New quayside Window Museum display features the Waterfront of yesterday and today
PUBLISHED: 12:56 08 May 2015 | UPDATED: 12:56 08 May 2015
A time of change at the Waterfront captured in photographs
Ipswich Waterfront has changed enormously over recent years and the pace of change is accelerating.
The riverside with its wooden quays was replaced by the Victorian Wet Dock for international trade, imports and exports creating tremendous wealh and industry.
Now today the Waterfront has a new role, as a focus for living by the water, leisure and entertainment and there are still high-end marine-based businesse.
Millions of pounds worth of yachts and cruisers are tied up at the marina pontoons.
The latest Ipswich Maritime Trust Window Museum exhibition, titled The Waterfront 1837, actually charts the changes from 1837, when Edward Caley produced detailed and drawings, and subsequent times to the present day.
The are old photographs including John Wiggin’s 1846 images and more recently David Kindred’s Wherry Quay panorama of 1965.
Stuart Grimwade, and other IMT `window wizards’ were putting the final touches to the new display this week, and it will stay in place during the summer months.
“It will be here six months,” he said, “and it is a fascinating display. We are sure people will enjoy it.”
“We are grateful for the support of UCS Department of Photography and Lawrence Woolston who has produced the photos of how the area looks today.”
There is a chance to compare sections of the Waterfront today also with the Victorian drawings.
The Caley drawings of Ipswich Waterfront
In 1837 Edward Caley prepared detailed plans and drawings of all the town’s quays, wharves, warehouses, shipyards, maritime businesses and factories from Stoke Bridge as far down river as the then newly constructed gasworks (where Patteson Road is today).
In those days, ship movements to and from the old wooden quays were restricted by the river emptying and filling with the tide each day, and the bold decision was taken to create an entirely new dock for the town.
The 1841 Census shows Mr Edward Caley, then aged 20, living in St. Peter’s Street with his younger brother, whom he had appointed to assist him.
Stuart said: “We must assume that this is the same Edward Caley who prepared the drawings some years earlier. As assistant-engineer under Mr. Henry Palmer, Edward was then given sole responsibility for the construction of the Wet Dock that we see today, when the tidal River Orwell was diverted through the New Cut. In 1843, when the new Wet Dock opened, it was one of the largest areas of impounded water of its kind in Europe, and helped to create much of the town’s Victorian industrial growth and wealth. With his work finished in Ipswich, Mr Caley was appointed a government
engineer in Ceylon but died a year later.
“With the four Caley panels, for comparison, we show a panoramic view of the same area of today’s waterfront as Mr Caley depicted in his coloured illustrations. This present day photographic equivalent of Edward Caley’s drawings was created by Lawrence Woolston of University Campus Suffolk, and the trust is grateful for their help and support during the making of this display.”
The IMT Window Museum can be seen by day or night by visitors to the area.