Wolsey is back home
The long awaited statue was unveiled with appropriately colourful pageantry on Ipswich Charter Day, 29 June. Brief speeches were made by four local dignitaries representing the Borough, the Law, the Church and Education - respectively the Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor John le Grys; the Honorary Recorder of Ipswich, Judge John Devaux; Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, the Rt Reverend Nigel Stock; and the former Headmaster of Ipswich School, Dr John Blatchly, who masterminded the whole project. Then one at each corner, they dramatically whisked off the Royal Standard -and there sat Wolsey, in his teaching mode. Actor Brian Ralph as Wolsey exclaimed, "This likes me well" and the assembled crowd agreed. Future children, perhaps in school parties, might be inspired to great achievements from relatively humble origins like Wolsey's.
Streets and subways
£460,000 annually is a lot to keep the town centre clean - annoying because the problems are created by a smallish minority. However, our streets are generally well cleaned and so a reduction of cost and thoroughness would penalise us all. It's worth adding that the pedestrian underpasses, so often criticised, are also kept clean by national standards. In the St Matthew's Street/Civic Drive subways, the anti -graffiti paint seems to work and helpful photographs have been added showing which street(s) you will see when you emerge.
Members may like to have advance notice of a lecture about Birkin to be given by Martin Harrison. It will be one of the Town Lectures organised by Ipswich Arts Association at Museum Street Methodist Church where we hold our lectures. The likely month is May 2012. Birkin was a nationally respected architect whose work in Ipswich was extensive and varied. He was also a wonderfully thorough architectural historian of Suffolk churches and no mean artist himself - in fact a natural subject for a lecture, although it seems that nobody has devoted a talk to him previously. Full details of the Town Lectures, which will also include a special Ipswich Society contribution, will be in the January Newsletter.