In recent months we have celebrated the mounting of the plaque to Richard Dykes Alexander (1788-1865) who was a Quaker banker, amateur photographer and most notably the anti-slavery champion. The plaque is on the new student accommodation in his house, Alexander House, St Matthew's Street, Barrack Corner. There is a minor adjustment to be made to the wall where the plaque is located; this will be undertaken very soon.
In the next month or two we shall see three new plaques mounted.
On the Reg Driver Centre, Christchurch Park, will be fixed a Blue Plaque to celebrate Felix Thornley Cobbold JP MP (1841-1909), the Ipswich philanthropist whose life encompassed wide fields of interest -lawyer, brewer, farmer, banker, JP and MP. He donated many sites and great funds to the locality and to the benefit of local people including the public baths in Fore Street, a clock and carillon to St Clement's Church and great sums for the Ipswich and East Suffolk Hospital. Most memorable was his gift of Christchurch Mansion to the Borough, later giving parties there for the townspeople. On his death he left considerable sums for the purchase of works of art in the Mansion. He truly was, as the Fellows of King's College, Cambridge put it, "a munificent benefactor".
Leonard Squirrell (1893-1979) will be celebrated at 82 Spring Road. One of Suffolk's most distinguished and best loved artists he spent his childhood in this house. We have spent a great deal of time obtaining permission for this plaque and are extremely pleased. Squirrell trained at Ipswich School of Art and the Slade. He is an admired and outstanding topographical artist depicting the landscapes of Suffolk and East Anglia and some Ipswich townscapes which are still popular. He was also a talented etcher and pastellist, but he is best known as a watercolourist of railway carriage prints and glowing railway posters. He was commended also for his watercolours for a number of commercial companies including Rolls Royce and many local companies.
John Harbottle who died in 1578 will be celebrated at Jarman House, 2-4 Northgate Street. The sixteenth century wealthy and influential wool merchant and landowner lived in an imposing Tudor mansion on this site. He was a chamberlain in the town and was co-leader of the Suffolk contingent of Kett's Rebellion. According to Diarmaid MacCulloch "the rebel leaders showed adroitness in surviving the upheavals - [and] were responsible, sophisticated men ... " and at his death he was termed an 'esquire'. Although the rebel leaders achieved very little (though their skins were saved) the families took their place in the folklore of Suffolk not for what they accomplished but for their audacity and bravery.