Days Gone By - compare Ipswich scenes then and now

St Margarets Street, Ipswich, from Majors Corner, in the 1930s

St Margarets Street, Ipswich, from Majors Corner, in the 1930s

From the Dock, now known as The Waterfront, to the streets in and around the town centre, we see many changes in Ipswich town centre.

The same view today

The same view today

This week David Kindred has revisited the sites of photographs taken of Ipswich decades ago. Some fine old buildings have been swept away and replaced with modern architecture. A few scenes are instantly recognisable, while others have changed so much there is not a single landmark left from the past.

Our first photo, above, shows St Margarets Street, viewed from Majors Corner, in the 1930s. This view changed little until the mid 1960s.

The Odeon has been boarded up for years now

The Odeon has been boarded up for years now

The Mann Egerton and Botwoods Garage on the right, extended through to Woodbridge Road. The shops in the centre included H Havell gramophone shop and Payne’s hairdressers.

But now the closed Odeon Cinema and the Regent’s car park stand on the site of these buildings as seen in the second photo.

Neptune Quay at Ipswich Dock around 1950 - photo Ipswich Maritime Trust Archive

Neptune Quay at Ipswich Dock around 1950 - photo Ipswich Maritime Trust Archive


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The next photo shows Neptune Quay at Ipswich Dock around 1950.

The buildings on the right belonged to Meux Breweries Co Ltd, Malsters.

The same view today

The same view today

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But those buildings have now been replaced, as we see in the more recent view of the Ipswich Waterfront.

The area is now mostly residential and leisure use.

Tavern Street, Ipswich, in May 1945, as the town celebrated Victory in Europe Day

Tavern Street, Ipswich, in May 1945, as the town celebrated Victory in Europe Day

Tavern Street is seen here in May 1945, as the town celebrated Victory in Europe Day. The buildings have changed little in over 70 years.

The shops on the right included the True Form shoe shop, Stuarts clothes shop, The Maypole Dairy and at the corner of Tower Street, Frank Masons clothes shop. Included on the left were Stuarts hat shop, Thompson’s confectioners, Ridleys clothes shop, who then traded as “Civil and Military Outfitters”.

The same view today

The same view today

At the corner of Dial Lane was Gardiner’s “Fashion Specialists”.

The old names may have gone but the same buildings can be seen in this more modern view of Tavern Street.

Queen Street, Ipswich, in the mid 1930s

Queen Street, Ipswich, in the mid 1930s

Several of the buildings on the left of this view of Queen Street, Ipswich, were due to be demolished soon after this photograph, taken in the 1930s, was shot.

The building behind the two pedestrians on the right is still there.

The same view today

The same view today

However, the newer photo shows the road has been widened to better cope with traffic.

The former Angel Inn at the junction of Angel Lane, St Clements Church Lane and Fore Street, Ipswich, in the mid 1930s. References to the Angel Inn can be found back to 1674.

The former Angel Inn at the junction of Angel Lane, St Clements Church Lane and Fore Street, Ipswich

The former Angel Inn at the junction of Angel Lane, St Clements Church Lane and Fore Street, Ipswich, in the mid 1930s

It closed as an inn in 1900 when it became a greengrocers and then the St Clements Coffee House. It was demolished in the second half of the 1930s. T

The building on the left was the Lion and Lamb public house which closed in 1908.

The same view today

The same view today

The building was being used as a shop when this photograph was taken. This building was also demolished in the 1930s.

Now modern offices and housing dominates this area.

St Matthews Street, Ipswich, from the junction of Crown Street and Westgate Street, in the 1920s

St Matthews Street, Ipswich, from the junction of Crown Street and Westgate Street, in the 1920s

This photo shows St Matthews Street, Ipswich, from the junction of Crown Street and Westgate Street, in the 1920s.

This view changed little until the mid 1960s when all of the buildings were demolished and the road made into a dual carriageway.

The same view today

The same view today

The Rainbow public house on the right closed in November 1961.

Now it is awash with 1960s architecture.

Fore Street, Ipswich, in the early 1960s

Fore Street, Ipswich, in the early 1960s

Some of the buildings on the right of Fore Street, including Weston’s radio and television shop and The Record Collectors Shop, have been demolished since this photo was taken in the early 1960s.

Those on the left have been refronted but remain largely uncahnged, as you can see from the more recent photo taken by Mr Kindred. It shows a modern replacement for the parade of shops to the right.

The same view of Fore Street as it looks now.

The same view of Fore Street as it looks now.

This photo of Tavern Street, taken from Carr Street around 1900, gives a wonderful insight to life at the turn of the century.

A team of well-dressed workmen are seen repairing the road.

Tavern Street from Carr Street around 1900 as a team of workmen repaired the road

Tavern Street from Carr Street around 1900 as a team of workmen repaired the road

The White Horse Hotel, on the right of this original photo, closed in 2008.

And in the modern photo you can see Cotswold occupy part of the former hotel while Starbucks operate from the remainder of the site.

A more recent look at the site

A more recent look at the site

A photo from the Ipswich Maritime Trust Archive shows a busy day at Ipswich Dock in the early years of the 20th century.

Barges and a coaster occupy the area used by Cranfields, R and W Paul and Burton Son and Sanders.

A busy day at Ipswich Dock in the early years of the 20th century - Ipswich Maritime Trust Archive

A busy day at Ipswich Dock in the early years of the 20th century - Ipswich Maritime Trust Archive

Today those buildings are either crumbling or have been demolished and replaced with flats - or part built flats, as you can see in the following photo.

The old barges have also been replaced buy high performance speed boats and luxury yachts.

A more recent look at the site

A more recent look at the site

Our final pair of photos show Ransomes Quay in the early 1960s. Engineering company Ransomes Sims and Jefferies, occupied a large site on the right of this view. They moved from here in the mid 1960s to what is now Ransomes Europark.

The silo in the background belonged to Eastern Counties Farmers, this is now the site of the university building. Neptune Quay is in the background.

Ransomes Quay in the early 1960s - Ipswich Maritime Archive Trust

Ransomes Quay in the early 1960s - Ipswich Maritime Archive Trust

The James Hehir building, including the Cult Cafe (right), now stands on part of the former Ransomes Sims and Jefferies site at the Waterfront. The quay was extended in 1968.

If you have memories of the buildings lost to redevelopment it would be interesting to hear your memories of working or visiting those featured. Share your memories via e-mail

A more recent look at the site

A more recent look at the site

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