Ipswich
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Listed Buildings
of Ipswich Willis Building (Grade I)
   

Newsletter, January 2010 (Issue 178)

Our Golden Anniversary


A year ago we set out our plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our Society in 2010. During the year a great deal of research, discussion and badgering has taken place with the result that we can expect a celebratory year of substance and some enjoyment.

It was our intention to host monthly meetings with talks in a convivial atmosphere helped by worthy speakers, wine and good food. We feel that this has been achieved and a programme of variety and interest is in place. We have the intention of celebrating planning and architectural change during the last 50 years with the town of Ipswich as a focus. We have drawn speakers from across the spectrum of the Society's interests, and subject matters are as broad as possible within the requirement for a local interest. The venues are varied also, with a return to some favourites as well as new ones to increase members' interest and enjoyment. The costs of many of the events will be borne by the Society. We will have to make a charge for some, however, where a full buffet supper is provided; tickets will be sold in due course.

We commence with the launch of our 50th anniversary on Friday, 23rd April. The Annual General Meeting in the atrium of Suffolk New College will see the business part of the meeting followed by a talk to be given by Jonathan Glancey, architecture and design correspondent of The Guardian and author of several books on mostly modern architecture. Wine and canapés will be supplied by Caterlink, the College's own catering group, and tours of the building will be organised. There will be no cost to members.

On Wednesday 12th May we shall meet at St Peter's Church where we'll be greeted by the Ipswich Youth Steel Band. After this Tony Burton, the Director of the Civic Society Initiative, will present a talk about the workings of the Initiative and its relation to East Anglia, followed by questions. The evening will close with wine and canapés arranged by the Society. Once again there will be no cost to members.

In June, on Wednesday 16th, we have the opportunity to return to the Willis Building for an evening with Jay Merrick, the architectural correspondent of The Independent and Ipswich resident, who will talk about Ipswich and planning, focusing on the erosion of authorities' power. He would also like to present an insider's view of architects: their glamour versus their projects. Refreshments and a buffet supper will be served and tickets will be on sale later.

Our planned July meeting will take us to Woolverstone Hall on Wednesday 14th. Neil Clayton, who worked at the Hall for a number of years, has agreed to speak about Woolverstone and its place in the Suffolk scene. We will be able to tour the buildings and grounds before being served with wine and refreshments. Numbers are limited for this event so we will again be selling tickets.

During August it was felt that many of our members might be otherwise occupied so no event has been planned. In September we shall organise our Heritage Open Days again which will be the main focus for the month.

During October we shall meet on Wednesday, 13th or 20th. At present we are in negotiation about the venue for the meeting but hope to make a surprise booking at a new Waterfront venue, previously unused by us and recently opened. Our speaker will be Ken Powell, the architectural critic, consultant, historian and writer. He is a former Director of The Twentieth Century Society and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. We can expect a lively talk on modernism and a focus on the last decades of the twentieth century. Wine and refreshments will be served after the talk.

In November on Wednesday 10th, our very popular Awards Evening will be held this year at St Peter's Church. We expect there to be another large nomination of buildings and new structures all of which will be appraised for the second year by Bob Allen.

Our final celebration which is very much in the planning stage will, we hope, take place in the Old Council Chamber, no later than 10th December. This will take the form of a dinner with a speaker presenting a short address to members. On this occasion we intend looking back at the work of the Society and project into our next fifty years.

These are many dates for your new diaries and this does not include a separate and equally exciting programme for Society outings in 2010. Naturally there will be further information during the course of the next few months; we hope that you can look forward to the 50th celebration with some pleasure and anticipation.

TONY MARSDEN

    Front cover of issue 178 Cover, issue 178

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