Closing the Corn Exchange in January/February and July/ August/September will save money and in some ways is understandable as bookings have dropped off. But it will leave a cultural gap in the town centre. We shall have a delightfully clean building on the outside but dark inside for five months of the year. The Regent and the refurbished churches may be competing venues but they are very different and should complement the Corn Exchange. However, it should be emphasised that the Film Theatre will remain open all year round.
The governing body of the British ski and snow boarding teams will sponsor SnOasis and may re-locate to Suffolk. Fourteen winter sports will feature at SnOasis with its indoor ski slope the largest in Europe set to open in 2012. Just as the Manchester Velodrome has transformed British cycling, it is hoped SnOasis will do the same for British winter sports.
Some of our ancestors
'Art in the Round' is the exhibition of Anglo-Saxon artefacts in Town Hall Gallery 3. It's a very impressive show of loans from the Fitzwilliam Museum, plus many objects from our own museum including the first public display of items from the 'bed burial' at Coddenham.
Starts and stops
Asda has re-started construction of their supermarket on Stoke Park Drive after a delay of 18 months. But at much the same time it was announced that the start of the Custom House Square development in Key Street has been postponed indefinitely because of the decreased demand for flats. A start at St Peter's Port, between St Peter's and St Mary at Quay was promised last December but nothing has happened yet. Consequently the protective scaffolding on Wolsey's Gate has been removed.
Stay as we are?
The Government's decision on whether to change the shape of local government in Suffolk has been postponed again till 15 July at least. The Society favoured the North Haven proposal (Ipswich, Felixstowe and surrounding parishes) which, we realise, pleased some but not all members. But it looks increasingly like 'no change'.
Brass in the park
The Society has agreed to sponsor the concert to be given by Phoenix Brass in Christchurch Park as we did last year. That event proved to be a pleasant occasion, we gained new members and it helped to publicise our existence and aims as well as those of the Friends of Christchurch Park. The date is Sunday, 19 July, 2.30-4.30 pm.
Support for the shuttle bus
Good news that SCC and IBC are to continue subsidising the shuttle which links the town centre with Russell Road, etc. It has been well used. One would like to say that the principle of free shuttle buses would lead to new routes being opened. But the credit crunch has probably put paid to any increase in such public expenditure. [Did you notice that in addition to the American swindler, Madoff, the boss of AIG's casino financing in their London office was called Cassano? Dickens - whose Ipswich Society blue plaque will soon adorn the Great White Horse - would have thought such names too obvious for a novelist to invent!]