The very first window display officially opened on the 13th September 2009 by Captain Jim Lawrence in the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Ipswich and focusses on the Thames Spritsail Barges and the sailmakers who provided these vessels with hand sewn canvas.
The special long bench the sailmaker sat on and hand sewed the canvas together to make the sails.
Barges have been a major part of the local maritime scene for many years both transporting goods up and down the East Coast and helping tranship cargos from large vessels that were too deep the enter the port of Ipswich fully laden. The sailmakers of Ipswich and in particular W.O.Whitmore were an essential part of keeping all these sailing vessels in good trim and in keeping the vessels sailing. The barge models and sailmakers tools in this display give an insight into these important characters in Ipswich’s maritime story.