On the visit to The Maltings in Princes Street [see page 22], I received a copy of Ipswich: a town to be proud of, published by the Society. Reading the article by Tony Marsden on An Ipswich Waterfront Walk 2015 reminded me of a day in July 2019 where I tarried awhile on the Waterfront after working at the University.
What was the day like? It was a day of searing sunshine, heralding superb summer days to come. Was this Nice in the south of France or Monte Carlo? No, this was the Waterfront in Ipswich. I had paused for a moment from my walk, sitting on a quayside seat by the water’s edge outside the University of Suffolk, to take advantage of a slight breeze.
The strong sunlight shimmered on the serene water of the Marina. Immediately in front of me, at anchor, superb seagoing craft of all descriptions; to the side, pedestrians and cyclists and people enjoying the sunshine. Around the quayside: pubs and restaurants, with contented customers chatting convivially.
Across the water: the Island site with the curved roof of the 1882 Public warehouse, The Last Anchor Café and other businesses. In the distance: the glowing green apartment blocks on the New Cut, ‘Over Stoke’. Such a change from my growing-up days when it was an area of millers , brewers, railways, and the site of the first chemical works!
The imminent finishing of the ‘Winerack’ project is helping to complete the transformation of the area; some parts still need to be improved, particularly at the Stoke Bridge end, but the indication now is that everything is moving in the right direction. However, perhaps also some more thought ought to be given as to how this fine feature can best be linked to the ancient core of the town.
No longer does the area resemble a former war-torn Beirut! The original vision of the planners is now coming to fruition; Ipswich now has another ‘go-to’ area, a fine feature for a very fine county.
Photograph of the soon-to-be-completed Winerack by Tim Leggett