Days Gone By: The changing face of Cliff Lane

Cliff Lane, Ipswich, was just a track leading from Nacton Road to Holywells Road with Holywells Park on one side and farmland on the other,









A class of pupils at Cliff Lane School with their teacher who was retiring in July 1971

The Rivers Estate, Ipswich, from the air in March 1994, with Medway Road in the foreground, Trent Road and Derwent Road are in the centre, with Cliff Lane School in the top left corner. Holywells park is top right. In the 1930s housing was built in the lane and on the farmland. The area became the Rivers Estate with the streets named after British rivers. A shop, a public house, the Margaret Catchpole, and a school, were built in Cliff Lane to serve the new development.

For over quarter of a century the area now known as Landseer Park, Ipswich, was the towns rubbish dump. Millions of tons filled a pretty valley of trees and ponds with work starting on the site in the late 1940s. There was little recycling with every sort of rubbish dumped there. The site was filled, ending at the Clapgate Lane end, in the early 1970s. Residents of the Rivers and Gainsborough and Greenwich estates bordering the site suffered decades of noise and smells. School children were able to search the site for treasure in a time when regulations were relaxed. This photograph was taken in August 1964 as a dust cart unloaded watched by schoolboys. The trees on the right shielded the site from houses in Oulton Road and Dereham Avenue


The close proximity to the dock saw the estate hit by bombs during Second World War air raids. On July 3, 1940, a line of bombs landed in Holywells Park, Cliff Lane, Severn Road and Wye Road and then on to Clapgate Lane and Avondale Road. One woman was killed. More bombs fell on November 10, 1940, hitting Severn Road. June 2, 1942, saw incendiary bombs fall on the estate and on August 11, 1942, bombs landed in Derwent Road, Wroxham Road and Mersey Road.

Who were this trio enjoying their milk at Cliff Lane School in October 1982? In 1906 it was recognised that poor nutrition and low income were linked to underachievement at school and milk was provided to help. In 1971, when Margaret Thatcher was Education Secretary, the government was facing a bleak economic future and large cuts were planned, including removing free school milk for the over sevens. It earned Mrs Thatcher the nickname Thatcher the Milk Snatcher. In 1968 the Labour Government had already scrapped free milk for secondary schools. Further cuts in 1995 saw many schools stop issuing free milk. Were you a school Milk Monitor who had the daily task of collecting the milk crates from outside the school and delivering the bottles to your fellow pupils? Who were the Cliff Lane, Ipswich, school pupils who were saying goodbye to their teacher in August 1982? School reporters phoning their stories over to the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star newspapers from Cliff Lane School in October 1982. Were you a Young Reporter?


Repoted by: David Kindred