6. Colossal Stone by the Road

(not to confused with the Colossus of Rhodes)

Colossal Stone by the Road

Anonymous / Battered / Craggy

One for pedestrians: from Electric House, head past the bus drivers enjoying a quick ciggie and straight into Tower Ramparts. Try to stay on the right hand pavement: can't be done, due to the Colossal Stone by the Road. This odd funnel of a road narrows and narrows until you can almost put one foot on either side, much like the Colossus Of Rhodes.

Can't Roll Away The Stone

Why's it there? Who knows, but this is Tower Ramparts, and we're perilously close to Northgate Street here, the site of one of Olde Ipswiche's four gates.

St Matthew's Gate, the West Gate, was the daddy of these, heralding visitors from London and Norwich. In quieter times it was converted first into a jail and then a clock tower. However, towards the end of the 18th century fashions moved on, the West Gate was sold (via a small ad in the Star) and the North Gate was demolished.

Our black boulder faces McGinty's, a small-ish Irish pub still known best to locals as The Halberd Inn. After all, that's what the big letters say on the wall facing Old Foundry Road. This is the same pub, fact fans, that was once run by ex-Arsenal (and ITFC) footballer Alan Sunderland: I remember being asked directions to here by some Gunners fans after they'd beaten us in an FA Cup quarter final -- they were keen to pay homage to their 1979 hero.

Never Mind The Bollards

More recently, Tower Ramparts has decreased in width and increased in signage, e.g. Danger, No Access To Lorries, Reverse & Exit Through Bus Depot. It was reported in The Evening Star that this waif of a road had fallen victim to the curse of Sat Nav. Truck drivers, who perhaps should have known better, were being guided down here by their robotic navigators, only to become stuck.

In at least one case, said vehicle tried to squeeze through to Northgate Street only to collide with the (listed) dental surgeon's place on the corner, right by The Stone. Alison Brown, the dentist in question, was reported to have heard a thud and had to come out to help direct the lorry back out. Hence the long-winded warning sign.

Watchin' The Roads

Those with slightly longer memories may recall the sky blue dentist's as Spare Moments, the wool shop. Their listing in the 1958 Kelly's directory reads:

13 Northgate St, SPARE MOMENTS (W. G. Bridges)

(Penelope needlework & tapestries; Jaeger, Ladyship, Patons & Baldwins, Lavenda, Marriner agencies)

... here is Tower Ramparts

Like a handful of other original ancient wonders, the Colossus of Rhodes -- depicting Helios, the sun god -- was brought crashing to its knees by an earthquake. Could take more than that to shift our stone.