Ipswich Maritime Trust

Ipswich Maritime Trust (IMT) was formed in 1982 by the nucleus of the Maritime Ipswich committee, which had organised a year-long festival of events as part of the Maritime England initiative. 

The Old Ipswich Waterfront

The Old Ipswich Waterfront

Each year since, IMT has put on, or given major assistance to, an event helping to celebrate Ipswich’s long maritime history. IMT is a registered charity, whose aims are the promotion of the maritime history of Ipswich & Suffolk, and to encourage sailing for (primarily) young people. 

The current membership is just over 300, and growing. In the past, IMT has helped to organise exhibitions and festivals, and visits to Ipswich by historic ships and vessels from HMS Picton Castle, to some of the Dunkirk Little Ships. We have cooperated with a number of organisations and have been part of almost every major event in and around the Wet Dock since our formation. 

Today, these activities include:- 

• The Window Museum on Albion Quay; changed completely twice-yearly and focussing on aspects of local history such as the docks, industry and leisure. 

• Evening talks in the University’s Waterfront Campus building; on topics ranging from the restoration of the sailing barge Melissa, to the role of the Royal Navy in the First World War, to the history of navigation, to East Anglia’s inshore fishing craft. These talks are held on the first Wednesday of February, March, April, October, November and December, and commonly attract over 75 members and guests. 

• Courtesy of ABP; exhibitions are put on in the Under Croft of the Old Custom House for the Heritage Open Day and Ipswich Maritime Festival weekends. 

• IMT has an archive of over 3000 digital images, most of historical significance. Some were featured in the recent Michael Portillo BBC 2 programme featuring Ipswich Docks. 

• IMT is especially proud to have been able to help charities such as East Anglian Sailing Trust and Sea Change Trust (working with the disabled and visually impaired) and Adventures Offshore (giving schoolchildren what is usually their first experience of sailing). 

Membership of IMT is a modest £5 (£7.50 for joint membership) and you can download an application form from the website www.ipswichmaritimetrust.org.uk. or contact the team at Waterfront Life.