Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 16°C

Search

When sailing barges were vital for international trade

PUBLISHED: 16:10 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:53 18 January 2018

When barges ruled the world. The 16th Ipswich Maritime Trust window display features the role of barges and Ipswich in international trade. At Ipswich Waterfront

When barges ruled the world. The 16th Ipswich Maritime Trust window display features the role of barges and Ipswich in international trade. At Ipswich Waterfront

Archant

Window Museum displays at Albion Wharf reflects the importance of the Ipswich barge fleet in days gone by

Ipswich Waterfront, looking up towards town, on a winter's day.Ipswich Waterfront, looking up towards town, on a winter's day.

Another new display by the Ipswich Maritime Trust in its Window Museum on Albion Wharf celebrates the role of our sailing barges in trading here, there and everywhere, in days gone by,

Those were the days when Ipswich was the home port of probably the largest fleet of commercial sailing craft in Northern Europe.

Chairman of the ‘Window Wizards’ team of Trust volunteers Des Pawson describes how, with this display, they want to show not only that the Thames Barge served East Anglian ports, but that they traded much further afield, as far as the Upper Humber, across the North Sea to Holland and even 150 miles up the Rhine to Remagen in Germany.

In that particular case bringing the latest ‘must have’ product to the London markets of the 1850s – sparkling water

in glass bottles. Once drunk the bottles were then sailed back to Remagen to be re-filled - reminding us that international recycling is not a modern concept.

Down Channel the barges served such ports as Dunkirk and Calais, and way round to the south of England as afar as Southampton and Portland and occasionally even further west.

A large detailed map of the creeks & farm wharves on the Orwell & Stour shows examples of the remote creeks and landing places served by these ‘lorries of the sea’ before the days of bulk road transport.

One particularly poignant photograph shows the last barge to reach the creek known as ‘Johnny-all-alone’ with a cargo of manure from London, taken around the time that other local barges were saving the lives of servicemen from the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940.

Trust director Stuart Grimwade is still kept busy restoring these and other newly discovered old photographs for their Image Archive.

The barge relics shown are a monument to the days when Thames Barges were in their thousands.

One particularly prized item of the Trust is the bow badge of the barge PRIDE OF IPSWICH. They are also a tribute to the foresight of those enthusiasts that had the presence of mind to save them from mud where they lay rotting.

He said: “Barges are an important part of the historic waterfront today, they are still commercial vessels but today their cargos are people. We should cherish them, and make sure that their new role as ambassadors of the Town’s maritime heritage is protected.”

Members of the public are being advised not to approach a Hollesley Bay prisoner, who has absconded.

A man was arrested on suspicion of drug driving after his vehicle was stopped due to way it was being driving.

An Ipswich woman will appear on Channel 5’s Blind Date TV show this Saturday in hope of finding love accompanied by her guinea pig.

Ipswich Borough Council leader DAVID ELLESMERE writes about what needs to happen to solve Britain’s housing crisis.

An army veteran from Colchester who lost both legs in a bomb blast in Afghanistan has become an ambassador for an independent road safety charity.

Campaigners are calling for more scrutiny of police after strip-searches more than doubled over six years in Suffolk.

From some special results to the birthday of Beano check out these five stories you may have missed this week.

The sale of household coal could be phased out and wet wood sales restricted in a bid to cut down on pollution from people lighting fireplaces in their homes.

The eighth annual One Big Multicultural Festival will be held on Sunday September 2 in Ipswich’s Alexandra Park.

A married couple from Suffolk will attempt to break the record for the fastest husband and wife crossing of the English channel to raise awareness of ocean plastic pollution.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24