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The Flying Fish of Norwich Road is no more

PUBLISHED: 20:01 07 July 2019 | UPDATED: 20:01 07 July 2019

The Flying Fish of Norwich Road, photographed in February 2016. The finial had stood at the apex of the roof since the building was erected in 1891 Picture: THE IPSWICH SOCIETY ARCHIVE COLLECTION

The Flying Fish of Norwich Road, photographed in February 2016. The finial had stood at the apex of the roof since the building was erected in 1891 Picture: THE IPSWICH SOCIETY ARCHIVE COLLECTION

THE IPSWICH SOCIETY ARCHIVE COLLECTION

Historians are rueing the loss of a much-admired roof ornament which has adorned a building in Ipswich for more than a century after it was accidentally damaged.

A photo of Norwich Road taken in 1912, with the Flying Fish finial on top of W.Rush West End Fish, Game and Poultry the building is now the Maharani Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant Picture: DAVID KINDREDA photo of Norwich Road taken in 1912, with the Flying Fish finial on top of W.Rush West End Fish, Game and Poultry the building is now the Maharani Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant Picture: DAVID KINDRED

The Flying Fish, which sat at the front of a roof in Norwich Road, has looked over the road for over 100 years and can be seen in photographs taken as far back as 1912.

Originally on top of the W.Rush West End Fish, Game and Poultry market, the building is now the Maharani Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant.

The missing tile - called a finial - was spotted by eagle-eyes members of The Ipswich Society.

According to their chairman, John Norman, the tile was accidentally damaged while the roof was being repaired.

This imposing building in Norwich Road, Ipswich, is now the Maharani Indian restaurant. When this photograph was taken around 1910 it was W Rush, selling fish game and poultry. Rushs also imported ice in a time when few had refrigerators.  In the 1960s this was the premises of Barkers fish merchants Picture: DAVID KINDREDThis imposing building in Norwich Road, Ipswich, is now the Maharani Indian restaurant. When this photograph was taken around 1910 it was W Rush, selling fish game and poultry. Rushs also imported ice in a time when few had refrigerators. In the 1960s this was the premises of Barkers fish merchants Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Mr Norman said: "William Rush's fish and game market was a feature of Norwich Road.

"You can see from pictures that he used to proudly display his fish outside his shop and the finial was part of that.

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"We don't know wether it was requested or commissioned but we do know it was part of the fish and game market when it was built about the turn of the 19th century."

William Ruah's fish and game market is now the Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant, the Maharani Picture: GREGG BROWNWilliam Ruah's fish and game market is now the Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant, the Maharani Picture: GREGG BROWN

The shop was also an ice importer at this time, a vital service for the people of Ipswich at a time when very few people had refrigerators.

Mr Norman added: "There are quite a few finials across Ipswich - you can see dragons on some properties and there are stylised bulls in Henley Road and Woodbridge Road East."

It is believed the terracotta tile cannot be fixed, but the society have spoken to restaurant owner Manik Miah and are advising him on finding a potential replacement.

The contractors carrying out the roofing are also trying to find a replica fish to sit at the front of the gabled roof.

John Norman, Chairman of The Ipswich Society, hopes the Flying Fish will be restored above the Maharani restaurant in Norwich Road Picture: SU ANDERSONJohn Norman, Chairman of The Ipswich Society, hopes the Flying Fish will be restored above the Maharani restaurant in Norwich Road Picture: SU ANDERSON

Mr Norman said: "We do believe it will be possible to replace this but it may not be cheap.

"The number of manufacturers of these kids of tiles had decreased over the years but we think it is an important feature of the building.

"The Ipswich Society are working with local planning authorities to get buildings like the fish and game market to be designated 'locally listed' properties.

"These would not be listed buildings as judged by Historic England but we think these are the buildings that give the town a bit of character and need protecting."

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