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Newsletter, April 2008 (Issue 171)

Letters to the Editor

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The History of the Quakers in Ipswich
from Robin Hawes

I am interested in most aspects of Ipswich life and history, but my particular interest is in the history of the Quakers, the Society of Friends, of which I am a long-standing member. I regret that I did not get some pictures of the original Meeting House of 1700-1790, now of course demolished, with the site being redeveloped after archaeological investigations of the multi-layered history.

I wonder if you might post a note in the next Newsletter, asking whether there is anyone at all interested in the Quaker history of Ipswich, references to which have appeared with the anti-slavery campaign, and the picture of the home of Richard Dykes Alexander in St Matthew's Street. Many years ago I did some researches myself, but naturally I am not in an easy position to use the record Office where all the Quaker records are deposited. If there is anyone interested I would like to make contact perhaps with a view to producing some kind of publication.

(Editor: Mr Hawes wrote to express interest in joining a possible history group within The Ipswich Society, for which sadly there were insufficient numbers to make this viable. He could be contacted on the subject of Quaker history at 12 Wellgarth, Greenford, Middlesex, UB6 0RR)

Peter Barefoot
from Julia Booth

Many thanks for publishing the tribute to my father, Peter Barefoot, written by Roger Gillis, in your recent Newsletter. It is really gratifying to read such a thoughtful and fitting appreciation of his work, capturing so well the spirit of his approach to design.

We are also very grateful to the Society for all the work you did to arrange for the Blue Plaque commemorating our grandfather, Leslie Barefoot, in The Walk. Although our father's style was very different from his father's, he had a lot of respect for his father, and I know he enjoyed the photo-shoot in July.

More in Sorrow than in Anger
from John Fairclough

I find it almost incredible that 'The Museum' page (page 13) of the Ipswich tourist brochure 'visit Ipswich and District 2008' contains, with reference to Colchester Castle, the sentence "The Castle Museum takes you back 2,000 years to roman times when Boudicca ruled from Colchester, the capital of Roman Britain."

I am sure most members are aware that:

  1. Boudica was Queen of the Iceni (even if only briefly queen regnant after the death of Prasutagus c.AD 60).
  2. Colchester was a Trinovantian and/or Catuvellaunian centre -- never capital of the Iceni.
  3. Boudica led the greatest rebellion against the Romans, which nearly drove them out of Britain in AD 62. In the process she destroyed Colchester.
  4. By definition 'Roman Britain' was ruled by the Roman Emperor.

If our own Borough Council cannot get the facts right, how can we expect others to take our local history and heritage seriously? Despite the page being headed 'Colchester & Ipswich Museums', I am assured that our joint museum service had no sight of this material before it was published. This is a sad commentary on how our museums are viewed within the Borough Council.

Casting my mind back to the early 1970s when Pat Butler held the honorable office of Curator of Museums for the County Borough of Ipswich, I wonder what she would have said to the Town Clerk if anything similar had happened. Those who remember her determination to defend the interest of Ipswich Museums will know what I mean.

    Front cover of issue 171 Cover, issue 171

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