Flashback: Logging on to share memories

Stonham Aspal School pupils making decorations for christmas December 1966

Stonham Aspal School pupils making decorations for christmas December 1966 - Credit: Archant

CHRISTMAS may be behind us but Derek Calver has been reliving memories of his childhood festivities.

He saw a photo of himself making Christmas decorations at Stonham Aspal School in Flashback. The photo was taken back in 1966.

He said: “Good heavens, this takes me back. Although I have seen the photograph quite often over the years, as my mother still has the original clipping, it still came as a surprise to see it in the EADT once again.

“The people, in a study of concentration are myself, Derek Calver (right) and Gerald Wasp. I have to admit we posed for the photograph, though the concentration is genuine, due to being instructed not to look at the camera. Which, of course, made it all the harder not to. I think we just about pulled it off.

“The project was to decorate a yule log. We had taken in a log of wood then, I believe, gathered the foliage on a ramble around the school grounds. Both were given a winter appearance, then the foliage attached to the log and any final touches added. All achieved without the need for lots of safety gear; apart from our very own form of eye protection!

“I remember my log being the table centrepiece for Christmas lunch at home that year.”

Another former school pupil has also written to share his memories.

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Bobby Davis, nee Scott, emailed to say: “I am writing with information regarding the Flashback photo of four young pupils from Framlingham College back in 1986 - one of which was me!

“I now live in Surrey so it was just by chance that this picture ever came to my attention. My brother had been visiting East Anglia for the weekend, returning by train and picked up the paper for a “local read” on his way back to London.

“The conversation with his wife went something like “Blimey, that girl could be my sister...oh, it is my sister!”. And so, the paper came into my possession late on Christmas Eve!

“So who are all the others? Left to right it goes as follows: Kwai Hong Ip (1988 Garrett House) who had received a Flying Scholarship. Kwai Hong Ip joined the RAF after graduation from King’s College London in 1991 and left in 2002 as a Flight Lieutenant. He was a General Duties (Air) Navigator Officer until 2000 and, from 2000 to 2002, a Legal Branch Officer as he was previously qualified as a Barrister in 1995.

“Tim Woods (1988 Ziegele House) who had received a Naval Scholarship. I believe he is now a Lieutenant Commander.

“Me, Bobby Davis (nee Scott) (1988 Pembroke House) who had received one of the first ever Army Scholarships for girls. It was the first year they had allowed applications from girls and I believe only eight were awarded. I left the Army some time ago now after nearly 10 years service in order to bring up my family but whilst in – words fail me, it was fabulous!

“And finally Richie Paine (1988 Stradbroke House) who had also received a Flying Scholarship. And I believe he is now a Squadron Leader.

“I don’t believe, of course, that I was the only one who had spotted the photo since I have also received word from Leigh Cunningham at the College as well as Ross Sindell (1987 Ziegele) via Facebook. Technology and social networks are wonderful things (most of the time!)

“So delighted to be in the local paper once again after all these years and lovely to have a little reminisce. Also, slightly astonished at just how thin I used to be!!

Many thanks for this lovely flashback and a Happy New Year to all at the paper.”

Sharing her memories, Anglea Freakley, nee Morgan, emailed to say: “A friend of mine passed a cutting on to me from your East Anglian Daily Times. It was a picture of a group of children in the street performing a star jump.

“This was taken in December 1986, as you mention, and was a press release to say The Angela Morgan School of Dancing had been chosen to take part in a television programme called How Do You Do It?

“I can’t remember which channel it was on but I do have a recording of the programme. It showed if you took up dancing as a hobby you might get involved in shows. The programme followed the children from the auditions, right through rehearsals and into the production. The children really enjoyed themselves and learnt a great deal from the experience.

“I am in fact Angela Morgan, who is in the front of the picture with part of the cast of the juvenile dancers from the Pantomime, which was held at the Theatre Royal in Bury. I have a feeling it was Jack and the Beanstalk and was a June and Alan Clements production.

“The shot was taken on the corner of Hatter Street, Churchgate Street and College Street, and you can see the school’s studio door at the back on the right. I lived in the flat above at that time with the door on the left. Nigel Salmon owned and ran Foto Fayre the shop in the middle at the back.

“I recognise many of the girls in the picture but of course most of them are married now and have children of their own. I am still in touch with most of them.

“It was lovely to see the photo again in the paper but of course I do have a copy in my scrapbook along with hundreds of others, which I enjoy looking back over the years of my school. I am retired now and live in Lowestoft and unfortunately the school now no longer exists.

“Hope this answers your questions.”

A photo taken at RAF Wattisham in January 1980 caught the attention of Vic Rice, of Boxford.

He said: “The Sub Officer in the photo was John Stubbs of Ipswich and I think the one wearing the helmet was Jim Spencer of Stowmarket.

“John and I were fellow Sub Officers in the Ministry of Defence Fire Service working with the RAF, to provide fire cover for the airfield. All 43 firemen were from the local area. We had lots of visits from local groups including the police and fire service.

“In 1991 I retired after 29 years, very happy years, at Wattisham where I made so many very good friends.

“Your photo has brought back lots of wonderful memories.”

A letter of thanks came from Val Rush, who wrote: “Just wanted to thank you for printing the picture from Mid Suffolk District Council’s children’s party from January 1977 – which features my two sisters and I.

“I’m the ‘Ferret’ facing the camera leaning on the table with Number 56 on my label. My younger sister, Donna Farrow is the little head peeking over the table and my twin, Tracy Nunn, in on Donna’s left with Number 55 on her label.

“My twin and I were seven, whilst Donna was three at the time.

“My dad worked for MSDC and was a member of their social club which held a children’s party every year sometimes before Christmas or, as in this case, just after. I don’t remember the relevance of the name ‘The Ferret Club’ but my mum seems to recall that it may have been what the children’s section of the social club was called.

“As a coincidence I later went on to work at MSDC in their HR department and was the third generation of our family to do so, as my grandad also worked for them before he retired.

“Unfortunately we don’t recall the name of the ‘King Ferret’ or the other ferrets featured in the picture.

“Thank you again for printing this – it has to be one of the most random events in my life so far!”

There was a Royal visitor in Helmingham in 1983, and Julia Allard remembers it well.

“I was there with my daughter Laura Allard who was six at the time. She’s standing from the left near a little boy at the front. I was crouching down behind her so we had a good view of the Queen, Prince Philip, Edward, Sarah Armstrong and Lord Lichfield.”

Our final letter this week came from Richard Scopes, who identified the cook at Saxmundham Primary School.

“She was my mother, Dorothy Scopes, from Kelsale. She was a cook at Saxmundham primary school for many years.

“She was a brilliant cook and a wonderful mother to seven children of whom I am the youngest. Unfortunately she died in 2007.

“I’m sorry I can’t tell you anything of the children in the photo.”

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