Suffolk

Ipswich docks: Historical photographic archive put online

Ipswich waterfront south west quay Image copyright Ipswich Maritime Trust Image Archive
Image caption Workers completing the South West Quay in 1902, taken by the chief engineer Thomas Miller, just inside the existing entrance lock to the wet dock.

An archive of historical images of Ipswich docks, including one of the oldest photographs of the town, is being put online.

One of the photos dates from 1846 and is part of a collection compiled by the Ipswich Maritime Trust (IMT).

Stuart Grimwade, director of the IMT, said: "The wet docks were completed in 1842, which coincides with the birth of photography in the late 1830s.

"Ipswich is extremely fortunate to be on of some of the earliest photos."

Image copyright Huw Evans picture agency
Image copyright Ipswich Maritime Trust Image Archive
Image caption The earliest known photograph of Ipswich showing the newly-built Hall of Commerce (now the Old Custom House), minus its clock, in 1846

A photograph of the Old Custom House was taken by local chemist and pioneering photographer John Wiggin.

It can be dated to 1846 because the clock had not yet been added to the clock tower.

Mr Grimwade said: "The Fox-Talbot National Museum of Photography in Wiltshire confirm it is the oldest photograph from a wax-paper negative to survive as well as being the one of the oldest photographs of Suffolk."

Image caption The Old Custom House today, which houses offices for the Port of Ipswich, owned by Associated British Ports

The archive project began in 2000 and has involved digitising postcards and printed photos.

Some of the photos will feature on hoardings around the waterfront area as part of the PhotoEast festival, while Mr Grimwade is giving a talk on the subject on Saturday morning at University Campus Suffolk.

"It's a fascinating archive and the trust's aim is to go on collecting as many images we can find and the online archive will help people see what we've already got," he said.

Image copyright Ipswich Maritime Trust Image Archive
Image caption Felixstowe photographer Charles Emeny took this 1885 picture showing what is now the site of Isaac's bar and the Salthouse Harbour Hotel
Image copyright Ipswich Maritime Trust Image Archive
Image caption The 1948 photo shows the railway yard on the north bank of the Orwell between the Princes Street bridge and Stoke Bridge looking towards the docks
Image copyright Ipswich Maritime Trust Image Archive
Image caption Stuart Grimwade said this 1901 photo taken by Thomas Miller "showed how busy the dock was in late Victorian days"
Image copyright Ipswich Maritime Trust Image Archive
Image caption This Harry Walters picture of Neptune Quay from 1897 was taken from what is now the University Campus Suffolk forecourt. The buildings on the right were demolished in the 1960s
Image copyright Ipswich Maritime Trust Image Archive
Image caption Stuart Grimwade took this photo looking across the Orwell towards Cliff Quay in 1959, with more railway sidings visible

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