Ipswich pub story - beer we go!

Sitting outside the Shepherd and Dog public house on the Ipswich to Felixstowe Road, with a packet of crisps and a bottle of lemonade or a glass of “shandy,” was a treat for many children for a few decades after the Second World War, while their parents sat inside the pub’ enjoying a drink.

The Shepherd and Dog did a good trade with families, some on cycles, stopping on their way back to Ipswich after a day on the beach. The old building was demolished when the road was widened and the present building of that name was built set further back.

This public house was recalled recently in Kindred Spirits when Mrs Vietch of Felixstowe asked if anybody could recall a poem from her childhood featuring the names of pubs on the Ipswich to Felixstowe route. Colin Whitmore contacted me by e-mail. He said: “As a schoolboy from London, I used to stay with my aunt and uncle who lived in Badshah Avenue, Ipswich, for all six weeks of the school summer holidays every year from about 1949 to 1956. My uncle Bert owned the piggeries opposite the Shepherd and Dog and we used to have lunch at the pub.

He went inside with his pint chatting to locals and I was sitting on the doorstep with my “shandy” and crisps and my feet only inches from the traffic flowing past. Children were not allowed in pubs at all in those days. I learnt a lot about life working with him at the piggeries and also learnt to drive all manner of vehicles enabling me to pass my driving test after only two lessons in 1958.”

Audrey Leckenby (nee Gould) said: “I was a child in the late 1920s and early 30s and the picture brought memories to me. My father was then driving his first car, a Rover 8 with a ‘Dicky Seat’ in which I was at first afraid to travel. We had a beach hut at Felixstowe, which we frequently visited and as a treat on the way home he pulled up at the pub door, went in and emerged with glasses of fizzy lemonade, cheese sandwiches and biscuits, which I thought was wonderful. Ladies and children did not enter pubs in those days.”

Jean Austin also contacted by e-mail with a reminder of the time when children collected family autographs and most contributors would write a poem or something amusing in the book.

An entry from 1912 gives a good idea of how many public houses there were in Ipswich a century ago. Jean said: “A distant cousin, Don Edwards, who now lives in Canada, sent me an item written in his mother’s autograph book in 1912, by a neighbour at Belstead. Don’s mother was Victoria Nicholls, born in 1900 in Belstead. She was an assistant teacher at the village school in Belstead before her marriage, and was also a member of the choir and the assistant organist at Belstead Church.

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“Don believes that the story names all the pubs in Ipswich at the time.

‘Coming to IPSWICH ARMS by the GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY we received a welcome SALUTATION at the STATION by the DUKE OF KENT who gave us a ROSE and a sprig of MYRTLE and invited us on board his SHIP which had a PILOT and was lying at ANCHOR at a SAFE HARBOUR in the ORWELL with LORD NELSON the hero of TRAFALGAR who travelled the GLOBE as commander.

“Getting into the SHIPS LAUNCH we were soon on board and were surprised to find that the MARQUIS OF CORNWALLIS who had the GOLDEN KEY had opened the CANTEEN and had taken THREE CUPS too much had thrown the UNION JACK at the THREE SWANS swearing that he was an old SEA HORSE he threw the ADMIRALS HEAD at the EMPEROR and even bid DEFIANCE to the LEOPARD which the GREEN MAN was guarding with his GUN AND HALBERD.

“The LORD CHANCELLOR, remarking that the CASE IS ALTERED and the BRITISH LION is insulted we bid goodbye to NEPTUNE and got into the WHERRY which took us to the STEAMBOAT and had a HAPPY RETURN to shore. GROSVENOR who had the CROSS KEYS of the Public Hall wanted a POST CHAISE with a BLACK AND WHITE HORSE and a BLUE COAT BOY to drive him but we preferred the COACH AND HORSES so that we could get a Freston BOOT from Freeman, Hardy and Willis, passing the COUNTY HOTEL we saw the RED LION and the UNICORN fighting for the CROWN which so frightened the EAGLE and the DOVE that shaking their feathers they flew into the MULBERRY TREE, the WHITE HART and the RUNNING BUCK hiding behind the ROYAL OAK while the DOLPHIN running into the MARSH knocked the BEEHIVE into the ARBORETUM.

“SUFFOLK gave us the GRIFFIN for a TANKARD at the COCK AND PYE and though the SUN was well up, we found VICTORIA who was anything but an ANGEL in the KINGS ARMS which the DUKE OF YORK said he did not mind, but we knew it was a case of FOX AND GRAPES with him.

“Carlton with HORSE AND GROOM said he had been chasing the HARE AND HOUNDS as far as PORTABELLA but his GREYHOUND was no good and he knew that a FALCON in the hand was worth an OSTRICH in the WHITE ELM or a SWAN in the VINE. The FREEMASONS had a safe ASYLUM in the BARLEY MOW and ringing the OLD BELL, this summoned the CHEQUERS to see to the keeping of the HALF MOON AND STAR and the CROWN AND ANCHOR which had a TAP, Ellis said as good as THREE TUNS.

“The last we saw was the PRINCE OF WALES wearing the order of the GOLDEN FLEECE sitting on the WOOLPACK under the MAYBUSH with JOHN BARLEYCORN singing RULE BRITANNIA.”