The scrap-book kept by Sir George Bodley Scott, owner and restorer of The Old Neptune Inn, contains some of the original documents relating to the Fore Street Improvement Scheme 1961.
1. Letter, July '61, to participant property owners in Fore Street (transcript):
"THE IPSWICH SOCIETY FORE STREET IMPROVEMENT SCHEME 1961
REDECORATION OF FORE STREET
You will be glad to know that there are only expected to be three exceptions to the complete redecoration of the buildings in Fore Street and it is hoped that some of these owners will have second thoughts. A check up has shown that almost all premises are being repainted and it is expected that this work will be mostly complete by H.M. the Queen's visit on 21st July.
A number of premises are being left to the last moment so that the paintwork will be as fresh as possible on that date.
Approval has been given to the limited expenditure by the Town Authorities and they will repaint the town properties in the Street, but approval has not been forthcoming to some of the architect's recommendations for open spaces, the Grimwade Street side of the Salvation Army Hostel and repainting of the trolleybus standards. The Committee is taking these matters up again with the Town Authorities.
One or two buildings have been repainted but not in accordance with the architect's recommendations and, unfortunately, the owners have not gone back to the architects for a change in colour scheme but have followed their own ideas. Although the Committee is delighted to know that these buildings have been redecorated, it also regrets that the architects have not been consulted in that many of the buildings already redecorated show that the sympathetic colouring of groups of buildings play a very important part in the effect on the Street as a whole.
H.M. THE QUEEN'S VISIT 21st JULY.
Very good support has been received for the decoration scheme and the Committee has put the work in hand and the materials have been ordered.
Messrs. Smyth Bros. (Ipswich) Ltd. are kindly providing the necessary fixings for hanging flower baskets and these are being made at the present time.
A detailed survey has been made by the Committee, right through the Street, to assess the particular means of hanging from each building, and the detailed proposals will be given to each property occupier by members of the Committee as soon as the fittings are available. The Committee members will discuss with the individual owners how to get these fixed and are prepared to give help in the actual fixing where necessary. These fittings must be fixed, at the latest, by Sunday, 16th July.
Operate letters are being sent to those premises which have big open areas in front, to agree the erection of posts, etc. to carry the garlands and baskets over these open places.
The decoration scheme will be carried through on the afternoon and evening of Wednesday, 19th July. Baskets of flowers have already been planted and will be hung on the hooks by the suppliers during the afternoon of that day. The Committee is organising four gangs to hang up garlands along the length of the Street and these garlands will cross over the roads, by arrangement with the Corporation, at Upper Orwell Street, Angel Lane and Salthouse Street. It is not possible to cross the Queen's route and garlands at the entrance at Grimwade Street and the Tacket Street end will be limited to an arrangement over the pavement.
The Committee wishes to remind all concerned that this is likely to be a very memorable day in Fore Street and that the extent of the repainting and decoration will bring a tremendous number of visitors to the Street on that day and for the following week, when the decorations are up.
During this following week, it is expected that individual owners will water the baskets and make sure that the garlands remain safe, and rehang any that may come adrift.
No doubt people with retail premises in the Street will want to make a special effort of window displays during the week 19th - 26th July. It is also hoped that as many people as possible will be able to keep which will help to counteract the general effect of the street lightning and encourage people to come down Fore Street in the evening.
The Committee has arranged with The East Anglian Daily Times for a special supplement in the Evening Star on Tuesday, 25th July, and businesses will be approached direct by the E.A.D.T. in relation to advertising in this supplement.
2. Signatures of visitor's to George Bodley Scott's Old Neptune Inn (some names not clear):
8.12.60, Ken Smith, [?], [?]
28.12.60, Rose Sampson
20.2.61, Wolfgang Breyer
4.4.61, [?], Thomas M. Wood
20.5.61, Woody, Allen L. Meserve, Stradbroke, B. Stradbroke, Mollie Smith, Geoffrey Smith
21.7. 61, D. Crittall, May Hankey, Richard Wainwright, Judith Wainwright, Clare Wainwright, Eric harrison, Jo Hanson, M.E. Hanson, Ruth Shaw, Daphne Bodley Scott, B. Geoffrey King, Beryl R. Watson, Edna M. King, R. Geoffrey Smith, Sheila M. D. Farr, Susannah Agar, Lucinda Farr, Jean Blackie, Brian Blackie, Chas. G. Hanson, Rudolf Knefting, Bluebell Knefting, Dorothy G. Closs, David M. Gladwyn, Adam Gordon, Nora Ahlberg, A.M. Baker, J.M. Chennery, F. Block. [The 21st July opening was, of course, the day of the Queen's visit to open the Civic College and the Royal retinue passing a few feet from the front of The Neptune.]
4. Invitation card from Mr Bodley Scott to wave to the Queen from The Old Neptune.
5. Carbon copy of a letter from George Bodley Scott, owner and restorer of The Old Neptune Inn, to those helping to decorate Fore Street.
"THE IPSWICH SOCIETY.
FORE STREET IMPROVEMENT SCHEME.
From: G.B. Scott, The Old Neptune Inn,
86-88, Fore Street, Ipswich
17th July 1961.
FORE STREET DECORATIONS.
The decoration scheme for Fore Street will be carried out on Wednesday, 19th July, irrespective of weather conditions.
The majority of the fixings are now up and wired to a height of 10' 6” from the ground. Remaining fixings are required on Smyth properties, including the old building in the lower part of Fore Street, and will Mr. Lee please arrange this, to include the wires.
A solution is still required to Howgego, Ron and Janella. Will Mr. Atkinson please determine these arrangements. Will it be possible to have wires anchored through the windows and a prop to hold the baskets out from the wall? If the problem of hanging the baskets is quite insurmountable, then some sort of strings will have to be provided from which to hang the garlands.
Mr. De Thame will you please arrange for the window boxes to be delivered to the Old Neptune as early as possible on Wednesday afternoon.
The rendezvous for the basket hanging is 2 p.m. at the Old Neptune and this party should be as follows:
Mr. Lee, with truck and driver.
Mr. De Thame.
Mr. Cooper, with truck and driver.
Myself with assistant.
If any of the above cannot make these arrangements, would they please contact me at my office, Ipswich 56781, on Wednesday morning.
The job of this party will be to supervise the hanging of the baskets and to put in position the window boxes. this latter will require some tall ladders to get up to the height of the old building next to Cox's. Can Mr. Lee please make these available?
Other ladders and wire fixings, etc. are available from the Neptune.
It is hoped that this work can be completed by 5.30 p.m.
At 6.30 p.m. the following will please rendezvous at Smyth's, Waterworks Street, where the garlands are available:
Messrs: Atkinson and Sneezum, with Martin Newby truck; labour and ladders as necessary. The responsibility of this party is to hang the garlands from Martin Newby to Wells.
Mr. Lee, Mr. De Thame, with Smyth transport, labour and ladders, as necessary, to hang garlands from The Spread Eagle to Westons.
Mr. Cooper, Mr. Scott and Mr. Jackson, with transport provided by Isaac Lords, and if possible one extra man; Mr. Scott to provide three labourers and necessary ladders. They will decorate from Wilsons to barnards and from the Post Office to Lloyds Bank, and also be responsible for the part across Salthouse Street.
The garlands should be hung in generous sweeps without undue hitching in the middle, and in such a way as not to obliterate the names on the fascia boards and will normally be fixed from the same hook as the basket. The curve should be such as the bottom of the curve comes to about the same height as the bottom of the baskets and the garlands must be wired to the hook in such a way they cannot be blown off by the wind."
See also Fore Street maps showing Listed buildings and Public houses.