35 Years Of The Ipswich Maritime Trust

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Ipswich Maritime Trust, created in 1982 by the Maritime Ipswich Committee, part of the wider Maritime England Initiative. From the very beginning we have always aimed to have the protection and promotion of the heritage and history of maritime Ipswich at the heart of everything we do and over the last 35 years we have achieved several important exploits and milestones.

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One of the first large events we held was a Boat Festival in 1992 to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the opening of the Wet Dock. This was closely followed by ‘Sail Ipswich’ in 1997 which attracted over 35,000 people, and hundreds of historic vessels to the Wet Dock, and was the forerunner to the ever-popular Ipswich Maritime Festivals. 

In 2005 The Trust Council was reconstituted, and membership to the IMT was created, attracting increasing numbers of new members every year. It was during our 25th Anniversary year that we held special events, including the celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia. In 2009, we officially opened the first of our window museums and celebrated with a Mayoral Reception and in 2010, we began liaising with the History Department at the University of Suffolk, to collaborate on local maritime history. Together we have already organised an international symposium and from 2014, have provided a maritime history essay prize for students. Our most recent achievement has been the creation of our online image archive in 2016, which like the rest of the IMT continues to grow and improve. 

Our cause message continues to drive the charity and our on-going work includes the conservation and construction of our collection of maritime artefacts with significant local links, new displays for the Window Museum, supporting promising young sailors and hosting events to promote Ipswich’s maritime history. We support local historic vessels and maritime causes in many ways and many of our events are often in collaboration with organisations such as Associated British Ports & the University of Suffolk, to name just two.