Gallery - Kindred Spirits: Portman Road stadium puts Ipswich on the world map
PUBLISHED: 14:00 13 May 2015
Say Portman Road and most people think of Ipswich Town Football Club but the area of town now home to the club was once marshland, writes David Kindred.
Stadium puts us on the world map
Pink performing at Ipswich Town Football Club in 2010
Pink on stage at Portman Road in June 2010.
A Territorial Army Memorial Service at Portman Road in May 1910. The houses in the background are in Alderman Road.
A tug-o-war contest during the Ipswich Sports Day in 1912. This was taking place on what is now the main pitch. The building in the left background was the Empress Skating rink
Was it the ascent of Captain Daleís scarlet and yellow balloon Eclipse in Ipswich, June 2, 1888, which inspired young Edith Cook?
A packed ground for the match between Ipswich and Colchester, February 5, 1938, when there was a crowd of 23,983. Ipswich won 3-2. This image produced from two photographs has the North Stand on the left.
Ipswich Town Football Club from the air in 1978.
The Churchmans stand is in the background of this picture of the Ipswich Junior school sports day in June 1966. Did you take part in this annual event at Portman Road?
A photographer climbed scaffolding to the top of the new chimney as the Constantine Road power station was being built in around 1903 to take this view across what is now the Ipswich Town Football Club ground
The Queen came to Suffolk in 1961, during her stay in Ipswich she visited Portman Road where thousands of local schoolchildren and youth organisations filled the stands. Were you there or are you one of the girls in the picture?
Walter Woollard was the groundsman at Ipswich Town Football Club over a century ago
1930s action with the Portman Road stand in the background. This was moved to Foxhall stadium when a new stand was built in the 1970s.
Schoolchildren cheering on their team during the annual Ipswich junior schools sports day at Portman Road in the mid 1960s.
A section of the crowd for a match in the 1960s.
Action at Portman Road in the 1950s.
Groundsmen working on what is now the training pitch at Portman Road around a century ago. The buildings in Constantine Road were then the power station and tram depot.
Walter Woolard and his assistant cutting the grass at Ipswich Town Football Club around a century ago. Walter was using a Ransomes Sims and Jefferies mower produced in Ipswich.
The Suffolk Stallion Show at the Ipswich Town Football Club ground in March 1956. This area is now the practice pitch at the club. The club was used for many events including an annual Ipswich primary school sports day and Ipswich police parades. The building in the background was Russell House. The Suffolk County Councils offices Endeavour House now stands on that site.
The annual inspection of members of the Ipswich Borough Police force at the Ipswich Town Football Club ground in the 1950s. In the background are buildings in Constantine Road, built as the tram depot and power station. Do you know any of the offices?
Action from a Ipswich Junior Schools sports day in the mid 1960s. Do you know these boys?
Portman Road and Princes Street were built in the mid 19th Century on drained marshes and a cricket ground and sports field was created south of the junction with Portman’s Walk (now Sir Alf Ramsey Way).
Crowds gathered on the sports field on June 2, 1888 for the opening ceremony when there was a balloon display.
The Ipswich Association Football Club was formed on October 16, 1878 with matches played at Brooks Hall, off the Norwich Road. The Ipswich Football Club, who played rugby at Portman Road, merged with the soccer club in 1888.
Ipswich Town Football Club turned professional in 1936. Some features of the early years were still in use in the 1960s with the club’s offices and changing rooms still in a wooden former cricket pavilion and the “chicken run” stand, for supporters along the Portman Road side, still in use.
Now huge stands and floodlights dominate the skyline around what was from the middle of the 18th Century a sports field where the thousands living in the town centre gathered for a mixture of events.
Our gallery looks back at some of the many events that have taken place at Portman Road in the past 126 years.