Ipswich-born theatre legend Sir Trevor Nunn recalls throwing stones at Conservative’s car!

Sir Trevor Nunn at the New Wolsey Theatre. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Sir Trevor Nunn at the New Wolsey Theatre. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Today he’s one of the world’s top theatre directors – but Ipswich-born Sir Trevor Nunn has admitted that in his youth he would thrown stones at the Conservative candidate’s car in his home town seat!

Richard Stokes, Ipswich Labour MP 1938-57. Picture: IPSWICH LABOUR PARTY.

Richard Stokes, Ipswich Labour MP 1938-57. Picture: IPSWICH LABOUR PARTY. - Credit: Archant

Sir Trevor, 77, said in a magazine interview that his father, a carpenter, brought him up him to vote Labour, and he had “never, ever” let him down.

He told the last edition of The Big Issue: “My dad brought me up to vote Labour, There was never any question of anything else.

“The Labour MP Dick Stokes came canvassing on his bike and we all stood and cheered him. The Conservative came round in his car and we all threw stones at him.”

He added: “I’ve never, ever let my dad down since.”


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Sir Trevor, who went to Springfield Junior School before passing his 11-plus and going on to Northgate Grammar and then Cambridge University, said he had the 1945 Labour government to thank for his university education.

“They gave working-class people the chance to get their university education funded by the state, completely the opposite of what we have now.”

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He said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had “amazed all of us” during the recent general election campaign.

But he had one criticism of the Labour leader following last year’s Referendum Campaign: “If only he could have campaigned when Brexit was up for grabs as he campaigned in the General Election.”

Labour MP Richard Stokes represented Ipswich from 1938 until 1957 when he died suddenly from a heart attack.

In 1945 his Conservative opponent was fertiliser company owner Frank Fison and in 1955 he fought off a challenge from Ipswich Town chairman and brewer John Cobbold.

Mr Stokes may well have campaigned on a bicycle during election campaigns in Ipswich because of its convenience and to make him look like a man of the people – but he certainly had access to a car!

His family owned the Ransomes and Rapier engineering works, one of the largest employers in the town at the time, and he had been managing director of the company before being elected to parliament for the first time in the year before the outbreak of the Second World War.

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