Bikes, Flags and things

Yesterday we had the Crafted Classique bike challenge. Basically, you could sign up, turn up outside the Cult on the Waterfront and go. They gave you a number and a timing chip. It was then up to you if you did 55k, 100k or 100 miles. I thought that we would see cyclists in bulk however, although it was well attended, at any one time there was only the occasional bikes going past. Here is the start/finish.


I went down the Waterfront but only got one quick shot of a pair of cyclists.


My old friend Ray came past on his bike having done the 55k route but apart from that, as it was such a lovely day I had a beer at the Aurora.


It was a day for special flags. Maybe David Jay of Trimilea can tell us what was going on. Firstly, he had a strange flag on his boat.

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Then there were three strung up on another boat nearby.


Lastly, the Orwell Lady came by having a pirate party.


One interesting boat went out of the lock. This was what I think is a 1930s type speed boat. In any case, it was an interesting boat to see. The condition was absolutely wonderful.

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Getting the full picture about Norma

I think that I mentioned that Norma had been in the Wet Dock for much longer than normal. We noticed some work going on down at Gasworks Quay but it was too far away to see properly and I couldn’t get down there in time. On Thursday, though, all the action moved to Orwell Quay right under our noses (or at least my camera).

Firstly, Norma pulled round to dock port side on and then a crane arrived.




They started work on the plough with a bit of welding.


Next, they used a torch to cut  a piece off the side of the dredger.




After the crane removed this piece, they used it to drop some equipment down into the engine compartment. I was told that they took the opportunity of the lay off from work to do some clearing up and maintenance on the engines as well as the work we could see going on.


Then, the big job started. There are two long struts that support the front plough – one on either side. It seems that one of these needed a new sleeve fitted. This is what the delay was all about. This strut is the length of the dredger and is very heavy so they took a lot of care removing it.



It was way too long to fit onto a standard lorry so they had to cut it in half. At this time, I didn’t know what the plan was so I was a bit confused as it looked a bit drastic to me. Still, a lorry came along and both bits were loaded up and taken away.



The next day, Norma turned around so that we could see the plough from the front. As you can see, it is at a bit of an angle.


At this point we didn’t really know what was going on so I went down the waterfront and asked one of the guys on the boat. You have heard most of it above. However, he did tell me that the strut had gone off to have a new sleeve fitted.  I asked about how it would come back because it was in two halves. He told me that, when the work is complete, it will be welded back together and then brought back on an extended lorry with, evidently, a police escort! Let’s hope that I am around when that happens!

In the meantime, they took the opportunity to top up the tanks.


There is more to come on this. Watch this space.

Don’t cross the streams!

If you have ever been a Ghostbusters fan, you will remember the above as vital – for the full details, see below. Well, we had a visit on Monday night of a fir engine from Falcon Fire and Rescue Service. I didn’t know that such things existed but it appears that Falcon are a private fire service that attends organised events, etc. You can check them out HERE.

They turned up with their fire engine at Orwell Quay to empty their water tanks before, presumably, travelling back to base. They have done this before. They pull up, fix their hoses and blast away into the Wet Dock.





Egon Spengler: There’s something very important I forgot to tell you.
Peter Venkman: What?
Spengler: Don’t cross the streams.
Venkman: Why?
Spengler: It would be bad.
Venkman: I’m fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, “bad”?
Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal!
Venkman: Right. That’s bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

Ipswich Maritime Weekend – 15th – 16th August 2015 – Part 4 – Everything else

The boats, food and WW1 re-enactment were the main features of the weekend but there was lots going on apart from that. Here is a quick overview of the best of the rest.

As you can see, the event was very well attended. As the weather held out for both days, this continued.


There is always a small fun fair.




Coffee link had a very nice old time Citroen van set up as snack bar (as we used to call them).


Heart Radio were there giving out flyers but Valerie wouldn’t have liked me making to much of the pretty girls doing the distribution – grin.


There has been a lot of work going on at Isaacs recently. This is the result. Very impressive.


Now, if you are going to visit Ipswich then this is how to do it. Mostly, the Fairline yachts that we see are going off to be delivered to some lucky customer. Here we have one ‘lucky customer’ back in the Wet Dock. Very nice.IMG_3661

Balloons are always popular with the kids.


I think that I know what this means!


In the middle of all the chaos is this wonderful memorial to those brave souls of the Merchant Navy that gave their lives during WWII. I hope that everyone who passed stopped, read and pondered how lucky they are that there were such people.


This is the V.I.C. 96 – a traditional steam powered coaster – one of many that would have plied their trade up and down the coasts of Britain delivering everything and anything.


This chap gave a brilliant performance on his own such that I stopped and listened to a couple of songs. The stage was set on the boat that came in on Thursday – remember, I said that it didn’t have a name – if you look carefully, it did have a stage.


Three Thames Barges all in a line – nice!


Finally, I got back to Orwell Quay. As you can see, the Aurora Restaurant was doing great business.


Ipswich Maritime Weekend – 15th – 16th August 2015 – Part 3 – WW1

Quite a large part of the weekend is taken by a group on re-enactors of the first World War vintage. All the way down Neptune Marina and beyond was lined with stalls offering different views of that time. It was a really exceptional demonstration of dedication to an era. Again, I am not going to attempt to annotate every photo as most of them are self explanatory.


This girl was really playing hymns on the Harmonium, whilst pumping the air with her feet!






Time for a cup of char!


Signalling gear.



I wonder what effect this gun had on the war?


Russian re-enactors.


German re-enactors


These last two photos have little stories attached. In the first one, the lady is smiling because she was sitting there with a plastic cup of tea/coffee in her hand. I have just asked her to “lose the cup, please?” Edwardian dress and plastic cups don’t go together!


In this image of the concert party, the lady was sitting there and just when I went to take the photo, she started to get up and go on stage – so I called and asked here if she could sit down again. The man is laughing because, in his own words, ‘I have been trying to get her out of that chair all afternoon and just as she was moving, you asked her to sit back!”


Ipswich Maritime Weekend – 15th – 16th August 2015 – Part 2 – Food

One of the big features of any of these special weekends on the Waterfront is the vast array of speciality food suppliers that turn up. During the weekend you can feast on a huge array of different foods from all around the world. These photos show a good selection of them. There isn’t anything really to say about the so just enjoy the images.







I don’t know what this one is about – and I didn’t go and ask:-(




All of the above were along the quay leading down to Neptune Marina from Orwell Quay. This last on shows the Salthouse Harbour Hotel’s smokey contribution – smile.


Lastly, with my new found freedom to travel, I stopped off here –


This was the outside bar of the Cult Cafe. I had a pint of their really nice English brewed Lager

Ipswich Maritime Weekend – 15th – 16th August 2015 – Part 1 – The Boats

Of late, I haven’t been able to cover these weekend due to difficulties with walking but I have recently got myself a wheelchair which makes it much easier for me to traverse the Waterfront. Firstly, just to show off my new toy, here I am buzzing around on the sea wall at Felixstowe.


There is so much to show that to do it in one blog entry would be ridiculous. As a consequence, I have split it into four. The first one concentrates on some of the new visitors to the Wet Dock.

Firstly, we have the Thames Barge Pudge. Pudge was built in 1922 as a carrier of general cargo until 1940 when she was requisitions for Operation Dynamo – the evacuation of Dunkirk. She was involved in an exciting incident when when the tug towing her hit a mine. She survived and brought 300 survivors and servicemen home to England.


She has a Bob consisting of a gold wheel emblem on a red & black background.


No name on the next one but it was used as a stage down by Gasworks Quay (see a later blog post)





The next is an Oakley Class lifeboat which was stationed at Buckie – nr. Lossiemouth in North East Scotland.IMG_3634



Lastly, I have saved two old favourites. In all of the time that we have been living on the Waterfront, we have rarely seen Suntis arrive during the day on a Sunday – especially in the summer. Well, in she came today giving a lot of people their first close up look at a decent sized merchant ship. They also got to see her coming through the lock which is always impressive.


Lastly, I have to show off our old friend Trimilea. She is well and truly decked out with her finest for the weekend. For those who don’t know of her, she is the old Ramsgate lifeboat and also took part in Operation Dynamo so she flies the Dunkirk Little Ships flag with much pride.


Building up to a big weekend on the Waterfront at Ipswich

This week we will be having the Ipswich Maritime Festival for 2015. This is one of the high spots of the year. I missed out on the previous big weekend because of my arthritis but I should be more mobile from tomorrow so I am hoping to get into the thick of it. The weekend just gone was  of glorious weather and everyone took advantage to take their boats out. The Wet Dock was a bit like Piccadilly Circus (well, not quite but you know what I mean). There were long queues for the lock in both directions.


One thing had skipped my notice. Do you remember the boat that was moored opposite for a very log while. This is the one that had the canvas cover that had a nice entry hole for the seagulls? Well, it went away last year. Suddenly, it is back moored up against Fenland.

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Since Monday, we have had a succession of new visitors. The first was an unusual Dutch boat called ‘Maes’.


It was very noisy and churned the water up quite a lot as it left.


I was impressed with the high-tech seat that the owner was using when steering the boat!IMG_3603

Following that, we have had two unusual boats come in but neither of them has a name that I can find. Does anyone out there IMG_3607

Normally, I can wait for a shot of the stern to get the name but I couldn’t see anything there at all.IMG_3608?

That was yesterday. Today, a similar  thing happened. This boat looks like a very comfortable home.


I do like the bicycle!


Also, I was interested in the high-tech stern!

As part of the preparations, they needed a new sign on the quay below us. Three men came along to put up the sign.


So, we are getting ready for the big weekend. Lots to see and do, so if you can come, do!

Lastly, one thing I can never resist is a sunset. Last night we had a very fiery one over the Maltings.


Continue reading “Building up to a big weekend on the Waterfront at Ipswich”

Further work on the quayside

The pathway along the quayside was quite badly damaged during the recent work so they came back on Friday to start the making good process.

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It’s a pity that they just dumped the old sand onto the grass verge but I suppose that the new growth will cover all that up. So far, they have only done this bit. We presume that they will come back over time and do the rest as this wasn’t, by any means, the worst bit.

I got to talk to the man telling the workers what to do and I leaned some interesting facts.

I asked about the fact that they kept the old wall in place when they laid the new one. It appears that there are three existing walls still in place. The first dates from the 1770s and is situated half way across the current road. This is a wall made of green oak and was laid by Dutch workmen. The second was laid in Victorian times. It is constructed of brick and lies approximately along the line of the pathway/grass delineation. Both of these are still in place. The one that was causing the problems this time was the wall that was constructed in the 1950s. This was the one with the rusted iron walls that has now been covered up by the new filling. So, the first one lasted approximately 120 years; the second around 100 years; the last one 70 years!