More on Heritage Open Days, 2016.
“Full marks to the organisers . . .
I cannot hazard a guess as to how many locals and visitors took advantage of opportunities to visit the various places open to the public during the Ipswich Heritage weekend. I am pretty certain that the great majority of them were delighted with what they saw and the enthusiasm shown by the volunteer stewards who shared their knowledge of buildings etc they clearly adored. I've not walked so far, climbed so many stairs or admired so many rooftop views in many a long year. The good people of the area should be terribly proud of what their Ipswich Society achieved during the weekend. To co-ordinate a comprehensive programme defining seven centuries of local history must have been a mammoth task. Full marks to everyone concerned from all of us who thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of ‘bagging' as many buildings as possible in such a relatively short space of time. By the way, do the good people at the iconic Willis building know they have a couple of mini-squatters in their lawn on the roof?” (A review from Ron Eyley on the Society's Facebook page.)
Post Office controversy
In October the Post Office announced its plan to move from Sailmakers to upstairs in W H Smith in Westgate Street. This mirrors similar moves in other towns. Obviously the Post Office has received very favourable rental terms from WH Smith. Many customers in Ipswich are not amused because the spacious convenient access in Sailmakers will be hard to match in Smith's cramped premises. It's all a far cry from pre-privatisation days with Crown Post Offices serving the public's needs. But, it's also true that fewer people use P O services.
What next for the Cornhill?
Improvements to the Cornhill are likely to be less drastic than the multi-step hazards originally proposed. This seems a logical deduction from the opinions expressed, after the unfavourable responses from public consultation, that it will be a less expensive alternative.
Suggested dates are that the new plans - yet to be decided - should be approved by late 2017, work started in 2018 and finished before Christmas 2018.
More Blue Plaques to see and read about
The Society's informative brochure about our Blue Plaques has been brought up to date with the addition of the four new plaques commemorating Ipswich women - Nina Layard, Constance Andrews, Mary Whitmore and Margaret Tempest. Dozens of people joined a walking tour on 8 October to see the unveiling of these plaques.
Employment in Princes Street
Work is proceeding on the site of the former Rileys snooker hall where a 5-storey office block is being built for Birketts Solicitors. Another new office block is planned across the street, which it is said should appeal to an expanding local firm or perhaps a company re-locating from London. Together with the many other offices nearby this will clearly be a major business hub which could employ some 6,000 people.