The Regent renewed

Installing new seats and redecorating the Regent Theatre (built I 1929 and Grade II Listed) is money well spent by the IBC. The wide range of entertainments put on still won’t please everybody, but that’s not the main point – which is that having the largest theatre in East Anglia helps to draw visitors into the town and puts Ipswich on the map.


Silver lining

First wet and then gloomy, the summer of 2007 has been more appreciated by runner beans than human beings. But numbers of visitors have greatly increased at the High Street Museum. The Romans and Anglo- Saxons therein know how to keep dry and cheerful!


St Lawrence for the many

With a Government grant added to IBC’s own input, work is starting on converting St Lawrence Church in Dial Lane into a community centre – replacing Age Concern’s ‘drop-in centre’ at last and being made available for other groups to use. We hope there won’t be too much conflict of interests because it will be difficult to please all users.


Back to school

19-21 Lower Brook Street constitute a building of historical importance. In the early 17th century the town made the house available for the highly influential Town Preacher, Samuel Ward, and later it became home to Ipswich School for the Headmaster and pupils. The Society’s blue plaque on no 19 commemorates William King, son of one of the Headmasters and a pioneer in the Co-operative movement. We are pleased to hear that No 21 is being restored and occupied and No 19 will probably serve an educational use once again.


Building on a flood plain

People criticise this since the serious flooding in Yorkshire and then the Midlands and the West Country. Yet nobody seems to have mentioned the obvious part-solution enforced here in Ipswich and presumably in other places for years. Which is that the ground floor areas are not living spaces but used for garages, services, shops etc. We saw this in the Bellways flats on Neptune Quay and it’s standard practice on the Waterfront and the Orwell/Gipping flood plain. A bigger problem is the extent of hard surfacing created in most developments.


‘Discovery’ back home?

The replica of the smallest of the three vessels which sailed to Virginia in 1607 was boarded by 4,207 people on the Waterfront in early August! Many others went to look from the quay and visited the exhibition in the Custom House put on by the Ipswich Maritime Trust. ‘Discovery’s’ captain on the original voyage was John Sicklemore (or Ratliffe), a local man. This photograph shows the 20 ton ’Discovery’ dwarfed by the increasing height of Regatta Quay, which you can compare with the front cover photo in our April Newsletter.