Film-makers were drawn to Ipswich when the Queen visited the town in 1961. Here are some links to films on the East Anglian Film Archive site (they will open in a new window). Selected stills from the black-and-white Anglia TV newsreel and from the colour Fore Street Improvement Scheme film.
Fore Street improvement scheme, 1961 (duration: 15m 50s.) This was a fim sponsored by the Ipswich Society and produced by Gilbert Hawker Films. It was directed by Don Chipperfield, who made films for the heavy engineering firm Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies. Following the success of the Magdalen Street refurbishment in Norwich, a similar proposal was put forward for Fore Street by the Ipswich Society and by local architects. The aim was that it should be ready for the Queen's visit on 21st July 1961.
The film illustrates the poor state of the buildings, the old shop fronts and the increasing traffic, including trolley buses. Amongst the rubbish, a CND poster for the Aldermaston March is visible. There are views of the old Neptune Inn near the docks, the Ipswich Social Settlement in Fore Street (a late Victorian community centre), and medieval buildings in the dock area. Improvement work involves the re-laying of kerbstones and the painting shop fronts. Travelling shots show the improvements to the street, to which 90 per cent of the occupiers had contributed. Hanging baskets and garlands decorate the streets for Her Majesty the Queen's visit on 21st July. Crowds watch as the royal car drives past.
Transcript of the film commentary (with notes).
Anglia News: Queen's visit to Suffolk, 1961 (duration: 10m 20s.) The Royal Yacht Britannia arrives at Shotley on 21 July 1961, heralding the start of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II's whirlwind, one-day tour of Suffolk. Disembarking amidst a naval guard of honour, the Queen visits the HMS Ganges shore establishment for a ceremonial parade. Cheered off by naval cadets, she is greeted in a similar manner along the motorcade route by the youth of Woolverstone, Freston and Wherstead.
Arriving in Ipswich to a 21-gun salute in Alexandra Park, the royal motorcade passes through crowded city streets ahead of the Queen's visit to the new Ipswich Civic College, where she is greeted by the fanfare of the Herald Trumpeters of the Royal Artillery, before signing the registry and touring the new building. Also in Ipswich, a civic ceremony involving 8,000 schoolchildren is held at the Portman Road Stadium, with displays, demonstrations and a poetry recital.
Elsewhere in Suffolk, the Queen visits an exhibition of local industry, arts, crafts and agricultural produce in Stowmarket, passing through Woolpit and Beyton on the way to her final engagement at Bury St Edmunds. There, she is greeted by another 21-gun salute and a guard of honour and inspection of the 1st East Anglian regiment on Angel Hill. Touring through the Abbey Gardens, the Queen departs with a final motorcade through the town, thus concluding the first royal visit to Suffolk in many years.
Audio recording/oral history
Ted King reminisces about his childhood in Fore Street in the 1920s. Seven chapters on YouTube taken from a cassette recording made in the 1990s. Use the side scrollbar next to the icons to see all the chapters labelled from 'TedKing1'. These remarkable audio files, donated by Ken Windsor, can be listened to or read as text: Transcript of the audio files. See also Links for a Kindred Spirits article about An Edwardian Childhood in Fore Street.