HARRY WILLIAM RAFFE

 

 

Mayor 1907 – 1908.

 

Member of the Liberal Party.

A Nonconformist – Protestant Dissenter.

Harry was elected to the Council on the 28th February 1889, as one of the representatives of the Bridge Ward.

 

Born: 10th August 1851, Stowupland, Suffolk.

Baptised: 27th May 1855.

 

Only child of:

Father: Harry Raffe, born 1823, Stowmarket, Suffolk. Harry was a Warehouseman. For many years, Harry was an earnest Brother of the Ancient Order of Foresters – “Prince of Wales,” Court 3,100, Stowmarket. He served as their Secretary of Court for thirty years, before in September 1888 he had to resign his office from inability to discharge the duties with satisfaction to himself due to his age. Harry Raffe died 19th October 1891, at his residence Prospect Place, Hadleigh Road, Combs. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery, Section Q.

 

Mother: Ann Raffe (nee Jacob), born 1821, Stowmarket. After the death of her husband, Ann moved to Ipswich and lived with her widowed son Harry and his family. Ann Raffe died 28th December 1912, Ipswich. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery, Section Q.

 

CENSUS

 

1861   Combs, Suffolk.

 

Harry was 9 years old and living with his parents.

Harry, 37, a Warehouseman.

Ann, 40.

1 lodger.

 

1871   Dillwyn Street, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich.

 

Harry was 19 years old, a Commercial Traveller. He was lodging with his paternal uncle & aunt + cousins.

John Raffe, 45, a Grocer’s Assistant, born Stowmarket.

Ann Raffe (nee Fowle), 34, born Hindringham, Norfolk.

John William Raffe, 6, born Ipswich.

Edward James Raffe, 3, born Ipswich.

Arthur Charles Raffe, 2 months, born Ipswich.

 

1881   2, Rock Villas, Anglesea Road, Ipswich.

 

Harry was 29 years old, a Wholesale Grocer – employing 10 men & 2 boys. He was married and head of the household.

Victoria, 27.

Edith, 5.

William, 3.

Annie, 11 months.

1 general domestic servant.

1 nursemaid.

 

1891   Wolsey Terrace, Walton, Suffolk.

 

Harry was 39 years old, a Wholesale Grocer & Provision Merchant – employer. He was widowed, and head of the household.

Jessie, 16.

William, 13.

Florence, 8.

Nellie, 6.

Harry, 5.

Visitors to the Raffe family:

Sophie Annie Abbott (nee Watson), 39, born Hertford, Hertfordshire – wife of Henry Abbott, a Grocer & Draper – employer.

Evelyn Sophia Abbott, 16, born Debenham, Suffolk.

Olive Frances Abbott, 13, born Debenham.

Mabel Beatrice Abbott, 11, born Debenham.

Henry Duncan Abbott, 10, born Debenham.

Dorothy Emma Abbott, 3, born Debenham.

Ebenezer William Beveridge, 16, a Bank Clerk, born Combs, Suffolk.

1 cook.

2 housemaids.

1 groom.

 

www.joshgarrod.com/henryabbotthouseware/About%20Us.html

 

1901   ‘Varese’ Belstead Raod, Ipswich.

 

Harry was 49 years old, a Provision Merchant – employer. He was widowed and head of the household, his widowed mother was living with his family.

Jessie, 26.

Edith, 25.

William, 23, a Manager – Provision Merchant.

Annie, 20.

Florence, 18.

Nellie, 16.

Ann Raffe, 80.

1 cook.

 

1911   ‘Varese’ Belstead Raod, Ipswich.

 

Harry was 59 years old, a Provision Merchant – employer. He was widowed and head of the household, his widowed mother was living with his family.

Ann Raffe, 90.

Florence Catchpole (nee Raffe), 28.

son-in-law – Edwin Scott Catchpole, 27, a Farmer, born Ipswich.

grandson – Gerald Scott Catchpole, 9 months, born Bramford, Suffolk.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.

1 nursemaid.

 

On the 20th January 1874, at Ipswich, Harry married Victoria Hannah Maria Acfield, born 1853, Ipswich – only daughter of Joshua and Hannah Acfield, of 17, Orford Street, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich.

Father: Joshua Acfield, born 1802, Coddenham, Suffolk. Joshua was first married to Ann Maria Emsden (nee Elliot) in June 1830, at Offton, Suffolk. He was a grocer and a draper at Offton. Ann Maria Acfield died in April 1847, aged 73. On his marriage to Hannah Steward, Joshua moved to Ipswich to set up his grocer, draper and tea and coffee dealer business in Orford Street. Joshua Acfield died 17th June 1885, at his residence 17, Orford Street, Ipswich. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery, Section Q.

Mother: Hannah Acfield (nee Steward), born 1817, Aldham, Suffolk, baptised 26th January 1817, Aldham. Hannah Acfield died 1886, Ipswich. Laid to rest in the grave with her husband at Ipswich Old Cemetery, Section Q.

 

Victoria and Harry had nine children:

Jessie Raffe, born 23rd October 1874, Ipswich. On Thursday, 29th June 1905, at St. Nicholas Congregational Church, Ipswich, Jessie, of ‘Varese’ Belstead Raod, Ipswich married John Meadows Smith, of Oakfield, Esher, Surrey, born 5th November 1869, Chelsea, baptised 6th March 1870, at the Marlborough Square Methodist Church, Chelsea. In his professional life, John was an electrical engineer and a consultant engineer – his own account. He was also an associate member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers. He had been responsible for the lighting of the Post Office Railway Tunnel at Mount Pleasant, Longford Castle in 1907. John was also connected with a number of famous men on the chemical side being concerned with the development of varnishes and gums. Jessie and John had two children and made their family home at Wimbledon Park. The family were members of the Easthill Congregational Church, Wandsworth. On the 1939 Register Jessie and John were living with their married daughter Betty Meadows Horton (nee Smith), at her family home – 7, Meadow Close, Esher, Surrey. Jessie and John moved to Debenham, Suffolk in 1943 and became members of the Tacket Street Congregational Church, Ipswich. John Smith died January 1957, Village End, Debenham. Jessie Smith died at 7, Burlington Road, Ipswich, 17th May 1960, of The Old Rectory, Aspall, Suffolk. Diss Express – Friday, 25th January 1957.

 

Edith Mary Raffe, born 2nd December 1875, Ipswich. On the 1939 Register Edith was living with her sisters Annie and Nellie at their family home – 272, Norwich Road, Ipswich. Edith Raffe died 19th February 1953, at her residence 272, Norwich Road, Ipswich.

 

William Joshua Raffe, born 24th September 1877, Ipswich. On Wednesday, 26th June 1907, at the Congregational Church, Ipswich Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk, William, of ‘Varese’ Belstead Road, Ipswich married Annie Margaret Neish Simon, born 16th September 1864, Shelford, Manchester – eldest daughter of the Reverend Thomas Simon, Congregational Minister, and Jessie Simpson Simon (nee Paterson), of The Manse, Ipswich Road, Stowmarket. Annie and William had three sons and made their family home in Ipswich. William was a manager and later a director – grocer and provision merchant. On the 1939 Register, William and Annie are living with two of their sons at their family home – 32a, Park Road, Ipswich. William Raffe died 13th December 1961, at the Ipswich Nursing Home, 57, Fonnereau Road, Ipswich, of Upper Grove, Belstead Road, Ipswich. Annie Raffe died 14th November, of Eversley Cottage, Wymering Road, Southwold, Suffolk.

 

Annie Victoria Raffe, born 14th April 1880, Ipswich. On the 1939 Register Annie was a secretary to a provision merchant. She was living with her sisters Edith and Nellie at their family home – 272, Norwich Road, Ipswich. Annie Raffe died 26th December 1950, at her residence 272, Norwich Road, Ipswich.

Florence Raffe, born 1883, Ipswich. On Thursday, 25th June 1909, at Tacket Street Congregational Church, Florence, of ‘Varese’ Belstead Road, Ipswich married Edwin Scott Catchpole, born 1883, Ipswich – the third son of William John Catchpole (Mayor of Ipswich 1902 – 1903), of Russell House, Russell Road, Ipswich. The serving Mayor Mr. Francis Charles Ward and Mayoress Mary Ann Ward (nee Catchpole) and the Town Clerk and his wife Mr. William Bantoft and Mrs. Ellen Jane Bantoft (nee Bond) were all guests at the wedding. Florence and Edwin had two children. Edwin was a farmer at Darsham, Suffolk. Florence Catchpole died 7th June 1922, Darsham. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery, Section Q. Edwin Catchpole died 31st October 1936, at Felixstowe Cottage Hospital, Constable Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk, of ‘Bradfield’ Garrison Lane, Felixstowe. Laid to rest with Florence at Ipswich Old Cemetery, Section Q.

 

Nellie Raffe, born 29th April 1884, Ipswich. On the 1939 Register Nellie was a clerk to a provision merchant. She was living with her sisters Edith and Annie at their family home – 272, Norwich Road, Ipswich. Nellie Raffe died 5th October 1964, of Chevington Lodge, Flixton Road, Bungay, Suffolk.

 

Harry Acfield Raffe, born 1885, Ipswich. At the beginning of the First World War Harry was ranked a Constable for the East Africa Police. He later served in the Royal Field Artillery, was ranked a Captain, and saw service in France. In 1919, at Ipswich, Harry married Kathleen Squirrell, born 22nd July 1892, Ipswich – daughter of Robert Battle Squirrell, a commercial traveller – flour and Sarah Elizabeth Squirrell (nee Coe), of ‘The Limes,’ 306, Norwich Road, Ipswich. Kathleen and Harry had two sons. From his early 20’s Harry began to travel to Canada as a merchant on behalf of his father’s provisions and grocery business. Harry then became a farmer in South Africa. As a farmer after the war, he was contracted by the Canadian Pacific Railway, Colonization Dept., Calgary, Alberta and spent a great deal of time away from his family. Kathleen never travelled with Harry and lived with her parents at their home in Norwich Road, Ipswich. Kathleen Raffe died 18th May 1958, Ipswich. Harry Raffe died 21st June 1963, at the Herts and Essex General Hospital, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire.

 

Albert Raffe, born April 1887, Ipswich. Albert Raffe died 10th September 1887, at Fernleigh, Westerfield Road, Ipswich.

 

Margaret Raffe, born 27th January 1890, Ipswich. Margaret Raffe died 25th May 1890, Ipswich.

Albert and Margaret are laid to rest together at Q Section, Ipswich Old Cemetery.

 

Victoria Hannah Maria Raffe died on the 5th February 1890, Ipswich. She was laid to rest at Section Q, Ipswich Old Cemetery.

 

Probate to Harry William Raffe – widower, a wholesale grocer.

 

Harry William Raffe died on the 13th May 1938, of 9, Constitution Hill, Ipswich. William Joshua Raffe, of 32a, Park Road, Ipswich was the informant of his father’s death.

Harry was laid to rest with Victoria, at Section Q, Ipswich Old Cemetery.

 

Probate to William Joshua Raffe – son, a wholesale provision merchant, and Edith Mary Raffe & Victoria Raffe – daughters.

 

‘VARESE’ BURGLED

During the early hours of Sunday, 31st July 1898, Harry was staying with his family at Wortham Hall, Suffolk and had taken precautions to have his house placed under police surveillance. Police constable Parker visited the Raffe’s house between midnight and one o’clock on Sunday morning, and all was well. Two hours later he found that a forcible entry had been made through a basement window. Police constable Parker kept watch till he was joined by another officer, and together they inspected the house. A real state of disorder was found, drawers had been forced and ransacked. News of the burglary was sent to Harry who immediately returned home. It was found that a lady’s gold ring and several coins had been stolen. Thankfully, prior to his departure from home, Harry had removed all other valuables to a place of safety.

No clue was found as to the perpetrators of the burglary. Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 6th August 1898

 

THE BRIDGE WARD ELECTION

On Wednesday, 13th February 1889. Mr. Alfred Piper, a letterpress printer died at his residence at Stoke Hills, Belstead Road, Ipswich. In 1871, Alfred Piper, an ardent Liberal, was elected a member of the Ipswich Town Council for the Bridge Ward, which Ward he uninterruptedly represented until his death.

NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES

The time for the nomination of candidates for the vacancy on the Ipswich Town Council as one of the representatives of the Bridge Ward expired at five o’clock on Wednesday, 20th February 1889. Captain Henry Edmund Lacon, for the Conservatives, was nominated by Mr. Peter Schuyler Bruff and Mr. George Francis Josselyn; also, by Mr. Sterling Westhorp and Mr. Benjamin Page Grimsey. Mr. Harry William Raffe, for the Liberals, was nominated by the Reverend Canon George Bulstrode and Mr. Robert  James Ransome; also, by Mr. John May and Mr. William Orford White. Evening Star – Thursday, 21st February 1889

WORKING MEN’S MEETING

On Tuesday, 26th February 1889, at a crowded School room attached to the Stoke Chapel, Ipswich, Mr. Stripling Hearsum, a carpenter of Bath Street, Ipswich, moved the resolution: “That we the working men of the Bridge Ward consider that Mr. Harry William Raffe is a most fit and proper person to socially and politically represent us on the Town Council, and this meeting pledges itself to use every legitimate means to secure his return at the head of the poll on Thursday next.” Mr. Josiah Edwin Woodhouse, a bootmaker, of 37, Wherstead Road, seconded the motion and in his speech told the gathered working men that Harry Raffe had lived in the Ward for 23 years, and had risen from the position of apprentice to that of sole controller of his business, a fact which in itself spoke volumes for his business capacity. The resolution was carried with enthusiasm, no hands being held up against it.

Harry Raffe was warmly received and after acknowledging the resolution he told the working men that he was not ashamed of his politics, he was a working man and was not ashamed of that. But he would not go to the Council to represent the working men alone, if elected it would be his aim to represent as far as possible every section of the community. He would only make one promise – that if they returned him, he would do his duty in seeing the ratepayers’ money properly spent, for he felt that though, of course, money had to be spent for public improvements, the members of the Council could not be too careful in seeing the rates were well and wisely spent. Evening Star – Wednesday, 27th February 1889

RESULTS

On Thursday, 28th February 1889, the poll was declared between nine and ten o’clock, with the results:

Raffe – 935

Lacon – 334.

The majority – 101.

 

On the 1st November 1889, Harry Raffe’s period of office expired. But without opposition, he was re-elected to the Council, as one of the representatives of the Bridge Ward.

 

On the 1st November 1892, Harry Raffe’s period of office expired. The polling closed at eight o’clock, and the boxes were then removed to the Town Hall, where the counting took place. The results of the Bridge Ward were declared:

John Richard Staddon – Liberal – 1025

Harry William Raffe – Liberal – 1007

George William Horsfield – Conservative – 707.

 

OBLIGED TO RETIRE

On the 1st November 1895, Harry Raffe’s period of office expired, but Harry was unwell and had been for some time past, so in consequence of the unsatisfactory state of his health he reluctantly was compelled not to seek re-election. Harry most strongly believed that no one ought to undertake duties he felt unable to carry out and on the 25th October 1895, he announced to the electors of the Bridge Ward that with regret he was obliged to retire owing to ill health. He thanked the electors for all their kindness and confidence shown to him. E.A.D.T. – Saturday, 26th October 1895

Mr. James Henry Roofe, a grocer of Stoke became the Liberal candidate for the 1895 Ipswich Municipal Elections, but without success. James Roofe and his family soon left Ipswich to make their home in Manningtree, Essex.

 

In September 1898, Harry was induced to come forward again as the second Liberal candidate and on Friday, 15th October 1898, Harry announced in the local newspaper that he would once again offer himself as a candidate for the seat he was sorry he had to vacate in 1895, being unable to give his full attention which the ratepayers had a right to expect. If Harry should be given the honour of being elected, he would give the same attention and independent support that he offered in the past. In respecting his friend and colleague, Dr. John Staddon, Harry earnestly asked the elector to return him at the top of the poll. Evening Star – Saturday, 15th October 1898

1898 BRIDGE WARD RESULTS

The votes were counted at the Town Hall, and the results for the Bridge Ward were declared:

John Richard Staddon – Liberal – 1,089

Harry William Raffe – Liberal – 1, 083

Bunnell Henry Burton – Conservative – 981.

 

In November 1901, the Liberal candidates, Harry Raffe and John Staddon had once again no opposition from the Conservatives and were both re-elected to the Town Council.

 

On Monday, 17th October 1904, at a large and enthusiastic meeting of the Bridge Ward Council of the Ipswich Liberal Association, Messrs. Harry Raffe and John Staddon, the retiring Councillors, were both selected once again for the Bridge Ward in the Ipswich Municipal Elections on the 1st November 1904.

 

On the 1st November 1904, the Liberal candidates, Harry Raffe and John Staddon had once again no opposition from the Conservatives and were both re-elected to the Town Council.

 

On Tuesday, 8th October 1907, Mr. Rowley Elliston presided over a meeting of the Bridge Ward Liberal Council, at St. Nicholas Chapel Schoolroom. It was unanimously resolved that Harry Raffe and John Staddon should be the Liberal candidates for the Bridge Ward at the municipal elections in November.

 

DURING HIS MAYORALTY

On Saturday, 9th November 1907, instead of the customary November gloom there was brilliant sunshine during the midday hours, as eight newly elected members of the Town Council arrived at the Council Chamber of the Town Hall to witness the ceremony to elect a new Mayor for Ipswich. The retiring Mayor William Orford White presided at the meeting and said that the first business was to elect a Mayor for the ensuing year. He was glad to receive nominations.

Alderman William John Catchpole rose to say that he had the very pleasant duty devolved upon him of nominating a gentleman who is a well-known Ipswich man, and Alderman Catchpole added that he had been asked to fill the civic chair before, but his powers of resistance whether active or passive are so great that he has not hitherto yielded to the desire of his friends. But this time he was happy to say, that we have overcome his scruples and he will accept our decision in unanimously voting him into the chair for the coming year. Alderman Catchpole then announced to the meeting that he had great pleasure in proposing that Mr. Harry William Raffe should be Mayor of Ipswich for the coming year. Mr. Peter Wyndham Cobbold seconded the motion and added that Harry Raffe has that “suaviter in modo” which is so necessary to make the municipal wheels go round smoothly. If this Council requires keeping in order, Mr. Raffe will keep it in order….and that is a very good point in a Mayor!

The motion was carried by acclamation, amidst loud applause.

The retiring Mayor left the chair; and Harry William Raffe was then waited upon by the Town Sergeants, in uniform and was invested with the robes and chain of office and took the place of honour at the Council amidst renewed cheering.

The Mayor-Elect Harry Raffe thanked his proposer and seconder for their kind words, he remarked humorously that they must both have been suffering from the complaint that affected the great East Anglian hero, Lord Nelson; that was to say, they had had a blind eye to all of his failings and must have applied a glass of extraordinary power to the other eye to have found out as many good points. Harry affectionately spoke of the late Mr. David Burley, to whom he owed so much, both as regards his business training and also the grand example he set him in every way. He told those gathered at the meeting that in 1871, through a printer’s error or otherwise, Mr. David Burley lost his seat on the Council, which was taken by the late Mr. Alfred Piper. In 1889, on the death of Alfred Piper, he was returned at a bye-election in February. Harry was honoured and proud to tell the gentlemen, “…. that all the time I have been on the Council, I have occupied the seat held by my old master and afterwards my partner.”

 

Harry’s daughter became the Mayoress of Ipswich.

 

THE UNEMPLOYED QUESTION

Harry Raffe continued in his speech to acknowledge what they had all heard, that he had previously been asked to take the honourable position of Mayor of this Borough and had always declined the offer. But this time he explained when he was asked, he still replied “No” …. then the question of the unemployed came up, and that was the only thing which induced him to accept the office. Something must be done, and Harry told the meeting that he was willing to devote all the time he could in trying to find work for these men.

Alderman Sir Daniel Ford Goddard attended the Council meeting at the Town Hall and was showered congratulations from all parties upon the honour of a knighthood conferred upon him by His Majesty the King. E.A.D.T. – Monday, 11th November 1907

MAYOR UNFORTUNATELY NOT AT HOME

On Saturday evening, 9th November 1907, the 5th Ipswich Company of the Boys’ Brigade, headed by their bugle band, marched to the residence of the new Mayor, Harry Raffe. They lined up in front of his house, and the officer commanding Captain P E Read sent in an illuminated address of congratulations and to express their gratitude for the great kindness Mr. Raffe and his family had shown to the 5th Company. The address which had been signed by the honorary captain Mr. Frederick Edward Rands, bore a silver anchor, and the Boys’ Brigade crest. Unfortunately, the Mayor was not expecting the 5th Company and was not at home. The general salute was played, and the 5th Company marched back to their headquarters. Evening Star – Tuesday, 12th November 1907 

FUNERAL OF MR. SAMUEL WESTLAKE SWEET

On Saturday, 23rd November 1907, the Mayor of Ipswich, attended the funeral of Mr. Samuel Westlake Sweet, a market gardener, of Felixstowe Road Nurseries, Ipswich, who had died on the 20th November, aged 66. The first portion of the service was held at St. John’s Congregational Church at which Samuel had been Deacon for many years. Samuel had also been a trustee and a valued member for over 30 years’ of the “Pride of Ipswich” Lodge, and to show their respective officers and members of the “Pride of Ipswich” Lodge, the “Conqueror” and “Orwell Lodges,” and representatives from Woodbridge, Stowmarket, and Hadleigh, in regalia, formed a procession to the Cemetery for the interment. Evening Star – Monday, 25th November 1907

 

PRESENTATION BY THE MAYOR OF IPSWICH

On Thursday, 28th November 1907, at the Coach and Horses Hotel, Ipswich the Stoke Rovers’ Cycling Club and the Burton’s Athletic Club amalgamated on the occasion of a smoking concert and prize distribution. Both Presidents of the respective clubs, Canon Reginald Tompson and Mr. Bunnell Henry Burton were unable to attend, the former through illness and the latter through being detained in London. The Mayor of Ipswich presided during the early portion of the evening and was later relieved by Mr. Frank Edwin Leighton, Burton’s vice-president. Harry first presented a handsome revolving bookcase to Charles William Croydon in commemoration of his recent marriage to Miss Edith Olive Smyth. Charles Croydon was a gentleman who for many years had rendered considerable services to athletics in Ipswich, including as a timekeeper and a handicapper. On the motion of Mr. William Arthur Blofield, hon. secretary of the Stoke Rovers, the Mayor was heartily thanked for making the presentation. Evening Star – Friday, 29th November 1907

POOR CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS DINNER AT IPSWICH

As Christmas 1907 approached, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe appealed to the good people of Ipswich to not forget the hungry little ones in our town who have little to anticipate this festive season, and yet they long for fun as much, if not more, than those who are better off. Along with John Henry Grimwade, Frederick Edward Rands, and Arthur Joseph Ridley the Mayor made an appeal for a Christmas dinner for the poorest children in Ipswich. The Corporation had kindly granted the free use of the Public Hall and Corn Exchange; so, they shall be able to feed 1,500 children on Christmas Day. Hush all political strife and send a good donation – for the children’s sake! Evening Star – Thursday, 5th December 1907

CHRISTMAS SHOW AT IPSWICH – THE LUNCHEON

In the comfortable headquarters messroom of the 1st V.B.S.R., the judges, officials and all involved in the administrative work of the Christmas Show were entertained to a luncheon. The Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe occupied the chair, in the absence of the President of the Suffolk Fat Cattle Club, Mr. Kenneth M. Clark, who after inspecting the exhibition had to leave early….but not before leaving a generous supply of champagne from the Sudbourne cellars, which had been placed upon the tables. After the meal, which had been prepared by Mrs. Last, of the Unicorn, the Mayor rose to announce there should only be one toast – that of His Majesty the King, the most popular man, not only in this country but throughout the Empire. The toast having been honoured Mr. Edward Packard rose in what he described as a very difficult situation on how to drink to the health of the Mayor as there was to be no more toasts! He could only say to those gathered that the members of the Suffolk Fat Cattle Club were grateful to the Mayor for having occupied the chair on this occasion….and as they could not ‘drink’ his health, Edward Packard asked them to give the Mayor three hearty cheers! Three cheers were accorded, which made Harry Raffe laugh and replied to say that he had always known Mr. Packard to get out of difficulties before, generally to his own advantage. He went on to thank them all very much for the way they had responded to Mr. Packard’s call. Evening Star – Tuesday, 3rd December 1907

BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY

On Saturday, 7th December 1907, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe occupied the chair at the British and Foreign Bible Society’s annual juvenile meeting held at the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, Ipswich. The Mayor opened the proceedings with a speech, enforcing the lesson “The Missionary Society sends out the man, and the Bible Society sends out the Book.” As promised the boys and girls had a lantern show with a series of effective pictures to accompany the lecture given by the District Secretary, the Reverend Humphrey Thomes Herbert Wightwick, who told the story of “The making of a Bible.” He told how the Society now printed Bibles in 146 different languages – no fewer than 52 of these versions were printed at the Beccles printing works. The children also heard the devoted skill and patience needed to translate the Bible into different languages. Afterwards, Miss Prentice, the hon. secretary of the local juvenile branch announced the various sums found in the collection boxes, which ranged from a modest halfpenny upwards and altogether made a total of £6 18s. 4 1/2d. At the conclusion of the meeting the Reverend Edward James Gilchrist and seconded by the Reverend Dr. Whelan thanked the Mayor. The Mayor in response then told the boys and girls that by a similar effort made last year they had provided money sufficient for sending out 1,660 copies of the New Testament. As everyone left the Council Chamber a good number of collecting boxes were taken up. Evening Star – Monday, 9th December 1907

OFFICIAL VISIT TO TACKET STREET CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

On Sunday, 8th December 1907, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe paid an official visit to Tacket Street Congregational Church. The Mayor was accompanied by the Deputy Mayor William Orford White and nineteen Aldermen and Councillors, borough officials, and Mace Bearers. The sermon was preached by the Reverend Thomas John Hosken and to the Mayor he offered words of congratulations and assured him that in every attempt to make the life of the borough pure and sweet, he would have behind him a great body of Christian men and women. Evening Star – Monday, 9th December 1907

 

SALE OF WORK

The Ipswich Companies of the Boys’ Brigade – a Sale of Work, was held in the Old Museum Rooms, on Wednesday, 11th December 1907. Sir W. Brampton Gurdon, K.C.M.G., C.B., Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, performed the opening ceremony, supported by the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe. Admission 1s.; after 4:30, 6d. and 3d. E.A.D.T. – Saturday, 7th December 1907

 

STOKE GREEN CHAPEL BAZAAR

On Wednesday, 11th December 1907, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe opened a bazaar in the Schoolroom, of Stoke Green Chapel, Ipswich, in doing so he wished them every success. The Reverend R E Willis proposed a vote of thanks to the Mayor for his kindness in undertaking the opening ceremony. The Reverend congratulated Harry Raffe upon the honour which had been conferred upon him as Mayor of the Borough of Ipswich. There were many attractions for the visitors, including vocal and instrumental music. The Evening Star And Daily Herald – Thursday, 12th December 1907.

 

IPSWICH SCHOOL CHRISTMAS CONCERT

On Friday evening, 20th December 1907, Ipswich School held their Christmas Concert for the entertainment of the parents and friends of the schoolboys. It was a great success with no less than 500 persons present in all, including the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe, and many other public men. Before the concert the company were entertained with tea and coffee, instead of at the interval, to enable the programme, which was a lengthy one, to proceed almost continuously. At the conclusion of the entertainment “Auld Lang Syne” was sung with great heartiness, and the National Anthem was rendered with equal fervour. Evening Star – Saturday, 21st December 1907

TRUE TO HIS WORD

True to his word of finding work for those who had been thrown out of employment for no fault of their own, but on account of the closing of Messrs. Johnson, Clarke and Parker’s Works, at Ipswich. Harry Raffe had had extracts of his quest published in newspapers all over the country and in Ireland and he was pleased to say that he had received numerous letters of offers to try and help.

He had offers for permanent work for one good fitter and machinist, and also for good all-round shoemakers and repairers, suited for country trade. Through the kindness of the local Ipswich newspapers, Harry asked if there are any men who were qualified to fill these posts to please communicate with the Town Clerk at the Town Hall. Evening Star – Tuesday, 7th January 1908

HONEST PRIDE

Two most successful and enjoyable “At Home” meetings were held at St. Nicholas Congregational Church on New Year’s Eve. The large classroom had been furnished with seasonal holly. The programme included the Orchestral Band, vocal solos, violin solos and duets, a pianoforte duet and a clarionette solo. In the midst of the proceedings the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe unexpectedly arrived which caused hearty applause. Mr. Thomas Southgate, who had been connected with St. Nicholas Congregational Church and Sunday School for nearly sixty years, took the opportunity of congratulating Harry on occupying the Mayoral chair and spoke with honest pride of the days when the Mayor was a Sunday School scholar in his class. With deep sincere feeling, Harry Raffe responded and urged all present to be of service in the world and to begin early. Evening Star – Thursday, 2nd January 1908

A UNITED WATCHNIGHT SERVICE

It had been suggested by Harry Raffe’s friend and neighbour Mr. W. Seager, that there should be a Watchnight service representing all denominations of Ipswich, to unite for the passing of the old year and the advent of 1908. Harry thought it was a good idea, so as Mayor of Ipswich he communicated with the different clergy and ministers of the town to join him at the Mayor’s Parlour of the Town Hall to discuss all the arrangements for the uniting of their usual Watchnight services held late on New Year’s Eve, the seventh day of Christmastide.

Mr. Hook, of the St. Louis Picture Company, was approached and readily consented to conclude their entertainment somewhat earlier than usual.

The service was a success with a very large congregation from the churches and chapels of various Christian denominations crowded in the Public Hall, Westgate Street. Ministers of all denominations led the non-denominational service and special hymns were sung with Mr. Alderman Bunnell Henry Burton presiding at the new organ. The Mayor presided and addressed a few words to the gathering, acknowledging his indebtedness to Mr. Seager, a good Churchman. He hoped that now there was an organ in the hall they might all have many united services within its walls, and that church and chapel, chapel and church, would mix together in the hall in a way they had never done before.

At three minutes to midnight, the Mayor suggested a period of silent prayer, and shortly after the Town Hall clock tolled forth the hour of twelve.

Many of the audience lingered in the hall after the closing Benediction to listen to the noble strains of the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s “Messiah” which was performed on the organ by Mr. Bunnell Burton. E.A.D.T. – Wednesday, 1st January 1908

NEW YEAR’S TEA TREAT

On New Year’s Day, 1908, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe was welcomed with a hearty cheer at the New Year’s Tea, at the People’s Hall, St. Mary Stoke, Ipswich. Between 400 and 500 of the poorest of the poor juveniles had been invited to the Tea organised by Mrs. Seamen and her band of kind-hearted ladies who had all been extremely busy during Wednesday preparing for the tea. Each guest received a packet containing bread and butter, milk biscuits, plain cake, and plum cake, altogether weighing 2 lbs. The Mayor generously sent a large case of oranges for the children, while Mr. Herbert Fison donated 400 crackers. The afternoon entertainment included music by the People’s Hall choir, a brass band to play lively airs and a number of lime-light pictures. At the end of the afternoon, the boys and girls were told that whatever food was left over from their packet they could take home. Diss Express – Friday, 3rd January 1908

POPULAR RECITALS

On Sunday, 5th January 1908, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe presided at the chair of the first of a series of popular recitals on the new organ in the Public Hall, Ipswich. Admission was free except for a few reserved seats. E.A.D.T. – Saturday, 4th January 1908

EAST SUFFOLK CHAMBER OF AGRICULTURE

On Tuesday, 14th January 1908, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe attended the annual luncheon of the East Suffolk Chamber of Agriculture at the Crown and Anchor Hotel, Ipswich. The President Mr. J. K. Brooke occupied the chair. During the evening the Small Holdings Act was discussed, the Act would give every man in the country an opportunity of rising into a position of independence if he had the grit and ability to make the most of it. The Act was welcomed as a means of bringing more people onto the land, but County Councils would have to be very careful in their selection of the persons they placed on the land. After the toasts. The Mayor of Ipswich rose to speak of the great street improvements in Ipswich, which had assisted the trade of the town. He told the room that he had recently been told by an American gentleman that no firm of agricultural implement makers was held in such great respect in his country as Messrs. Ransomes, Sims, and Jefferies. Harry believed unemployment was less in Ipswich than in other East Anglian towns. The Mayor spoke of his hope that surplus labour would be kept in this country and that small holdings would help to do this and also lessen the unemployment problem. Harry did not think small holdings could grow corn instead of the large farms but felt small holdings could produce eggs, butter, apples, bacon, potatoes, and other commodities which were now largely imported from other countries. Norfolk News – Saturday, 18th January 1908

NEW YEAR’S ENTERTAINMENT

On Wednesday, 15th January 1908, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe joined a large audience at the Social Settlement, Ipswich, to see the children of the St. John’s Home perform their New Year’s Settlement. The young performers acquitted themselves well and gave much satisfaction. At the close of the show, the Mayor moved a hearty vote of thanks to all who had taken part. He also congratulated the Matron, Mrs. Bandey , who had trained the boys and girls so well. The Superintendent Mr. F.W. Bandey replied to the vote of thanks and drew attention to the urgent need of gymnastic appliances for the use of the children Another great need was a swimming bath at the St. John’s Home. Evening Star – Thursday, 16th January 1908

CHARITY ORGANISATION SOCIETY

On Tuesday, 21st January 1908, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe presided at a meeting at the Council Chambers at the Town Hall in support of the Ipswich Branch of the Charity Organisation Society. Harry opened the meeting by saying that he felt it was far better to have a large organisation than minor organisations which must overlap. He went on to say that he was satisfied with the thorough way all the cases brought before the Committee, of which he was Chairman by virtue of being Mayor, were thoroughly investigated. Mr. Arthur Frederick Vulliamy, hon. secretary read the annual report and stated that the Society had been fortunate in securing for their work the assistance of men and women of diverse views, but united in one common band – the desire to help with their willingness to give of their time and thought, as well as of their money. Since last October 1907 the Society had dealt with seventy cases, of which 28 had been suitable for relief in one way or another, while others had been aided from outside sources.

The Bishop of Ipswich rose to say he could not say that he was a wholehearted supporter of the actual procedure of the Charity Organisation Society. As a Vicar of a large parish in London, he often came across cases which he thought should be helped, which the Society thought ought not. Having said that he could say that he was with all his heart glad that the Society has started a branch in Ipswich, and he believed if widely and well worked it would do a great deal of good and avoid that unpopularity which sometimes attached to it. The Deputy Mayor, William Orford White, proposed a vote of thanks to the Mayor for presiding, and to the speakers. Arthur Vulliamy seconded. The motion was carried. Evening Star – Wednesday, 22nd January 1908

IPSWICH FIREMEN AT DINNER

On Thursday, 30th January 1908, the members of the Ipswich Fire Brigade held their Firemen’s Dinner at the Unicorn, Tacket Street, Ipswich. Deputy Superintendent Hayward presided. After their enjoyable dinner, the tables were cleared away, and a smoking concert was held, with vocal and instrumental music being supplied by members of the Brigade. During the concert’s interval the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe and the Town Clerk, Mr. William Bantoft arrived and were greeted by loyal cheers. A toast was raised to the Mayor’s health and in reply Harry told the men that he was present to show his appreciation for the services the Fire Brigade rendered to the Borough. He placed the firemen who were willing to risk their lives for the sake of their brothers, on a par with lifeboatmen. Mr. Bantoft remarked that it was a great comfort to the town and ratepayers generally to know that they had such a capable body of men to safeguard their interests. Evening Star – Friday, 31st January 1908

THE MAYOR ATTENDS THE IPSWICH DROVER’S SUPPER

On Saturday, 1st February 1908, Harry Raffe as the Mayor of Ipswich, attended the Ipswich Drover’s annual supper and entertainment at the Co-operative Hall. About 130 tickets for the event had been distributed by Inspector Driver, of the R.S.P.C.A., and the market police, and the result was a lively assemblage of men of all ages. The Co-operative Hall had been gaily decorated with trophies of flags which were brilliantly lighted by a large number of electric lamps. The menu was simple – a buffet of roast beef and ham, with bread rolls, and sausage rolls followed by hot Christmas pudding, and the beverage was tea. The drovers associated with Ipswich Market were provided with four solid hours of entertainment carefully and admirably arranged mainly through the united efforts of Mrs. Luther Holden and Mrs. Griffiths, with the assistance of a small Committee, the funds coming from a number of ladies and gentlemen especially interested in the drovers’ welfare, and in promoting the kind treatment of the animals and cattle connected with the Ipswich Market, including the travelling of all the animals. At the end of the evening’s entertainment Mrs. Griffiths proposed an informal vote of thanks to the Mayor of Ipswich Harry Raffe and each man was presented with a red handkerchief from Mrs. Luther Holden, an illuminated text from Mrs. Sims, and an ounce of tobacco from Mr. Griffiths, who had never had a pipe in his mouth, thought that “if there was anyone wanted a pipe, it was a drover.” The ‘bacca, was most welcomed by the drovers who rose and sang “For he’s a jolly good fellow,” followed by three cheers. Evening Star – Monday, 3rd February 1908

SOLDIERS’ AND SAILORS’ HELP SOCIETY

On Tuesday, 11th February 1908, the Suffolk Branch of the Incorporated Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Help Society held their annual meeting at the Y.M.C.A. Rooms, Ipswich. General Henry Birch Pye Phillipps took the chair, in the absence of the President Sir Brampton Gurdon, who was suffering from bronchitis, he was supported by the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe and Colonel William Poyntz Blandy. The hon. secretary for East Suffolk, Miss Foster read her report. There were 14 district heads, and 111 paying friends. During the past year, 205 cases had been relieved in various ways, 41 of them by the finding of employment, 99 by money or clothing, and 65 in various other ways. Of the men helped 69 had belonged to the Royal Horse Artillery and 22 to the Suffolk Regiment. Over £35 had been spent in the county for relief, and there was a balance in hand of £33 6s. 2d.

During the year an office had been opened in Ipswich, and Colonel Blandy reported that the office in the Thorofare was open three days a week. Relief and giving doles were not the object. It was, first to ensure employment of men, especially those who had just left the service on discharge or transfer, and secondly, to look after any sick, and to afford other forms of help which might be suitable.

The reports were then passed, and the officers were re-elected, with the addition of the Mayor of Ipswich, whom it was decided to appoint a Vice-President -ex-officio. Harry Raffe said the charity improperly distributed might be a curse rather than a blessing. He thought, however, that Colonel Blandy’s work was of distinct value to the town, and he would personally be pleased to help in any way he could during his year of office.

Colonel Blandy was then asked about the proper treatment of tramps, by a lady who lived on a country high road, and that five or six such men often came in the course of a day seeking assistance. Colonel Blandy said that he gave no money to callers of that character at the office. He gave, instead tickets entitling the holder to a bed and a meal, and he advised those present to make arrangements whereby they could do the same. Many of the wayfarers it was pointed out were in possession of papers, and seem deserving men. Colonel Blandy said that he knew of some who tramped a regular round, extending into Lincolnshire and the adjoining counties, and he made it a rule not to help the same person twice in less than six months. One or two names mentioned seemed familiar to many persons, and the Colonel in these cases advised reference to the “Caution List” as a way out of the difficulty. Evening Star – Wednesday, 12th February 1908

“AT HOME” AT THE TOWN HALL

On Wednesday, 12th February 1908, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe was present with members of the Ipswich Free Churches gathered at the Town Hall, Ipswich for an “At Home” event hosted by the President of the Ipswich Free Church Council, Mr. Henry Underwood. Nearly all the three hundred and sixty invitations sent out had been accepted. The guests, including a number of ladies, began to assemble at seven o’clock and were received by Henry Underwood in the Council Chamber. Refreshments were served in the Library by a number of ladies from the various churches, and a programme of light music was enjoyably rendered by the Olga Sextet of instrumentalists, under the leadership of Mr. A B Smith. The more formal proceedings began at a quarter-past eight when Henry Underwood took the chair, he then seated himself by mistake in the mayoral chair, with the arms of the Borough of Ipswich above him. Harry Raffe called out to offer Henry the loan of the mayoral robes, which was laughingly declined! During his speech, Henry Underwood offered Harry Raffe sincere and hearty congratulations on becoming Mayor of Ipswich, and on the excellent idea to hold the Watchnight service in the Public Hall, and for Harry to celebrate his Mayoralty in such a way. Henry continued to say that now Harry was Mayor, he knew he had to leave politics behind, but was glad to know that he had not left behind his Free Church principles. Harry Raffe rose and thanked Henry Underwood. He continued to tell those gathered that he was thankful that he was not barred during his year of office from being concerned with religious bodies. He had, indeed, come into contact with the other parts of religious life in the town, and he had found a broadness of spirit which he had not been quite ready to give credit for. He was sure that when the next 9th November came round, he would have many more friends of the Established Church, from whom he had received the greatest kindness, than he had had before, and it would be a matter of the utmost gratification to him if he could bring all the sections of religious life in Ipswich a little closer during his year of office. A general vote of thanks was given to Henry Underwood for the reception, and to the Mayor for his presence was proposed by Alderman Grimwade in a humorous and felicitous term, which Mr. Frederick Edward Rands seconded.  E.A.D.T. – Thursday, 13th February 1908

COMMERCIAL TRAVELLERS’ ASSOCIATION DINNER

On Friday, 21st February 1908, the sixth annual dinner of the Ipswich and District Branch of the United Kingdom Commercial Travellers’ Association took place at the Great White Horse Hotel. The Deputy Mayor of Ipswich, William Orford White, president of the branch for the year, presided over a large and representative gathering. Harry Raffe, as Mayor of Ipswich attended, and after an enjoyable dinner was served by host Harrison, the Mayor rose to speak of the unemployed and the trading section in Ipswich, as in other towns that did not pay Income Tax. The amount lost to the nation by that system of trading amounted to half a million of money, which had to be made up by other traders, who already paid Income Tax. He went on to say that he believed there was a future for Ipswich, and if the authorities would only give Ipswich all it wanted in regard to the river and the dock, there was no reason why Ipswich should not increase in the future as it had done in the past. Throughout the evening an admirable programme of music was carried out with entire success by the Ranelagh Quartette party – Albert Henry Barwick, John Ira Mills, Percy Leonard Smith and Edwin Everard. Evening Star – Saturday, 22nd February 1908

IPSWICH TRADE UNIONISTS VISIT THE MAYOR

On Thursday, 27th February 1908, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe received a deputation representing about 200 unemployed Trade Unionists. Harry was attended by the Town Clerk, Mr. Will Bantoft and Mr. Alexander Alfred Moffat, of the Town Clerk’s office, who met with the deputation in the Mayor’s Parlour at the Town Hall. At the request of the Mayor, Mr. Francis James Ellis, a jobbing compositor and Mr. Robert Frederick Jackson, a stonemason submitted the programme which they wished to have carried out. First was an application to the Right Hon. John Burns for a grant, and it was pointed out that if other towns were able to get assistance, surely Ipswich might too. Next to work which might be found in Ipswich for the unemployed, Francis Ellis mentioned the provision of public urinals and of shelters at the various tramway terminal. Francis Ellis felt that an improvement might be made at Stoke Bathing Place, and that was a great deal of work which wanting doing at the Town Hall. Francis continued to say that if Ipswich Council saw their way to providing work, they would ask for the maintenance of an eight-hour day, and for pay at the Union rate for the district, even if they only worked three or four days in the week.

Mr. Robert Jackson

Harry Raffe responded to say that personally, he was willing to do all he could, but before considering these propositions in detail, there were two questions to be answered – where was the money to come from, and would the Council agree to it? They must remember that it was the money of the ratepayers that they were spending. Furthermore, it must be clearly understood that no responsibility rested with the Council to find work for the unemployed and that the Council had NO FUNDS at their disposal for such a purpose. Harry suggested that if there were able-bodied men among the deputation they should apply for work at the Hadleigh Road, where 70 more men could be put on tomorrow. There were already engaged carpenters, painters, bricklayers, shoemakers, and so on. Francis Ellis and Robert Jackson protested! The Mayor responded by saying that he could not recognise the Trade Unionists or I.L.P. as such at all in the matter; they were there simply as unemployed ratepayers and in the same position as other persons. The Council could not make differences between the ratepayers, he, therefore, did not hold out any great hope of the Council taking action on their behalf in the way suggested.

In reply, Francis Ellis made a remark which led to a rather heated discussion between himself and the Mayor! The possibility of obtaining a grant from Mr. John Burns through the medium of the Distress Committee was debated at some length. Robert Jackson sounded the Mayor on the advantage of the piece-work system. Harry replied that he wished to be fair to both the ratepayers and the employed. Robert Jackson answered strongly to say that the Mayor’s behaviour that morning strengthened them in the idea of trying to get some of their own men onto Ipswich Council!

The deputation withdrew, thanking the Mayor for his time and in reply the Mayor promised to lay their programme before the Council, who would receive them at their meeting if they thought fit. E.A.D.T. – Friday, 28th February 1908

BOROUGH AUDITORS

On Monday, 2nd March 1908 , Harry Raffe as Mayor of Ipswich declared Mr. Francis Alfred Worship Cobbold, a solicitor, and Mr. Isaac Lott Ensor, a chartered accountant, having recently been renominated Borough Auditors duly elected. Harry also appointed the Deputy Mayor, William Orford White as Mayor’s Auditor for the borough under the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882. Evening Star – Monday, 2nd March 1908

SELECT COMMITTEE

On Tuesday, 3rd March 1903, a Select Committee of the House of Commons sat to consider a Bill which had been promoted in Parliament with the object of obtaining powers for a Company to construct docks, sea walls, and other works at Harwich, Essex. The promotors were represented by Mr. Fitzgerald, K.C., and Mr. Macassey, while (instructed by Messrs. Lond and Casley) Mr. Honoratius Lloyd, K.C., and Mr. C.C. Hutchison appeared for the Ipswich Dock Commission who were opposing the Bill. Several members of the Ipswich Dock Commission were present including the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe and the Commision chairman Mr. Herbert Jervis-White Jervis, of Freston House, Mr. William Francis Paul and Mr. John Thomas Jollife. Evening Star – Wednesday, 4th March 1908

PUBLIC CONVENIENCE

On Tuesday, 3rd March 1908, Harry Raffe as the Mayor of Ipswich, attended a formal meeting at a Local Government Board enquiry, held at the Town Hall. The other gentlemen present were Mr. E Buckham, the Borough Surveyor, Mr. Arthur Pearce, and the Town Clerk, Mr. Will Bantoft, Major Stewart presided. Ipswich Corporation wished to seek sanction to borrow the sum of £155 for the erection of a large public convenience near the Social Settlement, in Fore Street for both sexes. Evening Star – Wednesday, 4th March 1908

 

IPSWICH EARLY CLOSING ASSOCIATION

On Tuesday, 10th March 1908, Harry Raffe as Mayor of Ipswich presided at the annual meeting of the Ipswich Early Closing Association held in the Library at the Town Hall, Ipswich. A report stated that the Committee thought it was time that a canvas should be made to see if it was not advisable to put the Shop Hours Act into force for the whole of the town. Already several hundred of signatures of various shopkeepers had been added to a petition eight or nine yards long. The greatest difficulty was experienced in arranging the hours so as to please all traders, and it was suggested that the closing should be no later than nine on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays and not later than two on Wednesdays; not later than ten on Fridays, and not later than eleven on Saturdays. It was hoped that those tradesmen who at present closed earlier than the suggested hours would remain loyal and not take advantage of the later hours, which were arranged more for the smaller tradesmen. The adoption of the report was proposed by Mr. Stephen Henry Daniels, chairman of the Committee and seconded by Mr. W. Brewer, and, without further comment, the resolution was agreed to. The Mayor, Harry Raffe proposed a vote of thanks to the retiring officers from the Committee. He said he would be glad to do anything he could to make early closing uniform. He hoped the assistants would not expect too much, for there were two sides to the question, and they must not make it hard for the smaller people, many of whom lived by the trade they did after the larger shops had closed. If it was the general wish of traders to go in for this early closing movement, he would be glad to do all he could, so long as he considered the proposal a fair and legitimate one. Mr. Lewis Moir proposed a vote of thanks to the Mayor for presiding. Evening Star – Wednesday, 11th March 1908

THE SOKOL ZIZKA TEAM AT IPSWICH

On Saturday, 28th March 1908, the Ipswich Y.M.C.A. Gymnasium, and the London-based Sokol Zizka team, composed of young Bohemian men united at the Lecture Hall, Tower Street, Ipswich for a fine display before a large and enthusiastic gathering which included the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe who had consented to take the chair. These two teams had competed in London in February in the first round of the International 200-Guinea Shield Competition, at St. Bride’s Institute Ludgate Circus, when the Ipswich team were the winners. During the competition, some evilly disposed light-fingered gentry entered the dressing rooms and rifled through pockets helping themselves to a quantity of cash, watches, and jewellery!

The two coaches Mr. Ernest Palmer, M.G.T.I., and director of the Y.M.C.A. Gymnasium and Mr. Frank Kopecky, a painter and artist and the secretary of team Sokol Zizka led at their teams to rounds of applause and admiration. The evening’s programme included exercises on the horizontal bar, and parallel bars, and an exhibition of exercises, high jump, club drill, free exercises and wand drill.

After the display, the Mayor rose to remark that “….it’s an all wind that blows nobody good, and if the teams had not been robbed in London, the fine display this evening would never have taken place.” He complimented both teams on their performances and Miss Amy Palmer and Miss Alice Coppin for the musical programme during the interval. Harry also announced that the proceeds from the display in Ipswich were devoted to making good the losses sustained by the teams in London.

The evening concluded with the singing of the Bohemian and British National Anthems. Evening Star – Thursday, 19th March 1908 and Monday, 30th March 1908

 

“THE RIGHT TO WORK”

Mr. Robert Jackson

On Wednesday, 25th March 1908, a special meeting of the Ipswich Town Council was held at the Town Hall. The Mayor, Harry Raffe presented a report regarding a deputation from unemployed Trade Unionists, which had waited upon him on Thursday, 27th February. Mr. Francis Ellis had suggested that the Ipswich Corporation should employ Trade Unionists who were out of work and should pay them Union rate of wages for an eight hours’ day, he suggested the provision of public urinals, the provision of shelters at the various tramway termini, improving the Stoke Bathing Place, and in doing work at the Town Hall. The deputation also suggested that masons ought to be employed to lay flag pavement at Union rate of wages, instead of the paviours who were now employed in laying the flags on piecework. The deputation had admitted that the paving work was well done by the present Ipswich staff. Harry told the Council that he had pointed out that two questions at once arose – where was the money to come from to meet the proposed expenditure? – and would the Council at the present time sanction the outlay? Francis Ellis and Robert Jackson’s reply was that it should be paid for out of Mr. John Burns’ fund. Harry told the meeting that he pointed out to the deputation that no responsibility rested with the Council to find work for the unemployed. Any money which they expended would have to be raised by a rate, and rates could only be made for the purposes authorised by an Act of Parliament. He continued to tell the Council that he had offered at once to take 70 men upon the Hadleigh Road development scheme. This offer was declined by the deputation, who had stated that it was an insult to offer Hadleigh Road work to Trade Unionists! Harry had then stated that he could not make any distinction between Trade Unionists or members of the Independent Labour Party and other ratepayers who were in need of employment. The deputation then asked for their views to be put before the Council and asked that their application should be made to the President of the Local Government Board for a share of the grant made by Parliament for the relief of distress arising from lack of employment. Harry told the Council that as they had declined to accept work on the Hadleigh Road, I informed them that I could not see my way to make any application to the President of the Local Government Boar, but I would place their views before the Council. The Mayor then told the gathered gentlemen that he did not intend to say anything further.

Alderman Robert Stocker Paul said the Estates Committee had no plans of spending any money on either the Town Hall of the Stoke Bathing Place, if they did it would be put out to tender – the only fair way of spending the ratepayers’ money.

Alderman Frederick Turner said the Public Health Committee had arranged to build one urinal at the bottom of Long Street and they had applied to the Local Government Board for sanction to borrow the money. The permission had yet to be received.

The action taken by the Mayor Harry Raffe be approved was moved by Alderman Robert Stocker Paul and seconded by Alderman Edward Colby Ransome and was unanimously agreed to. E.A.D.T. – Thursday, 26th March 1908

ESSEX AND SUFFOLK CONGREGATIONAL UNIONS

On the Monday, 6th April 1908, Harry Raffe, Mayor of Ipswich, attended the opening meetings of the Essex and Suffolk Congregational Unions at Colchester, Essex. The Mayor of Colchester, Alderman Wilson Marriage received the ministers and delegates at the Colchester Town Hall. After the meetings in the afternoon, on the motion of Harry Raffe a vote of thanks was accorded Wilson Marriage and seconded by Alderman J. West, of Braintree. A recital was given on the grand piano with ‘cello solos in the Moot Hall and songs were also rendered. In the evening a special service was held in Lion Walk Church, the Reverend James Morgan Gibbon of Stamford Hill, London preached to a large congregation. Evening Star – Tuesday, 7th April 1908

FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF ST. JOHN’S CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, IPSWICH

On Wednesday, 22nd April 1908, Harry Raffe, as Mayor of Ipswich, attended a service with members and friends of St. John’s Congregational Church to celebrate the first anniversary of the opening of the new building.  After the service tea was provided in the schoolroom, where there was also an ABC stall. In the evening Harry Raffe presided at a public meeting with guest speakers and music provided by the St. John’s Congregational Church choir. Evening Star – Tuesday, 21st April 1908

SEVEN STONES OF SEED POTATOES

The Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe initiated a scheme for utilising the made-up land on the Gipping side of Hadleigh Road, pending its development for building purposes, for the benefit of the “unemployed” who have been working there during the winter. Harry offered the men the use of the land for the summer in order to grow potatoes. Harry’s idea had been approved by the Paving and Lighting Committee. The land was staked out into plots, each of 10 rods, and each man paid 6d. On Monday, 4th May 1908, as the Hadleigh Road workmen knocked off for their midday meal, Harry Raffe presented seven stones of suitable seed potatoes to each of the 60 men who had signed up for the opportunity to take part. Harry was also on hand to help with the ballot to allocate the plots. Evening Star – Monday, 4th May 1908.

IPSWICH REGATTA

On Tuesday, 16th June 1908, the annual meeting in connection with the Ipswich Amateur Regatta was held at the Town Hall, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe presided over a good attendance of members. During the meeting, it was decided to hold the 1908 Regatta on Friday, 21st August, and the Committee should meet as early as was possible to carry out the arrangements for the regatta. Mr. Percy Smith proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the Mayor for presiding and Mr. Herbert Charles Westgate, Inn Keeper of the Lock Tavern, New Cut East, seconded the proposition. Evening Star – Wednesday, 17th June 1908

ROYAL NATIONAL LIFEBOAT INSTITUTION

On Thursday, 18th June 1908, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe attended a meeting held at the Cooperative Hall, Ipswich to consider what steps should be taken to raise money for the funds of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution during the ensuing year. During the meeting it was announced that Harry Raffe would act as President of the local organisation; Mr. William Rowley Elliston was elected as Chairman of the Committee, and Mr. William Parker Burton, was elected as Hon. Treasurer. It was decided at the very well-attended meeting that they would not hold a big demonstration again during the year, instead, they would make a town collection on Saturday, 25th July, and a Committee was appointed to make the necessary arrangements. Mrs. Charlotte Elizabeth Ridley, Mrs. Ellen Mary Bales, Miss Pye, Miss Bone, and other ladies would continue to assist in the work of the Ladies’ Auxiliary. Mr. Robert Sharp, of 25, Fushia Lane, Ipswich, was re-elected Secretary. The meeting concluded after Mr. Williams, the new organising secretary for the district, delivered a short address on the work of the Institution. Evening Star – Friday, 19th June 1908

FREEMAN COURT

On Saturday, 11th July 1908, Harry Raffe, Mayor of Ipswich held a very special Freeman Court for the admission as a Freeman of William Beaumont whose cased had been considered on Friday. Mr. James William Cook, the Conservative agent for the borough, gave William Beaumont every assistance in making good his claim. William Beaumont was able to produce evidence to the satisfaction of Harry Raffe as to his identity and his right to take up his freedom, and he was thereupon admitted. Evening Star – Saturday, 11th July 1908

PASTOR’S ANNIVERSARY

On Sunday, 12th July 1908, the congregation and friends of the Crown Street Congregational Church, Ipswich, gathered together for two very special services to wish congratulations and express their appreciation of their pastor the Reverend Alfred Ames Dowsett on the lengthened period of 21 years service at the church. Reverend Alfred Dowsett by his own zeal and earnestness not only gained the confidence and the appreciation of all who had had the benefit of his ministrations but had shown himself ready to render any service in his power to various religious and philanthropic institutions in the town and county.

During the morning service the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe took part in the service by reading the First Lesson. As a young man, Harry had been a Sunday School teacher at the Crown Street Congregational Church.

At each service there was a large congregation to listen to the special music rendered by the choir, under the leadership of Mr. William Slack, with Mr. Bunnell Henry Burton, who was at one-time organist at the Church, presided at the fine organ, which had re-opened last week. E.A.D.T. – Monday, 13th July 1908

IPSWICH BOWLS TOURNAMENT

On Wednesday, 22nd July 1908, the first open Bowls Tournament ever played in Ipswich was held at the Portman Road Athletic Ground. It was fine weather as two hundred players competed on the twenty greens in the two events – singles and teams of three, which were open to all amateurs from most of the clubs in Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk. The Great Eastern Railway Company had issued return tickets at the normal cost of single fares from most of the stations in the locality.

At precisely half-past ten, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe cast the first jack. Harry also kindly donated a pair of bowls as a special prize. At the close of the tournament, Harry and his daughter, the Mayoress of Ipswich presented the prizes. Owing to the large number of team entries the competition was left unfinished. The Mayor, Harry Raffe offered his lawn at Varese House to conclude the tournament. Evening Star – Wednesday, 22nd July 1908

GARDEN PARTY FOR THE CHARITY ORGANISATION SOCIETY

During the afternoon of Friday, 24th July 1908, an open-air meeting was hosted by Canon William Melville Pigot and Mrs. Ada Mary Pigot, at their home ‘Sunnyside,’ Fonnereau Road, Ipswich, in aid of the Ipswich branch of the Charity Organisation Society. The Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe was to have presided, but unfortunately was late due to the train by which he was travelling from London was unexpectedly delayed. In his temporary absence the chair was taken by the Deputy Mayor, Mr. William Orford White.

There was a good attendance, including many ladies, and the unsectarian character of the organisation was attested by the presence of leading Churchman and Nonconformists. Miss Humphry, from the Society in London and a member of the Paddington Board of Guardians read an able paper and showed illustrations upon the subject What was organisation, and why and how should charity be organised? After the talk the Reverend Canon Pigot opened the way for discussion before the votes of thanks were given. The Mayor, Harry Raffe laid special emphasis upon the fact that the Society is absolutely unsectarian. The Reverend Canon and Mrs. Pigot afterwards entertained the company at tea. Evening Star – Saturday, 25th July 1908

BRAMFORD ROAD SCHOOL

The Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe was the special guest at the annual distribution of prizes to the boys of Bramford Road School, which was held on Thursday, 30th July 1908, in the afternoon. Before Harry arrived, the parents had been invited into the school to view the students work done during the past year. After the boys had sung a few songs they all lined up in the school playground to await the arrival of the Mayor.

Harry Raffe was accompanied by the Chairman of the Managers, Mr. Sydney Brand and as the gentleman arrived in the playground the National Anthem was sung. The Mayor spoke about the successes of the Bramford Road School, notably in attendance, physical exercises, football, and cricket. He told the boys they were fortunate to have such a good master as Mr. George William Senton and hoped they would always do their best at work and play. Harry then proceeded to distribute the prizes to the schoolboys. Special cricket prizes were also presented for batting, bowling, fielding, and all-round play, to Hynard, Driver, Golding, and Seammen. For the third successive year, Bramford Road School had won the Attendance Shield, to commemorate the fact Mr. Sydney Brand had organised a very handsome shield which Harry Raffe presented to the Head Boy, Wilfred Girling. Hearty cheers were given at the close of the afternoon for the Mayor of Ipswich and Mr. Sydney Brand. Evening Star – Friday, 31st July 1908

 

IPSWICH BOWLS TOURNAMENT – CONCLUSION

On Saturday, 8th August 1908, by kind permission of the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe, the unfinished Ipswich Bowls Tournament was brought to a conclusion when the remaining team games were decided on the lawn at Varese House, Belstead Road, Ipswich. There were five teams left in to compete for three prizes. Unfortunately, Mr. Collett’s team from Diss were not able to attend and forfeited their chance. At the end of the games Miss Raffe, the Ipswich Mayoress presented the prizes. A vote of thanks was prosed and seconded to the Mayor, Harry Raffe. Evening Star – Tuesday, 11th August 1908

NO COLLARS FOR IPSWICH DOGS

On Wednesday, 12th August 1908, Harry Raffe, as Mayor of Ipswich presided at the chair, at a quarterly meeting of the Ipswich Town Council held at the Town Hall. The liveliest discussion of the morning was about dogs. The Executive Committee under the Diseases of Animals Acts drew attention to the fact that regulations were made some time since by the East Suffolk Council, “requiring that every dog whilst on a highway or in a place of public resort, should wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed thereon, or on a plate or badge attached thereto, and recommended that the same course should be taken into the borough.” They asked the Council to make the following regulation now: “No dog shall be allowed to be in any highway or place of public resort within the Borough of Ipswich unless wearing a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached thereto, provided that this regulation shall not apply to any pack of hounds, or any dog while being used for supporting purposes, or for the capture or destruction of vermin, or for the driving or tending of cattle or sheep.” As chairman of the Executive Committee, Harry Raffe proposed the adoption of this report, but the gentlemen of the Council all had different points of view about the motion. Some felt it was very necessary in the country, as a precaution against sheep-worrying, but not in a town like Ipswich. A dog owner might unconsciously take a dog more than halfway over Bourne Bridge, or across the borough boundary at Rushmere, and so get summoned because their dog did not have a collar. It was felt that dogs kept in the town were “pets,” and to pass the order would serve no other useful purpose than that of putting money into the hands of the collarmakers and name-writers. Mr. Boast rose and said to those gathered that he too protested against the order. “I am a lover of dogs and have got one that I am very fond of. I have tested him with regard to this collar-wearing business, and he has told me very plainly by his actions that he disapproves of the Order. When I released him from the collar, he was as pleased as possible!” Alderman Ford Goddard, M.P., also objected to the proposed Order, which was initiated, he said, to enable the authorities properly to deal with cases of sheep-worrying. It was not required in the town; and, so far as the country was concerned, it had always seemed to him unfair that those who kept packs of hounds, and could indulge in other sporting luxuries, should be exempt from a regulation which was imposed upon the poor man. When the motion was put, only five members voted in favour of it, so the Dogs Order was rejected by a large majority. Evening Star – Wednesday, 12th August 1908

 

THE R.A.O.B. TREAT AT IPSWICH

On Wednesday, 12th August 1908, Alderman Nathaniel Catchpole kindly placed the ‘Crown Meadow,’ at Whitton, Suffolk, at the disposal of the five Ipswich lodges of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes for their third annual event to treat the children of the Ipswich poor. Before 1906, the lodges subscribed to the General Fresh Air Fund, but as this did not benefit Ipswich, it was decided that the contributions would be best devoted to the entertainment of the many poor youngsters of the town. With additional funds and subscribers, the first year saw some eight hundred children entertained in Stoke Park; the following year the number increased to 1,500.

The Organising Committee was composed of representatives for the five Ipswich Lodges. The town was divided into five sections for the purposes of selecting the poorest children between the ages of five and twelve for participation in the treat. In total 1,800 children received invitations and at eleven o’clock in the morning they were led into the meadow by seventy ladies and gentlemen helpers, who freely distributed meat pies, tarts, and ginger beer among the happy children.

Races were organised with seven hundred small prizes distributed. The entertainment for the children also included a ventriloquist, a gramophone, and comic vocalists with an accompanist at a piano. The Social Settlement Band also rendered selections of music. At four o’clock tea was served, with bread and butter, cake and tarts. Members of St. John’s Ambulance were present, but only one slight accident required their services.

During the afternoon, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe made a visit to the event at which the children loudly cheered the Mayor and Alderman Catchpole who surveyed the scene from a carriage in which were members of his family.

The event concluded by eight o’clock, when the youngsters heartily sang the National Anthem, before boarding the trams for home.

The contributors in kind embraced Messrs. Field and Fyffes – bananas, Mr. Cuckow – bananas, Messrs. Talbot and Kirby – ginger beer, Alderney Dairy Company, per Mr. Robins – milk, Alderman Catchpole – beer for the Committee members, Mr. Tebbit – tables, Mr. H. Sullings – fancy balloons, Mr. Pipe – timber for bandstand), Mr. Southgate – nuts, Mr. W. Markham – prizes for cake walk, Mrs. Partridge made a gift of 50 rag dolls for presentation to the children, Mr. E.H. Bostock, of the Hippodrome, through Mr. Stead, the manager, generously gave 800 tickets for admission to the Hippodrome, the sale of which at 2d. each went to the augmentation of the fund. Evening Star – Thursday, 13th August 1908

THE HADLEIGH ROAD POTATO PLOTS

On Saturday, 20th August 1908 (a very dull and cold day, with terrific downpours of rain), the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe and the Town Clerk, Will Bantoft were present at the Gipping side of the Hadleigh Road Allotment Plots, to present prizes for the plots in the best state of general cultivation and extra prizes for the best half-peck of potatoes dug up there and then from any plot. The interesting experiment had been an idea of the Mayor’s and with the approval of the Paving and Lighting Committee, sixty allotment plots, each of ten rods, were staked out in May 1908, and for a nominal rent of sixpence, and seed potatoes presented by the Mayor the men availed themselves on the cultivation of their plots. The fund for prizes was made up of the sixpences from each plot holder, plus a donation of two guineas by Harry Raffe.

The results of the men’s labours were judged by Mr. Edgar Alfred Cotton, head gardener to Mr. William Pretty, of The Goldrood, Belstead Road, Ipswich, and Mr. William Edward Moores, gardener to Mr. William Francis Paul, of Orwell Lodge, Belstead Road, Ipswich. The potatoes had been dug up beforehand, and, under the direction of Mr. Harry Cable, Foreman of the Councils Works, were laid out on a long table standing in the open air.

The men had also been at liberty to grow other vegetables besides potatoes and across the plots neat rows of broad beans, scarlet runner and dwarf beans, turnips, parsnips, radish, cabbages, and a trench of celery.

After distributing the prizes, Harry briefly addresses the assembly, especially the men who had put the most work into their allotments, who had gumption enough to put in other seeds as well as potatoes. On the whole, Harry had been wonderfully pleased to see so many men doing their level best on the allotments, he wished the men to remember the old proverb, “God helps those who help themselves.” In conclusion of the afternoon presentation of the prizes, the Mayor warmly thanked the two judges for their services. Before leaving, Harry Raffe offered to give a shilling each for all or any of the potatoes to send to a benevolent institution. Although a shilling was above the market value, most of the men preferred to take home their potatoes. Evening Star – Friday, 21st August 1908 and E.A.D.T. – Monday, 24th August 1908

IPSWICH REGATTA

On Friday, 21st August 1908, the Ipswich Amateur Regatta was opened at two o’clock in glorious weather. Lying at the end of the Promenade, the Great Eastern Railway Company had kindly placed the S.S. ‘Norfolk’- Captain Gwilliam, at the disposal of the Regatta Committee. The Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe and the Mayoress, Harry’s daughter, took their place on the S S. ‘Norfolk’ and from the captain’s bridge could see all other vessels on the river that had been gaily decorated with flags from stem to stern. The musical accompaniment at the Ipswich Regatta was supplied by the Ipswich Social Settlement Band, conducted by Mr. A. Suckling, which played a popular selection of music in excellent style.

On the programme, there were no fewer than seventeen events and as the time for the racing approached the banks on both sides of the river became lined with spectators, including hundreds of boys who sat on the river and quay walls with their legs dangling over the edge all eagerly waiting with great interest the events of the Ipswich Regatta including junior sculls, maiden fours, swimming, four-oared jolly boat race, sailing match, pair oars, sailing handicap, senior sculls, a water polo match, a motor boat race, and for the first time at the Regatta, a dinghy race just for ladies.

The dinghy race for ladies had seven entries and five starters. The course was from the Committee boat, round a mark buoy off Sawyer’s Green, leaving the buoy on the starboard hand and finishing back at the Committee boat. First past the judge was Miss Edith Harriet Garnham, second Miss Beatrice Flora Bird Cook, third Miss K.E. Doe, followed by Miss Gertrude Florence Bird Cook and Miss Mabel Jane Garnham.

The final event was a Duck Hunt, with William Webb as the duck. In his small boat, William dodged the pursuers wonderfully well, and was uncaught at the finish, thereby winning the prize of £1.

Prior to the presentation of the prizes by the Mayoress, Miss Raffe, Miss Dolly Phillips, daughter of the Harbour Master, presented Miss Raffe, on behalf of the Committee, a very pretty shower bouquet, composed chiefly of orchids. Mr. Percy Smith on behalf of the Committee proposed a hearty vote of thanks to Miss Raffe, and also to the Mayor, Harry Raffe. Percy then called for three cheers for the Mayoress, which was heartily given, and another cheer was given for the Mayor. The Mayor, in acknowledging the vote, said he was very pleased to have been present at their regatta that afternoon, the event was an excuse to get away from business for half a day, and as such he welcomed it, especially as he had never been to the Ipswich Regatta before. Harry expressed thanks on behalf of his daughter, the Mayoress for the beautiful bouquet which had been presented to her. He then congratulated those who had been successful and hoped those who had not won prizes this year would be more successful next year.

THE EVENING FETE

In the evening, many thousands of people walked along the Promenade and the Stoke side of the river. The proceedings included a procession of illuminated boats, and the Social Settlement Band gave another performance. At the end of the evening, Mr. Henry Barnard Sullings provided a brilliant display of fireworks. E.A.D.T. – Saturday, 22nd August 1908

 

It was reported a few days later that during the racing at the Ipswich Regatta a little five year old boy, named Fred Harvey, living in Orwell Street, had pushed through the spectators to a better place on the front row on the Promenade, in the vicinity of the umbrellas. Suddenly with the movement of the crowd of spectators, Fred tumbled headfirst into the water. The tide was running in at the time with a depth of about 13 feet of water. Fred sank twice before Sergeant Instructor Connell, R.A.M.C., promptly jumped into the river, without removing any article of clothing, and brought the youngster ashore, amid the cheers of the spectators. Fred Harvey had had a very narrow escape but thankfully was not much the worse for the immersion. Haverhill Echo – Saturday, 29th August 1908

“WITH KIND REMEMBRANCES”

On Saturday, 22nd August 1908, Harry Raffe as the Mayor of Ipswich, attended the funeral of his close friend Mr. George Francis Josselyn, a solicitor, of Queen Street, Ipswich, who had died suddenly in Cornwall on the 19th August 1908, aged 62. Harry Raffe took a special interest in the melancholy occasion and had arranged for the members of the Corporation, the Magistrates and solicitors who wished to attend to meet at the Town Hall, from which they walked in procession to St. Mary-le-Tower Church, headed by the Sergeants-at-Mace, bearing the mace and sword, draped with crape. The procession was perfectly timed and arrived at the church a few minutes before the cortege. Many floral wreaths were seen upon the coffin as it was borne into the church. The other floral tributes, of which there were a large number, had been carefully arranged on the floor of the church at the entrance to the chancel, including a wreath from Harry Raffe, Mayor of Ipswich, which read “With kind remembrances.” E.A.D.T. – Monday, 24th August 1908

 

LITTLE HANDY MEN

On Tuesday, 25th August 1908, the Watts’ Naval Training School from Dereham, Norfolk, also known as the “lively little lads in navy blue” gave an enjoyable and entertaining demonstration in Christchurch Park, Ipswich of their discipline, deftness, and accuracy. Harry Raff, as Mayor of Ipswich was among the crowd on the slopes of Christchurch Park to admire and applaud the smartness and agility of the youngsters from the Watts’ Naval Training School. The work of the Norfolk branch of Dr. Barnardo’s homes was not too well known in the Eastern Counties, but those who were present appreciated in full measure the strikingly neat way in which the boys went through the various evolutions and were impressed by the admirable results of the skillful training which they had received to help develop the youngsters in to “little handy men.” After the display the Mayor gave a brief speech to the entertainers on the admirable discipline and training will stand them in good stead when they go out into the world. The beneficent work of the institution to which they owe their instruction deserved not only encouragement but practical support. Evening Star – Wednesday, 26th August 1908

OPENING OF THE IPSWICH SOCIAL SETTLEMENT WINTER SESSION

The winter session of the Ipswich Social Settlement began on Saturday, 3rd October with two entertainments, one at 6:30 and the other at a quarter-past eight. On both occasions, the Assembly Hall was packed to its utmost capacity. Harry Raffe, as the Mayor of Ipswich presided at the later meeting. and opened the proceedings with a speech. Harry expressed hope that the Settlement would have a happy and prosperous Session.

The principal event of the programme was an exhibition of moving pictures by Mr. Edward Coe’s cinematograph, which evoked an outburst of laughter and applause. The founder and President Sir Daniel Ford Goddard, M.P. paid a high compliment to Mr. Edward Coe’s performance. The vocalist engaged was Mr. Walter Scott, who came with a high reputation both at home and abroad. Endowed with a bass voice of great compass and sweetness of tone, he had a cultured and most charming style.

Before the evening concluded, Sir Daniel Ford Goddard thanked the Mayor, Harry Raff for presiding, Sir Daniel knew that Harry Raffe had always been deeply interested in the work of the Social Settlement. His presence as Mayor, was all the appreciated, because it gave a “stamp” to their work, showing that it was not merely parochial, confined to St. Clement’s, but was for the influence and the benefit of the whole town.

At the Men’s Own Lantern Service on Sunday evening, the speaker was the Reverend T J Hosken; solos were sung by Mr. Walter Scott, and the President, Sir Daniel gave an account of his experiences during his last Easter trip to the Holy Land and to Arabia. Evening Star – Monday, 5th October 1908

ROYAL SOCIETY for the PREVENTION of CRUELTY to ANIMALS

 On Friday, 9th October 1908, the annual meeting of the Ipswich and district branch of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was held in the Council Chambers, at the Town Hall, Ipswich. The Lord-Lieutenant of the County, Sir William Brampton Gurdon, M.P., presided, and was supported at the head table by the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry William Raffe.

The annual report acknowledged the valuable services rendered by Inspector Backhouse during the four years of his residence in Ipswich, and expressed an opinion that the two new officers, Inspector Driver and Inspector Blake were capable and tactful inspectors. The year’s list of convictions numbered 63. Many more cases were bad enough to be reported to London, and 36 formal printed admonitions were sent from Head Office. It was impossible to say just how many verbal cautions had been given by the inspectors for minor offences. There had been 53 convictions for ill-usages of the horse.

The Dogs’ Home at Mr. Henry Phillips’ Veterinary Stables, in Museum Street, the Committee were responsible for its management and expenses, but was hoped that the Ipswich Town Authorities would soon relieve the Committee of this burden.

Also in the annual report was the cruelty of prolonged starvation of calves that arrive at the Market having had nothing to eat that morning, and but for a warm drink in the Market would get nothing all day. They are then passed from dealer to dealer and from market to market, without nourishment, and may in the end be butchered in London after a fast of some forty hours or more.

Sir William Brampton Gurdon proposed the adoption of the report. He also thanked the two efficient secretaries of the Ipswich and district branch – Mrs. Griffiths and Mrs. Frances Holden.

The Mayor gave a brief speech and could not understand what advantage it was to the farmer to send calves into the market in such a staving condition.

By the kind invitation of Mrs. Frances Holden, tea was served at 4:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Library. E.A.D.T. – Saturday, 10th October 1908

BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY – CONFERENCE AT IPSWICH

On Wednesday, 14th October 1908, a conference of workers in connection with the East Suffolk Auxiliary of the British and Foreign Bible Society was held at the Town Hall, Ipswich. The Reverend Canon Pigot presided at the morning session. The afternoon session was presided over by the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe, who told those gathered that this was the Society’s 104th year, and one of the greatness features connected with it was that the ministers and friends of all Evangelical denominations could join hand in hand in it. While, however, they could all work together on one platform for that great object, yet in many of their own affairs they were cut up into so many pettifogging cliques. This was one of the great hindrances to the success of the Gospel in our own country; we had too many crotchets, and in ventilating our own crotchets we showed anything but a Christian spirit. One of the causes of the success which the Society had had, had been the fact that Christians of all denominations were working hand in hand to spread the Gospel throughout not only this land, but all other lands. He was sorry to find that in the Ipswich district there seemed to be a certain amount of stagnation, and that they had made no progress during the last few years. If something could be done to arouse the enthusiasm of the people of Ipswich it would be a good thing.

He personally had not previously been a subscriber, but he should now be very glad to become one and help in any way he could. E.A.D.T. – Thursday, 15th October 1908

THREE HUNDRED APPLICANTS FOR WORK

In October 1908, the Town Clerk, Mr. Will Bantoft, issued an announcement which was then extensively circulated throughout the town.

“All able-bodied men out of employment, and wanting work, who have resided in Ipswich for the past twelve months, are requested to attend the Town Hall at half-past seven in the evening on Wednesday. 14th October.”

On Wednesday, 14th October 1908, a large number of men of every age and condition presented themselves as appointed at seven and waited on the Cornhill. When an order was given to the men to be admitted into the Town Hall they completely filled the allocated room, hemming in the tables.

The Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe address the men:

“First of all, I want to tell you how sorry I am to see so many. With the work at present before us, we cannot hope to find employment for all, and we cannot tonight entertain any applications from single men, though we hope to do something for them later on. My Committee is prepared to sit for three nights this week to consider cases. The work at Hadleigh Road is now confined within a narrow compass, and we cannot do impossibilities, and put on more men than can safely be accommodated. We are in a difficulty, but are anxious to do our best, and you must follow our example. We are going to give precedence to the married men with the largest families, and I think that will commend itself to all fair-minded men. Be patient; believe that this Committee will do all it can and remember that you will have to earn whatever is paid to you.”

A few men interrupted demanding assistants, help and money, to which Harry replied that must understand they are not a Board of Guardians, and that they cannot dole out money. All the single men then withdrew in a perfectly orderly fashion, and the members of the Committee and the officials were busy until nine o’clock taking down particulars of each married man’s case and entering on cards – name, address, age, number of children dependent, children’s ages, last situation, name of last employer. The total number of applicants, married and single, was over three hundred, plus seventy-seven married men had applied before presenting themselves. A number of the men were brickmakers, who had been earning good wages during the season which had just ended. Many of the applicants had been working at the Hadleigh Road operations which closed in June. The Paving and Lighting Committee sat again on Thursday, 15th October for the consideration of the applicants received. E.A.D.T. – Thursday, 15th October 1908

 

“HEARTS ACROSS THE SEA”

In June 1908, the boys of the Central School, Smart Street, Ipswich had received a fine Union Jack from their brothers across the sea in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. The gifted flag now flew nobly and with joy and pleasure from the central flagstaff, its presence reminding the children of their brothers and sisters down under. After the visit of Mr. Bryan Walter Wells, of Ipswich, Queensland, the pupils of the Central School, Ipswich wanted to gift the children of Ipswich, Queensland with two flags, one from the boys and one from the girls. The money for the two flags was subscribed by the children and teachers. FROM SUFFOLK TO QUEENSLAND On Tuesday, 20th October 1908, Harry Raffe, as the Mayor of Ipswich, attended an impressive presentation ceremony at the Central Council School, Smart Street, Ipswich. At 10 o’clock the children had assembled in the playground and had been drawn up in double columns under the charge of the Headmaster, Mr. James Harrison and Miss Broom, the Headmistress, and the assistant teachers. A large number of the parents and friends had gathered in the playground too. A platform had been erected in the corner of the playground for the Mayor, Harry Raffe, the Vice Chairman of Managers, Mr. Henry Underwood, Mr. Charles Ernest Tempest, and Mr. Sydney Brand. Sadly, Sir Daniel Ford Goddard, M.P., was unable to attend, so the chair was taken by Henry Underwood. The proceedings commenced with the singing of “God save the King,” after which the children marched past the flags, which were displayed from two top windows, at the salute. The Empire Day was then sung. Mr. Henry Underwood spoke the children that they had been honoured by two visits from the Mayor in the year. Henry reminded them that they were part of a great Empire, and he was delighted that the children were sending two flags out to their brothers and sisters in Queensland and were also sending some fine photographs of the Headmaster, Headmistress, and teachers.

The Headmaster, Mr. James Harrison, accompanied by one of the head boys, William Mayhew, carried the Union Jack towards the Mayor and handed him the flag, asking for Harry’s acceptance of the flag, on behalf of the boys of the Central School, Ipswich, to the boys of Ipswich, Queensland. They sent it with feelings of very kind regard and felt it was the means of stretching hands across the sea.

Miss Broom then presented two girls to the Mayor, and they handed over an East Anglian flag from the girl’s school. The girls sent them the East Anglian flag with every demonstration of their interest and affection.

Harry Raffe, as Mayor remarked that it was with very great pleasure that he accepted the flags to send to Queensland. There was something higher than hands across the sea, and that was hearts across the sea. It would be the means of proving in days to come what hearts across the sea really meant because it was quite likely that in their lifetime people would not think more of going to Queensland than their great-grandparents did of going to London. Harry thought that the facilities of travel would in time be so great that they would very likely meet some of their brothers and sisters in Queensland and he knew of nothing nicer than that they should be able to see the flags and photographs that they were sending out that day. He did from his heart accept the flags on behalf of Ipswich, Queensland, not so much from the idea of Empire and hands across the sea, because he believed the outcome would be “Hearts across the sea.!”

On the motion of Charles Tempest, seconded by Sydney Bland, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to the Mayor. The Mayor, in reply, said he thought every credit was due to the children for subscribing for two such fine flags, and as some recompense, he had asked that they might have a holiday on Friday, and this had been granted. A vote of thanks to the Chairman and three cheers for the Mayor brought the presentation to a close. Evening Star – Tuesday, 20th October 1908

SUFFOLK NEEDLEWORK GUILD

On Tuesday, 27th October 1908, the Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe, presided over the 21st anniversary celebration of the Suffolk Needlework Guild, at the Town Hall, Ipswich. Lady Mary Ethel Harcourt, of the London Guild was an honour guest for the afternoon event.

Harry Raffe opened the meeting by explaining that the object of the Guild was to distribute ready-made clothes amongst the poor of Suffolk, hospitals, and charitable institutions. It was an encouragement to do useful work. He knew at the meeting there were many ladies who had never worked for the Guild and he hoped that the result of this anniversary meeting many more would interest themselves in it. An entrance fee of 6.1. was charged to join, and members were bound to contribute at least two useful garments a year. Clothing could also be purchased as well as made, so that anyone who could not work had a chance to spend money in order to benefit the Guild. Men were allowed as members. All classes, and all sections of religious bodies, were invited. Harry told those gathered that twenty-one years ago the number of garments distributed was 800; in 1907 a special effort was made to raise the total up to 8,000 for the coming-of-age in 1908, and they had exceeded that number by 208! Lady Beatrice Pretyman, the President of the Guild, welcomed Lady Harcourt in the name of the Suffolk members and referred to her Ladyship’s kindness in consenting to give them some of her valuable experience in connection with the London Guild.

Lady Harcourt in her speech said she felt she was preaching to the converted. They ought to be very proud to belong to such a well-established agency, by which distress could be alleviated – not only by those who had wealth and leisure, but those whose hands knew what it was to toll; to whom the cost of material meant self-denial, and whose work was done in the scant spare moments of a busy life. On the suggestion of the Hon. Mrs. Halford, it was resolved to send a message to Mrs. Gertrude Louisa Georgina Lloyd Anstruther, who had started the Suffolk Needlework Guild 21 years ago, and who was now invalid. A vote of thanks was also passed to Lady Beatrice Pretyman.

The various garments numbering over 8,000 were on view in the Library. E.A.D. T. – Wednesday, 28th October 1908

IN THE ANNALS OF MAYORDOM

To mark the end of his year as Mayor of Ipswich, Harry Raffe, invited all the clergy and ministers of the borough for a luncheon at the Town Hall, Ipswich. All those who could attend assembled on Thursday, 5th November 1908, in the Library and enjoyed an excellent luncheon supplied by the Queen’s Restaurant. Harry presided over the unique gathering and all around him were representatives of every sect in the town, who had evidently been “mixed” with care and deliberation. On the whole, those present appeared to thoroughly enjoy the novel situation and the gathering was as full of cordiality as Harry Raffe could have wished. One speaker at the gathering described it, “in the annals of Mayordom.” The only Laymen present were the Town Clerk, Mr. Will Bantoft and Mr. Herbert Fison.

The Mayor first proposed the health of the King and Queen and remarked that, while they might be divided into sections from a religious standpoint, they were all loyal to the Crown. The toast was cordially honoured. Harry went on to say that he suspected his guests felt surprised at the invitation, and he confessed he was slow in sending it, because he felt somewhat nervous. He then overcome that feeling and took the plunge and so his good friend Will Bantoft, the Town Clerk sent out 49 invitations. Harry was delighted when 13 accepted. Four letters of absence were kindly sent to Harry and two invitations had been sent to curates who had not replied and was later discovered that they had already left the town. Harry told those gathered that he had not invited them all there with the idea of converting them to his views, which made the gentlemen laugh. He had, however, a great wish to foster, as far as he could friendly feelings between the various exponents of religion, and though he was a strong Free Churchman, he frequently, when in the country, attended the Church of England, and generally found it good enough for him. He believed that meetings like that tended to rub off a lot of the sharp angles, which never ought to be there! The sooner these sharp angles were knocked off the better. Harry invited them to drink to their own good selves. He had during his time as Mayor received great kindness and consideration from the representatives of religion in the town.

Canon Patrick Rogers replied and compared the spirit of toleration now prevailing in Ipswich with the bigotry of the people when he first came to the town in 1862. He was thankful that that time had passed away. Canon Rogers had then left the town and returned 23 years ago and was the first Roman Catholic priest invited to a Mayor’s dinner in Ipswich, Mr. John Henry Josselyn being the Mayor at the time. He told the gentlemen gathered that he now had many kind friends, whom he could not have claimed as such when he was in Ipswich before. He joined in Harry Raffe’s desire for unity in all good works in which they could assist each other.

On the motion of the Reverend Edward James Gilchrist, second, by the Reverend S. Green, very hearty thanks were voted to the Mayor. The Mayor in reply, said that the fact that his invitation had been so numerously accepted heightened the pleasure he felt in meeting them there on that occasion. Evening Star – Friday, 6th November 1908

 

At the end of his year as Mayor of Ipswich, Alderman William John Catchpole proposed a vote of thanks to the outgoing Mayor. He trusted that Harry Raffe would be made a permanent Magistrate – a wish to which Harry dissented. Miss Raffe was also thanked for assisting her father at public functions in the most graceful way, and for being a most charming hostess.

 

DEPUTY MAYOR
IPSWICH FREE LIBRARIES

In November 1908, Harry Raffe, as Deputy Mayor of Ipswich kindly presented two copies of Queen Alexandra’s Gift Book to Mr. Henry Ogle, Librarian and Clerk, for each of the three Municipal Libraries in the Borough. Evening Star – Monday, 23rd November 1908

WITH DEEP REGRET THE RESIGNATION OF HARRY RAFFE

On Wednesday, 9th February 1910, at a quarterly meeting of the Ipswich Town Council, Sir Daniel Ford Goddard, M.P., moved that the Council had received with deep regret the resignation of Harry William Raffe, who for 17 years had been an active member of the Council. 17 years was a long period of one’s life to devote to the service of the town. Sir Daniel went on to say that as all members of the Council knew, Harry had had not spared himself in any way whatsoever in carrying out the duties of his office. He had been especially interested in providing work for the unemployed through two very bad seasons.

The Council received with regret the resignation from Harry Raffe, especially when they knew it was largely brought about by ill health which made him unable to carry out his duties any longer.

Alderman George Fenn seconded the resolution. The Mayor, Alexander Gibb put the resolution and said that Harry Raffe had done splendid work for the town of Ipswich, and the town was much indebted to him. Harry was a man of strong convictions and did his work and duty without fear and without favour. The resolution was unanimously passed. E.A.D.T. – Thursday, 10th February 1910

 

SOURCES:

Images of mayors courtesy of Mr. A. Gilbert – Ipswich Borough Council.

www.ancestry.co.uk   for census returns, births, marriages, deaths, probates, military records and other historical online records.

Members of the Council – in and since 1835 – Mr. B.P. Grimsey – July 1892.

www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

 

 

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