The happiest days of our lives

MEMORIES of Landseer Secondary School, by George Garnham in a recent Kindred Sprits brought back many of my own recollections.Mr Garnham, of Clare Road, Ipswich, remembered marching into school to the shouted orders of a teacher who was a major in the Territorial Army.

MEMORIES of Landseer Secondary School, by George Garnham in a recent Kindred Sprits brought back many of my own recollections.

Mr Garnham, of Clare Road, Ipswich, remembered marching into school to the shouted orders of a teacher who was a major in the Territorial Army.

He also recalled attending woodwork classes by a master who would throw your efforts the length of the workshop if he did not think your work was up to standard and having a teacher who kept a cane called 'Sweet William” in a cupboard by his desk.

I too was a pupil at Landseer in the second half of the 1950s.

Looking back its sounds like the teachers were cruel, but it was the normal way discipline was maintained at many schools around half a century ago and before.

The cane or slipper were not often used and sometimes this harsh wake up call stopped trouble makers in their tracks.

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'Paddy' Ireland took over as head master from Mr Perkins after my first year there.

He was a strict man who maintained control over some difficult pupils. Underneath he had a heart of gold and he cared for his pupils.

When it was time for me to leave he knew I was interested in a career in photography and took the trouble to arrange an interview with his friend who managed a photo processing company.

Thanks to 'Paddy' I got the first rung onto the career ladder.

Mr Davey the TA Major, who we all feared, received an award in the New Year's honours list in the early 1970s.

I visited him at his home in Westerfield to take his photograph for the Evening Star. It was strange for me to see him as a quietly-spoken gentleman in his own home.

Colin Ranson of Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, said “Thank you for the wonderful article about Landseer Secondary Modern School. I attended from September 1960 until April 1965; the memories of George Garnham could almost have been mine!

“The head in my time was 'Paddy' Ireland and a few of the teachers had changed by the start of the sixties.

“My form master for most of my years in the 'A' stream was Mr Davey, a very knowledgeable and fair gentleman who didn't suffer fools gladly. George recalls the game 'Muddy Giddy 123'. I am pleased someone else remembers the game.

“The photo of the boys at Pipers Vale pool about to start a race gave me a bit of a shock. I am almost certain the boy on the extreme right is me

“It would have been at near the end of my first year at in the summer of 1961. The caps we were wearing were made of cloth and were the colour of our respective 'Houses' Faraday, Telford Livingstone and Scott.

“I swam for the school at Broom Hill Pool in 1961, 62, 63, and 64, and in the last two years at the Suffolk Championships. My coach then was a Mr Nelson. Amongst others who swam for Ipswich were Irene Pryke and Malcolm Saul.”

Do you have memories of Landseer Secondary Modern School? Write to Kindred Spirits, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.

George Garnham was a pupil at the school in the 1950s and is busy organising a reunion for pupils who were there in that period. The re-union is being held at Clapgate Lane Conservative club on June 1. For tickets contact George on 714268 or 07944 487834.

A SET of photographic negatives from the 1950s, which had remained mostly unprinted, were sent to me recently by Michael Parkin of Wakefield.

Michael, who grew up in Ipswich, was on work placement at St Matthews School, Ipswich.

He was a keen amateur photographer and took his camera to the school capturing school life as it was half a century ago when classes were of up to forty pupils in the 'Baby Boom' years following the Second World War'

Today, these moments in time captured by the camera would probably not be permitted without every parent being contacted by letter, signatures required from both parents, permission from the relevant authority, etcetera.

Sadly, in the future simple photographs of classes, teams and events like nativity plays will not be available to anybody with an interest in social history because of the miles of red tape. It is easier to put a total ban on photographing the events.

Bernard Western was a pupil at St Matthew's when the photographs were taken. He said: “I was a member of the class featured in the photo from 1959.

“Our teacher was Mr Robins, the deputy head of the school at that time. The playground for the juniors was part of the St Matthews churchyard, the site of the current school building.

“The infants play area was next to the school and bordered St. Matthew's Church Lane. This was a single track lane running from Elm Street to St Matthew's Street with the Queen's Head public house at the top of the lane.

“There was a public house at the other end of the lane too. I remember we had about 40 in the class and we used to be ranked weekly on test results from top to bottom and sat accordingly.

“When our eleven plus results were announced twenty-two passed to the grammar school. I was ranked twenty-third and was sent to Tower Ramparts Secondary Modern.”

Linda Rush of Saxmundham, said: “I am the girl in one of the photographs looking straight into the camera. I was Linda Alborough then. Peter Canham is sitting behind me.

“Although I recognise most of the faces I'm afraid I do not remember many names, the joy of getting older!

“I clearly remember the jobs pupils were given as ink, window and milk monitors and playtime amongst the gravestones. We had a wonderful and much loved teacher Alan Robins who was a brilliant poet.

“He and another teacher took us on a lovely school trip to the Tower of London. On Wednesdays we attended St Matthew's Church.

“Our swimming lessons were at the nearby St Matthew's Baths. A lasting memory before I left in 1959 was all pupils being given small blue envelopes into which our parents would regularly put sixpence, which helped towards the cost of the new school.”

Do you have memories of the old St Matthews School building to share? Write to Dave Kindred, Kindred Spirits, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.

ERIC Ward of St John's Road, Ipswich, still has the flags which were flying over St Margaret's Plain in Ipswich for the visit of Queen Mary in 1938.

Eric said: “I was interested in the recent photo in Kindred Spirits of the visit of Queen Mary in 1938. “The actual car in the photo is passing Bethesda Baptist Church of which I am a member and 11 St Margaret's Plain, which is decorated with the Union flag and other flags!

“I still have the actual flags which are in your photograph. They are still in quite good condition, although rather fragile!

“There are two Union flags and four or five smaller ones in my collection. They still bear the screw holes where they were fixed to the window sill, of the open windows!