Since our last look at the early Newsletters of the Society in the July 2015 issue, we note a year's gap between issue 4 (Oct.'64) and issue 5 (Oct.'65). Clearly such publications came out only when needed (and could be afforded); Issue 6 was a month later. Clouds seem to be gathering over the Society's activities and aspirations.
An appeal to those many members who have ‘quite understandably' overlooked the half-crown subscription due and they are asked to consider a half-guinea ‘to be a reasonable sum to let the Honorary Treasurer have, as an ease to your conscience for a year or two. Please do not forget that the annual subscription is “a minimum of 2/6” '. Such appeals may have resonance for our current Membership Secretary and Treasurer.
A favoured venue for both the forthcoming Society AGM and for a talk (arranged in association with local branches of the Workers' Education Association and Geographical Association) by Mr J.R. James OBE, the Chief Planner at the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, on Population & Planning is the hall of the Argyle Street Annexe to the Civic College. In early 2016, the builders are working on the former Argyle Street School site and it has still to provide a long-term, sustainable function since it ceased to be a Board School and college annexe. ‘There should be a large attendance so it would be advisable to get there in good time… cars should be left at the Rope Walk or Civic College parking areas' - the former probably a reference to the car park on the site of the future St Edmund House.
Volunteers are sought to join a Sub-Committee to progress the idea of making the Butter Market a pedestrian shopping precinct - this would be the first in the town.
The main article is the Society's report for the year 1963-64. The main event of the previous eighteen months was the Crossroads exhibition staged at the Civic College in November and December. ‘A great deal of work by a small number of members' was ‘stimulating … provocative', ‘… but it is impossible to gauge its impact. In fact only one person joined the Ipswich Society as a result of seeing it'. A window sticker promoting the exhibition was distributed to every member. ‘These were not much in evidence subsequently, but then there were only 250 of them anyway. Once again it is difficult to assess the effect, except to observe that this effort, too, only produced one new member.' Things darken further with reports that the two meetings related to the exhibition were ‘poorly' and ‘very badly' attended respectively.
The Vincent Report on Ipswich had been published and the Society does not seem to have had time to arrange a considered response. But the local Labour Party ‘has been asked by Mr Dingle Foot QC MP to arrange a meeting about the Vincent Report. The Executive Committee regretted that such a meeting had not been called under the auspices of the Ipswich Society…'
‘There are now 256 names on the Society's list of members.'