The Wolsey tondo by Alan Bellis from Pat Wootton

I was very interested in the article about the Wolsey Tondo. Some eighty-five years ago when we were both children Ruth Bellis took me to the garden behind Christ Church Mansion and pointed to the Wolsey plaque and said "My father did that".  I never knew quite what she meant but now I realise that Alan Waddington Bellis was, in fact, the designer.  The Bellis family were our next door neighbours in Gainsborough Road and Alan taught at the Ipswich Art School.  He was a well-known artist and sometimes took us with him on his painting expeditions.  I remember the Wolsey Pageant and the little red books published at the time.  Well done to Bob Allen for finding the tondo.  We are so fortunate in the officers of the Ipswich Society for their enthusiasm and expertise.  Thank you.


Blast from the past

A letter from Ann Petherick from the Ipswich Society Newsletter, April 2008 [Issue 171]:

‘How can anyone in Ipswich – or anywhere else – seriously believe that building

more roads* reduces congestion? The point has been proved so many times that

increasing road capacity, whether in town or outside, generates additional journeys.’

[*Or, dare one suggest, bridges? -Ed.]

… and the following article from the same issue…


Would you Adam & Eve it? Dept.

Star Lane Traffic System

The Society believes that the current Star Lane gyratory is the most important problem that the Borough and County Councils have to solve. At the time of writing there is only one mode that can go from east to west – the internal combustion engine. The west to east is little better. Whenever there is an obstruction elsewhere gridlock ensues. We think the following points need to be taken:

  • Northern By-pass: At a very high cost, a project that is not in Suffolk CC's strategic transport plan and hence not in the Highways Agency's thoughts will not be built for the foreseeable future.
  • The East Bank Link Road will also never be built whilst the Highways Agency feels its junction with the A14 is dangerous.
  • The only relief is therefore a Wet Dock crossing. We feel that the best route is across the lock and thence to Bath Street. The yacht traffic can be coped with by a swing or lifting bridge. If the Dutch can do this there's no reason why we can't.
  • We do not see why strategic infrastructure need wait upon the finalisation of the redevelopment of The Island site.
  • Star Lane itself should be two-way, widened by land acquisition from properties on the north side as they are developed. It should be boulevardised with trees to prevent it turning into an in-town motorway.
  • The traffic lights at the junction with Grimwade Street should be for pedestrian control only.
  • Key Street/College Street should be for buses, taxis, access vehicles and bicycles only. It should be a 20mph paved, shared space area.
  • There should be a frequent east-west bus route along Key Street/College Street.


Architectural exhibition from Ms Indu Varma

I'm a member of the Ipswich Society and thought you may wish to know about a current exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts perhaps for a mention in the Newsletter, in case you are not already aware of it.

It's the 'Superstructures: the new Architecture 1960-1990’, 24 March to 2 September 2018.  There is a model of the Willis building and quite a lot of information about it too.  I found the whole exhibition extremely interesting and other members of the Society may do too.

I continue to find the Newsletter very informative and a consistently good read. Many thanks.