If you went to the World War I Exhibition at the Town Hall in November you may have come across a coloured map, printed by Cowell's of Ipswich in about 1922. The railway was still marked as the GER; the amalgamation of 1923 was still to take place after which it was part of the LNER.
Maps are always fascinating and this one more so, because it features an Ipswich we think we can remember and pointers to the future: a period of time into which we have now arrived. Every word tells a story but three caught my eye. In the triangle of land between Hadleigh Road, London Road and the railway line were the words 'Future Garden Suburb'. (Where've I heard that recently?)
The forty houses to a design by architect Harold Hooper and built by G.A. Kenny and Sons are today Allenby Road. The very first council houses in Ipswich.
The classic example of a Garden Suburb is probably Letchworth, a new town by Raymond Unwin following the advice of Ebenezer Howard which was built at the start of the twentieth century. There are a number of factors that made Letchworth work; the land was in the single ownership of the Development Corporation having been (compulsorily) purchased* under the New Towns legislation. The density across the town is ten times more spacious than the number of homes per hectare planned for the Northern Fringe and the design of individual houses was to a quality standard it would be difficult to match today.
Next time you are pulling out of Sainsbury's, Hadleigh Road take a look at the houses opposite and think 'Garden Suburb'.
*The land was mainly purchased from the Family of Quakers who in turn had assembled the site with the intention of a Quaker Community.
- GER: Great Eastern Railway
- LNER: London North Eastern Railway