Days Gone By - Tower Ramparts resurrects memories of a time when the town bank stood at the heart of Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 15:36 05 February 2016 | UPDATED: 15:36 05 February 2016
Tower Ramparts, Ipswich, is the name of the road stretching from Northgate Street to High Street and the bus station for Ipswich Buses, writes David Kindred.
Days Gone By - Tower Ramparts
Tower Ramparts and the Crown Street, Ipswich area, from St Mary Le Tower Church around 1908
Neale Street, Ipswich, from Tower Street in the early 1930s. The building on the right is now the site of the Robert Ransome public house. The buildings on the left were demolished to create a car park.
Houses on the town rampart in the 1930s soon before demolition. ÒElectric HouseÓ is on the left.
The car park at Tower Ramparts, Ipswich in August 1956. Crown Street is on the right and Tower Ramparts School on the left.
Tower Ramparts, Ipswich in the 1880s. The building in the centre was William Pretty and Sons clothing factory, which was built in 1881-2. The footbridge over Tower Ramparts connected the works to Footmans store (now Debenhams).
Tower Ramparts, Ipswich, in March 1980, from the roof of Electric House
Old Foundry Road, Ipswich, looking towards Tower Ramparts in the 1890s The houses featured were built on the town rampart and were there until the 1930s. The road had also been known as St Margarets Ditches.
Tower Ramparts in the early 1930s. This is now the townÕs bus station. The building in the right background is now the Robert Ransome public house.
The new Tower Ramparts car park in the late 1930s. Egertons garage was then being extended on the site now occupied by Crown Pools
Crown Street, Ipswich, looking towards St Margarets Plain in the 1930s. Park Chambers, at the corner of Neale Street (left), was demolished soon after this photograph was taken to widen the road.
The junction of William Street and Crown Street around 1930. All of the buildings in the right foreground were demolished to create a car park, now the townÕs bus station.
Crown Street, Ipswich, around 1933. Most of these buildings were then due for demolition to create a car park. ÒElectric HouseÓ, then a new building, is in the background, it was the showroom and offices for the Ipswich Corporation Electricity Supply Department. The townÕs trolley buses, which were powered originally by the works, displayed ÒElectric HouseÓ as a destination for decades.
The name is a reminder of the time when part of the town bank was here, dating from around the 1203. The roadway on the inside of the rampart was once called Tower Ditches.
In the mid 1930s the last part of the old town defences were removed along with houses on the top of the bank.
It is thought that the town bank had originally continued on a line along what is now Old Foundry Lane to Majors Corner, along Upper Orwell Street and Lower Orwell Street to the River Orwell.
In the other direction from Tower Ramparts the defences extended to Lady Lane and on to the town marshes, close to where the Ipswich Town football ground is now. We still have the Northgate and Westgate street names to remind us of the opening in the town bank.
In this week’s Days Gone By I have featured photographs showing how parts of the rampart survived until the 1930s - see our gallery.
Readers have shared their memories of old Ipswich after seeing previous instalments from Days Gone By.
Sheila Bullard, of Ipswich, wrote to say: “I attended the old School of Commerce and Social Studies in the mid 50s. The students came from all over Suffolk. Mrs Beryl Harding, who was the headmistress, is now 104 years old.”
Ms Bullard sent a photograph of staff and students at the Ipswich School of Commerce and Social Studies in Argyle Street, Ipswich, in October 1953. The 1872 Ipswich Board School building they occupied was rebuilt in 1914 for 432 boys taking in pupils from Foundation Street School. W
D A Carter, of Bures, said: “My mother, Muriel Hope, who was born c.1893, of Larchwood, Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, worked for Tibbenham’s. She left the Ipswich School of Art with her sister Lily Hope. They worked Mother of Pearl into the backs of chairs. Also they peeled the backs off large mirrors and painted in oils on the reverse, which was very clever.
“I have one of the mirrors, it is very old, but still outstanding and beautiful.”
Neil Rogers, emailed and said: “Ipswich cabinet makers Frederick Tibbenham Limited featured recently. Photographs of propellor production during the First World War, taken on the site occupied by the company between Turret Lane and Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, featured in Days Gone By. Readers have told us more about the company.
“I worked for Frederick Tibbenham’s in the mid to late 1970s. They were also based in both Kemble Street and Pitcairn Road, where I worked.
“During my time with the company they also had a site at Wherstead Road, Ipswich, on the site of a former public house. It was used for storage and French polishers were based there in a big shed built on legs over the River Orwell prior to the Ipswich port reclaiming the land.
“We made oak reproduction furniture, tables, chairs etc. The wood turner was Tom Cutting who also ran a few pubs in the town in his time including the Sproughton Wild Man. The works was run by a Clive Cook. It was a happy place to work.
“My late grandad, Harold Rogers, was the oldest newsagent in the town at one time. His shop was opposite the Ipswich Station, now sadly nothing more than a car park. Before that he was opposite the Ancaster Road bridge in Ranelagh Road. He also played football for Ipswich Town when they were in the Southern Amateur League.”
Mrs Y J Taylor (nee Finch), of Great Blakenham, said: “A tiny shop in Orford Street, Ipswich, which was a very popular fish and chip shop around 50 years ago, and featured in a recent Days Gone By, is still bringing letters from readers.
“I can remember so well the Sabbatella’s ‘chippy’ in Orford Street, Ipswich. I used to swim for the Ipswich Club and also Suffolk. We held our club nights at St Matthew’s Baths. After training we used to go there and buy three penny worth of chips and he would give a generous helping of scallops as well. They were a lovely family.”
Nina Knock, of Stowmarket, said: “The memories of Sabbatella’s fish and chip shop brought back such lovely memories. I worked in a hair salon at 9 Norwich Road, Ipswich, for nine years. The salon I worked in was run by Sidney Sharpe. Joyce Payne took it over when Sid retired.
“We used to go to Sabbatalla’s for fish and chips on a Friday. Anthony Sabbatella was a lovely little man, his family were nice too. Even if he had a queue outside his shop he took his time in making sure he cooked it well. I am sure that at the time he was the best fish and chip shop in Ipswich.
“I now live in Stowmarket near a very good family-run fish shop in Wolsey Road.”
Share your memories, email David Kindred