Ipswich: Historic barge brings history to life at Orwell Quay

ONE of the most significant milestones in the history of the town’s Wet Dock was recalled when a special package was delivered to Orwell Quay.

The last ever freight delivery to the dock by wind barge was in October 1970 when the Cambria brought in a load of nuts that were milled into cattle cake at the Eastern Counties Farmers’ mill which was on the site of what is now UCS.

Soon after that delivery the Cambria was taken out of service and fell into disuse – and the ECF plant closed in the 1980s.

But the Cambria has now been restored, and on Saturday re-enacted her final trip by bringing a load of specialist cement to the same quay.

Skipper Richard Titchener is working with young people through the Sea Change Sailing Trust to keep the vessel operating and training youngsters.

He said: “This is one of the last pure wind barges.

“There is no engine on it at all – it’s a very environmentally-friendly way of moving freight.”

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The cargo was brought in for the Ipswich Wolsey Rotary Club which is using it to create a sensory garden for residents at the Prince of Wales Road residential home.

And among those helping to unload the cargo was Peter Cockayne from the trust which is now responsible for the Hard at Pin Mill,.

Mr Cockayne was a seafarer at the time of the Cambria’s last commercial visit to Ipswich.

Rotarian Graham Pooley was delighted to see the cement delivered in such a way.

“We are working to improve the environment and this is being done in an environmentally-friendly way,” he said.