The regrettable aspect of town centre shopping is represented by the closure of Memorable Cheeses in Dial Lane, a small private business but the kind which gives character to a town. Where will the former patrons go now to buy their Berkswell, Ticklemore or, indeed, Suffolk cheeses? And there are three adjacent empty shops. And several more in The Walk and Thoroughfare, all little shops which made our town special. Isn't this a national problem which could only be eased by re-considering rents, business rates, subsidies and possibly more charges on out-of-town businesses?
Cheap and Cheerful Shops
This is the other side of the regrets expressed above. The Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre is obviously receiving a welcome boost by the opening of Iceland and Poundland in the multi-storey premises previously occupied by Littlewoods. Situated ideally between the main bus station and the Cornhill, the Shopping Centre with its considerable 'footfall' feels well used and popular. Those who criticise the increasing number of 'cut-price' shops should recognise the effects of continuing austerity, especially in a rather low-wage town. As in most towns today there are enough empty shops without adding to that number.
New Police Base
An office building in Museum Street, even with its blue lamp, may not look like a traditional police station but it is the town centre base for the police and the Ipswich Central Safe Neighbourhood Team. The front desk is open 8am-8pm and there is an intercom service for out-of-hours use. The former police station (Civic Drive/Elm Street) closed in May.
Thirty Years On
Crown Pools celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in May. In that time it has welcomed over 15 million visitors. It was interesting to be reminded that a referendum was held before the Pool was built and of the small response a small majority voted against it!
'Navigate on the Orwell'
This is the theme of the current window exhibition by Ipswich Maritime Trust. The display celebrates the importance of the Orwell, the ships and seafarers to the prosperity of Ipswich. This is the first of what is intended to be a row of five 'museum windows'. You can find it on the Waterfront in a lane between Dance East and the Custom House.
David Miller, who was born in 1971 in the Henley Road Park Lodge (Arboretum Lodge) is writing a book: The history of the Arboretum and would welcome your anecdotes, stories and memories (by email to the Secretary please: email@example.com). All proceeds from the book are going to the friends of Christchurch Park.