Street Parade to Celebrate former factories

Eastern Angles are taking to the streets this June for a special celebration of the former factories of Ipswich. The event marks the finale of their community project The Work Furnace which has been unearthing the overlooked industrial heritage of the town. Exhibition displays, storytelling, music, and a vehicle and performance parade will bring this heritage to life in Ipswich Town Centre on Saturday 17th June.

Sometimes thought of as the Glasgow of East Anglia, Ipswich is home to a rich industrial history that has impacted generations of people who have lived there. With The Work Furnace Eastern Angles have spent over 9 months talking to over 1000 people who worked inside the factories that powered this waterfront town and recording their memories. June’s event marks the culmination of the project and is a chance for Ipswich to celebrate its unique heritage.

Speaking about the parade, The Work Furnace Project Officer Hannah Houghton said: “The event on Saturday 17th June promises to stir up nostalgia for Ipswich in the 60s and 70s – the bold colours, the music, and of course, the push bikes! I have been bowled over by the generosity of people that have recognised the significance of the project and have given their time and talents to make this a truly special moment for Ipswich. This town has so much to be proud of, from cars and clothing to naval compressors – we made it all! I hope this feeling resonates with everyone that attends.”

An exhibition will stand on the Cornhill from 1pm-4pm, accompanied by a story bus where people can listen to the audio recordings from these interviews. A vehicle & performance parade will depart Major’s Corner at 2pm and join the displays at the Cornhill for the rest of the afternoon – bicycles, Trident cars and a 1906s bus will once again rule the roads of Ipswich in this journey through time. The vehicles will be led by drumming and a group of young performers who will retell Ipswich’s industrial stories through dance, movement and props.

Want to get involved? It’s not too late to add your story to The Work Furnace, join the team for the parade or help the company get ready at one of their free prop-making workshops at Christchurch Mansion this half-term (31st May & 1st June). To find out more visit or phone the Eastern Angles Box Office on 01473 211498.

The Work Furnace has been made possible thanks to funding from Historic England’s Everyday Heritage Grants and Ipswich Borough Council.

The Work Furnace Street Parade – Saturday 17th June – Vehicle & Performance Parade departing Major’s Corner at 2pm, arriving at the Cornhill Exhibits, music and more on the Cornhill 1pm-4pm