'High Street Campus'
Your Executive Committee has expressed the Society's warm support for the ambitious plans to co-ordinate and expand the High Street Museum complex. Four separate buildings - the Museum itself, the adjoining former Art Gallery, the former Art School and the Wolsey Studio - would be inter-connected with a new building on the car park of the former Art School and providing a link to all of the other buildings. A much larger proportion of the Museum's collections (several of which are of international importance) would be accessible to the public. Funding applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council will be made. Such an enhanced development would help to put Ipswich 'on the map' in cultural and tourist ways.
Refurbished bus stations
'Street wisdom' says that the bus stations are much the same and money from the Government has been largely wasted. Regular users are surely the best judges, so time will tell. The main criticism of the Old Cattle Market is the lack of public lavatories - fair comment on a situation which needs to be put right. Tower Ramparts seems mostly improved in small ways, and especially welcome is the regular stop for Park & Ride buses. We look forward to 'real time' electronic information about the arrival times of buses.
Park & Ride
As most of you know, Ipswich Buses have won back the contract. The Newsletter speculated on whether 'bendy buses' would be used. Not so, and probably just as well considering the huge space needed for U-turns especially: they're more suited to the Bradford-Leeds shuttle service, where the trial buses are rumoured to have ended up. It would be good news if the Bury Road service could be restarted. The colour scheme for the P & R 'new' buses means that Ipswich Buses now operate with three different liveries.
Splendour in white and gold
The newly re-painted Ancient House, with its re-leaded upper windows, is a credit to the craftsmen involved, to the Borough Council and to the town. It will give visitors something gorgeous to admire - and local people too, if we could only stop and stare. The Ancient House and the Willis Building are surely the two most striking and important buildings in Ipswich. And they couldn't be more different - typically British!
Carr Street revival?
It seems there are a lot more people in Carr Street at main shopping times. If so, it must be because of the presence of three competing large 'bargain shops' where the queues are long but mostly quick moving. But it is still sad to have lost the Co-op's department store in its four adjoining buildings.
Building 'At Risk'
Wolsey's Gate in College Street has been added to English Heritage's 'At Risk' list. This bad news may not be quite as bad if more funding can be obtained to replace and repair the incorrect cementing done in the 1960s. Efforts are being made to secure a small area of land immediately behind the Gate so that walking through it is occasionally or theoretically possible.