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Days Gone By - What did Ipswich station look like when it originally opened?

PUBLISHED: 17:35 24 January 2017 | UPDATED: 17:35 24 January 2017

There was a large staff at Ipswich Station in 1895.

There was a large staff at Ipswich Station in 1895.

Dave Kindred

The refurbishment of Ipswich station is nearing completion and to mark the we are looking back at the station's history.

Ipswich Station from Stoke Hill around 1860. The River Orwell is in the left background. The building in the right background was Russell HouseIpswich Station from Stoke Hill around 1860. The River Orwell is in the left background. The building in the right background was Russell House

It was July 1844 when the Eastern Union Railway obtained an Act of Parliament to build a line between Ipswich and Colchester to connect with the service from London to Colchester, which had operated since March 1843, writes photographer and local history enthusiast David Kindred.

An artists impression of the original Ipswich Station in Croft Street.
An artists impression of the original Ipswich Station in Croft Street.

The site of the first Ipswich Station was in Croft Street with the service to Colchester opening in June 11, 1846. The tunnel through Stoke Hill was built in 1845-6 connecting to the line being built by the Ipswich and Bury Railway to Bury St Edmunds. The formal opening of the line to Bury St Edmunds was on December 7, 1846.

Arrivals at Ipswich Station in the late 1890s were greeted by this archway over the entrance to Princes Street for delegates to an Ancient Order of Foresters eventArrivals at Ipswich Station in the late 1890s were greeted by this archway over the entrance to Princes Street for delegates to an Ancient Order of Foresters event

In 1860 the present Ipswich Station opened and here we look at some of the changes to the area in a period spanning around 150 years.

Ipswich station from near the entrance to the tunnel on the main Ipswich to London line in the 1950sIpswich station from near the entrance to the tunnel on the main Ipswich to London line in the 1950s

The photo above shows Ipswich station from near the entrance to the tunnel on the main Ipswich to London line in the 1950s. The siding off to the right has now gone. The Station Hotel, at the junction of Princes Street, is on the extreme right.

The Station Hotel at the corner of Burrell Road and Princes Street was built soon after the station opened in 1860The Station Hotel at the corner of Burrell Road and Princes Street was built soon after the station opened in 1860

This photograph, from around 1915, shows that the original hotel building was extended along Burrell Road. Several changes have been made to the frontage of the building since this photograph was taken.

A pair of Ipswich trams at the junction of Princes Street and Burrell Road,  around 1905. The trams ran a service to and from the CornhillA pair of Ipswich trams at the junction of Princes Street and Burrell Road, around 1905. The trams ran a service to and from the Cornhill

In October 1880 a horse-drawn tram service was introduced, running between the station and the Cornhill. This was later replaced by electric trams.

The Great Eastern Railway Company ran an open topped bus service from the Station to ShotleyThe Great Eastern Railway Company ran an open topped bus service from the Station to Shotley

The Great Eastern Railway Company ran an open topped bus service from the Station to Shotley. Passengers on the top deck were supplied with waterproof sheets during wet weather. The service ran from 1905 to 1916. The service restarted after the First World War and was later sold to the Eastern Counties Road Car Company.

Elephants belonging to a visiting circus leaving Ipswich Station in the 1950s after arriving in town by trainElephants belonging to a visiting circus leaving Ipswich Station in the 1950s after arriving in town by train

Here we see elephants belonging to a visiting circus leaving Ipswich Station in the 1950s after arriving in town by train. The animals were paraded through town to promote the visit. Circuses used a site at the junction of London Road and Ranelagh Road or Christchurch Park during their stay. Circuses featuring performing animals are no longer permitted in the Ipswich borough boundary. The houses in Ranelagh Road (right background) were demolished around 1960.

A large crowd gathered at Ipswich Station to watch as the Household Cavalry headed along Princes Street after arriving in the town by train in the 1950sA large crowd gathered at Ipswich Station to watch as the Household Cavalry headed along Princes Street after arriving in the town by train in the 1950s

Britannia 70012 John of Gaunt arriving at Ipswich Station through the Stoke Hill tunnel in the 1950s, with the Liverpool Street to Norwich expressBritannia 70012 John of Gaunt arriving at Ipswich Station through the Stoke Hill tunnel in the 1950s, with the Liverpool Street to Norwich express

Ipswich Station before the island platforms were built on the right of this view in 1883. Stoke Hill is in the backgroundIpswich Station before the island platforms were built on the right of this view in 1883. Stoke Hill is in the background

Another event, which attracted a crowd in 1967, was when the Flying Scotsman pulled the Cathedrals Express into Ipswich StationAnother event, which attracted a crowd in 1967, was when the Flying Scotsman pulled the Cathedrals Express into Ipswich Station

Do you have memories of Ipswich Station from the past or did you work there? Share your memories via email

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