Gallery: Ransomes and Rapier were the giants of Ipswich

A huge march through the streets of Ipswich in support of Ransomes and Rapier took place on a wet Ju

A huge march through the streets of Ipswich in support of Ransomes and Rapier took place on a wet July 8, 1972. This picture was taken as the march crossed Stoke Bridge heading for the town centre. Closure was deferred, but the end came in 1988 after Robert Maxwells Hollis Group, then the parent company, ordered closure. Were you there that day? (Photo Tony Ray/Archant.)

Driving through the Stoke area of Ipswich now it is difficult to imagine much of the area was dominated by a huge engineering works with a worldwide reputation for quality.

They made large cranes including massive walking draglines used in open cast mining. The dragline cranes were so big they could only be assembled on the mining site.

During the First World War the company produced guns, tank turrets and shells. Production of mobile cranes, sluice gates, railway turntables, the turntable for the revolving restaurant at the BT Tower in London and other major projects employed thousands.

Many families saw generations working there. Through the 1970s and 80s the company went through difficult trading times and was taken over and closed. By 1990 most of the site had been demolished and cleared for redevelopment.

The R and R site is now a mixture of housing and small industrial units with Hawes Street, Jamestown Boulevard, Virginia Street and Discovery Way on the site.

Did you or a member of your family work there? Share your memories via emailFor more of David Kindred’s photographic memories, visit the Kindred Spirits page


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