Suffolk Local History Council

New Local Recorders are welcome. They note significant happenings in their parish and collect their local parish magazines, leaflets, election pamphlets and newspaper cuttings. At the end of each year, they are asked to submit a short report summarising the activities of their parish. The reports are deposited at the Suffolk Record Office and are available to future researchers together with the collected items. To volunteer to help in this important work, please contact


House building

New research from the Local Government Association (LGA) has revealed that more than a million homes were not built in the past decade despite planning permission for them being granted. The figures showed that 2,564,600 units have been granted planning permission by councils since 2009/10 but only 1,530,680 units were completed in the same period. In Ipswich the housing target (Ipswich Local Plan) has been as high as 700 units per year, currently nearer 500 but we typically only build somewhere over 300.


Charter Hangings

The Charter Hangings are eight superb pieces of embroidery marking the 800th anniversary of Ipswich: eight centuries since King John gave the town its Charter; they were completed and first went on display in the year 2000.

As it is now 20 years since they were completed there is to be a celebration in St Peter’s On The Waterfront, where they are currently hanging, in the middle of June. Everybody who contributed to the Charter Hangings, and their subsequent exhibition in this country and abroad is invited to the celebration.

Please contact Isabel Clover for details: 01449 720424


14th in the world?

‘From strolling through the arboretum at Christchurch Park, taking in a show at the famous Regent Theatre, viewing Constable's art at Christchurch Mansion, it's little wonder travellers are falling in love with Ipswich.’ Thus spake the tripadvisor website when it placed Ipswich, the only U.K. representative, at 14th in the chart of the World's top emerging destinations. Of course, one can quibble with the source, its methodology and ‘The Sheeran Effect’, but the volume of positive media coverage for our county town surrounding this placing is worth its weight in gold.


Richard Ayoade

Actor, presenter, author, humorist and all-round excellent fellow Richard Ayoade was born in Hammersmith of a Norwegian mother and a Nigerian father. The family moved to Ipswich when he was young.Ayoade studied at St Joseph's College, Ipswich, where he recalls being so obsessed with J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, that he dressed like Holden Caulfield. Living on Martlesham Heath, his memories of life in Ipswich crop up in his latest entertaining book Ayoade on top (published by Faber, 2019). This attempts to establish, by intensive critical analysis, the rather slight Gwyneth Paltrow film Life at the top released in 2003 as one of the greatest pieces of cinema ever made. The dissection is both absurd, fascinating and hilarious. The evocation of the Ipswich of the teenage Ayoade will be recognised by many who knew the town at the time. He describes himself as ‘insubstantial’. He’s anything but.