This Newsletter benefits and suffers from a wealth of contributions. This is good news for an editor, but causes headaches when space is running short. In order to at least touch upon some current events, let's mention a return to Ipswich by Civic Voice President, Griff Rhys Jones. The talk was part of the UCS Academy series of public lectures and Griff was on sparkling form, addressing a packed Waterfront audience. His lecture was entitled Preserving for the Future. The updated and enhanced talk delivered on a similar theme to the Ipswich Society in 2012 was given with a brilliant balance of pertinent points and amusing deviations. He championed the role of amenity societies, and related examples of how they, and often they alone, can be a great levelling device bringing local concerns and common sense to a wide range of issues. He deviated into the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) which in not many more than fifty pages tries to update years of tried and tested planning legislation.
Dr John Blatchly's fine new book Miracles in Lady Lane will be reviewed in our next issue. An odd coincidence linked this story of the Ipswich shrine to the exhibition Masterpieces: art and East Anglia (which runs until 24 February 2014) at Norwich's Sainsbury Centre. Two carved stone half-circles pictured and described in the book are suggested to have come from the Chapel of Our Lady of Grace - dissolved during the Reformation - and recorded as having been 'hidden in open view' on a higgledy-piggledy wall of the Church of St Nicholas. On visiting the exhibition recently, your editor was amazed to see the self-same carvings on display. Well worth the price of admission alone, but a wonderful and quirkily varied show at UEA.
This will be the first ever Society Newsletter to be partially distributed to members by email. Quite a few publications similar to our own are digital-only, but we maintain a balance with print. If you would like to opt for the emailed version, do contact our Secretary.