Links / Reading List (scroll down) / Some
comments about the site towards the bottom of the page
General History of Ipswich
History of Medieval Ipswich at
http://www.trytel.com/~tristan/towns/ipswich1.html Stephen Alsford's
excellent and extensive website on early Ipswich (one
of several capsule histories of East Anglian towns): includes good
website. Some nice, lengthy accounts of the town's history (dated
1802-29); we think that this is the result of Optical Character
Recognition scanning of original text, but it's still worth reading.
There are also links from this site to all sorts of genealogical
A brief history of
Ipswich by Tim Lambert.
Genealogy Archives. The Ipswich page is very informative
(Transcribed from The Comprehensive
Gazetteer of England and Wales,
1894-5: spelling and turn of phrase idiosyncratic!); with links to
Local History Online: for
resources, information, courses and nearly 1,000 local history links.
Also a calendar of events and local history books for sale online.
Painted wall signs ('Ghost signs') & mosaic shop
[Note: this is a growing area of interest to enthusiasts; try putting
'Ghost signs' into a search engine for additional collections.]
Leggett paintings (Art UK site). Dennis Bugg recommended this
March 2012 for which our thanks. "This website records paintings in
Ipswich Museum. W.J. Leggett was a sign writer based in Dogs Head
He appears to have recorded many examples sign writing in Ipswich in
the nineteenth century." 53 fascinating, slightly naive architectural
studies (with, ironically, even more naive foreshortening on the
building lettering); he includes his own premises and trade sign.
Probably early-mid 19th century.
Williams' enviable collection of tradesmen's lettering, mosaic
doorways, brewery insignia, mileposts and much more. Includes the Lymington Rand & Sons sign.
signs and mosaics. Sebastien Ardouin's fine blog of 'Ghost
signs' and mosaics; includes the Spitalfields
Gillette sign and many more.
History of Advertising Trust
(HAT). Set up to photograph, research and archive the last survivors of
this fading advertising medium: advertisements painted by hand directly
onto the brickwork of buildings in the U.K.
Home of the Ghostsigns Project.
A collaborative national effort to photograph, research and archive the
remaining examples of hand painted wall advertising in the UK and
Ireland. Links to the archive galleries in the HAT site (above).
Ipswich lettering (on Flickr) by Alan Brignull. Just up our street,
as they say.
Ipswich arcana, including TFG: things 'Taken For Granted' in the town.
Wonders Of Ipswich. Intriguing, huh? At least one of these Wonders
is no longer there.
Stephen Pestle's intriguing website dedicated to detailing the history,
geography, people & interesting facts about the suprising number of
places around the globe named after our town.
- a site after
our own collective heart - gives all sorts of insight into the history
Ray Whitehand's Suffolk Historical Reserch Service
website has a biography of Scarborrow
architect J.S. Corder.
Special subject areas
in Ipswich: full archived reports of 36 excavations on 34 sites (1974-1990)
carried out by the Suffolk Archaeological Unit
(subsequently under SCC) under the direction of Keith Wade; finally
made avilable in 2015.
also A history of
archaeology in Ipswich and of its Anglo-Saxon origins by Keith
Wade on the Ipswich
Archaeological Trust website. See
also Suffolk Heritage Explorer, listed below.
Urban Archaeological Database a map-linked, publicly accessible
Urban Archaeological Database (UAD) for Ipswich.
Bramford Local History
Group with its commentary on the Bramford
Crane Association has many pictures of Railway Breakdown Cranes
manufactured by Ransomes & Rapier Ltd. [Thanks to David Withers for
drawing this site to our attention.]
History Society: Defunct Brewery Liveries with interesting
descriptions and pictures of Tolly Cobbold, Lacons and other lettering.
Bricks - history at your feet for David Sallery's
fascinating resource on the brick-making industry and the lettering in
brick frogs (e.g. Wherstead and Mobberley examples). Now run by David
from above: a remarkable, ever-growing resource of aerial
photographs from the Aerofilms archive (1919 - 1953) with a good
selection (six pages) for Ipswich, especially the river, docks
and Crane's site on Nacton Road. Set up an
account for free, log in and you can view, zoom in on images and
download them at will – as long as you're not using them in a way which
Relay TV on Facebook:
relating to the green junction boxes in Ipswich: Jefferies Road, Warwick Road and Fuschia Lane, Gippeswyk Avenue.
Giles Archive at the University of Kent of the Ipswich cartoon
maestro as seen in Giles Circus.
Real Ale Guide. See our Pubs
& Off Licences page for lettering on licensed premised, often
owing a debt to CAMRA.
Family History Trust:
a remarkable web resource, maintained by Anthony Cobbold, dealing with
that famous Ipswich brewing family and many other aspects.
Touring Club who
use our Upper Brook Street image (on the Roundels
page) of the CTC emblem in their Winged Wheels collection.
cinema, Old Harwich,
Fore Street Facelift 1961 see
under Ipswich Society.
& King ironfounders, Exeter, makers of street furniture. as
featured on our Street furniture
Guide to British Industrial History: Robert
Boby, Engineer; as seen in Tavern
Street and Museum Street Methodist
Church. Grace's Guide is the leading source of information about
industry and manufacturing in Britain from the start of the Industrial
Revolution to the present.
Great War Home
Hospitals site run by Heather Johnson covers 1914-1918: Home
Hospitals, within 20 mile radius of Colchester, Essex, England.
Included here is a page on The East Suffolk & Ipswich Hospital (as
shown on our Old hospitals page).
on the Flickr site for a David Kindred's huge collection of vintage
Leiston Works Railway
website which has a gallery of photographs of the Aldeburgh branch line's spur to
Project, for Ipswich. Includes the former Eagle Tavern which
has the 'Palmer's Door Mats' sign and
the Mermaid ('Meremayd') on the same page.
UK Maps features a late
Victoian/Edwardian map with a slider to gradually reveal the modern
street layout – invaluable. Also covers historical/archaeological sites.
– entering a town
name, such as 'Ipswich' brings up a range of old maps.
map project (a project run by the National Library of Scotland)
which includes Ipswich. See our NLS
page for links to individual Ipswich maps. One of the most useful
features is the 'Side-by-side' option where you can see a historical
map on the left and a current map on the right. As you move/zoom around
one, the adjacent map moves/zooms too.
'Suffolk Heritage Explorer' interactive map
(brilliant), see the entry
vision of Britain through time is a useful resource (run by the University of Portsmouth)
for both maps and places in the town.
of Knots & Sailors Ropework, Ipswich,
Des and Liz Pawson's project reflecting a lost
from Ipswich maritime history. A remarkable, unique collection.
Milestones site which details
over 100 milestones and includes an interactive map of all
seven Ipswich milestones. See also the Milestone
Society website: of great interest to roadside
Playford Village website is
full of interest about this small, but historical vicinity.
Public sculpture in
a website version of an Ipswich Borough Council publication from 2012.
Unfortunately, while the entries (photograph, attribution, description)
are excellent the art trails referred to are missing. You will have to
design your own art trails. An updated edition would be appreciated.
Sculpture in Norfolk and Suffolk database
(Public Monuments and Sculpture
Association with University of East Anglia). A
selection of these works forms the basis of the book Cocke, Richard
& Sarah: Public
sculpture of Norfolk and
Suffolk (see Reading list below). Very wide-ranging and
absorbing, but a numer of errors.
art in Ipswich: PDF of a booklet published by The Ipswich Society
in January 2021. Accessed via the Society's website (see under
Churches Simon Knott's excellent site covering over 600 Suffolk
including the large number in Ipswich.
Sir John Soane's Museum,
Lincoln's Inn, London; see Soane Street for his (tentative?) links with
website (like ours!) which encourages the restoration of public clocks
which are stranded in time. Pictures of the Leeds
Time Ball Building
Suffolk Heritage Explorer
– the web-based version of the Suffolk Historic Environment Record, the
definitive record of the known archaeological sites and historic
buildings in the county. Run by Suffolk County Council. The map section
(click on 'Explore the interactive map') is excellent and worth its
weight in gold. You can tick-box features to be dispayed in different
colours: Monuments, Events, Listed buildings, Registered parks &
gardens. You can then zoom in to individual buildings, the house number
is shown with a link to the Listing entry, if you wish to view that.
Suffolk Marquees. The
company occupies the old stables in Stoke
Hall Road and invited us down
to photograph the tunnels beneath.
and Halls in Ipswich a website with information about the
Tankard/Theatre Royal in Tacket Street and much more.
Brewery History. The story of the brewery buildings at Cliff Quay.
featuring Brixton photographs, including the Bovril sign featured here.
is Dick William's delightful site surveying this central feature
of bygone village and town life throughout the U.K. with a good section
on Suffolk pumps.
War memorials (Ipswich)
website. A remarkable project emanating from the Sergeant-at-Arms'
office of Ipswich Borough Council due to the efforts of by a small
group of dedicated people, self-funded, wishing to digitally preserve
images and information in recognition of so many Ipswich residents
lives. This takes at its starting point the
names of lost soldiers listed on the cenotaph in Christchurch Park,
then attempts with great success to trace the last address, occupation,
family etc. of the deceased. It intersects with the Ipswich Historic
Lettering website in its reliance on public lettering and its
opening-up of local social history, often from untapped sources of
information and images from private family archives. It has grown like
Topsy to encompass war memorials all over Ipswich including the Field
of Remembrance in Ipswich Old Cemetery. Well worth dipping into,
particularly if you have a relative who died in war.
War memorials: 'Hidden
Commemoration (Waveney valley) 2014-2018' includes a delightful
gallery of Bungay street nameplates.
information about the 16th century Doom painting.
in history (Ipswich) is a fine testament to those people 'hidden
history': the women who excelled and had influence in many areas of
activity within Ipswich and much further afield. The site was based on
the celebration of the centenary of a suffragette boycott of the census
in 2011 at the original Museum building in Museum Street.
Land Army. Cherish Watton's excellent collection of information and
images about the Land Girls. See our Hope
House page for their connection to our website.
The Story of the Workhouse in Britain Peter Higginbotham's
wonderful odyssey through the lost world of the
Workhouse in Britain; contains a section on Ipswich, but no mention of BelleVue
Ipswich Borough Council:
buildings/structures (as Listed Grade I, Grade II*, Grade II by
English Heritage, giving address only: there are over 700 such
buildings in Ipswich. See also the British Listed Buildings
website, below, for specific details of Listed structures). See also
the Suffolk Heritage Explorer (shown in the section above) whose
interactive map pins down Listed buildings with a link to the relevant
Local List: buildings and structures of historical/architectural
interest, but not on the
English Heritage national List. These would formerly have been Listed
Grade III. This supplementary list on the Borough website is in
addition to the original printed Local List printed in 1984.; see
Reading List below.
Ipswich Museums. Official site for Ipswich
Museum and Christchurch Mansion.
Buildings website is full of useful information – but beware of
typos (Grimwade Street in Ipswich became 'Grinwade'). Listings are also
available from the Historic
England site. Historic
England Online Map Search: just zoom into Ipswich, click the blue
triangle and then click 'view list entry'.
Park, on Facebook. See our Christchurch
Park & Mansion page.
Brickmakers Wood: a
venture to reclaim an abused and neglected piece of woodland between
Alexandra Park and the rear of Suffolk
New College and use it for
positive purposes; part of the Eden
Rose Coppice Trust. Coprolites are frequently found in the surface
soil – Coprolite Street is nearby.
GeoSuffolk promotes the
understanding and appreciation of the landscape and geology of Suffolk.
Several areas of study relating to Ipswich sites and geology are
included (London Clay, Red crag, chalk etc) , notably Coprolites and Coprolite Street (see also Brickmakers Wood, above).
Historic England (officially the Historic Buildings and Monuments
Commission for England) is an executive non-departmental public body of
the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media
and Sport (DCMS). It is tasked with protecting the historic environment
of England by preserving and listing historic buildings, scheduling
ancient monuments, registering historic Parks and Gardens and by
advising central and local government.
local arts groups and individuals in and around the town.
The Ipswich Society:
Heritage Icons is a mini-site within the Society's website
providing a growing resource which draws together information, images
and video encompassing historical, architectural and cultural features
of the Ipswich landscape.
The Ipswich Society's
own website. Keeps
a watching brief on the past and the future of our town with an
extensive archive of its Newsletter
articles and more. See also...
Ipswich Society Flickr Photostream, for an ever-expanding
of Ipswich images since the 1960s. Browsers on Flickr can contribute
information and memories to each image; and...
Comparison Photos, a collection showing old and new photographs of
Ipswich locations taken from the same/similar vantage point by Tim
Fore Street Facelift 1961:
web-pages to accompany the Society's 2015 exhibition about the major
renovation/decoration of Fore Street prior to the visit by Queen
Elizabeth II in 1961; now within the Ipswich Society main site
(click the tab 'Fore St Facelift' at the top).
The Society also has a popular presence on Instagram
Museum. A feast of signs and lettering in one of the town's
Building Preservation Trust refurbishes notable buildings in
Ipswich including The Globe public house
in St Georges Street, The Half Moon
& Stars pub on Barrack Corner, The
Wrestlers in Bolton Lane, Curson
Lodge, Trinity Lodge.
Ipswich Archaeological Trust with
an archive of previous Newsletters (quoted on our Ragged Schools page).
Historic Churches Trust which cares for St Nicholas, St Clement, St
Lawrence, St Peter and St Stephen churches in the town.
Maritime Trust for information about the Wet Dock and Ipswich as a
port and much more including a fine image archive.
Festival Group celebrating local women, many of which are 'hidden
The Suffolk Institute
of Archaeology and History, founded in 1848, is Suffolk’s largest
and oldest archaeological and historical society. It has played an
important role in encouraging and publishing research on Suffolk’s
past. Papers are cited and linked on our Rosemary
Lane , Water in Ipswich, the Christchurch
Park Withypolls memorial slab
and Wolsey's College pages.
Council exists to encourage, promote and assist the study and
of local history in the county of Suffolk.
Vale Society which published an article on Sherman's Hall, as shown
on our Dedham page.
Saxmundham Town Council for
local historical information e.g. the Long family mentioned on the Saxmundham town pump,
Suffolk Heraldry Society
publishes a 54-page booklet (No. 9 in the Society's series) on Ipswich.
See also our page on the Ipswich coat of arms.
Tewkesbury Museum (see
our Tewkesbury page) will appeal to
those snappers-up of unconsidered trifles who like this website.
Colchester Historic Buildings Forum
is an excellent resource giving detailed information, good photographs
and period postcards of older buildings in Colchester. Lots of
lettering, too. Would that Ipswich had such a website!
Society: the champion for Victorian and Edwardian buildings in
England and Wales.
Waveney Clarion website: the East Anglian community paper which ran
from 1973 to 1984; copies were once for sale in the Deben Bookshop in
Lower Orwell Street and elsewhere.
Borin Van Loon:
illustrator/artist/writer/publisher/head cook & bottlewasher.
in 1912: King Edward Memorial Sanatorium EADT Souvenir 48 page book published for the
opening of 'Foxhall Hospital', 1912 (dowloads as a PDF file).
Adderson, Richard and Graham
Kenworthy: 'Ipswich to Saxmundham, including the
branch line to Framlingham' (Eastern main lines). Middleton Press,
2000. Dealing with the East Suffolk Line, useful for photographs and
maps about, e.g., the Dales brickyards
Adderson, Richard and
Kenworthy: 'Branch lines to Felixstowe and Aldeburgh: including the Snape branch'. Middleton
2003 (ISBN 978-1904474203). The three branches (Aldeburgh, Felixstowe and Snape) had great charm
and are shown in detail in the unhurried days of steam.
Anderson, R.C.: 'Tramways
of East Anglia'. Light
Railway Transport League, 1969. See
Barbrook, John: 'St Mary at Stoke Church Ipswich: a
visitor's guide to the church on Stoke Hill' published
in 2006 and revised since; available from the church.
Bettley, James: 'The
England, Suffolk: East (Pevsner Architectural Guides)'. Yale
University Press, 2015. Packed with information about Ipswich
buildings; N.B. 'Suffolk: West' by the same author was published at the
'The history of Ipswich – 1500 years of triumph and disaster'.
Unicorn Books, 1995. A racy account of the town's history.
'A Famous Antient Seed-plot of Learning: A History of Ipswich School'. Ipswich
School, 2003. As-definitive-as-you-can-get history of Ipswich School;
see notes on Richard Felaw and Foundation Street. The threads of the
Grammar School, Christ's Hospital and the Town Library intertwine
through the story.
Blatchly, John: 'Ipswich
Tourist Information Centre in the medieval Church of St Stephen's,
Ipswich'. Ipswich Tourist Information Centre,
2013. A 14-page, full colour booklet with architectural drawings by
Birkin Haward and photographs by Philip Hancock; available for £1 from
the TIC. Excellent introduction.
Blatchly, John: Isaac
Woodbridge, Georgian surveyor and artist. Self-published in
association with Suffolk Record Office, 2014 (ISBN 978-0-9564584-4-4-5).
MacCulloch: ‘Miracles in Lady Lane; The Ipswich Shrine at the
Westgate’. J.M. Blatchly, 2013. This scholarly but readable book fills
a gap in the history of Ipswich: when the town claimed a miraculous
cure and played host to royal pilgrims (until the fall of Cardinal
Wolsey). Excellent. See our Lady Lane page
for a full review.
Briggs, Keith M. & Kelly
Kilpatrick: 'A dictionary of Suffolk place-names'.
English Place-Name Society, 2016 (ISBN 978-0904889918).
Brown, Cynthia, Birkin Haward &
Robert Kindred: 'Dictionary of
Suffolk Buildings 1800-1914'. Published by the authors, Ipswich,
1991. Available from Suffolk Libraries and Suffolk Record Office.
'Sudbury, Suffolk - the unlisted heritage'.
2002. See Sudbury.
Church Congress Committee: 'Official
programme of the sixty second Annual Church Congress, Ipswich, October
4th, 5th, 6th & 7th 1927'. Published 1927 by The Church Congress Committee, Maltravers House, Arundel Street,
Strand London W.C.2. 108 page booklet (22cm x 14cm) with
1927 fold-out map of Ipswich. That page
shows the map, cover and one or two sample pages of the publication.
Clarke, G.R: 'The History &
Description of the Town and Borough of Ipswich including the Villages
and Country Seats in its Vicinity more particularly those situated on
the Banks of the Orwell’, 1830. The
copy from The Bodleian Library has been scanned, hyperlinked from
Contents and Index and published on the interweb. It is tough going but
contains some nuggets and is replete with marbled endpapers.
'Streets and street names in Ipswich: their origin and
development'. Salient Press, 1984 (ISBN 0 86055 0990). Probably an
early version of the following title. Her commentaries quoted on Dial Lane, St
Lawrence Street, Butter Market.
Clegg, Muriel: 'The
Way We Went:
Streets in 19th Century Ipswich'. Salient
Press, Ipswich, 1989
(ISBN 0 86055 197 0). The story of the making
and naming of streets in
Ipswich. See Street names.
Cocke, Richard (photography by Sarah
Cocke): 'Public sculpture of Norfolk and Suffolk'. Liverpool
University Press, 2013. Closely related to the web resource: Public Sculpture in Norfolk and Suffolk database (see
Felixstowe: 125 years on the line'.
Ipswich Transport Musem,
2002. Information on the history of this circuitous railway line. See Railway
Society: 'People &
pictorial history'. Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society
Limited, 2000 (ISBN 0953966305). The Ipswich Co-op
Feldman, Hilary A.: 'The Ancient House'. Ipswich
Borough Council, 1986. 36 pages packed with information and excellent
illustrations about the Ancient House.
Long out of print, sadly.
Freestone, Jill and Richard
W. Smith: 'Ipswich engines and Ipswich men': the
story of Ipswich men, their engines and work taking them all over East
Anglia and beyond, from early Victorian times to the present day. The
Over Stoke History Group, 1998. 270 pages of excellent research with
many photographs. Available from Suffolk Libraries.
Glyde, John: 'Illustrations
of Ipswich, with architectural description of
each subject and such historical notices as illustrate the manners and
customs of previous ages in the old Borough, helping to form
unpublished chapters in its history'. John Glyde, 35 St Matthew's
Street Ipswich, 1889. A lavish, large format book with engravings.
Gooding, Andy: 'The history of Cowper
Street, Ipswich'. Self-published as part of a local history
project and exhibition in 2008. Also a CD-ROM
edition. A labour-of-love book providing
extensive research results about the story of the area and of every
house in the street. This work really deserves commercial publication
(or Print On Demand publication) as it includes a brilliant, detailed story of the Freehold Land Society and the California Estate. In 2017, a copy is held
at Suffolk Libraries with a reference copy in Suffolk Record Office.
Gordon, Dr Ian & Simon Inglis: 'Great
lengths - the
historic indoor swimming pools of Britain'. English Heritage, March 2009 (ISBN:
978 190562 4522). See Fore Street Baths.
'The late Victorian town'. Phillimore, 1992. 72pp (ISBN 0 85033
712 7). The local historian shows here how he pieced together evidence
and statistics relating mainly to the history of Ipswich to reconstruct
people's stories and social history. These techniques came to
full fruition in his Rags and bones
Grace, Frank: 'Rags and
bones'. Unicorn Press, 2005 (ISBN: 0 906290 85 6). An excellent
history of the 19th century community which dwelt in the potteries
district of Ipswich (between Rope Walk to the Wet Dock). See our Courts & yards page for a fuller
description of the book.
'Follies - National Trust guide'. National Trust, 1987. See Freston
Ipswich Society: List of buildings of
local architectural or historic interest in the Borough of
Ipswich, Suffolk ['Local List'] edited by Margaret Michael. Ipswich
Society & Salient Press, 1984, rev. 1985 (ISBN 0860551369). Large,
ground-breaking survey of the former 'Listed Grade III' (now unlisted)
buildings of the town. See Link, above, to Ipswich Borough Council's
supplement to this Local List.
James, Trevor: 'Ipswich inns, taverns
and pubs'. Fuller-Davies, 1991.
Jones, David: 'Ipswich in the Second
World War'. Phillimore, 2005. A fine book of research and
photographs about "the day before yesterday" and the turmoil of war in
a provincial town. See Stoke Hall tunnels.
'Ipswich – the
changing face of the town'. Old Pond, 2011. Of the many
available books of old photographs of Ipswich, this one is probably the
Kindred, David: 'Ipswich – the war
years'. First Edition, 2005.
Laverton, Sylvia: 'Shotley Peninsula:
The early settlement of a unique Suffolk region'. The History
Press, 2001 (ISBN 978-0752419374).
Kindred, David: 'Lost inns, taverns
and public houses'. Old Pond, 2012. Packed with period
photographs and fascinating captions. See
Pubs & off licences.
'A history of Ipswich'. Phillimore, 2000. The bible of Ipswich
history: full of stories and information – and very readable, too. It
is a little like reading a novel where the protagonist is the first
companion to Ipswich: an A to Z of local history'. Wharncliffe
2005. The doyen of Ipswich local history has produced a wonderful
treasure trove of arcana about the historic town (even though most
people who live there and run the town don't know or acknowledge it, as
he points out).
& Bob Jones: 'A
Victorian Vision: The building of Ipswich Wet Dock'. Ipswich
Port Authority, 1992. See Wet Dock.
Markham, R.A.D.: 'A
Rhino in the
High Street'. Ipswich Borough Council, 1990. The history
of Ipswich Museum.
Markham, R.A.D.: '100 years of public
transport in Ipswich, a pictorial survey'. Ipswich Borough Council, 1980.
John: 'Wolsey : the life of King Henry VIII's cardinal'. The
History Press, 2014. Reads more like a novel than a biography; lots to
learn about this strange Ipswich prodigy and his meteoric rise to power.
railways'. Terence Dalton, 1987. See EUR.
Moffat, Hugh: 'Ships and shipyards of
Ipswich 1700-1970'. Malthouse Press, 2002. See Nova
Redstone, Lilian J.: 'Ipswich
through the ages'. East Anglian Magazine Ltd, 1948, repub. 1969
900227028). A brief and remarkably comprehensive survey.
Roberts, William: 'Lost country houses
of Suffolk'. Boydell Press, 2010. An excellent illustrated
survey including, in the Ipswich area: Stoke
Park, The Red House and Bramford Hall.
four miles to Yarmouth'. Dunnock Books, 2008. The story of the
Ipswich to South Town and Bungay Turnpike Trust 1782-1872; emphasis on
milestones. See also "Barclays toll-house".
'Ipswich: street by street'. Breedon Books, 2006. Similar in
its approach to R. Malster's 'A to Z'; full of interesting facts.
Twinch, Carol: 'History of Ipswich'.
Breedon Books, 2008. A concise, absorbing story of the town.
Webb, John: 'Great
Ipswich'. Boydell Press, first published 1970 (Suffolk Records
Society). See Almshouses.
Weaver, Carol and Michael: 'Ransomes
1789-1989: 200 years of excellence (a bicentennial celebration)'.
Ransomes Sims & Jefferies plc, 1989.
and Ransomes Orwell Works.
Comments are welcome via
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[Most recent first]
"I must just say how much my
partner and I enjoy your website – it truly is a remarkable source of
information and wonderful history supporting our home town and our own
interests in local heritage; many thanks for maintaining such an
incredible website." -Daniel Agate
"Hallo Borin. I lived in Ipswich for 35 years, then
and moved to Diss. I come to Ipswich every couple of weeks to meet
friends for coffee or lunch and, interestingly, I now see Ipswich with
a visitor's eyes and I walk around a lot exploring the architecture
etc. Recently I started coming on the train (a great pleasure!) and was
walking back to the station from Westgate Street. I meandered past
Portman Road and past the incredible Constantine
House, which I had
never seen before. Searching for it on the internet I came across your
website and got all I wanted – and much more. It's incredible and
wonderful! So, many thanks for a cornucopia of leads to be following up
in my visits. Yippee . . . All the best, Trevor Ault."
"Great website. REALLY great. Useful and enjoyable... I am
particularly enjoying the stuff on your website about the Dales Brickfield as I live near there
and had heard about the little railway but had never worked out much
about it. And I had had no idea of the extent of brickworks in Ipswich
– they seem to have been all over town! Anna Cordon
"It looks fab. Very well researched... I had a cruise
your other pages – it’s nice to see some rigorous academic research on
the internet – about an interesting subject matter. Jeremy Foster
[Jeremy contributed to our Warwick Road
This is Absolutely Fantastic !!!!!
Thank you so much for the wonderful research and information --
it is so well presented!
The maps are super and it's interesting to see the changes over the
It is Very Much Appreciated! Colleen
McDonald [Colleen contributed to the Stoke
Thank you soooo much for the websites. It seems that
very few people who I know, ever look up. There is so much to see in
Ipswich if only one looks up, as girl guides were always told to do.
The information given is wonderful, not too much but just the sort of
snippets that interest me. Thanks again. Rhea Williams
Just a "thank you" for the superb content on the
Ipswich lettering website. I have been researching my family history
for almost 50 years... they lived in St Clement/St Helen's parishes for
over 200 years, clearly in dire poverty. Your maps and insights add so
much colour and flesh to my image of their lives. Thanks. John Welham
Cracking website. Discovered by accident and still
working my way through it. Lived in Ipswich all my life &
still learning stuff about it. Morvyn
I have gained much learning from your site over the
years and also much enjoyment too. I am sending you various shots of a
Road Name... You will obviously recognise the building on New Cut East... I hope you will keep up the
excellent work you are doing for Ipswich. Peter Turtill
Dear Mr Van Loon, I have just discovered your sites
on Ransomes and local street names, I feel
I must make contact to congratulate you on some superb visual history.
I was born and bred in Ipswich, served my apprenticeship at Ransomes
(later, travelling the world for them) and even have a street with my
name on it!
As well as working beside the Dock,
I kept various boats there for many years and am still having "an
affair" with it through the Ipswich Maritime Trust of which you know -
and possibly also my brother Stuart who maintains our photographic
archive. (15 years ago I organised "Sail Ipswich '97"). A specific
detail regarding Ransomes old garage and canteen . I
remember (and used) it well. As well as keeping the electric lorries
there (I can still hear the drive chains "clicking"!), there was a
sideways tilting platform there on which trolley bus stability was
tested - there were retaining ropes to catch the bus if it went too
far. I was at RS&J from '53 to '66 and was deeply involved in
from Orwell to Nacton Works. There's a great deal more in my head which
someone, somewhere, sometime
might value! Mark Grimwade
... all the Ipswich tourist guides are great fans of
your website. In fact it was partially the inspiration for one of our
special walks called "The Writing's on the Wall". I'll certainly bear
in mind anything I come across that may be of interest to you and will
ask the other guides to do the same. Margaret
Borin. I found your site whilst Googling for people
who used to live in my house, in Nelson Road, and the information you
have is fascinating. I realise that Humber Doucy Lane is outside
Ipswich but do you know how it got its name? Btw my row of terraced
cottages is called Henslow Cottages, which I hope is after John Stevens
Henslow, Darwin’s mentor. Thanks to your site I will
research Ernest Lee, who may well have built the Victorian houses in my
The author Sir V S Ptitchett spent time, reluctantly, in Ipswich and
went to school in Caudwell Hall Rd or around there before WW1. It's
worth reading for a look at Ipswich then. Also there were Ipswich
printers (W.S. Cowell in the Buttermarket) who initiated a lithography
process used by the author of Orlando the Marmalade cat [19 illustrated
children's books written by Kathleen Hale between 1938 and 1972].
Funnily enough I, too, try to imagine Ipswich before the great
Victorian burgeoning. Ipswich is a lovely working town and long
may that continue... My row of houses in Nelson Road has very long
– 100’ – gardens though of course they are very
narrow. And they back on to similar gardens facing the other way
from Boston Road so there is a lovely large square of open land which
is so restful. I don’t like what’s happening around the
churches down by Dance East.
Talking about Ernlee [Ernleigh Road see Street
name derivations], I recalled that in Bexleyheath, Kent, there is a
road I used to walk by called Ethronvi Road, which surely must
commemorate Ethel, Ron and Vi! Having said that, there is an
Ernle family who have a peerage or baronetcy or something and according
to Google are named after a Sussex village called Earnley. There
is an Ernle road in Wimbledon. Norma
[This enquiry prompted us to put a
derivation for Nelson Road/Roundwood Road on the 'Street name
derivations' page. Humber Doucy has always been a puzzle; we have
failed to find any source for it – anyone know? We have since added the
Humber Doucy derivation.]
Hello Borin, Thank you for getting in touch about the quote from my
[see link above]. Yes, you're
very welcome to use it and I'll add a
reciprocal link to Cheltonia next time I do an update. Your site is
fascinating and you're doing great work. It's interesting
to see that you're an illustrator as well as historian. My day job is
graphic designer (working in book publishing) and I am especially
fascinated with typography - easily distracted for hours by the
pleasure of gazing at historic lettering. I think this love of
typography is a big factor in my collecting photographs of street signs
such as the Centre Stone (and hundreds
of others which I haven't got round to adding to the site). I have
ancestral connections to the southern part of Suffolk,
particularly Dedham, and so I've very much
enjoyed the pictures on your Dedham page, especially the
scratch-graffiti on the bricks. This kind of lettering is so personal,
being a direct connection with the people who lived in our towns before
us. Thanks for the link to Louisa's music ... I will go and have a
Best wishes, Rebsie
[Rebsie Fairholm runs an
excellent and extensive website on Cheltenham's past, present and
Dear Borin, I am shortly to purchase a house in Gibbons
Street and wonder if this Street was named after AA Gibbons? Thank
you for your great website. I am very keen to find
out all I can about the house I am buying. With best wishes, Sandy Phillips
[The aswer can be found on our
slavery abolitionists page.]
I find your photos of the various signs around
Ipswich of very great interest. I love local history and many of of
your pictures were fascinating. I attach two which I took recently in
Carr Street which you may find of interest.
The first one shows two
decorations and under them is a metal sign which I have enlarged in the
second one. Hope you find them of interest. Best regards, Mike O'Donovan [Mike has since contributed a number of
images to this website.]
Amazed to see the pictures of 184
Bramford Road. I lived there
when it was a shop from the 60s to the 80s. On the other wall facing
towards Ipswich my father put the letters ROOKES vertically. This was
what the locals called the shop which was founded by my grandparents,
the Rookes. After setting up a greengorocery handbarrow after the First
World War, my Grandfather opened a shop near the bottom of what
was then Sallows Lane at 176 Bramford Road. The shop passed on to
my parents after his death in the Sixties. My parents were forced
to move out in the early 60's when the Council made a compulsory
purchase. They moved the few yards up the road to 184 buying the
business from Mr. Bowman where they stayed till the 80's. The
shop was well known for its friut and veg display on the
forecourt. Though my parents were called Hudson, the shop was
always Rooke's Stores to the local customers, or Rookies.
After my parents retired from what was a successful business,
the shop went downhill under the new owners. Shortly afterwards
it was converted into a residential property only. That sign on the
wall, obscured by the new building always fascinated
me and I was amazed to see it on your site. I had completely
forgotten about it till then. Thanks! Rob
Comment : As an ex-Ipswichian exiled in Norfolk ( left in
1957 )what a fascinating insight to the history of old trades I missed
whilst a resident. N.B. possibly the building opposite to the Walk was
the hairdresser - keep up the good work.
Comment : Absolutely fascinating! Bits of Ipswich I didnt
know were there, and bits that I shall make a point of looking out for
too. Thank you :o)
Comment : Found your website when I Googled my families old
company name, J Pooley and Co (Ipswich)
Limited in Ranelagh Road,
Ipswich. Sadly the business closed in 1999 and the land sold to Western
Homes who built those awful flats on the site! Still it was nice to see
a picture of the old site, if you want any information to add to the
page, the company started in 1869 and was originally based in Tanners
Lane (where Civic Drive and the AXA building now stands). The old
newsagents was built in the early 1960s and originally called
“Rogers”, the shop used to stand on the entrance of Pooleys
before the company moved there in 1963. There were also a row of
terrace houses from there the offices stood up to the newsagents, but
these were lost when the council widen Ranelagh Road. The lettering on
the company office was originally white wooden letters nailed to the
front, but these used to keep getting stolen, so my dad removed the
rest of the letters and painted the name on by hand! Didn’t do a
bad job I reckon!!
Comment : Just come across your site from the Ipswich
Society site. Fascinating!!
Comment : Its great to see a minority interest in
action. Your record will be invaluable to future historians. I'm
on another minority interest myself, viz church monuments. I take
around Suffolk and add notes from various sources Best Wishes Mike
Comment : there are strange things done in the midnight sun
by the men who moil for gold.... actually its just nice to see someone
taking an interest in things like this. capital.
Comment : Great work; just shows what treasures there are
just above the modern shop fronts; interesting to speculate about the
people whose job it was to paint these signs.
Comment : Could it be Edward
Fison Ltd on the end of that
building? [Refers to the lettered
building beside New Cut listed on our Wet Dock page.]
Comment : Stumbled across this site from Google - mightily
impressed, Borin. Minor gripe: background images don't help readability
one jot. Chock full of interesting info. Keep it up!
Comment : Thanks for giving me a different perspective on
my home town. I seen a majority of those of these signs & never
even gave a second thought before. Many thanks
Comment : This site is right up my street,
so to speak. It
looks excellent already, and yet its still under construction. Keep up
the good work Borin.
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Historic Lettering site: Borin Van Loon
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