Windows into the Past

Open 24/7 365 days a year our museum come rain or shine tells the fantastic and extraordinary stories of Ipswich’s rich maritime heritage, stretching right back to the town’s Anglo-Saxon beginnings. So next time you are down on Albion Quay, come to see our current display. Our exhibitions are regularly changed by our enthusiastic volunteer team.

The Window Museum is easy to find along the Waterfront between Stoke Bridge and the Old Custom House, on Albion Quay, right next door to La Tour Cycle Café.

If you are interested in helping us with this unique and exciting museum project to protect and promote the town’s maritime heritage, call us on 01473 690090, or email us at museum@ipswichmaritimetrust.org.uk

 

#MaritimeModels 21

Theme

This display is a tribute to Ben Bendall, a long time member and volunteer of Ipswich Maritime Trust. Who was a key player in our Window Museum volunteer team who design, curate and install the Window Museum displays.

Ben worked on the first 20 Window Museum displays. His model of the barge ‘LADY JEAN’ named after his wife was an important part of our very first display. He was working with us on our 20th display, right up until his final illness made it impossible for him to continue. Ben passed away in 2020 and in the memory of all he contributed to Ipswich Maritime Trust exhibitions and displays, this Window display focusses on the Maritime Models he created to better explain in 3D a variety of Ipswich’s maritime buildings and vessels.

Background

Ben was a former engineer who loved making models, including that of a fully-rigged Thames barge and a large 3D diorama of Cliff Quay and its surroundings. He gave his time freely (as do all volunteers of the Ipswich Maritime Trust) and was the go to source of advice on what would or could not be feasible in putting into a particular Window Museum display. His contribution was tremendous and we felt it right and fitting that his work should be represented here for all to see and appreciate.

As Jean, his wife, said:

“… he used to spend hours making models, he loved doing it. He was very self-effacing, I thought his models were amazing, but he always felt he could have done better! He loved his time with the IMT and made some good friends. I do hope people volunteer, and get as much satisfaction as Ben did.”

Window

The models in this display include, a scaled down cross section of the hull of a Thames Barge; motor vehicles that were operated by local dockside businesses; a replica of the Custom House that stood on the dockside before the present one was erected in the 1840s; the so called ‘Umbrella’ which stood near the lock in Victorian times and a series of models which showed how a sailing barge would reef its sails as the wind increased.

As mentioned above, his largest piece of work was a detailed model of the Cliff Quay estate – a model which is now housed in the offices of Associated British Ports (ABP), the current port owners.

Contributors

  • Peter ‘Ben’ Bendall
  • Des Pawson
  • Stuart Grimwade
  • Stuart Harris
  • Doug Nicholls
  • Andy Parker
  • Colin Waters
  • Richard Watkinson

All Displays