Book review

Ipswich: memories of a special town by Barry Girling.

This is a new publication written by a local resident born and bred in Ipswich. On retirement, Barry Girling, together with his wife Elaine, sorted and categorised box after box of collected newspaper cuttings and ephemera; these, together with his memories, have resulted in an incomparable study of the town of Ipswich.

The Ipswich Society, the Ipswich Maritime Trust and the Ipswich Institute jointly sponsored the production of this book. Barry writes, ‘I am especially grateful for the generous assistance afforded by both The Ipswich Society and the Ipswich Maritime Trust in the use of their photographic archives. For the good ol' boys of Ipswich with whom I have enjoyed such splendid company together with their reminiscences which have gratefully been deployed.’

‘A mid twentieth-century view of Ipswich. Powerful local families, enterprise and hard labour. The coming of the dock, followed by the great works, giant mills and maltings, the arterial railway system and the home fleet of sailing vessels. Not forgetting the change in provincial culture. My personal playground of Holywells, the Barge Yard, the Lock, Orwell Works and Quayside. Of the Ipswich men that manned the machines and crewed the ships. In all a diverse, unique town.’

This could be described as a ‘coffee table book’ which can easily be picked up and browsed.  Packed full of photos, this publication will bring back many nostalgic memories to the longer term residents of Ipswich as well as being an informative and fascinating induction to those who don't remember Ipswich in the twentieth-century.

Tim Leggett

Copies of the book are available at £10 each from the Ipswich Institute and a number of local outlets. Postal copies from Bob Pawsey, 82 Westerfield Road, Ipswich, (£10+£3 p&p). Tel. 01473-252893.