Days Gone By - How the spiral car park in Civic Drive became an Ipswich landmark

The spiral underground car park from the roof of the Civic Centre in Civic Drive in July 2007. The N

The spiral underground car park from the roof of the Civic Centre in Civic Drive in July 2007. The New Wolsey Theatre (right) opened in September 1979. (Picture David Kindred).

Work to build Ipswich’s spiral underground car park, off Civic Drive, started around 1964, along as part of a wider regeneration of the whole area, writes David Kindred.

The spiral underground car during construction in March 1966. Aerial photograph by Tony Ray/Archant.

The spiral underground car during construction in March 1966. Aerial photograph by Tony Ray/Archant.

Civic Drive was cut through to Princes Street and St Matthew’s Street was widened and, despite contractors hitting problems with water springs during excavation work, the car park was formally opened by the mayor of Ipswich, Marjory Keeble, in April 1967.

There was very little in the way of safety clothing for construction workers at the underground car

There was very little in the way of safety clothing for construction workers at the underground car park site in August 1966

Now work to refurbish it starts this month as part of the Theatre Square project. It is hoped that work will be completed in sections.

Working on the car park

Working on the car park

In this week’s Days Gone By I have found photographs of the car park being built. Our photo above shows the underground car park from the roof of the now demolished Civic Centre in July 2007. The New Wolsey Theatre, right, opened in September 1979.

Who were these workmen laying mosaic tiles on the base of the fountain at the car park in February 1

Who were these workmen laying mosaic tiles on the base of the fountain at the car park in February 1967?

There was very little in the way of safety clothing for construction workers at the underground car park site in August 1966 when EADT/Ipswich Star photographer Ivan Smith visited. Do you know any of the men featured in the next two photos?

Or maybe you can tell us who these workmen are who were laying mosaic tiles on the base of the fountain at the car park in February 1967?

The fountain was switched off soon after the opening as car park visitors were often soaked on a windy day.

If the photographs bring back memories share them via email

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