Tiny as strong as four men

Cycling to work via the dock at Ipswich was an interesting daily adventure around fifty years ago for Terry Hurren of Foxhall Road, Rushmere St Andrew.

Memories of when everybody made use of the dock area as a route across town have featured recently in Kindred spirits. Terry said “I passed regularly through the dock and over the lock gates on a daily basis for twelve years when I worked for Thompson and Morgan’s Ipswich plants men and seed firm. At that time they had a nursery both sides of Crane Hill, London Road. I first cycled and later went by scooter, from Hawke Road on the Greenwich estate to and from work four times a day. If the road carriage way was opened for shipping we would be told to use the wooden walkways on the lock gates. These were not quite as easy to use as there were two large metal turn screw wheels on each walkway, which we had to lift our bikes over to get from one side to the other. This was prior to the gates being mechanised and all opening and closing was done by hand then. Four men would turn these wheels to open the wooden gates to allow shipping to pass to and fro. One of the guys who used to work on the lock gates, lived next door but one to us, he was a massive guy and seemed as if he was seven foot tall when I was a youngster. He had to have all his clothes handmade as he was so big. We knew him as “Fat Arthur” but he was also known as “Tiny” by some people.

- To read the full Kindred Spirits column, buy Tuesday’s Evening Star or sign up for our e-edition by following the link at the right of this text.

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