road Methodist Church. Later on when I had left school I bought a Vespa scooter and I have never forgotten being reprimanded by a policeman standing near the water trough and police phone box at the junction of Foxhall Road and Derby Road who beckoned me over after I drove across the junction.

“I knew I had stopped and looked both ways before crossing, but he told me that I had not actually put my foot on to the ground! Perhaps we could do with a few more such observant policemen nowadays!

“Some readers recalled the bombing raids on the Rivers Estate in Ipswich during World War Two. I was a pupil at Cliff Lane School in those days, and can still remember having lessons in the air raid shelter in the front garden of the school when there were daylight raids.

“There was no electricity laid on and we used hurricane lamps.

“We certainly all knew our times tables and how to spell in those days since there was nothing much else to do in the dark!

“There was also a barrage balloon nicknamed 'Dumbo' tied up in the corner of the playground. I still have one relic from the bombing raid when a bomb landed in Wye Road; a friend of my father, Walter Smith, lost his house in that raid, fortunately all the family were out at the time.

“One item which was saved from the cupboard under that stairs was a game of Monopoly, which belonged to their son and it was passed over to me. My eldest son and his family still have the game.”