Gallery: Do you remember the inferno at Ipswich maltings? As new flats are built on site, David Kindred relives the past

Maltings 1970.
Huge flames from the maltings fire threatened houses in Bulstrode Road, Ipswich. Pho

Maltings 1970. Huge flames from the maltings fire threatened houses in Bulstrode Road, Ipswich. Photo by Alan Valentine.

If you have visited the Stoke Bridge area of Ipswich in recent months you cannot fail to notice the huge block of flats with some bright turquoise walls, now nearing completion, on a site between Stoke Quay and Great Whip Street.

Until the 1970s most of this site was occupied by The Ipswich Malting company’s premises. Maltings building around the dock area of Ipswich were once a familiar site. Local farmers produced high quality barley which was processed into malt for centuries. There was a great demand for malt from local and national brewers.

The most prominent reminder now of the trade is the huge building operated by R and W Paul Ltd in Felaw Street. The building is now converted to offices.

In the 1960s we still had J. W. Branston Ltd New Cut, The Ipswich Malting Company Ltd, Stoke Quay, Issac Lord, Fore Street and Meux Brewery Ltd, Neptune Quay and R and W Paul, Felaw Street. The building near the Princes Street bridge built in 1866, now an entertainments centre, was a maltings until the 1960s.

One of the biggest was the complex owned by The Ipswich Maltings Company. It was badly damaged by fire in September 1970s and demolished later in that decade. A plumber’s merchants had a trade site built there, which was demolished in recent years.

Do you recall the Ipswich malting industry? Share your memories by emailing David at info@kindred-spirit.co.ukMore from David Kindred here