Felixstowe Ferry

Felixstowe FerryFelixstowe FerryFelixstowe FerryFelixstowe FerryFelixstowe FerryFelixstowe Ferry
Felixstowe FerryFelixstowe FerryFelixstowe FerryFelixstowe FerryFelixstowe FerryFelixstowe Ferry
Felixstowe FerryFelixstowe FerryFelixstowe FerryFelixstowe FerryFelixstowe FerryFelixstowe Ferry
Felixstowe FerryFelixstowe Ferry

Felixstowe Ferry, a set on Flickr.

Two miles to the north of Felixstowe, on the mouth of the river Deben, sits the small hamlet of Felixstowe Ferry, so named after the small ferry that takes foot passengers across to Bawdsey on the other side of the estuary. Coastal erosion is a serious problem here and millions have been spent in the last decade on the sea walls to prevent this small community from being washed away. Its pub – The Ferryman – is an enduring favourite as is it’s café which serves up decent food at sensible prices. There is a small boat yard, a multitude of small yachts and boats anchored just up river, a Martello tower, a small shop (selling locally caught seafood) and a few spots for kids to do a bit of crabbing. All unspoilt and it rarely gets crowded (well not so on any of my trips there). Available from the same jetty as the ferry are boats offering trips up and down the Deben, while on the Bawdsey side is Bawdsey Manor, a top secret RAF research centre during WWII, that became one of Britain’s first radar stations.


Green Wind

Artathon 18: Green Wind

Green Wind

By sculptor and environmental artist Diane Maclean ‘Green Wind’ sits on top of The Tump, a sculptured earth mound on the Ravenswood housing development on the south-east edge of the town (the one time site of Ipswich Airport). Made of stainless steel the artwork consists of a dozen columns, varying in height from seven to ten metres, topped with coloured vanes that rotate in the wind. The columns are covered with a layer of oxidant that makes them change colour according to the amount of sunlight playing on them.

Full Artathon details here.

St Thomas’s Church

Listed Buildings in Ipswich: No 34 St Thomas’s Church

St Thomas's Church by Chevblue

Ipswich’s latest listed building is St Thomas’s Church on Bramford Lane which was awarded Grade 2 Listed status by English Heritage just this week. Sitting amidst Victorian terraces and 1930s semi’s on the west side of Ipswich is was built two years before WWII on land donated by Edward Coleby Ransome, one-time Mayor of the town, and was designed by the prolific ecclesiastical architect Nugent Cachemaille-Day.

Brightlingsea Regent XI 4 Tottenham Hotspur Legends 2

30-07-11: Brightlingsea Regent XI 4 Tottenham Hotspur Legends 2 (Friendly) North Road, Brightlingsea, Essex

Western Promenade, Bateman's Tower & Beach Huts

With a population around the eight-and-a-half thousand mark Brigthlingsea sits on the estuary of the River Colne, 10 miles south-east of Colchester and eight miles west of Clacton on Sea. Once known for its oystery fishery and shipbuilding industries these have all but vanished although the town does have a marina and a recently refurbished yacht club to retain a ‘working’ link with the sea. You may remember the series of protests against the live export of animals through the town in 1995 that became collectively known as the ‘Battle of Brighlingsea’ and kept the local Police busy for some nine months.

The western promenade, which is overlooked by Bateman’s Tower, boasts hundreds of beach huts and a 1930’s open air swimming pool. Although nowhere near as grand as Ipswich’s Art Deco Lido at least it’s still functioning. The tower (which leans in a similar fashion to its more famous counterpart in Pisa) was built in 1883 by John Bateman as a folly for his daughter as she recovered from consumption.

Tottenham Hotspur Legends

Former Ipswich captain and midfielder Matt Holland swore by the healing powers of the sea water here. Football’s Mr Indestructible regularly paddled along the beach at the Essex coastal town following manager George Burley’s recommendation of salt-water therapy to a reduce the swelling in a ankle injury. He’d picked up the knock during the home match with Manchester United – Town’s first following their return to the Premiership in 2000 – to put in jeopardy a remarkable record of 171 consecutive appearances in Cup and League games. But the treatment worked and Holland went on to extend the run to 223 consecutive appearances for the Blues!

Steve Sedgley a midfield predecessor of Holland’s at Portman Road is probably more commonly associated with Spurs and Coventry than with Ipswich. In a playing career that spanned fourteen seasons he made 84 league appearances for Coventry, 164 for Tottenham, 105 for Town and a further 106 for Wolves. He picked up two FA Cup winners medals, one with Coventry as an unused substitute in the Sky Blue’s 3–2 defeat of Spurs in the 1987 final, and one four years later, with Spurs this time, as the North Londoners beat Forest 2-1.

Steve Sedgley

Ipswich paid £1 million for Sedgley in the Summer of 1994 and he spent three eventful seasons in Suffolk as Town were relegated a year later, just missed out on the play-offs in 1996 and were close to a Wembley appearance in 1997 but lost out to Sheffield United in a heartbreaking play-off semi-final second leg. His languid playing style saw him spend most games wandering seemingly disinterested around the centre circle before coming to life to make a crucial tackle or to ping an inch perfect pass out to the flanks.

And that’s pretty much how he played this afternoon as he and a Tottenham Hostpur Legends side took on Brigthlingsea Regent – new members for the coming season of the Ridgeons League – in a Charity match in aid of ‘Cardiac Risk in the Young’. While I recognised many of his teams mates faces, and their names as the teams were called out over the tannoy, I can’t claim to be able to match one with the other. Perhaps a passing Spurs fan could take a look at the team picture above and do the honours. In any case good on them for putting on a decent performance and Brigthlingsea Regent too who, on this showing anyway, should prove a handful for other clubs in Ridgeons Division One.

The original and the greatest … Sir Alf

Artathon 17: Sir Alf Ramsey Statue

Sir Alf Ramsey

Sir Alf Ramsey and his wife Lady Victoria Ramsey lived for more than 30 years in a modest three bedroom detached house on Valley Road, Ipswich, just a hop, skip and long throw in from chez Extreme Groundhopping. Sir Alf could often been seen walking along Norwich Road to pick up his newspapers from Goldings Newsagents (now Hunterskill Recruitment) but never without a shirt and tie.

The same was true when he headed to the town centre on a shopping excursion where yours truly almost flattened the football legend, rounding a counter in Debenhams a bit sharpish and crashing into Sir Alf. Oddly it he was that was first to apologise. Not one for suffering fools gladly he had clearly made an exception in my case.

Although he was known to have been ill for sometime it was still with great sadness that the news of his death made the headlines in late April 1999. Then ITFC chairman David Sheepshanks put it so succinctly when he said: “As much as we mourn his passing, I think it is important that we celebrate properly the remarkable life and achievements of a truly extraordinary man. To take a small club, as Ipswich Town were in the last 50’s, from Division Three (South) to the First Division Championship on limited resources was a legendary feat.”

But of course Sir Alf didn’t stop there, becoming the only manager in the history of football in this country to win both the League title and World Cup when, four years after his success with Town, and on that so so famous sun drenched day at Wembley in 1966, his England side beat West Germany 4-2 to lift the Jules Rimet trophy.

His success on the field should however not overshadow his victories off it as it was after all he that was responsible for starting the revolution that shook sense into the men in grey suits at the Football Association. His new methods propelled English football into the modern world and shook off the cosy and amateurish ways in which the game had been run for so long. He became the national side’s first true manager, responsible for all matters football and no longer a messenger boy for the international selection committee.

Despite his unparalleled success he remained a very modest man, loved the town of Ipswich, which he had adopted as his own, as the townspeople did him. A no more fitting a tribute of him exists than that of the Sir Alf Ramsey statue at the corner Portman Road and Sir Alf Ramsey Way (formerly Portman Walk and renamed in his honour) a very popular pre-match meeting point for Town fans since its unveiling in 2000.

Full Artathon details here.



My first entry in the Friday Photo Challenge for several years features two ‘enormous’ sumo wrestlers grappling with a shipping container in the Jardin des Tuileries, Paris in 2006.

Artathon on Europark

Artathon 15: The Man and Ball

Out on the eastern extremities of the town ‘The Man and Ball’ sits on the edge of the B&Q carpark in Ransomes Europark. By sculpture Giles Penny this is one of five identical bronze casts (two of the other four can be found in Portsmouth and Cheltenham) and very much along the same lines as the other commissions he has undertaken. At busy times the sculpture gets lost amidst a sea of cars so perhaps one of Penny’s other peices may have been more appropriate for the space.

Artathon 16: The Rhumba

Originally part of an exhibition in Christchurch Park ‘The Rhumba’ by Peter Blunsden was moved to Ransomes Europark in the summer of 1995. Now rather forlorn looking – covered as it is with ivy and weeds – it is constructed from pieces of steel that have been welded together to form the outline of a Cuban dancer.

View larger images in my Flickr stream here and here.

Full Artathon details here.