Visitor from the New World

YOUR chance is almost here to explore a replica Jamestown ship, in the 400th anniversary year of the founding of the first English-speaking colony in North America.

By Tracey Sparling

YOUR chance is almost here to explore a replica Jamestown ship, in the 400th anniversary year of the founding of the first English-speaking colony in North America. USA. Features editor TRACEY SPARLING reports.

ADVENTURERS to America sailed the original version of this tiny sailing ship to the New World in 1606.

For months 105 men and boys toiled aboard the 38ft, 20-ton ship, which was the smallest of a fleet of three vessels which together took around five months to reach America.

The captain on the original voyage was Suffolk man John Sicklemore (alias Ratcliffe), and the other ships were the Susan Constant, and the Godspeed - also captained by a Suffolk man, Bartholomew Gosnold, who is believed to be one of the leaders of the adventure.

Life on board was not comfortable, many of the settlers were gentry and others had never been to sea. In the bad weather of winter many fared for their lives and sea sickness was rife.

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Each ship was loaded with the provisions they would need to start a new life in a strange and hostile land, including fish, meat, bread, beans and peas. Spices and herbs were used to disguise the taste of the meat which became rank on the voyage. As the water on board became stale, beer and wine were consumed instead.

Four hundred years on, a team including the Royal Navy and the Ministry of Defence have brought a fullsize replica of Discovery from Virginia to the UK for the 400th birthday celebrations.

She was carried across the Atlantic on the flight deck of a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship and offloaded in Southampton in October 2006.

Now on tour, Discovery is due to arrive at Ipswich Waterfront from Bristol tomorrow night . She will be lowered into the Wet Dock with the help of Associated British Ports and Ipswich Haven Marina, then moored outside the Old Custom House. She will be open to the public, free of charge, from Monday August 6 to Monday August 13.

Groups of ten people at a time will be accompanied on board for tours led by actors from Eastern Angles Theatre Company.

The visit of Discovery is one of a number of events planned in Ipswich as part of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown - with which Ipswich, and Suffolk, has historic connections.

Christchurch Mansion will be hosting a special exhibition Gosnold and the Founding Fathers and the town's Blue Badge tourist guides will be leading guided walks from the Discovery to the town centre and the mansion.

Otley Hall, the ancestral home of the Gosnold family will host an open day on August 26 from 1pm to 5pm.

'Ipswich and the New World Day' on August 12 will see a guided tour of the mansion, Waterfront and Discovery plus a voucher towards lunch. Places on this one-off event are limited and tickets available from Ipswich Tourist Information Centre. For more details about Discovery and related events, call the centre on 01473 258070 or email tourist@ipswich.gov.uk

Do you have any interesting links to the Discovery? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk .

THESE photographs of the Wet Dock in the 1850s, were originally taken by Robert Burrows born in the town in 1810.

He worked as a silversmith in the family business in Fore Street, but was also an artist, painting views along the banks of the Orwell and Gipping. The advent of photography inspired him to take up this new technology, and he soon became known for producing the first photographs of Ipswich and its people.

Stuart Grimwade, director of IMT said: “It is remarkable that these very early images have survived.

“As soon as I saw the original tiny faded pictures in their albums in the Suffolk Record Office a few years ago, I wanted to show them to best effect. My own interest in photography led me, via the computer, to restore and enlarge them as best I could, without altering their integrity.

Stuart added: “I am most grateful for the financial help of the Ipswich Institute and the services of BMS Imaging in producing this exhibition. Robert Malster has kindly helped me to prepare these brief notes to accompany the photographs (numbered on the top right hand corner of each print), since the original albums are not annotated.”

The Old Custom House will also host an exhibition of the pictures, from August 6-13, open from 10am to 6pm.

1982: Ipswich Maritime Trust formed

1988 Classic Boat Festival

1989 'Education Boxes' on barges for local schools

1995 Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of opening of the Old Custom House

1997 'Sail Ipswich' (attracting over 35,000 people, and hundreds of historic vessels)

1999 Opening of a Maritime Centre in the ABP-restored Old Custom House (renamed 'The Waterfront Centre')

2000 Heritage Weekend opening of the Waterfront Centre, becoming an annual event.

2002 Visit of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, and Old Gaffers Association

2007 25th Anniversary Year to include the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, USA.

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