Ipswich: Former police clerk revisits Ipswich police station before their Whitehouse move

A FORMER clerk at the town’s police station enjoyed a nostalgic return to the building she worked in for more than two decades.

Mary Jolly took the chance of touring the station in Civic Drive as Suffolk Constabulary prepares to move out to Landmark House, Whitehouse.

Mary was one of the first clerks to move from the town hall into the new station in Civic Drive when it opened on July 12, 1968.

Starting as a clerk in 1964 and later moving up to admin assistant, Mary saw many changes during her years of service.

“When I first worked at the town hall, we had these huge ledgers where we entered all the offences,” she said.

“We literally worked elbow to elbow – we rattled when we came here (to the station).

“When we moved in it was just a nice atmosphere. I loved the job I did, it was a challenge and I loved it.”

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Mary said she feels the biggest change since she started in the job is computerisation.

Mary retired as an admin assistant in January 1994, but is still a dedicated member of her local neighbourhood watch.

During her visit, Mary met with another worker who has been with the building from the very beginning.

Brian Saul, 64, joined the police force straight from school in 1964.

As a 16-year-old cadet, he was one of those tasked with guarding the station at night during its construction.

At 19, Brian became a Pc and soon after that moved into the new station.

“When I started as a police officer we had no radios, no cars – we were on bikes,” he said.

As a young Pc, Brian would ring in from a police box – now more famous for TV series Doctor Who – every hour and in between that time officers had no communication with the station.

Brian retired as a police officer in 1996, but took up a civilian role as an inquiry officer.

His retirement will coincide with the move, so he will end his career at the station.

“I was here at the opening and I’ll be here when it closes,” he said. “I think I’m the only person who’s been here right through.”

The majority of staff based at Ipswich Police Station in Civic Drive will be moving to Landmark House, in the Whitehouse area of Ipswich, over the coming weeks.

A police spokeswoman said: “The move is part of a joint property project which will see the police and the county council working together more closely to improve services and save money.

“The front office (reception) at Ipswich Police Station will remain open to the public as usual until alternative arrangements are put in place in Ipswich town centre.”

Do you have memories of working at Ipswich Police Station? E-mail: starletters@archant.co.uk