Colour photos from early 1960s show how Ipswich docks have changed

The head of the dock in Ipswich in 1962 

The head of the dock in Ipswich in 1962 - Credit: Stuart Grimwade (ICBC) Collection/IMT Image Archive

Stuart Grimwade was 19 when he took a lot of colour photos around the Ipswich dock area and nearby streets back in 1962.

St Peter's Dock in Ipswich in 1962

St Peter's Dock in Ipswich in 1962 - Credit: Stuart Grimwade (ICBC) Collection/IMT Image Archive

Now, nearly 60 years on, he has put them into an "occasional paper", which will soon be published online by Ipswich Maritime Trust.

Vernon Street, Ipswich, in 1962

Vernon Street, Ipswich, in 1962 - Credit: Stuart Grimwade (ICBC) Collection/IMT Image Archive

The paper, entitled "Memories of Maritime Ipswich: ‘The New Cut and Over Stoke’," combines Stuart's photos and other historic photos of the area with memories written by local author Barry Girling.

Stuart Grimwade on board the Cambria in 2019

Stuart Grimwade on board the Cambria in 2019 - Credit: Stuart Grimwade

Barry has just published a new booklet, Band of Brothers, about the town's barges and bargemen, following the success of his previous booklet, Ipswich: Memories of a Special Town.

The new paper, which will be available for download from the Ipswich Maritime Trust website in the next month, describes Barry's memories of local maritime life and the "Over Stoke" area.

Barry Girling, who has published a new booklet about bargemen in Ipswich, with wife Elaine, who also worked on the book

Barry Girling, who has written a memoir featured in the new occasional paper, with wife Elaine - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

Stuart explained this is called the "Over Stoke" area by many people in Ipswich because it is over Stoke Bridge.

Common Quay in Ipswich in 1962

Common Quay in Ipswich in 1962 - Credit: Stuart Grimwade (ICBC) Collection/IMT Image Archive

He took the colour photos included in the paper while he was working for the borough surveyor, after leaving school.

Stuart Grimwade on the barge Millie in the 1960s

Stuart Grimwade on the barge Millie in 1962 - Credit: Stuart Grimwade Collection/IMT Image Archive

His role involved taking pictures of streets of terraced housing lacking facilities such as bathrooms, which were due to be demolished and replaced with new council houses.

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It was ideal experience before he headed to university and then became a town planner.

Neptune Quay in Ipswich in 1962

Neptune Quay in Ipswich in 1962 - Credit: Stuart Grimwade (ICBC) Collection/IMT Image Archive

"There were very few people around and nobody ever asked me why I was taking the photos. It was a very different time," he said. 

A Wet Dock scene in Ipswich in 1962

A Wet Dock scene in 1962 - Credit: Stuart Grimwade (ICBC) Collection/IMT Image Archive

"In subsequent years I returned to the planning office during each holiday throughout my four years at university to continue building their archive of slides, which was then in turn continued by others on the staff after that." 

As well as taking photos of the houses, Stuart also took many pictures of the changing face of the dock.

Upper Tyler Street at its junction with Hawes Street 

Upper Tyler Street at its junction with Hawes Street - Credit: Stuart Grimwade (ICBC) Collection/IMT Image Archive

This ties in with his lifelong passion for all things maritime. He is the image archivist for Ipswich Maritime Trust, and he and his wife Pat now keep their boat on the Waterfront, after 40 years moored at Pin Mill.

Stuart said: "The images have lain almost unused and unseen for the past 60 years. When I read Barry’s article, it seemed to me to be the ideal way of using some of them, having first restored them digitally.

"There are of course many old black and white photographs of Ipswich, but these are probably the only surviving ones of that period in colour."

Little Portman Street is one of the "Lost Streets of Ipswich" images which are being restored 

Little Portman Street is one of the "Lost Streets of Ipswich" images which are being restored - Credit: Stuart Grimwade (ICBC) Collection/IMT Image Archive

He said the slides had almost been thrown away in a clear-out about 20 years ago, but they were saved on the brink of landing in the skip, by Bob Kindred, the council's former head of conservation and urban design. 

They are now in the care of Suffolk Archives and are being scanned by Stuart on behalf of Ipswich Maritime Trust, working together with Dr Chris Wiltshire and Tony Marsden from the Ipswich Society.

They are also scanning photos of the "Lost Streets of Ipswich", including more of the terraced streets which disappeared through redevelopment, making way for projects such as Crown Pools.

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