Ipswich has been a key port town on the East Coast for centuries, with thousands of vessels of a all shapes and sizes visiting for a variety of reasons, be it trade, leisure or war. Thanks to the kind help from a whole host of local people the new window is full of ship models, these collection loans from the basis for this display. The centre piece is a photo of the Ipswich Seal together with a model of the ship featured on it loaned from Ipswich Borough Council. Which is normally on display in the foyer of Grafton House. The ship on the seal is said to be the earliest representation of a stern hung rudder, another of Ipswich’s important maritime milestones. Other models include a steam lifeboat from Harwich and a Supermarine Walrus Flying Boat that would have been based at Felixstowe in the Second World War.
This display focusses on the different types of vessels which could have been seen in local waters over the centuries, from medieval cogs to 20th century Flying Boats.
As a reminder of Ipswich’s shipbuilding past there is a fine model of HMS GRANADO, made and lent by one of our members Alan Fisher. 91ft (27.6m) in length and built by John Barnard in Ipswich, probably at the St Clements Shipyard, it was launched on 22 June 1742. The work was overseen by Thomas Slade who went on to design HMS Victory. Known as a Bomb Vessel, as a small ketch rigged vessel it any many others were built for laying siege from sea and to accommodate huge and heavy mortars that had tremendous recoils.