The changing dock

The black and white photograph was purchased from the Ipswich Transport Museum many years ago. The vantage point is from beneath the Doric collonade of Paul's maltings, next door to the Custom House. Depicting a wet day with the double track tramway lines curving away towards Neptune Quay and Cliff Quay, it is not clear when this photograph was taken, but we could hazard the 1960s. The Paul's Home Warehouse to the left was used as a makeshift museum during the Maritime Ipswich Festival of 1982. Just visible on the elevation facing the water is the lettering:
on the corrugated iron cladding, which was much later removed and the whole maltings refurbished for Contship Ltd, later Ashton Solicitors. The central shaft rises out of sight in the 1960s photograph.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982 photo 4aJuly 1982 close-up
Above: the state of the Home Warehouse during the Maritime Ipswich '82 festival.
The Isaac Lord maltings can be seen further down the quay. In the 1980s this quayside part of the Isaac Lord complex (all of which is of national historical importance) was opened as The Malt Kiln public house. It was later 'Cobbolds on the Quay' and 'The Vodka Bar' – now, following full refurbishment, the collection of bars and restaurants is called simply 'Isaacs on the Quay'.
As far as we can see the redbrick warehouse further down the quay (now the Salthouse Harbour Hotel) doesn't at this time bear the lettering 'John Good & Sons (G.C.B.) Ltd'. This may help to date the monochrome photograph more accurately.
A sloping roofed extension to the John Good warehouse can be seen. At the extreme right is the Eastern Counties Farmers high concrete silo; this farming co-operative established a compound feed mill on the site in 1954. The University of Suffolk Waterfront building now stands on the site. Scroll down for a colour photograph from the 1970s.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Wet Dock periodIpswich Historic Lettering: Wet Dock 2004a2004 image
You can see the glass and steel version of the Home Warehouse on the 2004 colour photograph, behind the wheeled crane in the foreground. Sailing Barge Thistle is moored in front of the Customs House.

More detail can be seen on the close-up (below); The Waterfront Regeneration Scheme resulted in the complete demolition of the silo beneath which these photographs were taken; only the columns remained. This is now the area outside the quayside Pizza Express.
Below: the view from a slightly forward position, omitting the crane.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Wet Dock 2004b2004 image
Below: the view avoiding the obstructions.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Wet Dock 2004c
Gosh, look – open water in the Wet Dock!

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Wet Dock 2019
Above: in 2019 the S.B. Thistle moored on Common Quay (in the same position as the 2004 views). S.B. Victor usually moors to the left of this. The 20mph speed limit sign is in the same place, but turned through 90 degrees since traffic was excluded from driving down from the Foundry Lane junction. The block overhanging the quay at the right was built as part of the Waterfront Regeneration (from 2005) and illustrates the retention and reuse of the cast iron columns.

1970s view
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Wet Dock 1970s1970s image
Above: this instructive colour photograph of Neptune Quay comes from the Image Archive of The Ipswich Society (see Links). Part of Cranfields fleet of lighter barges are lying light alongside Wherry Quay. The large grey silo in the background was owned by Eastern Counties Farmers Co-op. On the right are the pitched roofs of Edward Packard's artificial fertiliser works. These have been replaced by University campus Suffolk and Neptune Marina respectively.

Edwardian(?) view
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Wet Dock Victorian/EdwardianEarly 20th century?
This fine photographic postcard came from the extensive collection of Leonard Woolf found on the IMT's Image Archive (see Links). Working from the left to right we can discern the lettering:-
Paul's Home Warehouse – ’R.&W. PAUL LTD.’ [partial],
The Wherry Inn – ’COBBOLD’S BEERS’, [on side wall; pub lettering on facade unclear]; Isaac Lord is just visible,
John Good building – ’GEORGE MASON (IPSWICH) LTD.’ [probably, unclear],
‘FINE…’ [partial on side wall].
On the rail truck:
‘ … & CO.’ [unclear]
On the barge stern:
F.J.W. Goldsmith … 46’

The uncredited photographer stood on the edge of the quay as it started the right-angle curve southwards at Neptune Quay. The view is looking west.
The Pilot Inn opened before 1844 and closed between 1880 and 1904; it was demolished in the 1930s.
The dock tramway is in full use at this time. It seems that trains of trucks were left here for a period (note the trucks running in front of The Wherry Inn), presumably to be filled/emptied by the various businesses. When this was the case, the tramway running onto the island and round to cross the river at the lock was the better way of taking trucks to and from Cliff Quay. Wlaking down the quays would have been a very different experience to today, when lines of trucks would form a barrier betwen the water and the warehouses.

The Wherry Inn

The Wherry Inn gave the name to Wherry Lane (just beyond it in the postcard view); the inn opened in 1826 and closed c.1938. Here is a detail of the facade around 1890; later lettering appeared above and below the first floor windows:
Interesting inter-word spacing...
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Wet Dock Wherry Inn 18901890 view
This building was eventually replaced by another in the twenty-first century, to act as part of the 'Isaacs on the Quay' bar and restaurant complex. The 'Wherry' name is preserved by the lane which runs away from the quayside here.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Wet Dock Wherry Inn 20th C.
detail was photographed from the Window museum display on the Wet Dock run by the Ipswich Maritime Trust (see Links) in February 2021. The Wherry Inn was still in business in 1932 but in Kelly's Directory shows it as a sack and bag merchant in 1939. This photograph must therefore be post-1939. We see Christie's warehouse at the left, Wherry Lane, the end-on Isaac Lord building, the forme Wherry Inn which at this time bears the sign on the upper strip:
The building on the right, close up to the former inn, is the Isaac Lord maltings with its roof vent clearly seen. The 'ISAAC LORD' lettering on the gable seen in the full view (above) is still to be seen today. The tower of the Church of St Clement is behind that. The building to the right of Wherry Lane: the small 'ISAAC LORD' lettering can be made out on either side of the second storey loading doors – this sign was still just visible and readable when we took the first photographs of the building in 2000, shown on our Isaac Lord page. The tall chimney and high roofline behind that building is the Ransome's lawn mower works, which in modern times was converted into The Forum accommodation building (now without the chimney) in Star Lane.

Related pages:
The Question Mark
Christie's warehouse
Bridge Street
Burton Son & Sanders / Paul's

College Street
Coprolite Street
Cranfield's Flour Mill

Custom House
Trinity House buoy
Edward Fison Ltd
Ground-level dockside furniture on: 'The island', the northern quays and Ransome's Orwell Works
Ipswich Whaling Station?
Isaac Lord

Neptune Inn clock, garden and interior
Isaac Lord 2
The Island
John Good and Sons
Merchant seamen's memorial
The Mill

Nova Scotia House
New Cut East
Quay nameplates
R&W Paul malting company
Steam Packet Hotel

Stoke Bridge(s)
Waterfront Regeneration Scheme
Wolsey's Gate
A chance to compare
Wet Dock 1970s with 2004
Wet Dock maps

Davy's illustration of the laying of the Wet Dock lock foundation stone, 1839
Outside the Wet Dock

Maritime Ipswich '82 festival

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2004 Copyright throughout the Ipswich Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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