Thundering sounds of a press printing newspapers was a feature of Carr Street, Ipswich until publishers, the East Anglian Daily Times Company, moved to Lower Brook Street in May 1966.
The roar of the rotary printing press was a regular sound day and night. Diane Roper (nee Last) said “Until the age of eleven I lived with my family at 22 Great Colman Street. This stood directly behind the East Anglian building on the corner of Little Colman Street and belonged to the EADT. There was an alley between the buildings which was always called ‘The Drift’. This took you out onto Carr Street almost directly opposite Woolworths store. The house was a great big place, which we believe had been a gentleman’s club at one time. We lived in half of it and the East Anglian used the other half to store reels of paper. I had lots of fun playing hide and seek amongst the paper when my friends came to play. There was also a great big cellar which we liked to disappear into. We managed to rent it because my father Charlie Last worked at the EADT in the general printing department from the time he left school until he retired in 1977, apart from six years when he was called up for the war. My mother used to make the workers their tea for their breaks and they used to come and drink it in our back garden. I spent many an hour at the side door of the building watching the metal plates being made ready for the next edition of the paper. It was noisy, dusty and hot, but also fascinated me. Any visitors who came to sleep would be awake all night with the sound of the press, but we slept like logs. I suppose we got used to it. Things used to get a bit noisy sometimes if the workers had been to their social club in Little Colman Street after work! I think it was classed as the canteen and seemed to me to be open all day, but it was a nice place to live.”
The EADT staff social club in Little Coleman Street was something of an institution until it was demolished after the company moved in 1966. It occupied two tiny terraced houses. The two original front rooms had a table and chairs with enough room for around ten people each. Mid mornings it was cheese rolls and mugs of tea. During the evening it operated like a tiny public house closing at 10.30pm. Half an hour later the steward opened the bar again until around 2am with a permanent special licence. This made the club a popular late ‘watering hole’ as any staff member could sign in two guests to the only bar open in the county. Proprietor and editor Ralph Wilson would be there most nights into the small hours as the morning paper was being produced where the world and company matters were put right over a pint of beer or a glass of Scotch! Mr Wilson knew all his staff personally and would never have referred to anybody as a “Human Resource”. Newspapers were sold outside the office.
Alan Theobald said one of the sellers was Ray or “Chopper” Theobald, his father, “Ray won distinction while serving with the Royal Tank regiment in World War Two. He also won the Military Medal in Italy. He gained the nickname 'Chopper' there after an incident involving an officer’s pet duck and a rather large axe! After serving in the war he worked in the morning as a Co-op milk man, then from lunch time in to the evenings selling papers outside of the newspaper office in Carr Street. At one point the East Anglian Daily Times Company was almost a family firm with six members of the Theobald family working there, my brother also a Ray, uncle Peter and Norman and two of my dad’s cousins Harrold and, Denis as well as my father. Elizabeth Montgomery who now lives in Gosport said “I remember well the old East Anglian Times Offices, as I used to go to Woolworth’ s store almost opposite to spend my 6d pocket money on a Saturday, 1940s early 50s. My next door neighbour worked at the newspaper and I was invited to the Christmas party for workers children. Happy memories. I wish they had not pulled the building down, as it was quite a landmark. Gerald Pilbro of Waterford Road, Ipswich was a paper delivery boy at Churchyards newsagents in St Helens Street from 1955 to 1957. “My job was to get the “Green-Uns” from Carr Street on a Saturday evening. There were always a lot of boys and girls waiting for the press to start and our newsagent’s names to be called. The press would start with a slow rumble and quickly gather speed.”