They demolished our old homes - but can't take our memories

GAS street-lamps and playing in a traffic-free street are how readers recall Wells Street, Ipswich, which was cleared during redevelopment of the area off St Helen's Street.

David Kindred

GAS street-lamps and playing in a traffic-free street are how readers recall Wells Street, Ipswich, which was cleared during redevelopment of the area off St Helen's Street.

The street was referred to recently in Kindred Spirits among readers' memories of the St Helen's Street area of Ipswich.

Annette Westwood (nee Carpenter) said “I was born at 26 Wells Street in December 1940. I lived there with my mum Jill and my granny and granddad Mr and Mrs Arthur Last until I was five.

A vivid childhood memory from Wells Street was when my dad Charles came home from the Second World War. He had been a prisoner of the Japanese and he came home just before I was five.

“By then my mum had got a house at number 5 Wells Street and I remember getting ready for bed when a telegram came and my mum got me dressed again and took me down to Ipswich station to meet my dad, who to me was a stranger.

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“As children we used to go to Saturday morning pictures at the Regent in St Helen's Street for 6d. This money I earned by doing a few errands.

“I and a crowd of other children from Wells Street all went to Sunday school at the Methodist Church, as it was then, in the Rope Walk. My Sunday School teacher was Mrs Woolnough; she was a very nice elderly lady. She used to ask a few of us round to hers for tea sometimes.

“A few other names I recall from Wells Street are Mr and Mrs Davey, who are also in the photograph of the 1950s meeting. Mr and Mrs Purchase, Mr and Mrs. Green, Mr and Mrs Murphy, Mrs Woods, Mr and Mrs East. I also remember Mrs Stanmore on the corner of Wells Court, or 'The court' as we called it.

“They were very happy times. We played out in the street and it was safe because it was a 'dead end' and there wasn't any traffic about then.

“Alexander Park was 'our' park and we had 'our' bonfire night on Rope Walk. There was a fish and chip shop on the corner and 'Old Ma' Minter's shop next door.

“I did a paper round when I was thirteen for Enemy's on the corner of Grimwade Street. Elmey's bike shop was next door. I used to have to take the accumulator battery for our radio there to be charged; can you imagine such a thing today?

“Thank you for bringing all these memories back.”

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