Ipswich Heritage Group was set up some ten years ago by Ipswich Museums so that heritage-related organisations could provide some mutual support and exchange information. Since the latter has been predominant the Group decided this year to change its name to 'Forum'. It makes possible the spread of information about the activities of participating organisations when we could easily remain in ignorance of each other however active in our field. The organisations represented are:
- Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service
- Suffolk Record Office
- Ipswich Transport Museum
- Tourist Information Centre
- Ipswich Historic Churches Trust
- The Ipswich Society
- Friends of Ipswich Museums
- Ipswich Maritime Trust
- Ipswich Institute
- Ipswich Tourist Guides
- Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History
- Clifford Road Air Raid Shelter
We were able, for example, to make a few contributions to the business plan for the combined Museum Service of Colchester and Ipswich. Since then we have been pleased to receive details of such major moves as the Museums' efforts to acquire the former Art School and their ambitious plans for combining the High Street Museum with the former Art Gallery next door and the creation of a new entrance in the present courtyard area. The Historic Churches Trust has kept us informed about the now largely successful stages of finding new uses for our redundant medieval churches. The Maritime Trust and the Transport Museum have shared with us summaries of their successful events and some of their ambitions. More recently we have been given a detailed account by Kate Chantry, Manager of Suffolk Record Office, of the proposed Suffolk Heritage Cluster in which the Record Office(s), the Museum of East Anglian Life and Suffolk Archaeological Service would combine forces. For our part the Society tells the Forum about our events and our concerns about planning issues.
So we share anxieties and problems as well as successes and solutions. There is so much going on in Ipswich that two hours every two months is barely time enough to take it all in.