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Days Gone By: How holidays by the sea led to huge growth in Felixstowe

PUBLISHED: 13:11 03 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:16 03 August 2017

Felixstowe in August 1888. The pier is now in the centre of this view taken from close to where the Town Hall was built four years later. There were then very few buildings towards Landguard point (background). Picture: ARCHANT

Felixstowe in August 1888. The pier is now in the centre of this view taken from close to where the Town Hall was built four years later. There were then very few buildings towards Landguard point (background). Picture: ARCHANT

Dave Kindred

Felixstowe grew in the 19th and early 20th century – partly because of the Victorian and Edwardian fashion of bathing in the sea and holidays on the coast, writes David Kindred.

Goat cart rides were popular at Felixstowe in the Edwardian period. This photograph was taken at the bottom of Convalescent Hill around 1910. Picture: ARCHANTGoat cart rides were popular at Felixstowe in the Edwardian period. This photograph was taken at the bottom of Convalescent Hill around 1910. Picture: ARCHANT

In the middle of the 19th century it was a village of around 600 people.

A rail link with Ipswich was built with a branch line from Westerfield, by Colonel George Tomline, of Orwell Park estate at Nacton.

It had a station to the south of the town, which opened in 1877.

Colonel Tomline’s vision was a new town, seaside resort and a port on land he owned to the south of the town.

The 2,640 foot pier on the sea front (there was another at the port) opened in July1905, connecting the town with the steamer services from London. The Woolwich Belle was the first to call, operating a service between Ipswich, Walton-on-Naze and Clacton. This photograph was taken in 1911.The 2,640 foot pier on the sea front (there was another at the port) opened in July1905, connecting the town with the steamer services from London. The Woolwich Belle was the first to call, operating a service between Ipswich, Walton-on-Naze and Clacton. This photograph was taken in 1911.

The Felixstowe line was bought by the Great Eastern Railway in 1887 who wanted to boost the desire for holidays by the sea.

A new station was built nearer the expanding town and the wooden station to the south became Felixstowe Beach Station.

As the summer holidays are now in full swing I have taken a look a vintage photographs of the resort showing how our ancestors enjoyed the refreshing sea air.

What are your Felixstowe memories? Write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS or send an email.

Victorians on the beach in 1889. The bathing huts were so that swimmers could enter the water unseen. Convalescent Hill in the left background was then just a dirt track.Victorians on the beach in 1889. The bathing huts were so that swimmers could enter the water unseen. Convalescent Hill in the left background was then just a dirt track.

In July 1965 the fountain at the front of Charles ManningÕs Amusement Park had soap liquid added. Among those who enjoyed the resulting bubble bath were dancers from the summer show at the Spa Pavilion.In July 1965 the fountain at the front of Charles ManningÕs Amusement Park had soap liquid added. Among those who enjoyed the resulting bubble bath were dancers from the summer show at the Spa Pavilion.

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