A tale of two wars
The Ipswich at War exhibition at High Street Museum is well worth visiting.
It should bring home to both young and middle-aged how everything on the
home front was affected during the Second World War. By today's standards
the bombs were relatively small and Ipswich wasn't pasted like London, but
there were many raids and too many casualties. One criticism of this
exhibition is that not enough distinction is made between the two wars -
partly the result of lack of space. But whereas historians and older people
realise the two wars were utterly different, young people easily "merge" the
two, which were after all only separated by 21 years.
The future of the Regent
Rumours that IBC is considering letting the Regent Theatre to private
management should come as no surprise. The former cinema, the biggest and
potentially the best theatre in E.Anglia, has hosted many splendid
entertainments since the Council bravely took it on and prevented its
subdivision into small cinemas. But when money is so tight in local
government and the proverbial "hard choices" have to be made, isn't it wiser
to let the big theatre be run by the private sector and retain control of
the Com Exchange for the huge range of community activities there?
Ipswich railway station has been awarded "Secure Station Status" under a
scheme jointly run by the Department of Transport, the British Transport
police and Crime Concern. Requirements included CCTV, good levels of
lighting and a staff presence, particularly when the station is less busy.
Additionally, Ipswich station multi-storey car park has gained a Secure by
Design award, although it hasn't won any architectural or "contribution to
the public realm" awards.
Increased ferry sailings
Ipswich Port operator, ABP, is to invest £6.1 million into the roll on/roll
off facilities on the West Bank. The investment follows agreement with
Ferryways NV to extend their current five year agreement for a further 20
years. When ABP acquired the port in 1997, one of their targets was to
re-establish ferry services to continental Europe. The deal with Ferryways
began in 2000 with a two ship operation. This expanded to a third sailing in
2002 and a fourth in 2003. This new deal ensures Ipswich's position as a
leading ro-ro port. Close to 100,000 units are handled annually and this is
set to grow. The total investment in the Port of Ipswich since ABP took over
will exceed £20 million when the new ro-ro facilities are complete.
The blue bins are coming to join the black and the brown. A pilot scheme has
begun in the Rushmere, Whitehouse, California and Bramford Lane areas for a
fortnightly collection of plastic, paper, cardboard and cans. It is good
that IBC hasn't been deterred by the ban on kitchen waste from brown bins
(see Letters to the Editor) and is pressing ahead with more recycling.
Ugh - by gum!
It costs IBC almost £21,000 a year to remove about 20,000 pieces of chewing
gum from town centre streets. A pound a piece to scrape or steam away other
people's dirty habit! Shouldn't the makers add £l a stick to the retail
price of chewing gum? Increasing the price from 50p to £10.50 per packet
should reduce this anti-social behaviour considerably!
Tourist Information Point
John Norman writes to say that he has received both critical and supportive
feedback on the proposal for members to act as a Tourist Information Point
in the town centre next summer. Of particular note was a letter from member
and Blue Badge Guide, Martin Tuffs. Condensing Martin's reply to a single
point, he suggests that the idea would work best during Heritage Open Days
in September. The Executive is actively considering all responses and there
will be a further update in the next Newsletter.