Harvey 2 - An Ipswich Society Album





From our Image Archive: Fire at Paul’s maltings, New Cut West, Ipswich 1889.

From time to time our Hon Secretary receives requests from all kinds of people to use the Society’s resources for various novel purposes. Our view is that they should be shared whenever possible, but that the Society is always acknowledged.

Recently when a professional historical researcher contacted us requesting inclusion of some of our photographs in a residential historical piece of research we were able to permit the use of images which were relevant to the subject. The sort of work undertaken by such researchers includes social and structural house histories; the origins and development of businesses and enterprises such as hotels, cinemas, stations and even industrial sites; often they provide a service to authors preparing fiction  and non-fiction material.

The photographs in question had been located in one of our albums in the Image Archive on the Flickr website. This particular album is one which was donated to us in 2018 called Harvey 2 and was subsequently joined by Harvey 3. The two albums comprised nearly 550 monochrome photographs which were digitised by our Newsletter editor and added to the burgeoning Archive.

The album depicts the life of the fire service in the town and neighbouring areas between the years 1949 -1955, including some historical images of great interest and some which present possibly distressing images of damage and calamity befalling property and people.

Billy Griss was a  fireman and good amateur photographer who collated the albums which were bought by the retired Ipswich firefighter John Harvey, he lent them on to the Society for scanning. The photographs are annotated from the albums, supplemented by John’s memories.

The sight of burning buildings, capsized boats, fire uniforms developing over time and the way that the equipment and vehicles changed and improved are very well documented in both the albums.

The images requested were of a grisly nature as it turned out because they were of a nineteen-fifties house fire in which a father and children perished. We hope that the recipients are not affected by the pictures and if they relate to their own residence they are not too touched by what they reveal.

Look at our Image Archive on Flickr – see the link on the homepage of the  Society’s website.

Tony Marsden

Photographs from our Image Archive below: Ipswich Fire Brigade, 1928;   A snowy scene photographed from Bond Street Fire Station, Ipswich on December 27th 1962. The Ragged Girls School is on the right with County Hall beyond.

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