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Days Gone By: The rich boating history of Pin Mill

PUBLISHED: 12:49 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:54 20 February 2018

Pin Mill in the 1970s. Chelmondiston is at the top of the picture. Picture: JIM EMPSON

Pin Mill in the 1970s. Chelmondiston is at the top of the picture. Picture: JIM EMPSON

Dave Kindred

Pin Mill is a popular destination for sailors, walkers, artists, photographers and those visiting the centuries old Butt and Oyster public house.


Barges on the hard at Pin Mill in September 1979. The barge on the left is the Marjorie.  Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE
Barges on the hard at Pin Mill in September 1979. The barge on the left is the Marjorie. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

The Butt and Oyster was first recorded as a public house in 1553 when licensing laws began. The Port of Ipswich’s bailiffs and burgesses held Admiralty Courts there between 1546 and 1552.

Pin Mill was in the past a landing point for cargo heading in and out of Suffolk.

Up to the Second World War huge sailing ships, which brought grain from around the world, would anchor at Butterman’s Bay, close to Pin Mill, to offload cargo onto barges so that the ships were lightened to enter the dock at Ipswich. Boat building and repairs still continue at Pin Mill today. There are now several house boats moored along the bank towards Shotley.

Harry King and Sons boat yard at Pin Mill in July 1976. Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL
Harry King and Sons boat yard at Pin Mill in July 1976. Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL

Do the photographs in todays Days Gone By provoke any memories for you or can you add names to those featured? To submit a letter, in less than 300 words, write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS or send an e-mail.


Who was this character photographed at Pin Mill in July 1976? Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL 
Who was this character photographed at Pin Mill in July 1976? Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL

Can you name this trio who were at J Ward and Son Yacht Chandlery, Pin Mill, in July 1976? Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL 
Can you name this trio who were at J Ward and Son Yacht Chandlery, Pin Mill, in July 1976? Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL

Who was the landlord at the Butt and Oyster, Pin Mill, in July 1976. Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL 
Who was the landlord at the Butt and Oyster, Pin Mill, in July 1976. Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL

Repairs on a vessel at Pin Mill, in July 1980. Picture: TONY RAY 
Repairs on a vessel at Pin Mill, in July 1980. Picture: TONY RAY

Boat building at Webb’s yard in September 1963. Picture: IVAN SMITH
Boat building at Webb’s yard in September 1963. Picture: IVAN SMITH


The annual ‘Grindle Dig’ at Pin Mill, in April 1984. Volunteers clear the waterway so that the steam flows into the River Orwell which also allows boats to land when the tide is low. Picture: OWEN HINES 
The annual ‘Grindle Dig’ at Pin Mill, in April 1984. Volunteers clear the waterway so that the steam flows into the River Orwell which also allows boats to land when the tide is low. Picture: OWEN HINES

A young helper at the Pin Mill ‘Grindle Dig’, in April 1984. Picture: OWNE HINES

A young helper at the Pin Mill ‘Grindle Dig’, in April 1984. Picture: OWNE HINES


Pin Mill from the River Orwell in the 1890s. The Butt and Oyster public house is on the left. The building on the right has gone and this is now the entrance to the public house car park. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE
Pin Mill from the River Orwell in the 1890s. The Butt and Oyster public house is on the left. The building on the right has gone and this is now the entrance to the public house car park. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

This view of Pin Mill has the Alma Inn on the left. The Alma closed early in the twentieth century. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE
This view of Pin Mill has the Alma Inn on the left. The Alma closed early in the twentieth century. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

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