Days Gone By - Photos recall how Ipswich docks demolition cleared way for Waterfront
- Credit: PHILL V-WILLIAMS
Do you remember when the giant silos dominating Ipswich docks came down - before the present-day Waterfront took shape?
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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“I was really interested in seeing how the buildings were changing, with the concrete silos all disappearing.”
READ MORE - Valerie Irwin’s drawings capture changing face of WaterfrontHowever, 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.”
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.
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“I loved that, because we were getting views that would be covered up again.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org