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Memories of Haverhill - Malcom Thomas

(Email Dated 11/06/2000)
Follow the links below for more about : Cangle School Haverhill Secondary
My family moved to Haverhill in the autumn of 1964 from West London as part of the overspill program, I was 6. We first moved to 12 Fallowfield Court on the then brand new Clements Estate. This was paradise compared to what we were used to in London. London was great but the house was old, you know, the old 3 story late Victorian terrace - with the outside loo !.

I attended Cangle School between late 1964 and mid 1969. Did you know that Cangle used to be the biggest primary school in England at one stage - the school even flew a special flag to commemorate 1000 students. I think this would have been around 1966 or 1967.

The Clements Estate was fresh and most parts were still being built, the top end near the industrial estate was still a sand pit, I remember rushing home from school to go watch the earth movers running around getting the place into shape. The houses were all the same colour. size, shape; every body had their own little garden and garage for the car (well motor bike and side car in our case). There were no shops on the estate at that time, we still had to run down to the little shop in Camps Road for milk and bread, the rest of the weekly shopping came from Fine Fair in the High Street. There was some 'friendly' rivalry between Clements and the more established Parkway - it was always felt that Clements was where most of the overspill went to while Parkway was the 'posh' area !

The Chalkstone Estate was started around this time - this place seemed to attempt to make up for what was missing on the Clements - public open space with trees !

Anyway, we lived on the Clements for about 3 years and then we moved to what seemed to me at the time a place many years ahead of it's time, the Calder Estate on Cambridge way, number 48 to be exact. Prefabricated houses delivered on the back of trucks and put together like a giant Lego set. The houses were nothing like we had seen before. Although the houses on the Clements had subtle differences, these ones were identical. Going to a friends house was like entering your own home - you knew immediately where everything was.

One bonus for me was that I could watch the steam trains going past on the other side of the A604 - the houses on the other side of Cambridge Way weren't there yet. That didn't last for long as they closed the line shortly after.

In 1969 I moved to the Haverhill Secondary Modern after I failed to score enough in my eleven-plus exam. The 'smarter' kids went to Sudbury Grammar. This was a sad time for a lot of kids as they were basically split from their friends they had made at Cangle and the other primary schools. We still had the weekends though.

After spending almost 3 years at the secondary school my family emigrated to Perth - there was a big push for workers in Australia at the time so mum and dad jumped in. I think it was more for the adventure than anything else - I mean it only cost us 10 quid - the government paid the rest.

So I've been here ever since and not yet gone back for a holiday. I want to but have never got around to it. I have been working in the IT industry since I left school here, over 20 years.

Malcom Thomas
Willetton, Western Australia

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