Ipswich Historic Lettering
from Borin Van Loon
A belated thank you for the review of our website published in the April 2011 issue. We have now added it to the site. One important feature of the Ipswich Historic Lettering website is to encourage contributions of information and images, also amendments (we don't get everything correct) from residents and former residents of the town. This sort of local knowledge is invaluable and seldom documented. In the last twelve months a large number of new pages have been added and better quality images are replacing the old ones; the most recent of these are listed near the top of our homepage.
In a world where so much has been torn down, cleaned and painted over, the remaining pieces of lettering in our town ('Symonds for Kodaks' in Upper Brook Street, the ghost of 'Ransomes' in Wykes Bishop Street, for example) bring us closer to the rich history which surrounds us.
Improving Design and Architecture
from Jim Empson
Anticipating a kick back from my observations in the April 2012 Newsletter [on the Society's Awards] I feel somewhat exonerated by Mr Michael Cook's paragraph at the top of page 7 where he declares "The Society is dismayed at the quality of the design and architecture of recent renovation and new builds." How I agree. The poor standard of in fill at the Civic Drive side of Princes Street some years ago, was one of the first to alert me to the defacing of our town.
Where established trading streets exist such as Norwich Road, a main thoroughfare to the centre, then I think that the local authorities should look into recommending and enforcing (an inflammatory word!) colour shades for each property, incorporating colour schemes in a muted way - as I believe happens to those which surround the entrance to Windsor Castle. Plastering windows with unsightly A4 and A3 posters should also come under the general tidying up. If Central Government do go ahead with financing a general 'clean up' of our towns and cities, then this could be used to help shopkeepers or landlords to carry out this scheme. After all, it is an important Jubilee year. Let's mark it for more than just a few weeks. Money wasted on the Handford Road [shared space] fiasco would have gone some way to completing this scheme, with a longer pay back time!
Education in Ipswich
from Michael Hyde
After reading in the January Newsletter your reasons why you love Ipswich I could comment on many! I pick just one - "your children can walk to school." But what about when they arrive? The latest Key Stage 4 league tables show "two Ipswich schools were ranked in the bottom 200 across the country" and "Suffolk is ranked 121st out of the 152 local authorities in England."
As Graham Smith said in the Newsletter, "Young people face many challenges in preparing for their future careers." Perhaps pushing Ipswich schools higher up the league tables would be a useful start?