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
The refurbishment of Ipswich station is nearing completion and to mark the we are looking back at the station's history.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Do you have memories of Ipswich Station from the past or did you work there? Share your memories via email