4 Ever Young Men`s Group


4 Ever Young Men`s Group
4 Ever Young Men’s Group
Suffolk Artlink’s Pack Up and Tour
Stimulating creative activities
connecting the community
During August, September, October, and
November 2012, members from the 4 Ever
Young Men’s Group, Claydon participated in a
Suffolk Artlink photography and reminiscence
Photographer Albert Robb led the group
through a series of photography workshops
sharing camera skills. The group also worked
with reminiscence worker Julie Heathcote
exchanging memories and stories. The group
visited The Ipswich Transport Museum as part
of the project. The project culminated in a local
photography exhibition by the 4 Ever Young
Men’s Group.
Some of those memories and photographs
taken by the group members are recorded in
this booklet.
My Father worked for Cranes (Crane Limited)
during the war. The company started in
Chicago. My Father worked in the office, he
went to Cranes because it was ‘essential’
work. Crane Limited made parts for military
vehicles, machine guns and bombs.
A display of The Ipswich Transport Museum’s
archive of engineering companies
I was at Comp Air, it was called Reavells before, for
my apprenticeship from 1957-62. I used to make
parts, crank cases and cylinder blocks.
I went to the foundry of Hadleigh Castings in 1977.
They made the sumps, blocks and manifolds for
Lotus cars and parts for dentistry; the lower and
upper jaw for student dentists.
Comp Air used to make compressors. I took a party
of Chinese visitors round the town with an
interpreter and they gave me a Coca Cola to show
their appreciation!
There was so much work around here. I chose
farming, I was 15 and did it for a year. I knew
how to drive a tractor, I did it from 13 at
weekends. I used to use a horse and tumbler. I
lost the horse one day when I went for lunch. I
told him not to move but he didn’t take any
notice and he went through the hedge and
down the road! He was a Suffolk Punch.
At 16 I moved to be a lorry driver’s mate.
From then until I retired at 65 I drove lorries. I
passed my test at 17 and I never drove a car
until I was 21.
I drove an Atkinson’s lorry. When you were 21
you applied for an A Licence to drive anything.
That was a two stroke engine. If you went
down a steep hill and you couldn’t slow it down
the engine would blow up because it would
over heat. I drove for one company in Great
Blakenham for 40 years. I went there in 1966.
My first vehicle was brand new KRT 633D. I
had it for 13 years and we changed one engine
in it. It was a Bedford TK registered in 1966.
The Ipswich Transport Museum - Atkinson Lorry
I come from Canterbury, I remember seeing the
city centre on fire during the war and all the
windows breaking when a bomb dropped at the
end of our garden, we were all in the
cupboard under the stairs.
I came to Suffolk via RAF Wattisham, I met my
wife in Ipswich and have been here since (1962).
I worked at Henlys, then Readymix and then at
Cranfield Bros Flourmill in charge of
maintenance of the fleet of lorries and trailers.
I’ve worked on the one in the picture
(GPV323M), it delivered bagged flour all over
the country then it became a shunter on the
docks loading trailers for the next days
The Ipswich Transport Museum - GPV323M
I am from Islington in London and we were
bombed out in 1941. We were picked up by a
horse and cart and ended up near Tunbridge
Wells! I was in the Royal Navy for National
Service in 1951, I stayed in for 22 years. I was
at HMS Ganges in Shotley where I met my
second wife, we got married in 1968.
I used to have a Claude Butler racing bike; I
went to school on it, I must have done about
10,000 miles on it, we used to cycle all over
Yorkshire. Up until I was 12 I had an ordinary
bike. I bought the racing bike for £8 at T. Joy in
Brighouse, it was red and had 10 gears. I picked
it up after school and I set off.
When I lived up in Yorkshire I went on the very last
trolley bus in Bradford, the Thornbury to Clayton
trolley bus in about 1973.
I was a General Foreman at Ford
Motor Company in Dagenham. I
started in July 1953 on an assembly
line. They were building the Consul
Zephyr range. We started on
permanent day work, but it was so
popular we had to be put on a night
shift. Later I drove a fork lift truck, I
never did go back to assembly work.
The Americans bought the British
half of Fords out in the 1960’s and
invited anyone to apply for a training
course to be a foreman. My foreman
at the time almost forced me to fill
the form out and I ended up as
foreman on PP and C (Production
Planning and Control).
My earliest memory is the 1926
General strike when I was 3 years
old in Barking in Essex. I remember
black stamps, I think they were
issued by Brooke Bond tea but I’m
not sure.
These are rusty old tools, a bit like me! I did my
apprenticeship at Reavells, it was an iron foundry.
It was hot work and the money was poor about £2
2 shillings a week and a pint of beer was 1s 6d!
These tools were used for making grooves, cutting
runners and cleaning. After that I moved on to
Hadleigh Castings, I spent about 15 years in
This is a photo of me. I was called up for National
Service in 1951 and sent to Elgin to the Royal
Engineers. I didn’t want to be in the army, I wanted
to join the Royal Navy. I started as an ordinary
seaman and stayed in for 22 years finishing as a Chief
Penny Officer Weapons Instructor. This photograph
shows a RAS (Replenishment at Sea) when we were
taking oil onto the ship.
I was employed by Ford Motor Company for over 30
years. This model was made to commemorate my 30
years of service. I retired Christmas 1983. This
Christmas I will have been retired 29 years almost as
long as I worked there.
I joined Ipswich Borough Council Treasurers in
1944. I was called up and when I came back I
returned to Treasurers and started up the Tourist
Office. By the time I retired we sold £30,000 of
Ipswich souvenirs a year. I was a blue badge guide
which I did until I was 80.
I was conscripted at the end of the war into the
RAF. They said, where do you want to be posted?
I said anywhere in East
Anglia so they sent me
straight to India!
I made this booklet when
I was 11 and it is a note of
every time the siren went
in the war. There were 55
actual raids.
In 1958 I started work and went on the land, I got
£1 10s. Later on I then got a job with a haulage
company. My vehicle is the one in the middle. We
carried massive reels of paper which came in
from Sweden to Felixstowe.
I grew up in Yorkshire. Not far from where we lived
was the ITV tower. I used to go there on my bicycle.
One day all the TV’s went off, the guy ropes holding
it up were iced up and it came down destroying the
church next to the transmitting station. In the end
they built the Emley Moor tower. In 2000 as part of
the radio club I belong to I went on a tour of the
station and the tower. You could feel the top of the
tower moving even though it is made of solid
concrete. This is the certificate I got for climbing up
the tower.
I started off as a blacksmith, all my family were
blacksmiths. Things changed and I joined the
Air Force and learned to be a mechanic. I
travelled all over the place then worked at
My hobby was Koi Carp, I had a big 5,000
gallon pond at home. We used to take them
to shows and we put on shows too, we had
fun doing that.
I was a journalist for over 30 years. I spent 2
years working on Motorcycle News as a tester,
we tried all the motorcycles that came out. It
was not uncommon for us to go on a
motorcycle to a pub called the Samuel Pepys
for lunch and then back to the office in
My Parents were from London and were
bombed out. I was born in Ipswich during the
war. I remember going into an air raid shelter
in the in the front room. It was a steel box
with a steel bottom with legs and steel plating
over that. My brothers and Mum and I sat in
it; I was only about 5 years old at the time.
Suffolk Artlink would like to thank the
following for their many contributions to
this project:
The 4 Ever Young Men’s Group
Julie Heathcote
Gavin Hodge
Albert Robb
Colin Shackleton
Peter Thorn
Age UK
The Ipswich Transport Museum
Suffolk Artlink works to improve the
quality of life for people of all abilities
through participation in creative activities.
The 4 Ever Young Men’s Group, based at
Claydon, came about through a
partnership between the Anglican Church
and Age UK Suffolk. The club look after
members’ health and wellbeing, arrange
shared activities including talks and
Culture Club is a Suffolk Artlink project .
For further information please contact
Bridie Coombes on 01986 873955
[email protected]
Suffolk Artlink gratefully acknowledges the support of
Suffolk County Council.