Open coal fires, a school bell and highly polished wooded floors, all memories of school days at Trinity Street schools, Ipswich. Stan Ransome, who now lives in Lancashire was a pupil at the schools during the 1930s. Stan said, “There were two schools, one each side of Trinity Street. On the side nearer the gas holders and dock was the infant building, which was built of Suffolk white bricks, in the style of a church, with sharp pointed black railings up to the pavement. At the rear was a small concrete play area with a covered corrugated iron shelter in case it rained. On the opposite side of the street was a larger building in red brick for the juniors. In my minds eye I have lots of pictures of the schools during the 1930s.”“This was my first school, I started there in September 1930 when I was just five years of age. I remember standing on our front door step watching others going past on their way there and wondering what has to happen. Unlike today we were not made familiar with the school prior to our starting. My first memory is of a highly polished wooden block floor and a heavy folding wooden wall partition to divide off the room. During my initial term we had to sit, alphabetically by name, in rows crossed-legged on the floor, the alphabet being our main early teaching. This classroom had the alphabet around the three solid walls, each letter also showing an appropriate object or animal with it, A was an apple, S a snake signified by a loud hiss from all the class. Later things became more dignified, being seated at small desks in the main room with the pleasure of a coal fire.” “The junior school was of red brick construction with a single entrance door in the outside wall in Trinity Street, the main entrance gates to the playground area and the front of the school being round the corner in Unity Street. The main entrance was in the form of a porch with a small brick built belfry above it. School started at 9am, the bell run a few minutes before by use of a metal pull rod on the inner porch wall. I believe sometimes children who were always early were allowed to ring the bell. Although living close by in Albion Street I only left our front door when the bell was already ringing so I never had that pleasure. Some of the classroom windows were rather medieval with pointed tops and stained glass. However they were in frames and could be opened, giving much relief on hot days. The next school building in Unity Street was set back to the school’s building line, having a large garden area in front of it with a small waist high gate entrance. An elderly man lived there, Mr Clark I believe, and I always thought of him as the school’s caretaker. The garden was always neat, with rows of vegetables and flowers. He would often be leaning on the front gate when we finished school in the afternoon and I think he really enjoyed a number of us staying to listen to his stories and jokes. A really pleasant man who seemed to know all our names and nicknames”
“There was no such thing as school dinners in those days and at midday we would all go home for a meal. My father, working at the gas company at the bottom of Albion Street, also came home for a cooked dinner, a real family reunion where we would relate our morning’s happenings."
"My sister Jean, only being born in August 1930, was fast asleep at these social mealtimes. It was all so very different in those days. I still have my yearly reports from the schools I attended, Trinity Street, Cavendish Street, Argyle Street and Clifford Road. The early ones said ‘Could do better’ and later ones ‘Making good progress’. Teachers I remember from the Trinity Street junior school are Miss “Nellie” Finch, Miss Jackson and, I believe, Miss Brown. My report there was signed by E M A Hack, head teacher. Names of the children I remember, who I believed attended there are: Teddy Butters, Billy Button, Ray Child, Ron Chisnall, Betty Davis, Donald Double, Bernard Elmy, Sidney Ely, Bertie Flory, Billy Forsdike, Clarence Fox, Billy Gayfer, Charlie Hullis, Charlie King, “Dinkie” Malhan, Bobby Raven, Violet Rutter, Jeanie Smith, Jack Wicks, Billy and Kenny Wilding, Billy and Harry Wrapson and last my rather adorable school dancing partner, the delectable Edna Glue, later I believe Mrs Read.” “I also believe our neighbour in Albion Street, Billy Snook, who later became well known in Ipswich local football, also attended the school in the late 20s and 30s.” Lesley Keeley Ipswich said My mother Elsie was born at 10 Trinity Street and attended both schools. She lived with her parents Martha and Ernest Lankester and her six siblings in the house next door but one to the corner shop. All the Lankester children attended Trinity Street schools. I used to visit my granddad at number ten in the 1940-50s and call into the corner shop with my mother to purchase his pipe ‘baccy’, which when smoked, gave off clouds of strong smoke, which granddad relished. The houses were tiny inside, it had three small bedrooms, a front parlor, seldom used, and a living room, crowded with a large circular table, a horsehair sofa, a gramophone with a large tin horn and a black leaded fireplace with a high mantelpiece complete with chenille fringe.” “The kitchen housed a large brick copper and a low stone sink with one cold tap. The toilet was outside with a brick alcove for coal and a large tin bath hanging on a nail. The back garden led onto a cinder track, which led to Myrtle Road. The back to back houses, which were between Trinity Street and the dock had already been knocked down. There was always a faint gassy smell in the air, coming from the large gas holders at the gas works on the dockside. My grandfather worked for the gas company, as did his father James Lankester before him. He had lived at number four Trinity Street and number nineteen. I have a copy of my great grandfather’s indentures when he started his apprenticeship as a gas engineer in 1853. This was for seven years. The starting wage was one shilling and six pence per week, ending after seven years at twelve shillings per week. He worked for the Gas Company for sixty-seven years and was presented with a silver tankard for being the longest serving employee. It’s good to see that the area around the docks has being regenerated, and is thriving again.”