Food in town
It's been confirmed that IBC will move out of Civic Centre to a new HQ in Russell Road, opposite the County Council's Endeavour House. If, as expected, the police station and the old Crown Court buildings are also demolished, there will be a big site for redevelopment on the west side of the town centre. Rumour has it that Waitrose have renewed their interest in building here, and there's been a separate comment that we could have "one of the largest intown food stores in the eastern region." Despite the increased traffic, such a scheme should boost the town centre and perhaps begin a swinging back of the pendulum after the massive shift to out-of-town food shopping in the 1980s.
Yates and yobs
The Yates Group has been praised for cutting out the "all-you-can-drink" offers. Let's hope others follow suit. It might start to make a difference to the British "drink problem" and drunken vandalism in particular. It used to be argued that the late night drinking scene at least brings more wealth into the town. Perhaps so, but that's no consolation to innocent shop owners whose windows are smashed or householders whose garden walls are pushed over. One of the joys of holidaying overseas is that it happens much less there, if at all.
At the end of the road?
Yes, it is at the end of Broom Hill Road, but is Broornhill pool in a worse situation than that? IBC has decided not to pursue making an application for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. But they do say they'd like to see the pool re-opened. How?
Bags for bins
The Society is not alone in criticising the way that wheelie bins are often left out on pavements, sometimes long after collection times. IBC StreetCare Service will issue sacks instead where householders have not responded to requests to move bins. Smaller bins -which may be requested - may also better suit some homes. Again, this is a national problem - an unfortunate downside of good intentions - and especially problematic with small terraced houses.
All pleasure and no business
Pauls Malting officially closed on 30 November. This was the last industrial use of the northern quays of the Wet Dock, the sort of industry for which the dock was dug. Sad, but no good lamenting such changes: they've happened everywhere. But our great Victorian engineers have unwittingly left us facilities for pleasure craft, and a wonderful setting for the mixed development of the quaysides which the Society, and probably most people, would like to see. Now it's up to the developers and the planners to ensure that what is built is worthy of the legacy of Victorian vision and ambition.
The future of Isaac Lord's
It was reassuring to learn that when Ipswich Society members Stuart and Gina Cooper sold the Isaac Lord's premises (three times winners of Society Awards) they had sold them to an equally conservation minded individual. Adrian Coughlan founded Anglian Telecom in Handford Road in 1984. We understand that he wishes to carry forward the business plans developed by the Coopers, which include a restaurant in the long warehouse and little shop units in the courtyard behind the Malt Kiln. The Society wishes Mr Coughlan well in his endeavours to re-establish Isaac Lord's premises as one of the premier businesses in town.
"Welcome to Ipswich"
Some of the Christmas lights in 2004 were a welcome change from the repetitive garlands of old. There were new "welcome" signs outside the Co-op in Carr Street and in Upper Brook Street and the top of Westgate Street. Congratulations to Ipswich Partnership and IBC's Community Improvements Steering Group for making them shine.