Days Gone By: Capel St Mary - the village which grew and grew

London Road, Capel St Mary, in the early years of the twentieth century as a hunt gathered. The buil

London Road, Capel St Mary, in the early years of the twentieth century as a hunt gathered. The building in the background was the Tankard Inn, which stood where the A12 underpass is now. It was demolished in 1928. The Tankard was just over the village boundary and was in Bentley.

Capel St Mary was, until the 1960s, a small village. The main road connecting Ipswich with London passed through.

Expansion in the 1960s and 70s saw many houses built and the village became largely a commuter-based community.

Plans were made to expand the village in 1960. Mains sewerage was connected after the village was put on to mains water in 1951.

In 1961 the village population was 632, it now stands at around 3,000.

The village had a railway station on the Bentley to Hadleigh branch line, which opened in 1847. The station had a booking clerk, signalman, porter and station master. Passenger services ended in 1932, but the line continued with a goods service until 1965. Crossing gates on the A12 stopped traffic while trains passed. This is difficult to imagine now.


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In this week’s Days Gone By I have featured photographs of the village, many of which are in living memory.

Do you have a story to tell about Capel St Mary in the past? Write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, EADT/Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or email info@kindred-spirit.co.uk

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