For enthusiasts, researchers and modellers of the Great Eastern Railway

ITS.DVD Journals of the Ipswich Transport Society 1959-2019

NEW MARCH 2020. What you are ordering here is a double-DVD set.  You can also purchase and download the contents of the DVDs here.

The Ipswich Transport Society was founded way back in around 1957 or 1958 from a group of young loco-spotters who frequented the park near the railway station.  They organised outings which were essentially “shed bashes”, with the aim of collecting numbers.  Their first duplicated newsletter, as it was then called, appeared in 1959.

Their interests of course have deepened and matured. That newsletter has now become a very professional monthly Journal, illustrated with colour photographs. The prime concerns in it are the railway and bus scenes, but shipping and aviation are catered for as well.

Obviously happenings around Ipswich get full attention, but it must be stressed that a far wider view is taken. Thus the entire ex-GER network is regarded as their ‘home’ territory, though observations are naturally fewer in the west of the region. That’s not where it ends, though. Over more than half a century they have been visiting all corners of Britain, describing their journeys and reporting on what they see. 

It does not even stop there. In the 1970’s the ITS ran trips to Germany for the last of steam, for instance, and these are duly recorded.  BR Mark 2f coaches once based at Crown Point for the Liverpool Street trains were withdrawn and sold: they were refurbished, and were visited in their new life by an ITS member who photographed them – on a commuter service in Wellington, New Zealand!  That’s probably the most distant place covered, but it’s not the only information from that country.  Another member had emigrated there, and supplied some articles on the local transport at that time. 

All the big events of the last fifty years and more are covered in the pages of the Journal. The end of BR and the coming of privatisation, the electrification of the GE main line as far as Ipswich then on to Norwich a couple of years later, and the demise and closure of Stratford depot are just three examples. Rather than being presented as single historical facts, however, you actually live through them. The topic first appears in Rail Report as an announcement of the proposals. Month by month developments are recorded, possibilities are considered and current informed speculation is reported. When the day finally arrives the associated happenings are described in detail and then, after perhaps a year has elapsed, a backward look may be taken to assess how things have worked out in practice.  

The railway content of the Journals would typically occupy from a quarter to a half of an issue. The other main content relates to roads, especially buses. Ipswich Buses features strongly, of course, but so did Eastern Counties which has now become part of First Bus. There are monthly reports on independent companies throughout Norfolk and Suffolk. Colchester Buses and Eastern National were sometimes reported as well, but they did not always have a correspondent for them. 

The biggest bus issue covered in the Journals was probably D-day, the day when services were deregulated and became a free-for-all (a ‘bus war’ between Sudbury and Great Cornard was reported).  Even if you are not interested in such things, there are still articles which will appeal. One example is an account of a rail replacement bus written by a bus driver, and you see it all differently.  He got a phone call one evening telling him the overhead lines were down near Colchester, put on his uniform, in the dark managed to find the one bus left in the yard and went forth to see what the job would bring. Another example was written by someone who had worked as a conductor for Eastern Counties in Cambridge in the 1980’s, relating tales of his experiences on the 186 to Arbury.  

Shipping is also described. In the early days we read about Mistley and about the Stowmarket Navigation. These do still appear in the accounts, but with Felixstowe in the ‘patch’ so too do the world’s largest container ships. The coverage has become global.

Finally aviation, both civil and military, is sometimes dealt with. If that is not to your taste, you will still enjoy some of the researched stories. Thus in 1909 Mme Marie Marvingt suddenly appeared unannounced in Southwold and took all the residents by surprise, especially the ones who didn’t speak good French – she was the first female pilot to cross the North Sea in a balloon, and that is where she had chanced to land.  Mildenhall airfield was due to open in 1934, and just before that it hosted the start of the air race to Melbourne: another article assesses the impact this had on the sleepy town of Mildenhall.  

The intention had been to finish the sequence with the Journal for December 2019, but the recent introduction of the FLIRTs has changed that. To capture as much as possible of their very eventful entry into service with Greater Anglia, we have extended the sequence to February 2020. The DVDs contain over 650 issues of the Journal, comprising more than 23,000 pages.

To get a better idea of the sort of things you will get from these DVDs, we have compiled a 49-page Contents List: to see it, click HERE. It is also included on the DVDs to help you to target your browsing.

Our DVDs also offer another way to navigate your way through all those issues. There is a facility we have added to carry out a rapid word-search of the whole lot.

As a bonus two 'Journal Specials' looking back over the story of the Ipswich Transport Society itself are there. So too is something about its now entirely independent offshoot, the Ipswich Transport Museum.

One additional guidance file concerning help with the search facility is very recent and is not on the DVDs: you may download that HERE.

If you place an order for this item, the DVDs will be posted to you. An amount to help towards postage and packing will be added at the checkout, before you commit yourself to buy.


1. These are data DVDs not video DVDs. They will not play on an ordinary domestic DVD player.

2. We very much regret that these DVDs can be posted only to UK addresses owing to difficulties we have experienced with customs duties. Overseas customers are of course still more than welcome to purchase the download version – you will receive the same files without incurring the inevitable considerable delay. If you have serious misgivings as to whether your local internet will be up to the task, please feel free to consult us at

Pages 23,000
File Size (MB) 6400

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