John Norman, Society Chairman
The Ipswich Society was founded in 1960 and is a community of people who care about the appearance, character and well-being of the town, its past and its future.
With around 1300 members we are quite a large society as civic societies go and we like to think that we are well-recognised and that our opinions count for something in the town.
The Society encourages conservation of the town's best buildings and most attractive street scenes but also welcomes well-planned and sensitive new developments.
Ipswich is a town of great historical interest and variety. We are keen to see that the town's rich heritage of manufacturing, seafaring and culture is more widely appreciated.
We urge that public transport be enhanced and private transport accommodated in such a way that travel in Ipswich is relatively easy and pleasant. This is necessary for the local economy but must be achieved without spoiling the character of the town's historic street pattern.
The Future Of Ipswich
The Ipswich Society recognises the need for a prosperous local economy for the benefit of people and their environment. With this in mind we examine carefully and comment on the various plans and other documents produced by Ipswich Borough Council (see Links) – our President is always the Worshipful the Mayor of Ipswich, who presides at our AGM and other important occasions – and Suffolk County Council relating to the development of Ipswich and its surroundings.
The Society publishes a Newsletter, holds Winter Illustrated Talks and during the summer arranges visits to places of interest. Our three main events are the AGM where the activities and achievements of the year are discussed, the Awards Evening where certificates are presented for particularly good examples of new development and we organise the annual Heritage Open Days in the town. Both the evening events conclude with refreshments and general socialising. The Society has an ever growing Image Archive of Ipswich and always welcomes new photographs to add to the archive of Ipswich past.
We are able to give small grants towards local environmental improvements of various kinds and this is often a spur to business and other bodies.
We are affiliated to the Civic Voice, the national body of civic societies and are represented on their Eastern Region Committee. We have members on many local groups and societies including local council working groups and we liaise with other civic societies. See the Links page for more information.