Many Ipswich Society members may recall the days when all the Society’s excursions were efficiently organised and managed by Beryl Jary – quite an onerous task!

These days the excursions are the result of the joint efforts of the ‘Excursions Committee’, comprising several enthusiastic Ipswich Society members who endeavour to provide a varied and interesting selection of excursions during the summer months.

You may not be aware that we meet annually at Pykenham’s Gatehouse, usually in July, to discuss the success – or otherwise – of excursions undertaken in the previous season and to plan our visits for the following year.

Subsequently, the work begins: contacting venues, finalising dates, booking coaches, reconciling costs and finally taking bookings. The whole process can be quite time-consuming. However, we all take pleasure in providing a positive and pleasurable experience for our fellow members.

Experience has shown that it is impossible to predict what will prove to be popular. Sadly, on the odd occasion, we have had to cancel proposed excursions owing to lack of interest, whilst some have proved so popular that they have had to be repeated, (visits to the ‘Olympic Village’ and ‘Whitechapel Bell Foundry’ being two more recent examples).

What makes a successful excursion? Despite issuing a questionnaire some years ago and sharing feedback from those booking our excursions, we have never found the magic formula.

Some members can only participate in weekend excursions, owing to work commitments, some much prefer weekdays. Some enjoy glorious gardens; others love historical buildings. Some prefer local venues, whilst others are prepared to travel further afield and, as always, value for money is a consideration.

With our constantly changing and growing membership we often discuss whether to repeat successful excursions. How many years do we wait before a repeat visit allowing newer members to experience those visits previously enjoyed by long standing members?

Whatever your preferences are, as a committee we always strive to offer a wide variety of choices to satisfy all tastes and welcome suggestions for future events.

We are currently looking for members to join the Excursions Committee. Should you wish to know more about our activities and consider being involved in the organising of excursions then we would be glad to hear from you. Initially, please contact Caroline Markham .

We look forward to seeing some of you during the coming season.

Chris and Lois Terry

(on behalf of our fellow Excursion Committee members)