Photo of Lock Tavern

Ipswich Lock Tavern

also traded as as: Dock Tavern, Westgate's Commercial Hotel

historical era: mid 20th century

closed September 11th, 1955

New Cut East

grid reference TM 167 438

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CAMRA Ipswich & East Suffolk branch.

last updated 12/04/2015

Converted into flats in 1980, since demolished.

According to the book "A Victorian Vision, the building of Ipswich Wet Dock", the Lock Tavern started out as Westgate's Commercial Hotel.

Shown here on the 1902 OS map. An older map at the Suffolk Record Office confirms this to have been the Lock Tavern.Lock Tavern on 1902 OS map The name refers to the original lock which is visible on this map, not the current one.

Only called the Dock tavern in 1922

A report in the Bury & Norwich Post** on Nov-26 in 1889 when Herbert Charles Westgate was the landlord states that :

Herbert Charles Westgate manager of the Lock Tavern gave evidence that William Cocker left the Lock just after 11pm. Cocker was accussed of malicious injury to property in that he feloniously cast off the steam tug "Era". Westgates evidence conflicted with the tug owners testimony causing sufficient doubt with jury who found him not guilty.

A notice in the Ipswich Journal** in Jan 1895 states that :

An advertisement placed in January 1895 in the Ipswich Journal reads: Passengers by steamboat will find cheerful fires, cosy rooms, good drinks, plenty of newspapers, and the best attention at Westgate's Lock Tavern and Hotel, (near the steamboat promenade. Dinners, suppers, etc., or large and small parties.

A report in the Ipswich Journal*** on 15 Jul in 1898 states that :

H.C.WESTGATE of the Lock Hotel, Ipswich deposed to serving the deceased (Frederick James Brown, 44, a brewer's drayman) with a half pint of beer on Sunday, 10th July, 1898; James BALLS, landlord of the Post Chaise, Ipswich, said that the deceased had had a bed at his house on Saturday evening. Brown had been found hanging from the rails at the dock side, suspended by a handkerchief & a belt. He had worked at the Mortlake Brewery, London for 25 years for £1 per week & commission.

A paperback book published in 1969, called "Inns of the Suffolk Coast" by Leonard P Thompson*** contains the following description:

The Lock Tavern, Ipswich

In 1906, new landing stages were built on the opposite (West) side of the New Cut and Herbert Westgate (had already) decided to give up the Lock Tavern and move to the Ostrich Inn at Wherstead. It came into existence several years after the New Cut was made in 1843.... Shortly after ten o'clock on the night of Sunday, September 11, 1955, the last drink had been served, the last customer had left, and the proprietor, Mrs B.V. Horlock, closed the doors of the Lock Tavern.

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

Closure date from Ipswich licensing records.

(** historic newspaper information from Stuart Ansell)

(*** historic book information from Bob Mitchell)