A picture presented to me by the Society at our AGM might not sound like a matter of continuing interest six months on. But "bear with me" as the fashionable plea goes.
Brian Jepson's painting of St Pancras Church, Tacket Street, was a clever Ipswich Society choice for me - so clever that I didn't grasp all of its significance when Mayor Mary Blake presented it to me! Yes, Brian and I have often worked together on the Newsletter (he designed the splendid coloured cover for our 50th anniversary issue) and I happened to be sitting next to him at the AGM. And as an artist and retired architect living nearby he has long been a keen observer of buildings in the Tacket Street and Fore Street area.
But the real significance is this. A year or so ago Brian and I were chatting in Cox Lane about the founding of The Ipswich Society. We discovered we were both present at a lecture held to promote the concept of a civic society. It was given nearby in the Co-op Hall, Carr Street, by Ian Nairn, controversial architectural critic and author of Outrage, which castigated the philistinism of some architects and planners who were creating what he called 'Subtopia'. The lecture succeeded in that it helped to inspire many people to join this new society.
But the one specific and surprising judgment offered by Ian Nairn which I remembered was that he said St Pancras Church was the most under-rated building in Ipswich. I mentioned that to Brian last year. Hence, my warmly welcomed picture and its connection with the creation of The Ipswich Society in 1960.