Days Gone By: Boys’ Brigade on parade in the 1960s and 70s
- Credit: DAVID KINDRED
Days Gone By looks at past local activities in Ipswich including the Boys Brigade band and events at the ABC cinema, St Matthews Baths Hall and more.
Organisations for young people, which inspire them with all sorts of activity and adventure, have been popular for generations. In todays Days Gone By David Kindred features some local activities over the past decades, with marching bands, inspections and parades.
The Boys’ Brigade was founded in October 1883 by Sir William Alexander Smith and the drums and bugles of a Boys Brigade band, marching through the streets on a Sunday morning, was once a familiar sound. In 1907 Baden-Powell held a camp on Brownsea Island in Poole, Dorset, from this gathering the idea of scouting grew. The Wolf Cub scheme was started by the Boy Scout Association in 1916. In 1910 the girl guides were formed.
A photograph of the Buttermarket, Ipswich, in a recent Days Gone By, featured the ABC Cinema.
Dennis Driver from Framlingham wrote in, he said: “I was an electrician, working for R.N. Curle electrical contractors of Snape, rewiring the cinema.
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“The photograph includes the companies works van. My original boss, Bob Curle, has passed on so his twin sons, Ian and Hugh Curle, are still running the business. I worked for the firm for thirty five years.”
The mixture of events held in St Matthews Baths Hall, Ipswich, featured in a recent Days Gone On By.
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Wendy Sparrow from Nayland shared her memories, she said: “I was very interested to read about the St Matthews Baths Hall. As members of the Colchester Jazz Club in the early 1960s my friends and I visited all the many jazz clubs in the area and what I remember most about the Baths Hall, which was always full to capacity, was how much the wooden floor bounced as we all stomped (danced) away to the likes of Chris Barber and Acker Bilk - we used to wonder if it would give way and we would end up in the swimming pool below!”
Mrs N Wyatt from Ipswich recalled her memories too, she said: “I have good and bad memories of St Matthews Baths. The worst was while I attended St Matthews School, Ipswich, when I was about seven years old in 1940. We attended the baths for swimming lessons. One day when I was waiting to go down the steps into the water a teacher pushed me in. I have been scared of water ever since. The good memories include going to watch wrestling and to the dances.” Another Ipswich reader wrote in, Jeanne Wright (nee Keeble) said: “What wonderful memories I have of St Matthews Baths Hall, swimming in the summer, dancing to great bands and events in the winter. One memorable event was the annual Police Ball. Such happy times.”
David Routh said: “The Ipswich and East Suffolk Hairdressing Federation event featured at St Matthews Baths was from a Sunday in April 1964. It was organised by the committee, of which my wife Anne was chairman, and I was secretary and treasurer. Also on the committee was Fay Keeble (Ravells), Capon Lord (Vogue), Norman Murray (Normans of Ipswich), Derek Jarman (Jarmans) and John Baxter. My wife’s business was Anne Martin. Brian Kerridge provided us with music on the grand piano. It was the biggest event held by the Ipswich and East Suffolk Branch.”
William Martin added: “I have great memories of seeing Led Zeppelin at the Baths Hall in November 1971. I will never forget hearing “Stairway to Heaven” for the first time from their fourth album which was released at that time. They played for over an hour and were very loud. The tickets were only £1 and I was able to get very close to the stage. Other bands I saw at the baths in the early 1970s include, Lindisfarne, Geno Washington, Edgar Broughton, Fleetwood Mac and Alvin Stardust, among many others. Free were booked to play in the early 70s as part of a tour which was cancelled, but many fans turned up, as did I, not knowing of the cancellation Also at the Edgar Broughton concert they had to stop after two numbers as there was an electrical fault and much of the equipment was live and it as too dangerous to continue. Great times never to be forgotten.
Fore Street, Ipswich, featured recently. Ipswich reader Bernard Baxter recalls working there.
He said: “I rented an office at 26 Fore Street, Ipswich, with the late Peter Cox as my landlord. When clearing out the loft he came across a mint coin jammed in the rafters. If memory serves me correctly it was dated in the early 1600s. Underneath Peter’s motor cycle workshop was a short section of tunnel.
“The direction suggested that it went through to the original quayside and was used by horse drawn wagons to bring tea from the lighters moored there. Another tunnel ran across to the bonded warehouse in Lower Orwell Street. This had bean sealed off with concrete. We were told that the tunnel could be traced to Christchurch Mansion.”
Do the pictures featured today remind you of your time with any of the groups? Or can you name any of those featured? To submit a letter, in less than 300 words, write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS or email email@example.com