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Suffolk: John Constable lighter to return to the waters

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 September 2012 | UPDATED: 13:22 03 October 2012

Catherine Burrows, River Stour Trust, is pictured aboard the

Catherine Burrows, River Stour Trust, is pictured aboard the "John Constable" river lighter at the River Stour Trust in Great Cornard which has been restored. Pupils from Thomas Gainsborough School are also pictured.

Archant

A SCENE that would have been familiar to artist John Constable will soon become a reality thanks to the restoration of a River Stour “lighter”.

The project, which University Campus Suffolk (UCS) is a partner of, is part of the Heritage Lottery funded Managing a Masterpiece programme.

It will see the lighter – a type of horse-drawn cargo barge – used for the first time since it was scuttled at Sudbury in 1914 but instead of carrying coal, bricks or corn, the lighter will be used as a fare-paying vessel for interpretative trips along the River Stour.

David Gill, professor of archaeological heritage at UCS, said: “The restored Stour lighter is a tangible reminder of the heritage of East Anglia and it draws together the strands of art and history.” The Pioneer Sailing Trust carried out the restoration work and the vessel, named after Dedham Vale and Stour Valley painter John Constable, was on display at UCS Ipswich on Wednesday. It will now return to Great Cornard to be prepared for service next spring.

James Hasall, chairman of the Managing a Masterpiece board, said: “For over a hundred years or so River Stour lighters were an important feature on the river, immortalised in paintings such as John Constable’s Boat building near Flatford Mill. Thanks to the Managing a Masterpiece programme and the dedicated and skilled restoration work carried out by the Pioneer Sailing Trust, the restored lighter will once more be a feature of the river”.

Snow could fall in parts of Suffolk this morning as temperatures dropped overnight.

Trains between London and Norwich are being cancelled this morning as a result of engineering work not having been completed on time.

Police are searching for a 52-year-old man from Leavenheath who has been reported missing.

Police and firefighters were called to a suspected arson attack in Carlton Colville in the early hours of this morning.

Police have arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with an incident that caused armed officers to swoop on Ipswich town centre tonight.

Highways bosses have announced they will be carrying out a series of improvements to the road network across Suffolk and north Essex this week.

Kebab fans will be excited to hear a new fast food outlet that prides itself on making top quality versions of the takeaway staple is opening in Ipswich soon.

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