Discovery excitement builds

EXCITEMENT was building in Ipswich's historical and maritime circles today as the town prepared for one of its most important visitors in recent years.

EXCITEMENT was building in Ipswich's historical and maritime circles today as the town prepared for one of its most important visitors in recent years.

The replica of the Discovery, the smallest of a fleet of three vessels which carried adventurers to America in 1607, was scheduled to arrive in Ipswich this evening, before being lowered into the water at the Wet Dock tomorrow.

The arrival of the tiny vessel, which set off on its journey to the New World in December 1606, heralds the beginning of a series of activities celebrating the 400th anniversary of the settling of Jamestown, Virginia.

The Discovery was due to arrive from Bristol tonight, after being carried across the Atlantic on the flight deck of a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship and offloaded in Southampton in October last year.

She will be lowered into the water at the Wet Dock before being moored outside the Old Custom House where she will be open to the public, free of charge, from this Monday until Monday, August 13 from 10am to 6pm.

Today Des Pawson MBE, chairman of Ipswich Maritime Trust, said the visit would serve to remind the town of the importance its port and river played in its history.

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He said: “It's a reminder that there's been a port there since Saxon times and many expeditions and events have occurred from the waters of the Orwell.

“One has to realise the significance of these guys exploring the New World 400 years ago. It wasn't quite as extreme as going to the moon but it was pretty incredible.”

To coincide with the visit, Ipswich Maritime Trust is hosting an exhibition at The Old Custom House detailing Ipswich's maritime history. The exhibition will be open from August 6 to 13 from 10am to 6pm.

Are you looking forward to the arrival of Discovery? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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