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Stunning pictures capture Christmas in Ipswich over the last 60 years

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:18 24 December 2019

The Town Hall floodlit for Christmas 2007 Picture: DAVID KINDRED

The Town Hall floodlit for Christmas 2007 Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Dave Kindred

Christmas in Ipswich is never dull – from the relatively new ‘real’ tree on the Cornhill to the striking bauble offering on the Waterfront, there is something for everyone.

The festive season has arrived in Coes with their  annual Christmas window display  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe festive season has arrived in Coes with their annual Christmas window display Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

But over the years, the way people living in the town celebrate the big day - and the run up to it - has changed.

Pictures: ARCHANT/SARAH LUCY BROWN

This gallery explores photographs in our archives from years gone by.

Christmas Craft Market at Ipswich Cornhill Picture: ARCHANTChristmas Craft Market at Ipswich Cornhill Picture: ARCHANT

Back in 1963, the Cornhill was not yet pedestrianised and so classic cars are parked in the main shopping district.

Ipswich town centre with a dominance of national stores back in 2007 Picture: ARCHANTIpswich town centre with a dominance of national stores back in 2007 Picture: ARCHANT

Grimwades and the Golden Lion Hotel, which have both since closed, can be seen in the background.

Pictures: PHIL MORLEY/EMMA LIGHTFOOT

Christmas lights used over the decades have also evolved - with more colourful designs featuring in older pictures and brighter, more complex patterns used today.

The real Cornhill Christmas tree in all its glory. Picture: ARCHANTThe real Cornhill Christmas tree in all its glory. Picture: ARCHANT

The artificial bauble tree - which lights up in various different colours - had its heyday on the Cornhill in the early 2010s, with the real tree arriving in 2017, after a long-fought campaign to bring it back.

The Mayor of Ipswich posing with the Christmas tree in 1984, shortly after it was officially switched on  Picture: RICHARD SNASDELLThe Mayor of Ipswich posing with the Christmas tree in 1984, shortly after it was officially switched on Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL

Christmas also wouldn't be the same without the annual Co-op Juniors performance, which have drawn in huge crowds over the decades and remain a festive staple for many to this day.

Pictures: MIKE KWASNIAK/JAMIE NIBLOCK

Shops which have since disappeared from the town centre also appear in our gallery - you should be able to spot big names such as the Co-op, Next and British Home Stores.

Christmas carols being sung on the Town Hall steps  Picture: IVAN SMITHChristmas carols being sung on the Town Hall steps Picture: IVAN SMITH

Earlier photographs, from the 1960s, show even older firms such as Cowells and Watney's Ales.

Busy night on the Cornhill as the Christmas lights were switched on  Picture: RICHARD SNASDELLBusy night on the Cornhill as the Christmas lights were switched on Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL

- Have you celebrated Christmas in Ipswich in years gone by? Send your photographs and thoughts to us via email, or comment below.

Pictures: ALAN VALENTINE/GREGG BROWN

Christmas lights in Buttermarket, Ipswich, December 1967. Picture: ARCHANTChristmas lights in Buttermarket, Ipswich, December 1967. Picture: ARCHANT

Christmas light on the Ipswich Cornhill, December 1967. Picture: ARCHANTChristmas light on the Ipswich Cornhill, December 1967. Picture: ARCHANT

Pictures: ARCHANT

Christmas lights put up around Ipswich town centre  Picture: SUZANNE DAYChristmas lights put up around Ipswich town centre Picture: SUZANNE DAY

The Cornhill after the Christmas lights were officially switched on in 1996 Picture: JOHN KERRThe Cornhill after the Christmas lights were officially switched on in 1996 Picture: JOHN KERR

Rudolph and Father Christmas leaving the Cornhill ahead of the big day in 1988 Picture: ARCHANTRudolph and Father Christmas leaving the Cornhill ahead of the big day in 1988 Picture: ARCHANT

Busy night of late night Christmas shopping in 1994 as the Ipswich Christmas lights were officially switched on  Picture: RICHARD SNASDELLBusy night of late night Christmas shopping in 1994 as the Ipswich Christmas lights were officially switched on Picture: RICHARD SNASDELL

The staff at the sorting office dealing with the rush of Christmas mail in 1988 Picture: ARCHANTThe staff at the sorting office dealing with the rush of Christmas mail in 1988 Picture: ARCHANT

Bobby Robson switching on the Tower Ramparts Christmas Lights in 1986 Picture: ARCHANTBobby Robson switching on the Tower Ramparts Christmas Lights in 1986 Picture: ARCHANT

The Cornhill during the 2018 Christmas lights switch on Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCILThe Cornhill during the 2018 Christmas lights switch on Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

Hundreds of people came to watch the annual Ipswich Christmas lights switch on in 2019 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNHundreds of people came to watch the annual Ipswich Christmas lights switch on in 2019 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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