Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

On Saturday, I visited far-flung Leiston, a small town in East Suffolk situated a couple of miles from the North Sea.

The purpose of my trip was to see the mighty Dulwich Hamlet take on the local team – see the match photos here – but I made time from the pub to go on a quick wander around the town. Here’s some photos from my travels.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Leiston was once a thriving manufacturing town dominated by Richard Garrett & Sons, owners of the “Leiston Works,” who made steam tractors and a huge variety of cast and machined metal products  in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The company also made munitions during both world wars, while nearby RAF Leiston played an important role in World War II, sending fighter squadrons of the American 357th Fighter Group to fight the Luftwaffe.

More recently, the town’s economy has been dominated by the two nuclear power stations on the coast at Sizewell: the now decommissioned Magnox reactor of Sizewell A and the more modern Pressurised Water Reactor of Sizewell B. []

Since the 1960s, Leiston has been home to the Summerhill School, the was the first major “free school” in the UK, where children are not required to attend classes and discipline is given by pupil self-government meetings.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

The nattily punned Reactor Tattoos on the High Street.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Leiston Trading Post antique store.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

The interesting Victorian architecture of the White Horse restaurant.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Beers on offer at the Leiston & District Constitutional Club on Waterloo Ave.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

There’s a small park opposite the club, guarded by these intricate iron gates.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Tiny goals in the park.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

If I hadn’t been at the football match, the Knodishall Village Fun Day and Dog Show would have proved an irresistible attraction.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

The Alde Valley School Sixth Form Centre.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Vintage car waits at the lights opposite the White Horse Hotel on Station Road.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Sunday night is quiz night. Another attraction I was going to miss.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

With the Leiston Works closing in 1981, the site was reused as a mixture of housing, flats and industrial uses, with the Long Shop Museum displaying the history, vehicles and products of the works.

The museum is dedicated to the history of Richard Garrett & Sons who manufactured agricultural machinery, steam engines and trolleybuses in Leiston.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

The Grade II listed museum building dates from 1853 and was originally used as an engineering workshop for the manufacture of portable steam engines.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Two steam engines share a building.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Carolyn needlecraft store on the High Street.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

The somewhat trashed frontage of Bertie’s Barber Shop.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Leiston United Church.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

There was an awful lot of England flags and Union Jacks flapping around Leiston.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Furniture store close to Leiston FC’s ground.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Like most small towns around the UK, there was a fair few closed shops on the High Street.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Housed in a half-timbered building, Leiston Film Theatre is the oldest purpose-built cinema in Suffolk and is owned and run by Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Leiston Film Theatre (or Leiston Picture House as it was originally named) first opened in October 1914 and has stayed open ever since.

The venue now boasts a 294 seater auditorium with Dolby Digital 7.1 Surround EX sound and Dolby 3D, and there’s a series of celebrations lined up to commemorate its 100th anniversary .

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

High Street view with theatre on the left.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Old blacksmiths’ sign.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Posters inviting passers-by to “Look who’s 21 today” and an appeal for a couple of missing dogs.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Leiston FC poster in the town.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

“Butchers” only.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Street scene.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Circus poster.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

My kind of road.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Local band poster.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

CD fair in the Leiston United church.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Names in the brickwork, Leiston United church.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

A lone cyclist passes the offices of the grandly named ‘East Coast Promotions.’

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Leiston Home Guard Social Club in Victory Rd.

Photos of Leiston, East Suffolk, England, August 2014

Run down (but still open) garage in Leiston.

Read the match report from the Leiston vs Dulwich Hamlet game here:
There’s dancing on the grass as Dulwich Hamlet claim victory in faraway Leiston

More photos on urban75: Photos of Suffolk

Leiston on Google Maps – soundtrack for my walk.