Search

Days Gone By - Photos recall how Ipswich docks demolition cleared way for Waterfront

PUBLISHED: 14:30 17 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:07 17 May 2020

A crane in the Ipswich dock area Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMS

A crane in the Ipswich dock area Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMS

PHILL V-WILLIAMS

Do you remember when the giant silos dominating Ipswich docks came down - before the present-day Waterfront took shape?

There was a lot of rubble around the Ipswich dock area as work was carried out Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMSThere was a lot of rubble around the Ipswich dock area as work was carried out Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMS

Photographer Phill V-Williams took thousands of pictures following the process of demolition, as cranes and bulldozers moved in to remove the old buildings which had been Ipswich landmarks.

Scaffolding went up as the redevelopment work continued Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMSScaffolding went up as the redevelopment work continued Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMS

Phill, who now lives in the Stowmarket area, said: “I first lived in Ipswich about 25 years ago, when I did a two-year pre-degree course at the Ipswich Art School in High Street.”

One of the silos being demolished Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMSOne of the silos being demolished Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMS

Photography played a part in his pre-degree and degree studies, and he became increasingly fascinated by it. “I take about 4,000 to 5,000 photos a month,” he said.

A side view of one of the old buildings Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMSA side view of one of the old buildings Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMS

After moving to Back Hamlet, as he went out with his camera in 2005, he saw the docks changing every day, and photographed the fast-changing landscape.

Recording the changing face of the roads around the docks Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMSRecording the changing face of the roads around the docks Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMS

“I was really interested in seeing how the buildings were changing, with the concrete silos all disappearing.”

Do you remember this archway, where the Jerwood DanceHouse is now? Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMSDo you remember this archway, where the Jerwood DanceHouse is now? Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMS

READ MORE - Valerie Irwin’s drawings capture changing face of Waterfront

However, he said his initial inspiration was not to document the docks. “I was documenting my life, so I could look back at it. It was about documenting my day.”

Memories of demolition around the Ipswich Waterfront area Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMSMemories of demolition around the Ipswich Waterfront area Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMS

Phill said the demolition of some of the large buildings allowed clearer views of the churches near the Waterfront area, with the knowledge that the views were only temporary because new buildings would be going up.

Do you remember seeing the demolition work? Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMSDo you remember seeing the demolition work? Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMS

“I loved that, because we were getting views that would be covered up again.”

Demolition work under way around the docks Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMSDemolition work under way around the docks Picture: PHILL V-WILLIAMS

You may also want to watch:

When Phill first used to walk past the docks, there was a lot of industry which has since gone.

Then came the demolition and reconstruction, with the change from the area being known as the docks to it being reinvented as the Waterfront, with the marina and all the boats.

He said: “I used to walk down there and there was a lot of rubbish lying about - then it was replaced by million pound yachts!”

While taking photos of the redevelopment, Phill got to know artist Valerie Irwin, who spent 2005-9 recording the changing landscape in her charcoal drawings.

Phill’s friend Kevin Lee has now uploaded hundreds of his photos to Flickr so that more people can see them, with the photos bringing back their own memories of how the docks have changed.

Do these photos bring back memories, and do you have photos of the Waterfront over the years to share? Send your memories and pictures to judy.rimmer@archant.co.uk


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ipswich Star