It has been 8 months since we launched our Maritime Memoir Project to gather and preserve stories from Maritime Ipswich’s past. The response we have had over the Winter and Spring has been incredible and we would like to thank every single person that has submitted a story to the project. This is our second update in a series of updates on the project as we get new stories sent in for our volunteers to curate and archive.
All the stories we have had submitted so far are all unique, including the memories of the former commander of HMS Grafton. Who submitted his story, that included the careful negotiating of the frigate up the River Orwell to visit the town in the 1990s. Though we are still looking for lots more stories. So, if you wanted to have your stories of Maritime Ipswich recorded, then please send them in to us.
Colin a former mariner on the River Orwell who currently lives in Brazil sent in some fantastic stories to us about his journeys on the river. There were some many interesting anecdotes we thought we would share one of our favourites.
“I had bought a slightly larger yacht, a gaff cutter to replace the plastic Prelude. She had been left windbound in Amsterdam with me returning to work by ferry. A slot in the weather appeared and I and a friend took the night ferry. We loaded her up with crates of beer which were going cheap on the quayside and by 9 on the Saturday morning were motoring out of the pierheads at Ijmuden. Light northerly. Time for a beer. Just 2 hours out the engine packed up and no amount of tinkering would get it to start. To cut a long story short, 3 days later we finally fetched in through Harwich and up to the marina. It was midnight or so when we brought up alongside a big racing yacht which appeared to be unoccupied but wasn’t! Her skipper however was very understanding and helped warp us back into an empty berth. Needless to say, not one bottle of beer survived the journey! And my boss at work was not at all pleased with 2 days unscheduled absence.”
We have already shared several of our Trustees and volunteers’ memoirs too, including Bob’s and Mark’s. But more are still writing them down to share with us. We know there are so many more fantastic and interesting stories out there and if they are not shared or recorded then they will unfortunately at some point be lost forever. So please get involved, share this project with your friends and family and send the stories into us, including voice recordings or photos. We are also looking for more volunteers to help us curate these stories. Together we can preserve the stories of Maritime Ipswich.