Why no award for Brand’s building? from Margaret Hancock

Chatting to other members after the 2018 Ipswich Society Awards event it seems I was not the only person dismayed at the judges’ decisions on some projects given awards and, almost more importantly, some schemes that were not.

Although I did not nominate the scheme, I was particularly disappointed that the new apartments in Tacket Street received no award. The Society’s website photographs illustrate the sad state of this building in 2014 with buddleia growing from upper storeys. Great care has clearly been taken to clean the brickwork, thus highlighting the ‘Brands’ wording, and preserve the original fascia revealed during refurbishment. This has encouraged one business now occupying part of the premises to create a modern fascia sympathetic to the whole building, which is now much admired and appreciated by visitors and locals alike. The scheme seems to satisfy many of the criteria set for an award, especially its impact on the local street scene. Surely, it does indeed set a good standard for others to follow? And yet not even a simple commendation was awarded.

I accept that it is good for schemes to be considered by those with professional expertise in building, architecture and design and very much appreciate the time devoted to this task, but awards are highly prized and given in the name of all Ipswich Society members. However, other than being invited to nominate projects for consideration we are not involved in any way nor given any explanation as to why apparently suitable schemes have been ‘passed over’. Perhaps it is time for a drastic review of the whole process if the Society wishes to reward local companies, builders and developers by recognising more of those who carry out good quality work that frequently increases costs and reduces profit margins in an increasingly competitive market.


The river path from Mike Neale

Further to my comments regarding the development of the Gipping and the Gipping Trust response, it seems that although there would be numerous problems, there is less likelihood of opposition to such a scheme than there was for the town centre.

In view of the dissatisfaction in general with the town centre scheme, and the feeling of resigned indifference by the populace, is it not time to get the people of the town more involved. There is a feeling that the Ipswich Council has to take responsibility to come up with the answers and the people just have to accept that. Unfortunately, that is a by product of centralization where central government and the County provides much of the money and then, in the eyes of the Ipswich Council, become the paymasters. The Ipswich Council then becomes just an administration to make sure the bins are emptied and the rates are collected. The Suffolk Council is so far disconnected that few people even know who their councillor is.

Development of the town at this difficult time requires as many heads and thoughts as possible and needs to involve all interested parties, including The Ipswich Society, The Gipping Trust etc etc as well as and most importantly the general population. It is also way above the level of politics which has recently discredited itself.

So how can we make a better connect between the Ipswich Council and the People?  For a start, I would suggest an internet forum which is run in such a way that the people can ask questions, give opinions, and get responses to matters that concern them.


Nowhere to sail a model vessel from Bruce Polley (Tel.: 230204)

Given the many attractive and useful amenities in Ipswich, I wonder if I can draw to your attention one omission: a model boat pond. Enthusiasts with radio-controlled model ships and children with small yachts have to go to Woodbridge to indulge in their hobby. The pond in Woodbridge has the advantage of  having raised sides, so that participants don’t have to launch their craft from below ground level. But in Ipswich: nothing.

There used to be a model boat pond in Felixstowe near the end of the pier (now a car park), there is a small, raised pond in Aldeburgh near the Moot Hall, but the best such facility near to the town has to be that at Dovercourt. It is close to Dovercourt Swimming Pool and is looked after by Harwich and Dovercourt Model Boat Club. Norwich had Millennium money and has a beauty in Eaton Park. Come on, Ipswich!

I would like to suggest that the Borough Council invests in a decent-sized model boat pond, raised for the convenience of all ages. A good spot might be an area close to the Bourne Park car park off Stoke Park Drive. Situated away from the row of trees, it is close to a water source, Belstead Brook. I am sure that model boat enthusiasts of all ages would make full use of such a facility for sail and (quiet) electric. I’m sure it would be a catalyst to the founding of an Ipswich Model Boat Club.