Thursday, 8 July 2004


Changing waterfront

The second Ipswich Arts Festival has been running these past two weeks. It's a wonderful initiative.

Sadly, as with most festivals, you can't see everything. In fact, I've seen next to nothing. I caught part of Ipswich Music Day and an exhibition of abstract paintings at the railway station on Sunday, but I missed so much more.

So today I wanted to catch one last thing before the festival was over. Deserting Islands seemed just right: a sound sculpture at the old dock.

[Old Custom House]

The sounds were missing, but it was a good opportunity to sit and look at the dockside again. Standing at the Old Custom House, you're sandwiched between the old and the new. To the left: flats, hotels and restaurants are in various stages of construction. Across the water the marina is playing home to an increasing number of expensive boats while to the right, the mill drones on, pumping out its malty aroma.

You couldn't dock a ship here now, and the malt-house is the one remaining industry. Before long it'll be gone too and Ipswich waterfront will be indistinguishable from so many others: just a long mile of yuppie flats.

In Woodbridge we're a good few years off this. We still have two boat-builders in the town centre, and the flats are half a mile upstream. But they're coming, and soon we'll have our changing waterfront too.

Posted by pab at 22:26 | Comments will be back later in the year. Please email me instead!