The 214,286gt Madrid Maersk at Felixstowe on 14th May 2022. She was built in 2017 by Daewoo at Okpo and is in the present Maersk fleet. (Nigel Lawrence)

Felixstowe is a Victorian seaside family resort eighty five miles from London with good rail and coach links. A beautiful pier, with gardens lining Undercliff Road from the hotels leading down to a yellow sand and shingle beach, are in stark contrast to the huge container handling port and frenetic container loading and unloading operations by the 29 huge gantry cranes at two terminals, Trinity Terminal and South/ Landguard Terminal in the south of the town. The pier was opened in August 1905 with a total length of 2,640 feet, but now is shorter and used to have steamer services to various destinations. Across the Deben river to the north, radar pioneers at Bawdsey Manor toiled to develop early warning long distance radar systems that gave the vital edge in forewarning of the strength of enemy air formations approaching the coast during the Battle of Britain in August and September of 1940.

The 1,909dwt tanker Silverfalcon operating for Buries Markes Ltd. hit the headlines when she broke her moorings at Felixstowe during the great storm of 1987. She was built in 1966 by Lodose Varv. In 1988 she joined Financial Enterprises of Bahamas Ltd. as and piper and in 1994 she became Did of Sircon Shipping. Her final role was as Ferman Silver for Ferman Denizcilik Kimyevi Tankercilik AS of Istanbul. On 22nd April 1998 she was wrecked at Cesme, near Izmir while on a voyage from Aliaga to Ashdod. Her wreck arrived at Aliaga on 22nd August to be broken up by Butoni GS. (Paul Morgan)



A fort at Landguard Point, immediately east of the South/Landguard Terminal and the ferry for foot passengers to Harwich, protected the town from a Dutch invasion that was made after the invasions of England in 1066 by both the Norsemen and the Normans. In June 1667, the Dutch Navy under Michel de Ruyter sailed up the Thames to Gravesend, and then captured the fort at Sheerness before sailing up the Medway to Chatham and bombarded various strongpoints, and caused much damage to the English fleet at Chatham. Two weeks later, two thousand Dutchmen of a strong force of invasion troops landed on Felixstowe beach and advanced to Landguard Fort, but were defeated in a long battle with 500 artillerymen led by Nathaniel Darrell.

A later strong pentagonal fort with casemate batteries was built in 1718, with four 6 inch guns and two sets of twin six pounder guns installed in Darrell’s Battery in World War II, and which fired on German midget submarine attacks on Harwich Harbour and German minelayers. Landguard Fort was also a vital H/Q and Plotting Base for the heavy aircraft formations necessary to defend against German air attacks in the Ipswich and Harwich area in World War II, as well as a Naval Port War Signal Station controlling ship movements in and out of Harwich harbour. It also controlled remotely large defensive minefields in the harbour entrance. Military operations at the fort ended in 1987, and the fort is now under the guardianship of English Heritage and is open to the public.

Subscribe today to read the full article!

Simply click below to subscribe and not only read the full article instantly, but gain unparalleled access to the specialist magazine for shipping enthusiasts.


Subscribe nowLog In


Sorry, comments are closed for this item

Up next

Related articles