Pontoons for wartime landings in Europe

FREDERICK Tibbenham's furniture and cabinet making works, which stood between Turret Lane and Lower Brook Street, until it was replaced in the 1960s by the Evening Star's printing works and offices, was featured in Kindred Spirits recently.

FREDERICK Tibbenham's furniture and cabinet making works, which stood between Turret Lane and Lower Brook Street, until it was replaced in the 1960s by the Evening Star's printing works and offices, was featured in Kindred Spirits recently.

The company produced wooden items for the military during both world wars including aircraft propellers and gun stocks. One of the items they made, wooden pontoons for use in the landing in Europe, were featured in a photograph.

Reader F Brown, who did not include an address, said: “The pontoons in your photo were waiting to have the tops applied to finish them off. They were made in the joiners shop run by Mr Blofield. They were clad with waterproof pine plywood screwed to the sections glued on with waterproof glue and screwed on with brass screws, then moved to a purpose built building at the junction of Rose Lane and Turret Lane. Tiny houses were pulled down to make the space for this.

“A large tank was built to test the pontoons for leaks. They were painted in silver primer then grey undercoat and finished in green paint. I often wonder how many houses in Ipswich finished up in these colours! I also remember working on the beds made for the forces, also on a more sombre note, the thousand of white crosses made for the deceived servicemen.”