Ipswich engineering history from Barry Girling

Although it might not completely fit the ideals of the Society, the celebrated engineering works of Ipswich should not be forgotten. I am endeavouring in the final edition of my book Ipswich: memories of a special town, kindly sponsored in part by the Society, to include reference to the illustrious recent past. As I have been fortunate, in particular, to obtain the recollections of a few Ransomes & Rapier stalwarts, this will be the company to carry the banner for the town's engineers. A cross-section of employees, with associated information will be given. If this snapshot is not completed now it will soon be too late. Sadly, to my knowledge – and I am open to correction – no marker or plaque exists to define the sites of the great Orwell and Waterside Works where once thousands were employed. Concerning Rapiers, the only local tangible connection left seems to be their war memorial in Bourne Park.

[Ipswich: memories of a special town was reviewed in our July 2018 issue.]

Ransomes and Rapier Buffers from Bernard Stafford

Here are snaps taken last week of the very impressive set of hydraulic buffers in the lovely Estacion de Franca Station in Barcelona, arrayed like a row of cannons. "Hydraulic Buffers Ransomes and Rapier Ltd Ipswich England" is cast in relief on each barrel.


Not everyone wants to fly the county flag from Mark Ling

The former County Borough of Ipswich has a right to self-government stretching back to a charter from King John in AD1200, but in 1974 it was forced into a tripartite County Council with East Suffolk and West Suffolk authorities, and Ipswich was “Suffolkated”.

For 45 years we have rarely had anyone from Ipswich on the all-powerful County Council cabinet. Meanwhile, neighbouring districts dump housing and retail centres on the town, yet take no responsibility for the impact on our ancient centre or its creaking infrastructure.

I see little reason to celebrate “Suffolk Day” on June 21.


Ipswich Windows in Hadleigh! from Sylvia Patsilides. 

Not sure if the date on the leaded lights is 1616 or 1676. [The Grade I Listing of 66 High Street in Hadleigh confirms it as ‘1676’.]