The physical exhibition in the UCS Waterfront Building foyer had a successful run from 2 to 16 October, 2015. SCC Councillor Mandy Gaylard, whose division includes the southern part of Fore Street and the UCS campus, was the first to show support for the venture when she saw the donated architect drawings of building elevations from 1961; some funding from her Locality budget supported the Society's project. A long day's work on the Thursday achieved the hanging and display of exhibits. The next day saw two events hosted by your Society.
At the Press Launch at lunchtime, after a welcome by our Chairman, the invitees witnessed a reading for only the second time ever of a poem by Catherine Dell. She won a countywide competition in 1961 and, as a 16 year-old, stood in her school uniform before the Queen and thousands of children and adults at Portman Road ground to read it aloud. His Honour the Mayor of Ipswich, Glenn Chisholm, made a speech recognising that Ipswich, a place with a long and ancient history, should also acknowledge more recent events in its story. 1961 saw the first official Progress through Ipswich by a reigning monarch for 400 years (the previous monarch being Queen Elizabeth I).
The Mayor then cut the ribbon to open the exhibition. At that evening's Members' Launch event three distinguished speakers - Bob Malster, Frank Grace and Bob Markham - entertained a packed room, before drinks and canapés were served.
John and Robin were joined on the exhibition sub-committee by Tony Marsden, Caroline Markham and Tim Leggett whose collective hard work made the event such a success.
Photographs from the Fore Street Facelift 1961 exhibition at UCS Waterfront, Friday 2 October 2015 from top left:-
- The President of The Ipswich Society and Mayor of Ipswich, Glen Chisholm, cuts the ribbon to launch the exhibition accompanied by Chairman of the Ipswich Society, John Norman; exhibition organiser, Robin Gaylard; local Suffolk County Councillor, Mandy Gaylard.
- The garlanded Eagle Tavern in 1961 (refurbished and reopened as a pub in September 2015).
- Visitors enjoy the exhibits with our Chairman and Deputy Chairman, Tony Marsden.
- Catherine Dell reprises her poem of welcome to the Queen which she originally read at the Portman Road ground in 1961.
- Civic College, newly-built on a rather empty-looking site.
- The large double-sided banner welcoming visitors at the Reception end of the UCS Foyer.
- John Norman giving his introductory talk to the invited guests at the Press Launch.
- The Eade & Johns visualisation of the Social Settlement facade, 1902.
Some entries from the Guestbook
- Very interesting, especially the comparison photos of Fore Street past and present.
- Brilliant. Lots of hard work involved. Thank you. B. & H. C.
- Excellent exhibition of Ipswich Soc. effort - then and now. B.H.
- Visiting friends for the weekend. Good to come. B.B., Shetland Islands
- Thank you for putting on this display, fascinating to see how the area has changed. J.E., Witnesham
- Joining! Can't wait. W.A.
- A very interesting display of the treasures Ipswich had or has to offer! J. B-O.
- A fascinating look at OLD IPSWICH - a terrific exhibition! M.J., Debenham
- Your efforts to put on this display are very much appreciated. Very interesting. E.W., Colchester
- Very enjoyable. First visit to Ipswich - nice town. T.B., Carmarthen
- One of my earliest memories was coming into town with Mum to see the Queen. We waited forever, it felt to me, as I was only 2. Would I like a flag?, Mum asked - of course I would! Finally the Queen passed us in a magnificent car, wearing a yellow hat and dress. I waved that flag so hard. B.R.
- Great to see the old photographs of yesteryear. D. & J. T.
- Very interested in Fore Street - ancestor connection: Abraham RAPHAEL, Outfitter & Hatter. He was born 1810, came to Ipswich 1839 at 64-66 Fore Street. He had 5 sons and 1 daughter.
- Many memories revived. I was at Portman Road (with others from Tower Ramparts [School]) that day and attended the Civic College full-time from 1961-1963. Happy days and well done to all for putting on this exhibition! G.H.
- A wonderful exhibition, bringing back so many memories. It was good to see so much of the Ipswich Civic College where I attended as a student in the 1960s. C.Q.
- Wonderful exhibition - even spotted my Dad, a very young marine trumpeter! J.W.
- Really enjoyed trying to spot myself on the pitch at Portman Road!! J. & A. F.
- Lovely to see the before and after pictures - some I remember. Such a shame some more of the buildings didn't survive. J.K.
- That was a great exhibition. Well done the Ipswich Society volunteers who gave up so much of their time. P.T.
- (More on www.forestreetipswich1961.co.uk/press/guestbook-entries.)