Lots of laughter and mischief

Bramford Road, Ipswich is now one of the busiest traffic routes in Ipswich. Flats have replaced some of the small houses and many of the corner shops have gone. The community spirit has been recalled recently in Kindred Spirits after I published photographs of the road in the 1950s.

Jenny Laughlin (nee Bardwell) of Fraser Road, Bramford said: “How good to see pictures of Bramford Road. It brought back happy memories of being brought up in Prospect Road and remembering all those little shops where our parents did their shopping in a time when there were no supermarkets, just good old fashion shops where you could get all you needed. There was several public houses. At the junction of Bramford Road and Norwich Road was the Rose and Crown public house, further down the Staff of Life and the Three Cups. There was plenty of drinking holes then. If you needed your radio accumulator charged or bikes repaired there was a cycle shop on the corner of Rendlesham Road, nearby was Harvey’s greengrocer, Otley the butchers, Queenies hairdressers, and Robinson’s paper shop, where many children did a paper round from. On the other side of the road was Garner’s fish and chip shop. There was a small box in there for children to stand on and ask for two penny worth of chips and scraps with salt and vinegar, to which they always said “Don’t want much you kids for two pence.” We got mainly scraps, which were bits of fried batter from the fish.”

“Miss Elliman sold wool, underwear etc. Cranes, was a small grocer, Southgate’s was a greengrocer where we all saw our first bananas after the Second World War. Edgar Bilner ran a second-hand shop. At the corner of Prospect Road two sisters, L and O Roberts, had little grocery shop with a few sweets in little glass dishes in the window. They sold all you needed in the way of groceries. I used to get sugar sacks from there for my dad to make rag rugs with. There was also Burrows the pork butchers and a wet fish shop, Clancy’s paper shop, Newstead’s the baker was on the corner of Sirdar Road. The International shop and a Co-op store were also kept busy. The Salvation Army was our meeting place on a Friday night in the little wooden hut at the back of the hall. There were lots of laughs and we were often sent home if we became too noisy or mischievous, but they were happy times. On Sundays you’d see the Salvation Army band on parade. Those of us who grew up in that area have fond memories of living around there. All those homes and shops went when they built flats, so people moved all over Ipswich. The community spirit was great back in those old days and dear old Bramford Road School was always full, as there was no choice in those days as to which school you went to. A single deck trolley bus used to run to the Waveney public house at the junction of Adair Road where they turned in the circle there. The arms connecting to the overhead wires were always coming off in the bad weather, so we all had to walk to Westbourne School in the 1950s.

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Roger Allum of Oulton Road, Ipswich, said “It was interesting to see the picture of the lock gate in Kindred Spirits. It showed the wheel that operates the sluice gates. To allow pedestrians to walk across the lock gate when the swing bridge was against them, the wheel was lifted up and attached vertically against the chain railings. The shaft was then lifted out and the hole, that its removal left behind, was plugged with a bung. I have fond memories of when I was a toddler, being taken on my grandfather’s bicycle around the whole wet dock, crossing the lock onto the island and returning to Cliff Lane on the eastern quays.

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After over ten years and around 540 Kindred Spirits features it is time for me to say goodbye to the Evening Star. Thanks to all of you who have sent me your interesting and fascinating memories of local life in the past. I can still be contacted at www.kindred-spirit.co.uk.

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Best wishes, Dave Kindred.

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