Pints were lined up for rush hour
Huge church bells were once cast in Ipswich at Boswell’s foundry in Wykes Bishops Street, Ipswich. A photograph taken at the foundry appeared in a recent Kindred Spirits.
Seventy-six year-old Henry Prior, of Foxhall Road, Ipswich, recalls visiting the foundry in his childhood when he lived nearby at the Nightingale Inn in John Street, little of which remains today.
Henry said: “The foundry was quite small and always dusty and dirty, but owner Alfred Boswell was always immaculately dressed in a suit. He used to play visiting children a tune on set of hand bells. My memories of living in that part of Ipswich, close to the dock and Ransomes Sims and Jefferies engineering works, centers around my parents, Harry and Irene’s, public house The Nightingale Inn.
“The pub was opposite the gates to Ransomes and sold only Cobbold mild or bitter beer as there was no licence to sell wine or spirits. It was a place for workman with sawdust on the floor. When “The Bull”, the works hooter, sounded at dinner time in the middle of the day my father would have a dozen pints lined up on the bar to cope with the sudden rush of customers who would eat their cheese sandwiches and down a pint or two before crossing the road to go back to work.
“The beer was delivered to The Nightingale on a Cobbold dray pulled by two magnificent Suffolk Punch horses, which the brewery kept in a field at the bottom of Cliff Lane close to the brewery. The houses of the aptly-named Drayman’s Close now stand here. A special treat for me as a child was to travel around with the draymen and their horses as the made their deliveries on a Saturday.”
“I was pupil at Cavendish Street School for about a term, but when Cliff Lane School opened in the late 1930s I was transferred there with my friends and our headteacher Miss Batley became the first head at Cliff Lane. Our class teacher Mrs Brown also transferred with us. After leaving school I joined the Royal Navy and started my career at HMS Ganges.”
n Parts of St John Street became part of Duke Street as the area was redeveloped in the late 1930s. The Nightingale’s address changed as the area was altered. Henry Prior does not have a photograph of his parent’s pub’. Do you have a picture of this little “watering hole”, one of the hundreds of Ipswich pubs lost for ever? Do you have memories of local life in the past to share? Write to Kindred Spirits at the Evening Star or e-mail email@example.com
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Photographs of the Queen’s visit to Ipswich in June 1961 featured in a recent Kindred Spirits. One of the photographs was taken at the junction of the Buttermarket and Queen’s Street as the royal car swept through the crowd in the summer sunshine.
In the background were two buildings lost to redevelopment, the Queens Hotel and Eastern Counties Building Society.
Vivienne Owen of Heath Road, Ipswich, said: “I have fond memories of the Queens Hotel. In the 1930s my parents used to spend an evening there with their friends nearly every week. I think it was run by Mr and Mrs Kirk. I was eighteen in 1939 and remember going with them on my birthday, when I was allowed to have my first alcoholic drink. How times have changed! Not always for the better.
“During the Second World War I occasionally went to their restaurant for a meal, which was usually meat, potatoes and vegetables. Because of the food rationing we were only allowed two courses, so it was either soup or sweet. There were not many overweight people in those days. The dinner cost five shillings (25p), which then was a lot of money. My starting wage as a shorthand typist in a solicitors office was seventeen shillings and sixpence (87.5p) a week.”
Elaine Whitmore, of Rushmere Road, Ipswich, said: “I started work at Eastern Counties in 1956 straight from school. The directors used to go to the Queens Hotel, next door for lunch. I worked there through two name changes and lots of building works until Britannia Building Society, as it then was, closed their Ipswich head office in 1986. It was a lovely office to work in.”
Mick Hawes, who now lives at Eydon, Northants, recalls where he was the day the Queen came to Ipswich to open the Civic College in 1961.
Mick said: “I was a pupil at Copleston Secondary Modern School. That day we were frog- marched to Derby Road station where we made the short trip to Ipswich station. From there we were walked to Portman Road football ground where we were suppose to wave and cheer as the Queen travelled around the pitch.
“We had been on a school trip to the Soviet Trade and Industry Exhibition at Earls Court a short while before, where we had gathered lots of leaflets, propaganda in the view of some! I cut out a picture of Khrushchev from one of these leaflets and stuck it over the photo of the Queen on the front of the souvenir handout that we had been given just before we left Copleston.
“Of course, I showed it around on the train and one of the teachers saw it, snatched it out of my hand, ripped the picture off and gave the leaflet back to me.”