Search

Days Gone By - Flying back through the years at Ipswich Airport

PUBLISHED: 14:30 09 May 2020

Looking over the collections on show at Ipswich Airport  at a car and plane rally in 1989 Picture: IVAN SMITH

Looking over the collections on show at Ipswich Airport at a car and plane rally in 1989 Picture: IVAN SMITH

What are your memories of Ipswich Airport? The final plane might have flown in January 1998, but the airport is still fondly remembered.

Crowds line the road as the Royal car leaves Ipswich airport during the Queen's Silver Jubilee visit Picture: ARCHANTCrowds line the road as the Royal car leaves Ipswich airport during the Queen's Silver Jubilee visit Picture: ARCHANT

Today we are looking back at some of the varied highlights of its 70-year history.

The Ipswich Ladies Hockey Club at Ipswich Airport in 1986. Holding the banner pole is Brian Perks (Manager). The back row (from the left) is, Anne Gallagher, Gill Allen, Marilyn Wilson, Amanda Young, Janet Letch, Tracy Wilce, Lynda Whitworth, Claire Webb (Captain), Carol Perks (Chairman) and Margaret Bryant (President).
The front row (from the left) is Penny Dunnett (Vice-Captain),  Judy Wright,  Maggie Lipscombe, Sandie Lister,  Martine Butcher,  Anne Jarvis, Helen Bray, and Denise Feveyear. Picture: Richard Snasdell/ArchantThe Ipswich Ladies Hockey Club at Ipswich Airport in 1986. Holding the banner pole is Brian Perks (Manager). The back row (from the left) is, Anne Gallagher, Gill Allen, Marilyn Wilson, Amanda Young, Janet Letch, Tracy Wilce, Lynda Whitworth, Claire Webb (Captain), Carol Perks (Chairman) and Margaret Bryant (President). The front row (from the left) is Penny Dunnett (Vice-Captain), Judy Wright, Maggie Lipscombe, Sandie Lister, Martine Butcher, Anne Jarvis, Helen Bray, and Denise Feveyear. Picture: Richard Snasdell/Archant

The airport opened in June 1930, with the Prince of Wales - later Edward VIII - flying in to carry out the opening ceremony. He was just the first of many famous visitors to the site over the years.

In August 1978 Ipswich Town Football Club signed Dutch player Arnold Muhren and manager Bobby Robson flew his new signing into Ipswich Airport. Picture: Jerry Turner/ArchantIn August 1978 Ipswich Town Football Club signed Dutch player Arnold Muhren and manager Bobby Robson flew his new signing into Ipswich Airport. Picture: Jerry Turner/Archant

The airfield went on to play an important role in the Second World War, when Blenheim bombers and Spitfires were based there.

Just some of the crowds that came down to Ipswich Airport to watch the action at Ipswich Air Race in 1989  Picture: DAVID KINDREDJust some of the crowds that came down to Ipswich Airport to watch the action at Ipswich Air Race in 1989 Picture: DAVID KINDRED

In 1977 the Queen visited as part of her Silver Jubilee tour. She and the Duke of Edinburgh flew into Ipswich and were greeted by the traditional 21-gun salute.

The control tower at Ipswich airport in May 1988. Picture: JERRY TURNER/ARCHANTThe control tower at Ipswich airport in May 1988. Picture: JERRY TURNER/ARCHANT

Cheering crowds turned out to see the Queen visit once again in 1985, when she flew from the airport after carrying out the official opening of Colchester General Hospital.

The crowds that flocked to Ipswich airport to watch the air show in 1991  Picture: ARCHANTThe crowds that flocked to Ipswich airport to watch the air show in 1991 Picture: ARCHANT

A memorable sporting occasion came in August 1978, when Ipswich Town signed Dutch player Arnold Muhren, and manager Bobby Robson flew his new signing into Ipswich Airport. Arnold Muhren went on to make 214 appearances for Ipswich and scored 29 goals, before leaving Town for Manchester United in 1982.

Stowmarket school children take a day out to visit Ipswich airport in 1986. Picture: JOHN KERRStowmarket school children take a day out to visit Ipswich airport in 1986. Picture: JOHN KERR

READ MORE - Memories of dog shows in Suffolk over the decades

The airport also staged a number of special events over the years, including a day of air races in 1989.

A low pass as planes come into land on the runway at Ipswich Air Race in 1989 Picture: ARCHANTA low pass as planes come into land on the runway at Ipswich Air Race in 1989 Picture: ARCHANT

Small aircraft owners showed off their skills as they raced round a designated course. Crowds also flocked to an air show at the site in 1991.

A parachutist coming back down to earth after a trip above the clouds in 1979  Picture: JOHN KERRA parachutist coming back down to earth after a trip above the clouds in 1979 Picture: JOHN KERR

Over the years, it was also a base for international flights, as well as a flying school and parachute centre.

Resting beneath the wings of a plane whilst watching the air races happening above in 1989 Picture: ARCHANTResting beneath the wings of a plane whilst watching the air races happening above in 1989 Picture: ARCHANT

You may also want to watch:

During the 1990s, there was a determined battle to save the airport, after the borough council announced plans to use it for housing.

Up, up and away! A group go sky high at the Ipswich airport in 1979   Picture: JOHN KERRUp, up and away! A group go sky high at the Ipswich airport in 1979 Picture: JOHN KERR

Large numbers of people took part in a last-ditch demonstration in 1997, but there was no change of heart. The development went ahead, and today thousands of people live on the Ravenswood development.

Ipswich Airport terminal building in 1988. Picture: Jerry Turner/ArchantIpswich Airport terminal building in 1988. Picture: Jerry Turner/Archant

Do you have any memories of Ipswich Airport in its heyday? Did you fly from there, and do you recognise yourself or any of your friends in the photos? Email judy.rimmer@archant.co.uk To order copies of photos, visit www.eadt.co.uk/myphotos24, or call Diane Townsend on 01603 772449.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the yellow 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