Days Gone By - EADT and Ipswich Star prepare to leave Lower Brook Street and move to new offices at Portman House
PUBLISHED: 19:40 11 October 2016 | UPDATED: 14:32 12 October 2016
We are on the move again. The offices of Archant, the publishers of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, are moving this month to newly refurbished offices in Portman House, writes David Kindred.
Portman House, at the junction of Princes Street and Portman Road, was part of a complex of buildings once occupied by the Churchman and John Players cigar and cigarette company. Production came to an end in 1992 when owner Imperial Tobacco switched manufacturing to Bristol. More recently, it was occupied by CSV Media, which moved to the Old Crown Court building in Civic Drive.
The first ever edition of the East Anglian Daily Times was published on October 13, 1874, from offices 21 Upper Brook Street but the paper was forced to move about a year later, at short notice, following a legal dispute with the landlord. The company moved to 17 Carr Street where they remained until a purpose built site was opened at 13 Carr Street on June 21, 1887.
The site incorporated a large house, the staircase and “Oak Room” which were retained.
The imposing building at the corner of Carr Street and Little Colman Street was home to the local newspapers for almost eighty years. This photograph was probably taken in 1888 when buildings opposite had been demolished and the road widened.
Managing director and editor Ralph Wilson, seen in this image, was a regular visitor in the company’s social club in Little Colman Street. The club was then housed in two tiny terraced houses opposite the pressroom.
This photograph was taken during one of the last evenings at the club in 1966. Included in the picture are Don Haste (left), Barry Mills (second left) Peter Kidd (third left) Neville Smith (fourth right) and Ken Rice (right). Ken Rice became editor of both the East Anglian Daily Times and Evening Star later in his career.
Fifty years ago, during the weekend of April 23-24 1966, the EADT and Evening Star moved from the printing works and offices in Carr Street.
Here we can see a hole which had been cut in the first floor of the Little Colman Street side of the building to allow printing equipment to be moved from the site during the weekend of the great move.
This photos shows Lower Brook Street in the mid 1930s. A 1958 directory lists S and H Porter and Company Ltd leather merchants and Cobbold and Company Ltd wine and spirit merchants as the occupiers.
These buildings were demolished to clear the site for the new buildings.
Here we see the Lower Brook Street site in April 1964 as demolition was completed.
Silos at the dock are in the background of this photo.
A topping out ceremony was held on the roof of the new newspapers offices in Lower Brook Street in June 1965.
Mr George Lockett, centre left, a director of the firm and Mr P Scowsill managing director of Cubitt, Kenny and Sadler Ltd, the principal contractors, joined workmen for a traditional drink of beer.
This photo shows one of the many Linotype type setting machines being removed from the Carr Street site in 1966.
The move looks far more complex that the one to Portman House will be.
Another item that was relocated was the panelling from the Oak Room from the original offices was incorporated into the managing directors office at Lower Brook Street - and it is still here.
Electricians Ted Salter and Chris Lock are seen here installing teleprinter machines at the Lower Brook Street, Ipswich site in 1966.
This shows the pressroom at Lower Brook Street in April 1966. The new Crabtree Viscount rotary press cost £150,000 in 1966.
The press from Carr Street was later installed on the right of this view.
In February 1967 the final move took place with the landmark turret of the newspaper office in Carr Street removed so demolition work could start on the site.
A reception was held in the pressroom of the new site at Lower Brook Street in May 1966.
Guests had a buffet lunch and watched the Evening Star being printed.
Here we see staff from the various departments at work - reporters, telesales, typesetters and compositors.
Much has changed since these photos were taken - the papers are now printed from our print works in Thorpe, Norfolk.
Computers have long since replaced the type writers seen in these images, with reporters able to file straight to our websites and social media channels.
The Lower Brook Street office will close to the public at 4pm on Thursday, October 20 and we will open our doors in Princes Street at 9am on Monday, October 24.
Our old site has been bought by McCarthy and Stone and will be transformed into retirement living apartments and cottages.
Did you ever work at the company and what memories do you have of the Carr Street and Lower Brook Street sites? Share your memories via email