Rundown to the Great East Run

The Great East Run takes place on Sunday – 16th September. Are you taking part?

This event is a half marathon run around Ipswich and along the River Orwell.

ger map

Quoting from theSimply Health web site: 

“The Simplyhealth Great East Run course follows a scenic route that is suitable for runners of all abiltiies.

Starting and finishing on Russell Road, runners pass the prestigious Willis building designed by Lord Foster before heading through the beautiful Holywells Park and travelling down to Ipswich’s vibrant waterfront.

The route then passes Felaw Maltings on the way out and back along Wherstead Road, where participants will see Fox’s Marina, Suffolk Food Hall and go twice under the iconic Orwell Bridge into Freston.

On returning to the town centre, runners will head towards Ipswich Town FC’s Portman Road stadium, passing the statues of two football legends, Sir Bobby Robson and Sir Alf Ramsey, before crossing the finish line in the stadium’s practice pitch and being welcomed by hundreds of supporters in the stands.”

I am talking about this because I want to warn you of road closures that will be happening. I have come across signs on the Wherstead Road, Patteson Road and warnings in Cliff Lane of Holywells Road. The run starts (for the elite runners) at 10am.

The full list of closures is available HERE. The re-opening is to be phased and information on those reopening is available HERE.

Needless to say, I will be at the start with my trusty camera so check back late on Sunday for some more news.

New, simpler, domain name

Ever since I restarted this blog it has been available as:

Recently, I have designed a new flyer about the blog. Whilst doing this, I realised that the blog address was somewhat of a mouthful. I decided that I should upgrade the blog so there would be no adverts. This gave me the opportunity of getting a free domain name from WordPress (our blog supplier).  The new way to get to the blog is a much simpler name:

At the same time, I registered a UK domain name, so that I had one without WordPress involvement, should I need it in future. This is:

Not much difference. It is up to you how you use these domain addresses. All of them will always work.

I mentioned that I was designing a new flyer for the blog. I am trying to get a bit of a wider audience as the current blog is still someway off the numbers that I used to have when we were on the fourth floor of the apartment block. The design is a simple A5 document which I had printed for me by Doxdirect. They charged me £9.69 for 100 A5 full colour flyers, which I think is very cheap. These are going into the post boxes in our block. If anyone wants me to put one somewhere else, just let me know.

a5 flyer.jpg

Old Friend RV Belgica returns

We had a very large visitor to the Wet Dock today. It looked like a military ship but not quite, if you know what I mean. I dashed to get my camera to take a few shots. By the time I had the camera, and the right lens, to hand, it had moved and I couldn’t see it fully from our balcony. I rushed into our bedroom which is a bit nearer the water’s edge and, through the window, got some great shots of the ship turning before tying up.

I felt that it looked familiar so I went onto my “nerdiest” web site – where it turned out I had already see this one – RV Belgica. If you go there and have a look, you will see that I only have one shot and it is one of the ship alongside the quay. This image is dated 1st September 2012. We only moved to the Waterfront on 26th August that year so it shows that I was keen on the goings on even then!

OK, RV Belgica,  pennant no. A962, is a Belgian research vessel which, although privately owned, is crewed by naval personnel. Check out the web site as it has a live video feed of the Wet Dock. I managed to get it as it was turning. It is a very tight fit across the Wet Dock but it managed it very easily.


For those interested in the nuts and bolts of the ship here are some close ups:

A962-craneA962- radarA962- mast

Lastly, here is the ship in all her glory.


Different Little Boats around the Waterfront

Suddenly, there seemed to be a lot of unusual boats around.

We start with a Police boat. Now, we are used to Border Force cutters but I have never seen a motor boat decked out in police colours before. Obviously, I know of the Metropolitan Police having their Thames division but this is a bit different.


It seems that, on that day, the police and the Border Force caught some illegal immigrants  further up the Orwell towards Felixstowe. More details can be seen on the Ipswich Star website with some further details HERE.

A couple of canal type barges have also arrived (although these look a bit big for most canals).



Lastly, Spirit Yachts have a couple of their builds sitting in the Marina.



(Excuse the quality but these last two are from my phone and considerably enlarged as they are moored on the other side of the Wet Dock).

Lastly, I noticed that the Thames Barge Centaur was moored by The Cult cafe. This is an irregular visitor so it is nice to see it back with us.centaur1

To end up, I was fascinated to hear a saxophone playing when parking the car the other afternoon. Suddenly, Victor was moving past with a lot of passengers on a trip up the river listening to a fine three piece Jazz band. What a great way to spend an afternoon. Here is a short video of them passing whilst listening to a great rendition of “Sweet Sue”. (Sorry about the wind noice but it has been extremely windy along the quayside recently).

Ipswich Maritime Festival 2018 – Fireworks

This year they changed the way that the fireworks were to happen. Firstly, as a new thing, there were to be some fireworks during the day (??) and then the evening firework display moved to Saturday from Sunday.

Firstly, the daytime fireworks were OK. There were, as I understand it, mostly coloured powder. The idea seemed to be to fire it up and let it drift. Anyway, this is what it looked like.


It was OK but I understand that some of the coloured powder fell on some yachts. Nice Try.

The evening fireworks were as dramatic as ever. It is always worth seeing. A lot of money must go into setting it all up. People are starting to gather


Then, the big event starts. Watch the slideshow and then the video.

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Now, we look forward to next year’s festival.

Maritime Weekend – Introduction

This year, the Maritime weekend was organised into areas. These comprised the Market Zone, by the entrance to the Waterfront from Stoke bridge; the Activity Zone which was further down around Isaacs and the University; the Entertainment Zone which stretches from Neptune Marina down to theAurora Restaurant and Bar. I managed to visit all three of the areas on Saturday morning before it all got very busy as, last year I got caught in my wheelchair amongst a solid group of people around the Old Customs House and one person got very difficult will me for “being in the way”. I didn’t go over to the Island as that was the site for the annual Beer Festival and 11am was a bit early for that.


There was a land train from Stoke Bridge down onto the Island. This met up with the “free” foot ferry that was going between the Customs House and the island, making a nice round trip if you were so inclined. My wheelchair was a bit low on power when I started so I wasn’t keen to go on to the Island, in any case so I didn’t follow up on these. I may go out tomorrow and see if I can make the round trip with my wheelchair. Maybe!

Anyway, I took nearly 100 photos and a few movies so I will split these blog posts up into individual posts that cover the areas as described above.

Ipswich Maritime Festival 2018 – Activity Zone

Ipswich Maritime Festival 2018 – Market Zone

Ipswich Maritime Festival 2018 – Entertainment Zone

Lastly, there are a few images that don’t fit into the above so here they are:

Firstly, one of the entertainments down at the Stoke Quay end. Pemberton and Hague – a vaudevillian circus act (it says in the guide book).


Secondly, a couple to show how the boats in the Marina have been decorated up for the occassion.


Lastly, a couple to show that there is still some way to go in the regeneration. These are part of the Paul Building.IMG_4478IMG_4477

I am going out again tomorrow so I may get some different views of things.

Ipswich Maritime Festival 2018 – Entertainment Zone

Entering from our apartment block, the first thing that you notice is the level of security. The guards are checking all bags and rucksacks. This is good, except they missed putting someone on the end of the slope from the Podium! Never mind, they are very much in evidence everywhere else.

The Entertainment Zone is that part dedicated to fairground rides and food.  First off you come to the rides. (As there are so many images, I have done them is small slide show blocks.

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My wife still talks about the Waltzer at the fairground – before she met me. She always talks about Del Shannon and the boys on the ride pushing the pedals and making the girls scream. Well, here is a short video showing that not much has changed!

The rest of the zone was pretty much like the Food Weekend earlier in the year. Lots of different types of food available. At the early time that I was there, there weren’t many takers but it got very busy later on.

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The themes through the festival was “Pirates” so there was much dressing up and “ooo” “arrr”  going on – remember “Talk Like a Pirate Day“? (Still time to join in – 19th September, this year!). here is Ipswich’s own Jack Sparrow:


He was suitably “drunk” even at this time of day – although not much was slopping out of his mug – boo. The usual amenities were, of course, available.


Radio Suffolk were managing the stage. At this time of day, the audience were sparse but the singer did a good job.


It will probably get rowdier as the day goes on.