2010 sees the 50th anniversary of The Ipswich Society. A small sub-group of the Executive has been set up to arrive at the best and most appropriate ways in which we should celebrate. This article is to inform members of our intentions and to call for further ideas for consideration. We also wish to enrol, even at this early stage, any member who may wish to contribute to the events which we have outlined. The sub-group will be at the centre of planning and organising the celebrations, co-ordinating the events, keeping members in the know and informing interested parties who wish to draw our story to a wider audience.
Our objective is to look back at the time during which the Society has existed and draw attention to matters which have been notable in those times. We would also want to reflect on the ways in which the town has developed, with particular reference to the preservation of old buildings and how we have helped to ensure that new buildings have been of high quality.
Some examples of the ideas suggested;
- The AGM in April 2010 will start the celebrations, which should continue throughout the summer. The outset or the conclusion might be accompanied by a commemorative Newsletter. It is suggested that a set of summer lectures with a buffet of wine and cheese be organised for members during May, June and July. These would require the participation of some excellent speakers; suitable individuals or groups might present some or others of the following subjects:
- At the outset - the post-war and 50s scene.
- The 60s - the 'pop' decade.
- The 70s and 80s - overview - what went wrong?
- 1990s - overview of the decade - recession and after.
- The noughties - the Waterfront decade.
- Fifty years of planning, UK and local.
- Awards Evenings over the years, linked in perhaps with hits and misses.
- What we have lost - things we have let slip - big errors/gaffes - what we should have done.
The Heritage Open Days in September would provide an opportunity for major promotion in some of the most important and popular places. The October lecture would be themed towards the anniversary celebration. The November Awards Evening would go as planned. For the close of our celebrations we should hold a formal dinner in early December at a venue in the town. This might include an address by a worthy supporter of civic societies or a notable national figure: this could supplant the December lecture for 2010.
It is proposed to inform the local TV channels. The BBC programme Inside Out (our regional interest programme) would be informed for the production of features during the year, or perhaps a programme in our own right. Similarly the commercial channels - ITV, Channels 4 and 5 - might be interested in such a project. Equally important would be any radio interest from the wide range of programmes currently broadcast locally and nationally. Our newspapers would be presented with the opportunity to feature the Society and articles would be placed in the Borough's publications, Waterfront and district magazines.
A poster campaign, including a range of features/posters throughout the year might be mounted - after the AGM commencement - posters in Grafton House, museum, libraries (main library window display), schools, Tourist Information Centre, St Peter's, St Lawrence - all to highlight the work of the Society. The website, which undergoes a regular update, might be given a make-over. Our Corporate members might become involved in some way. Perhaps they might come up with a celebratory theme?
One final idea - and this perhaps the most important of all- is for the Society to initiate or support some scheme which the town needs and which would constitute a lasting legacy. The Executive Committee is considering what would be appropriate and affordable.
This article is offered as an initial prompt for the planning during 2009. Members who wish to participate in any of the ways mentioned above or in novel ways yet to be suggested should contact the Hon Secretary, Caroline Markham.