Maritime Ipswich, 1982

Maritime Ipswich Committee was formed to organise a year-long series of events in 1982 as part of the national Maritime England Initiative. These events were based in the R&W Paul's Home Warehouse next to the Custom House. The success of this festival led to the foundation of 
The Ipswich Maritime Trust (see Links). In the same year a visionary plan for the then run-down, post-industrial Wet Dock was prepared, with suggestions on its future development. The newly rejuvenated Waterfront is the result of Ipswich’s determination to make the most out of the Wet Dock.
This first sequence of images was taken (as 35mm slides) by David Gaylard in the summer of 1982 (thanks to Chris Wiltshire for digitising them for inclusion on this page almost forty years later).

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982a1982 images courtesy David Gaylard
Above: The name boards on barges:
'WARWICK' (on a blue banner).

Felaw Maltings, with its malt kiln vents,  can be seen on the other side of the Wet Dock and New Cut (see below for a close-up of the buildings). The huge maltings were built in 1904 and extended in 1911 on Felaw Street and on the Stoke Quay bank of New Cut so that barley imported by ship – clearly East Anglian farmers weren't producing enough to satisfy demand for malt – could be unloaded nearby. By the early 1980s (around time of these photographs) the processing of barley had been moved elsewhere and the buildings lay empty and vandalised for years. As the decay proceeded, many residents were surprised and delighted to see a complete refurbishment of the complex in the late 1990s to become the Suffolk Enterprise Centre. Dwarfed by the buildings is the Steamboat Tavern across Felaw Street and it may be true that the influx of trainers, trainees and office workers at the centre saved the public house from closure when this side of the docks experienced the huge loss of heavy engineering (Ransomes & Rapier, Cocksedge) and other industries in the 1980s.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982b
Above: the former lightship T.S. (Training Ship) Orwell was used for several years by the Sea Cadets. The yellow banner shows sponsorship by Jack White Organs, a musical instrument shop which operated for many years in Fore Hamlet. To the right of the old lightship – and to the right of the red container – is one of the large molasses tanks owned by the British Fermentation Products yeast company. It has reinforced sides and a curved roof (close-up below). An album of photographs of the Yeast Factory can be viewed on the Ipswich Society Image Archive.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982bb

Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982c   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982d
Above: beyond the barge are two masted vessels moored side-by-side on Common Quay. Above right: masts, rigging, lightship and Wet Dock from the balcony of the Custom House.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982e
Above: the edge of Albion Wharf is visible at the extreme left with the same two masted vessels. Behind the white vessel is Paul’s Home Warehouse which, once abandoned by the malsters, was used to house an exhibition on the theme of the maritime story of the town. Beyond that is Neptune Quay and the Eastern Counties Farmers animal feed mill.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982f
Above: beyond the inverted trident and the dragon figurehead is stacked timber on William Brown’s quay (Tovell’s Quay) on the Island site and a gasometer on Gasworks Quay beyond.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982g
Above: with the Sailing Barge Hydrogen in the foreground on Common Quay, we see the expanse of the Wet Dock with, on Orwell Quay, the Eastern Counties Farmers feed mill and Ransomes Sim & Jefferies Orwell Works engineering sheds. The trees of Holywells Park rise up beyond.

1982 greetings card
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982 card1982 greetings card courtesy John Norman
"It's probably a publicity stunt for 'Maritime Ipswich '82'..."
The above greetings card is a grim reminder (small print at the bottom of the back of the card) that the festival coincided with 'the Falklands crisis'. The actual conflict began on 2 April 1982, when Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands, followed by the invasion of South Georgia the next day. On 5 April the British government dispatched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force before making an amphibious assault on the islands. The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with an Argentine surrender on 14 June, returning the islands to British control. In total, 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel, and three Falkland Islanders died during the hostilities.

Another example of the festival branding is the scholarly booklet by Robert Simper, illustrated by Roger Finch: Sail on the Orwell, Maritime Ipswich '82, 1982.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982 book

More photographs of the Maritime Ipswich Festival from July 1982
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982 photo 1aJuly 1982 images
Above: is a closer view of Felaw Maltings towards the end of their operating life. At this time pedestrians could walk down New Cut East, almost to the Harbour Master's Office to see this aspect across New Cut and the concrete flood wall. It was later gated by ABP (Associated British Ports) near to the fork in the road for Ipswich Haven Marina.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982 photo 2a
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982 photo 3aa   Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982 photo 3a
Above left: trainees sit along the bowsprit of one of the visiting vessels. In the distance (see close-up) is the John Good building, unlettered at this time but with its sloping roofed lean-to section to the left, then the works bearing the sign 'J.D. WHITMORE' (readable between the heads of the two onlookers), the sail-making company; this building later became the Neptune Pool Club.  Behind it all is the large Suffolk College building which opened in 1962.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982 photo 5a
Above: the large white-hulled ship is moored at Tovell's Wharf with Felaw Maltings visible in the right background.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982 photo 6a  
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982 photo 4aa
Above: two views from the Island site of the Custom House and Common Quay with visiting vessels. The longer view shows (from left): Paul's maltings silo and part of the collonade, the Custom House, Pauls' Home Warehouse Lettered 'R W PAUL LTD.', a brown structure with a slping roof we'd like to identify, Christie's warehouse, Wherry Quay with the Suffolk College block behind, the Malt Kiln (later Isaac's). See The changing dock page for a close-up of the Home Warehouse and its sign.
Ipswich Historic Lettering: Maritme Ipswich 1982 photo 7
Above: the expanse of the Wet Dock photographed from Ransome's Quay. Sailing dinghies are in front of the white vessel seen in the shot above and the old lightship. It's tempting to assume that the three large cranes on the left are the source of the name 'Three Cranes Wharf' on the Island, but they appear to be in the wrong place. Cranfield's Flour mill is on the right, situated on Albion Wharf. The lantern of Stoke Bridge maltings is visible on the skyline.

Related pages:
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
Paul's malting company
Quay nameplates
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

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