Two key snippets of news for Suffolk motorists, particularly those commuters who work along the Civic Drive-Princes Street corridor.  Ipswich Borough Council is planning a new multi-storey car park on the existing surface car park off Portman Road.

Encouraging is the fact that local firms have been commissioned to design the structure: KLH Architects and JP Chick (Structural Engineers).  Project managers and quantity surveyors are Allman Woodcock of Norwich.

There will no doubt be competition amongst manufacturers of such things that their structural steel or precast concrete patent design is the most efficient, cost effective or quickest to erect but we welcome the Council’s decision to award these initial contracts to local people.   


Ipswich Makerspace (

The Makerspace is a Suffolk-based group of like-minded makers who get together to learn, build and experiment with a huge variety of technology – modern hardware, traditional craftworks, and everything in between.

The workshop is in Dove Street, Ipswich featuring tools for almost any project, spread through several work areas for various types of crafts: soldering stations, a laser-cutting bay, and a fully equipped workshop. The workshop includes a table saw and router table, pillar drills and bench sanders. There is a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine, 3D printers, a laser-cutter, plus computers to drive them. Member interests encompass programming, robotics, and electronics, but also range through classic woodworking, costumes and props, models and sculpture, chainmail, leatherwork, sewing, papercraft and even jewellery.

[Readers addicted to the BBCTV series The Repair Shop will be interested in this venture. Ed.]


Ipswich Digital Trail (called ‘Ipswich Walking Trail’ on the app)

This is one for all of our readers who own and use a mobile telephone… Suffolk Archives has launched an app containing historical trails that users can follow, unlocking different points on a treasure-hunt style walk. You can learn about key sites in Ipswich, answer quiz questions, and see Ipswich change through time. The app can be downloaded for free by searching 'chronicle story trails' in the iphone or android app stores, and the Ipswich trail was launched for Heritage Open Days on the 14th of September 2019. One or two inaccuracies need to be corrected, but we hope to road test this in our next issue. Of course, there’s no substitute for a knowledgeable, friendly ‘IRL’ (In Real Life) Town Guide, who continue to provide excellent tours of the town.


La Tour Cycle Café

Anna Matthews has had to withdraw from La Tour Cycle Café on Albion Wharf owing to bereavement and health problems. As the driving force behind this fine, popular venture which started at 17 Tower Street and which helped the homeless, refugees and others to provide tasty meals and drinks to the discerning customer (at reasonable prices), Ipswich owes Anna a great deal. Discussions continue to try to continue the spirit of this community space elsewhere.


Passive House

A dodecagonal (12-sided) structure built to Passive House standards is taking shape in Brickmakers Wood – between the rear of Suffolk New College and Alexandra Park. This form of building is constructed with superinsulation and triple glazing to be ultra-low energy. It will require little energy for space heating or cooling and will be used for therapeutic treatments.

Passive house (German: Passivhaus) is a voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, which reduces the building’s ecological footprint and is sound-proof.

Our photograph shows the state in early November 2019; the glazing was installed shortly afterwards.


4 College Street

Ipswich Borough Council has made a substantial investment to save the Benet Aldred house (1590) at 4 College Street. The whole St Peter's Wharf scheme will be designed, planned and eventually built, but this run-down little merchant's house is significant and deserves to be saved now and celebrated for its historical place in the Ipswich story.


A huge ark has moored at Orwell Quay on the Wet Dock, its first visit to the UK. The ark just squeezed through the lock and is 230 feet long, and about half the size of Noah’s. This apparently timber-built ship (it sits on a steel hull) is a venture advertised as a biblical museum of sculptures and structures – some say a bit pricey to visit…