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CAMRA Ipswich & East Suffolk branch.

last updated 14/07/2018

Ipswich Drunken Docker

historical era: late 20th century

opened 1984

closed 1991

Wet Dock

Overview | Historical info | Public transport | Map

The Drunken Docker was a pub which was located on two lighters (barges) that were welded together and anchored in the Wet Dock. Interestingly, as late as 2006 the area where this was anchored was referred to as "the Drunken Docker area" in documents supporting the Ipswich Local Development Framework.

Derrick Elliiston tells us that Mr Pat Lewis managed it for the registered dockers in the port. The Ipswich Port Authority workers had a club house at the old custom house, but when when the dock labour scheme was abolished a lot of the dockers took severance pay. Pat Lewis and his team tried very hard to keep it going. Due to the lack of support it was eventually closed down. The two lighters were brought for a £1.00 each from a London port and towed to Ipswich before being welded together and fitted out. The Royal Antidiluvian Order of Buffaloes also had some meetings there on a regular basis.

Mick Holland also remembers the gents toilet had a port hole and you were actually standing below the water line as your eye height was level with the water, so it was a bit spooky standing there.

The Ipswich Cardinals American Football team was founded after a meeting at this pub.

Eventually it was sold to a dutchman who reputedly relocated it to Holland.


(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)