THE MILL AND LAMP-POSTS From John Brown
'The Mill' has had adverse criticism from many quarters (page 20 of your July edition et al) and I do agree with most critics, particularly those who cite the view from the Wherstead Road approach. However, as one who uses Northgate Street/Upper Brook Street almost every day, I feel obliged to say that I find the simple layered slabs, which The Mill presents on its north side, do make a pleasing statement in juxtaposition with the first floor street fronts and nicely terminate the view at the end of the street.
However, any praise I have for The Mill is swept aside by my feelings for the pathetic attempt at street lighting on the east side of Upper Brook Street. How could anyone of sound mind think that those poncey curved lamp-posts might be suitable to match the mainly Victorian buildings and the excellent pavement below? If those lamp-posts were a job lot from a bankrupt business, thank goodness the supply ran out before Northgate Street was repaved! [Editor: I disagree with John Brown on one of these points but not the other! What do you think?]
WETHERSPOONS AND THE USE OF HISTORY
From Bob Roberts, Framlingham & District Local History & Preservation Society
I can reassure members of The Ipswich Society that J D Wetherspoon does not assign to its pubs names such as 'The Rat and Dunghill' (Newsletter, July 2009, page 12). Often the names given relate to local historical figures, as with The Robert Ransome, or to an earlier pub name (The Cricketers, just opposite) or, most frequently, the former use of the building concerned (for example, The Postal Order in Worcester, about which I recently answered an historical enquiry).
Society members visiting a strange town or city exploring its history would be well advised to enjoy a soft drink in its local Wetherspoon's as their pubs display on their walls enlargements of original photographs and other images of the town and its worthies, with informative and well researched captions. (I say 'soft drink' advisedly since alcohol sales account for less than half the total retail income generated by the Wetherspoon chain.)
THE VALUE OF PUBLIC CLOCKS From Tom Gondris
In the July Newsletter your frontispiece featured the renovated frontage of The Robert Ransome pub, recently Yates's Wine Lodge. I wonder whether it is only those catching buses at Tower Ramparts who will have noticed that The Robert Ransome's clock has at last been repaired and complements that of The Cricketers nearby, another Wetherspoon pub?
Some years ago Society member Brian Jepson carried out a survey of the state of all the town's public clocks and we had a useful campaign to get all those out of working order repaired. I wonder whether we should carry out a re-survey. Could this perhaps be carried out by one or two individuals who could act as Clock Champions?
FORMER IPSWICH CORPORATION WATER WORKS PUMPING STATION From Shirley Sadler
I am interested in industrial buildings and made a detour into the hidden valley between Thurleston and Akenham to see the pumping station so well illustrated in your April Newsletter. The reality was a sad disappointment: the fine building apparently derelict and boarded up and the gate locked, it was impossible to get near because of the vegetation and I was unable to see whether the interior was equally interesting.
It was distressing to find the building so neglected and it would be good to know whether it is still in use (which appears unlikely) and if not what plans there are for its future. Since it is within the Borough boundary, is this a cause which The Ipswich Society could adopt?
"A PLACE OF HISTORY" From Sonia Brown
I haw recently moved to live in the centre of town, and find my feelings about Ipswich changing considerably. It was a place of shops and shopping; now I see it as a place of history. The centre is full of alleys and narrow streets lined with well cared for houses and charming and unexpected views. I specially enjoy the way trees are included wherever possible. One recent visitor whom we took round was constantly likening Ipswich to York! Thank you, Council.