Stuart Grimwade is awarded the Richard Smith Memorial Trophy 2024

Richard Smith Memorial Trophy presentation to Stuart Grimwade by Anthony Cullen, with IMT chairman Ben Good.
Stuart Grimwade (centre), the IMT’s Image Archivist, was presented with the Richard Smith Memorial Trophy 2024, by photographer Anthony Cullen (right) with Ben Good, IMT chairman.

Stuart Grimwade, Archivist of the Ipswich Maritime Trust’s collections of over 2,000 photos, images and postcards, is this year’s recipient of the Richard Smith Memorial Award, given annually by the Ipswich Maritime Trust (IMT) to a member who has contributed in a significant way to the understanding of local maritime culture or heritage.

“The Richard Smith Memorial Award is our tribute to the commitment shown by Stuart and other volunteers in amassing our extraordinary collection of images and early photos of the Ipswich Waterfront and making a digital record of each one,” said IMT chairman Ben Good.

The IMT’s Image Archive is one of the largest of its kind in the country. Some of the earliest photos ever taken are in the collections, and include photos from individuals such as boat designer and constructor Austin Farrar; images of the construction of Cliff Quay and the Wet Dock Quays, and the 1881 Lock, from ABP; items collected by photographer David Kindred; and early picture postcards discovered by the late Leonard Woolf.

From an early age Stuart was messing about in boats (especially his brother Mark’s) in the docks. An interest in photography led him to record, in colour, many of the comings and goings on the busy waterfront in the 1960s. When he retired from a career in town planning in 2000, he joined the IMT at his brother’s suggestion and put his planning experience to use in negotiating a series of ‘windows’ which became the IMT’s permanently open museum on Albion Quay.

“The concurrent development of the Image Archive meant a ready supply of images for each Window display, of which there have been 25,” recalled Stuart. “During lockdown I had time to record the illustrated talks I had given over the years, using the contents of all the collections. With the help of other volunteers, it has been possible to begin the task of annotating and uploading the whole archive.”

These can be accessed from the IMT website at www.ipswich maritimetrust.org.uk/image-archive or by contacting image-archive@ipswichmaritimetrust.org.uk

The trophy was presented at the Trust’s AGM on Wednesday 19th June by award-winning photographer Anthony Cullen, an editorial and advertising photographer who also runs the Photographic Day workshops from his studio at Pin Mill.

Previous recipients of the Richard Smith Memorial Award include Des Pawson MBE, world authority on knots and sailors’ ropework; David (Wes) Westwood, skipper of Sailing Barge Victor; and Bob Malster, renowned historian. Richard Smith, a founder member of IMT, was an author, photographer and great contributor to the appreciation of local maritime history and heritage. He died in 2017.

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