Gallery: Lost tales from the riverbank

WINDING their way through Ipswich are the rivers Gipping and Orwell.

David Kindred

WINDING their way through Ipswich are the rivers Gipping and Orwell. Some parts have been tidied up over recent years, but much is lost to litter, graffiti and overgrowth. Looking back at photographs shows that there was a time when we enjoyed a much more attractive stretch of water through our town.

Industrial needs saw the banks of the River Orwell at Hog Highland turned into Cliff Quay, with work starting in 1923 and the stretch of beach popular with locals was lost.

When New Cut and the Dock was finished in 1842 a promenade was built along New Cut East with trees lining the route to an attractive shelter known as 'The Umbrella,' close to where the lock gates are now. This was lost in the 1920s as the island site became more industrial. The walk now from Stoke Bridge to the new Bobby Robson Bridge at West End Road has little charm. Carry on along the River Gipping from the weir at West End Road to the Yarmouth Road bridge and you will see litter on the banks and in the river and the Yarmouth Road bridge is plastered with graffiti. A photograph from the 1950s shows sailing took place on this stretch of water.

The cycle path and footpath from Yarmouth Road towards Sproughton is looking much more attractive, showing what a pleasant feature the river can be. Victorian and Edwardian photographs show that this stretch was also used for leisure boating along with the barges that traded on the river.

- Do you have any memories of when the river through Ipswich was used for more leisure activities? Write to Kindred Spirits at the Evening Star or e-mail info@kindred-spirit.co.uk

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