Front cover: Ipswich Society member Mark Beesley has recently completed a commission for a painting about Ipswich from the Two Rivers Medical Centre. The work hangs in the new medical centre on Woodbridge Road East, built for two existing Ipswich surgeries which have amalgamated and expanded. The painting contrasts the old and the modern aspects of Ipswich. It is based on views from the roof of the Willis building. It is not a literal view of the town but an impression, emphasising the streets and buildings which give Ipswich its unique character - the medieval churches, the university building, the Mill, the Unitarian Meeting House and, of course, the Orwell Bridge. The aim was to contrast the old centre of the town with the irregular nature of its old timber-framed buildings within the medieval street plan and the new, high-rise skyline of the Waterfront area. Details of the painting have been enlarged and incorporated into the interior design of the building.
One of the pleasures (and concomitant headaches) of being Newsletter editor is the wealth of subject matter and material jostling for space. At last on page 10 we can include an article about Shakespeare's link to Ipswich. In a year when there has been media overload about the Bard and when Ipswich's most famous theatrical son, Trevor Nunn, triumphantly directed ‘the only Shakespeare play in the canon he hasn't done':
A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Wolsey Theatre in July, it may be fortuitous that this article is a little late and thus avoids overkill. It was 500 years since the death of the poet in April.
Another held-over piece is the article reprinted on page 25 about the beating of the bounds for St Clement Church, perhaps particularly timely when plans are moving forward for the conversion of the church into The Ipswich Arts Centre.
Finally, here is a composite photograph to commemorate the sad demise of British Home Stores. The first floor of the Ipswich branch featured a lively carved bracket showing a lion (now painted white). It was not so when it was in the care of John Field who saved it and offered it to the builders of the new store which followed the Butter Market fire in 1992. Let us hope that we may be able to view the lion again once a new use has been found for the building.