Saturday, December 02, 2017

West Suffolk

It is an early spring's day in the mid 1950s and we are on our way for lunch at the Red Lion in Needham Market, little more than 15 minutes' drive from our base in Ringshall, though in those days of intermittent transport, it might as well have been on the other side of the world. We are travelling in Dickie's car and the passengers include, Mose,Alice, Johnny and I suppose the scribe himself. I remember next to nothing of the Red Lion itself, though I do recall delicious runner beans were on the menu.
For most of the decade, getting to Stowmarket or Ipswich involved taking the private Cooper's or Taylor's coach company, or else catching the red national double decker to Ipswich via Claydon and Bramford.
It all seems and is a long time ago and if you want to get an idea of life in this beautiful but unforgiving Suffolk clay, you can get a very good idea from some of the early short stories by Penelope Lively or novels by Patricia Highsmith.
I always thought there was something very Dutch about the villages but cab find very little trace of that nowadays

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:37 pm

    Such memories! Do you recall lying in the road at the top of our drive with ears pressed to the ground listening out for Coopers bus? I have no memory of the Eastern National bus into Ipswich. Where did we pick that up, by the school perhaps?

    Have you ever read Barbara Vine's (Ruth Rendell's) book 'A Fatal Inversion'? This to me brings back Ringshall and that part of Suffolk in sharp relief.

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