Search

Days Gone By: From working dock to leisure hub: the changing face of Ipswich Waterfront

PUBLISHED: 10:44 24 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:44 24 April 2018

Firefighters on New Cut East in October 1965, taking part in an exercise. Most of the buildings in the background have been demolished, including those of William Brown and Co Ltd, timber importers on the right and the silos of Cranfield Brothers and R and W Paul. Picture: IVAN SMITH

Firefighters on New Cut East in October 1965, taking part in an exercise. Most of the buildings in the background have been demolished, including those of William Brown and Co Ltd, timber importers on the right and the silos of Cranfield Brothers and R and W Paul. Picture: IVAN SMITH

Archant

Ipswich Dock was completed in 1842. The Royal Assent from Queen Victoria for the Ipswich Dock Act was received in June 1837.


The island site at Ipswich Dock was far more industrialised when this photograph was taken in 1982. The original lock entrance to the dock, when it opened in 1842, was from New Cut. The site of the lock gates and the Harbour Master’s office building are in the centre. The lock was moved to its present site, opening in 1881. Picture: RUSSELL WHIPPS 
The island site at Ipswich Dock was far more industrialised when this photograph was taken in 1982. The original lock entrance to the dock, when it opened in 1842, was from New Cut. The site of the lock gates and the Harbour Master’s office building are in the centre. The lock was moved to its present site, opening in 1881. Picture: RUSSELL WHIPPS

The plan was to build a dock where ships could float regardless of the tide. A channel, New Cut, was dug to take the flow of the River Orwell past the dock, which was built enclosing a natural bend in the river.

By the late 1970s much of the trade had moved from the dock and the area was redeveloped into a mostly residential and leisure area, with marinas, offices and flats opening around once busy quays where coal, grain and timber was unloaded.

The university building stands where Eastern Counties Farmers had a large grain silo.

In todays Days Gone By I have taken a look through some of the many photographs taken of the area that record the changes to the area of Ipswich now known as the Waterfront.

A view across some of the roof tops of Ransomes Sims and Jefferies Orwell works, from the gas works at Ipswich dock in 1953. The university building now stands where the quay bends. Picture: FRANK SYMONDS 
A view across some of the roof tops of Ransomes Sims and Jefferies Orwell works, from the gas works at Ipswich dock in 1953. The university building now stands where the quay bends. Picture: FRANK SYMONDS

Did you work at the dock or visit the area when it was busy trading? To submit a letter, in less than 300 words, write to David Kindred, Days Gone By, Ipswich Star/EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS or e-mail info@kindred-spirit.co.uk

An aerial view, from February 1992, taken from over the lock gates looking along the quay once occupied by the gas works and Ransomes Sims and Jefferies, the engineering company, where generations of local people worked. Picture: OWEN HINES 

An aerial view, from February 1992, taken from over the lock gates looking along the quay once occupied by the gas works and Ransomes Sims and Jefferies, the engineering company, where generations of local people worked. Picture: OWEN HINES

A visiting Royal Navy submarine turning in Ipswich with the assistance of a tug. Several submarines visited Ipswich. Did you go on board any of them? Picture: RUSSELL WHIPPSA visiting Royal Navy submarine turning in Ipswich with the assistance of a tug. Several submarines visited Ipswich. Did you go on board any of them? Picture: RUSSELL WHIPPS

For several years thousands of tons of scrap metal was heaped up on the island site at Ipswich Dock, waiting to be loaded onto ships for export. This photograph was taken in March 1965, with the tug Agama in the background. Picture: JOHN KERR
 
For several years thousands of tons of scrap metal was heaped up on the island site at Ipswich Dock, waiting to be loaded onto ships for export. This photograph was taken in March 1965, with the tug Agama in the background. Picture: JOHN KERR

A busy day on Common Quay in the 1960s. The silo in the background belonged to Eastern Counties Farmers. This is now the site of the university. Picture: IVAN SMITH A busy day on Common Quay in the 1960s. The silo in the background belonged to Eastern Counties Farmers. This is now the site of the university. Picture: IVAN SMITH

These centuries old buildings facing College Street, Ipswich, were demolished during redevelopment in 1954. The archway led through to Common Quay. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE 
These centuries old buildings facing College Street, Ipswich, were demolished during redevelopment in 1954. The archway led through to Common Quay. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

Huge sailing ships brought grain to Ipswich. The last clipper left Ipswich in June 1939. The three Masted Barque, steel Sailing Vessel, Killoran Mariehann, dwarfed a barge alongside. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE 
Huge sailing ships brought grain to Ipswich. The last clipper left Ipswich in June 1939. The three Masted Barque, steel Sailing Vessel, Killoran Mariehann, dwarfed a barge alongside. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

The gas works stood on a site between Patterson Road, Duke Street and the quay. The gas works moved to this site in 1882 from a small site between Carr Street and Old Foundry Road. Being by the river meant supplies of coal could be shipped in. The large gas holder was taken down in 1977. North Sea Gas replaced gas produced from coal. This photograph was taken around 1970. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVEThe gas works stood on a site between Patterson Road, Duke Street and the quay. The gas works moved to this site in 1882 from a small site between Carr Street and Old Foundry Road. Being by the river meant supplies of coal could be shipped in. The large gas holder was taken down in 1977. North Sea Gas replaced gas produced from coal. This photograph was taken around 1970. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

The last working sailing barge at Ipswich Dock, the Cambria, being loaded at the quay near Coprolite Street in April 1969. Picture: OWEN HINES 
The last working sailing barge at Ipswich Dock, the Cambria, being loaded at the quay near Coprolite Street in April 1969. Picture: OWEN HINES

A group of children gathered on Neptune Quay to watch firefighters taking part in a training exercise at Ipswich Dock in October 1965. Picture: IVAN SMITH
A group of children gathered on Neptune Quay to watch firefighters taking part in a training exercise at Ipswich Dock in October 1965. Picture: IVAN SMITH

A view from Wherry Quay, looking towards Common Quay and Albion Wharf, in October 1982. The R and W Paul building on the right is now converted to offices. Only the brick building in the background remains now. Picture: RUSSELL WHIPPS 
A view from Wherry Quay, looking towards Common Quay and Albion Wharf, in October 1982. The R and W Paul building on the right is now converted to offices. Only the brick building in the background remains now. Picture: RUSSELL WHIPPS

Barges moored close to a shipyard just outside the lock at Ipswich Dock in the 1970s. The Tolly Cobbold brewery at Cliff Quay is in the background. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

Barges moored close to a shipyard just outside the lock at Ipswich Dock in the 1970s. The Tolly Cobbold brewery at Cliff Quay is in the background. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

Reflecting on the past. A 1970s photograph of quays at Ipswich Dock from Neptune Quay. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVEReflecting on the past. A 1970s photograph of quays at Ipswich Dock from Neptune Quay. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE

Common Quay, from the island site, in the 1970s. In the centre is the Custom House, which was completed in 1845. The building on the right is now used as offices called Waterfront House. Pauls' silo, on the left, has been demolished and replaced with restaurants and flats. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVECommon Quay, from the island site, in the 1970s. In the centre is the Custom House, which was completed in 1845. The building on the right is now used as offices called Waterfront House. Pauls' silo, on the left, has been demolished and replaced with restaurants and flats. Picture: DAVID KINDRED ARCHIVE


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

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star