Memories at Landseer school reunion

They may not have been back to school for half a century, but a reunion of former Landseer Secondary Modern pupils got the memories flowing.

THEY may not have been back to school for half a century, but a reunion of former Landseer Secondary Modern pupils certainly got the memories flowing.

Remembering teachers and their various methods of punishment, seemed the order of the evening for the 71 people who turned up to the Clapgate Lane Conservative Club for a trip down memory lane.

Pupils who were at the school between 1950 and 1959 were invited to the reunion and the evening certainly did not disappoint.

Organiser George Garnham of Clare Road, Ipswich said: “It was a really good night and we would love to have another one. All the boys were definitely game for it.”

Mr Garnham said people came from all over to the reunion on Friday . One man, Trevor Mullett, made a trip from Florida to be there.

And two cousins who had not seen one another for 30 years had something of a family reunion as well as a school one.

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Mr Garnham was also pleased to see Roy Ramsey, a pupil who was considered one of the best athletes in the area during the 1940s. He left the Landseer Road school in 1950.

He said: “He was the first boy in the school to have a pair of running spikes. If that was today, he would have been up there with the big boys I'm sure. He ran for the school and also used to run for Ipswich Harriers.

“There was a lot of talk about the way the teachers treated us. There were some real characters there. Mr Collins the science teacher had a cane he called Sweet William. And the music teacher when he played the piano was said to have a driver's mirror on the top so that he could keep an eye on people.”

What are your memories of the school? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

GEORGE GARNHAM

After leaving school at 15 his first job was on the barges as a general dogsbody. The barges would take the grains from Ipswich docks and deliver it around the country including London and Kent.

After that Mr Garnham said he joined the army to be with his brother in the Far East but ended up on active service in Cyprus.

When he left the army he went to work in steel erection for British Rail at Harwich, but in 1979 had an horrific accident which left him in hospital for three and a half months.

Mr Garnham said he was repairing a bridge when a piece of steel fell and hit him causing spinal injuries. For a while he was office-bound, working at the train ferry terminal at Harwich but eventually took early retirement at the age of 58 through ill health.

He married Elizabeth and the couple have four children and ten grandchildren.

DENNIS THROWER

Dennis Thrower left the school in 1953 and has not seen many of his fellow pupils since then.

He said: “They all came in with bald heads and wrinkled faces! I had the most hair out of any of them.”

Although he was disappointed that on the night there were only a couple of people from his class at the reunion, he said he did know lots of the men there because they had all grown up together on the Greenwich estate in Ipswich.

At school he was a keen footballer and was captain of the football team and then went on to play for Ipswich reserves for ten years - one of the first people Sir Alf Ramsey signed.

For five years he was a part-time player as he was carrying out a plumbing apprenticeship but was then taken on full time for a further five years, playing 32 first team games for the town.

While at school, he hated woodwork and would spend much of his time looking out of the window on to the football pitch, much to the annoyance of his teacher who would throw blocks of wood at him.

Mr Thrower who now lives at Claverton Way, Rushmere, said: “I once made a toast rack in woodwork and it took me months.

“When I took it up to the teacher he drop-kicked it.”

After his stint at Ipswich Town, Mr Thrower became a self-employed plumber until he retired.

He is married with two children, a daughter and a son and four grandchildren.

REX BRYANTON

Like Dennis Thrower, Rex Bryanton also went out on the pitch for Ipswich Reserves during the time of Sir Alf Ramsey.

He had six years with the team as a part time professional playing as a full back.

After that he worked the rest of his career in the grain trade, initially working for Eastern Counties Farmers before joining an American company, trading grain in the UK for them.

After another stint at Eastern Counties Farmers he then went to Great Yarmouth to work for John Lee Barber, which he took over for awhile before it was bought up by an Irish PLC. He worked for them for ten years until his retirement.

He has been married for 44 years and has three children and five grandchildren.

Mr Bryanton, who is 68, now lives in Chatsworth Drive, Ipswich.

He said he had enjoyed the reunion. He added: “It was very, very good. There were several people I had not seen for a long while.

“It was nice to see all the people there, it just came out of the blue.”

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