I had a phone call yesterday from Peter List (age 91) who remembers the workers from the Red Ore Pits (qv). They used to walk past him when he was working on Oak Farm, along Gipping Road, past the black barn and down a cinder dirt path to Creeting Road. The man in the middle of the picture is Honey Sheldrake and the one on the left is Jimmy Southgate. This was in the mid 1940’s and the pit was rubbish from the old Suffolk Iron Factory (now Atco). The ore was loaded into trucks and taken away to make bomb trolleys. The factory also made lawn mowers (I think) and was owned by Frank Tibbenham who lived in the road near the Regal (he thinks Temple Road).
He told me that Oak Farm was known as a two horse farm because they pulled their plough with two horses. Peter’s grandfather was the farm bailiff and lived at Corner Farm but also looked after Park Farm and Mill Street Farm.
He also told me about the tin ponds – there were seven of them and they were known as the seven sisters, two on the Green, two in Mill Street, one in Gipping Road and two in Saxham Street. They were drinking pools and became obsolete with the onset of mains water.
Another little snippet was that a V1 bomb came down in Gipping Wood (not the village Green that lots of people think) and that two people were treated for shock after the event.
Peter was caretaker of the village hall and ran the table tennis club for forty years 1959-2000. There were 5 tables. They charged Juniors 3d a night and Seniors 6d a night. Peter ran the Stowmarket Championship, there were 4 divisions, 39 teams, 4 in a team.
When Peter was a boy he used to graze Oak Farm cows on the Green and earned 6d a night. (from Kay Easter, ed Telstar, 2021)