Ipswich: Former pupils go back to school

Four distinguished former pupils from an Ipswich school returned to the classroom for a morning of reminiscing.

Outgoing Ipswich Mayor Jane Chambers, Suffolk Police’s chief detective Stewart Gull, Ipswich Town’s Director of Communication Terry Baxter and Tracey Bailey the Director of Communications at Suffolk New College returned to Clifford Road Primary School on Wednesday.

The quartet were given a tour by Head Teacher Steve Wood, spent time in the classroom with youngsters and spoke about their school days during an assembly.

Cllr Chambers, whose visit coincided with her final day as Mayor, said: “I’m very envious of today’s children - they’re at a lovely school.

“When I was here in the late 1950s and early 60s the place was much more intimidating and the teachers were very strict.


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“You could only speak when spoken to and if you needed the loo during class you had to put your hand up and wait your turn.

“The buildings may not have changed too much but the whole place seems much more colourful and lively now.”

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Det Ch Supt Gull added: “I came to Clifford Road twice as my dad’s job as a police man took me away at one stage and I’ll always remember the place fondly.

“I used to love swimming lessons in the school’s pool which is still here. Coming here has brought back so many memories for me.

“What strikes me about the school now is all the impressive artwork on the walls and how enthusiastic the pupils and teachers are.”

Mr Baxter said: “I came to the school in 1966 and back then it was a dark, strict place with a very different feel to it.

“One memory that stands out for me was acting in a school play. I was dressed as a farmer and was very nervous but managed to get through it.”

Ms Bailey added: “I used to come to school on a bus which would then pick us up for lunch and also take us home at the end of the day.

“It’s nice to come back and see my first classroom again. I also remember the outside toilets and they were not good!”

Mr Wood said: “It’s great to have four ex pupils here who have gone on to great things. It shows our pupils that they can achieve anything they want to.”

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