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Newsletter, January 2010 (Issue 178)

Letters to the Editor

Morland Road Allotments
From John Mowles, Councillor- Gainsborough Ward

Mention was made in the October Newsletter that planning approval had been given for the building of nine bungalows, with reference to 'Morland Road allotments' being 'largely unused'. The piece gave the impression that the development is to be on the allotment site. In fact, the site for the bungalows runs alongside the allotments where temporary buildings for homeless families have been demolished recently. Due to the efforts and enthusiasm of the plot holders I'm pleased to say that the Morland Road allotments are thriving.

In writing, may I assure your correspondent of last month [October Newsletter, pages 18-19] that he is not alone in his dislike of the curved lamp-posts in Upper Brook Street.

Commemorating Peter Bruff
From Barry Moore

Merv Russen's article on Peter Bruff in October's Newsletter was an enjoyably readable short biography of a man who helped shape the Ipswich we know today. I fully agree with the sentiment expressed in his last paragraph about the lack of commemoration of this pioneering civil engineer in Ipswich.

The bicentenary of Bruff's birth occurs in 2012. I would make a proposal to correct the omission. The name of the road Civic Drive has recently lost its relevance with the demolition of the unlamented Civic Centre. For July 2012, persuade IBC (or its successor) to rename this major road Bruff Drive (or Way/Boulevard or whatever). This would give time for the commercial addresses in this road to alter contact publicity/notepaper, etc.

In addition, set up a subscription fund for a statue to be sited on the Handford Road/Civic Drive roundabout. We should be able to expect contributions from bodies such as Network Rail, Anglia Water (because of his work on the sewerage system), the Lottery Fund as well as a local campaign. Possible a Bruff statue should be sited looking along Handford Road towards his last residence. I do hope that there may be support within the Society for this idea or better schemes for his local commemoration.

Peter Bruff and the Building of Ipswich Railway Tunnel
From Jill Freestone

The article praising the achievements of Peter Bruff in the October Newsletter might perhaps have given the mistaken impression that Ipswich Tunnel was built in order to complete the Eastern Union railway line from Colchester to Ipswich. This was not the reason. The tunnel was dug through Stoke Hill in 1846, the same year the EUR line was opened, in order to carry the line on to Bury St Edmunds, the Bury line opening in December that year. A myth has grown up, appearing in various publications recently (not yours I hasten to add) that the tunnel was built in the 1860s so that the line could be extended to Norwich. This story is quite wrong; the Norwich extension was completed in 1849. It is true that a new station was opened at the northern end of the tunnel in 1860 but the tunnel had been in use then for fourteen years.

Have you seen The Cricketers?
From Tony Cheney

Reading the letter by Tom Gondris ('The Value of Public Clocks') in the October Newsletter prompts me to wonder whether anyone waiting for a bus at Tower Ramparts bus station and looking at the splendid - and accurate - clock over The Cricketers public house opposite ever lets their gaze wander upwards to the weather vane above it. Instead of the conventional cockerel or other ornament above the arrow to show the wind direction, there is a very fine piece of metalwork depicting two cricketers. One in front of a wicket is leaning into a forward defensive shot, the other is the wicket keeper crouching to take the ball if he misses. But it would be nice to know the reason for the presence of a pub with that name in the middle of Ipswich. Cricket never seems to have ranked very highly in Ipswich. Suffolk, unlike our neighbour Essex, appears only as a Minor County as far as Wisden is concerned.

The V S Pritchett Blue Plaque
From Oliver Pritchett

My wife and I paid a short and most enjoyable visit to Ipswich [in October] and one of the highlights was to go to St Nicholas Street to see the plaque that The Ipswich Society has installed to mark the birthplace of my father. I just wanted to let you know what enormous pleasure it gave us to see it. Indeed, as I stood there in the street I felt quite moved. I was also reminded of his autobiography and of his references to Uncle Bugg. I believe my father also spent nearly a year at a school in Ipswich. I tried to imagine where the school was and which of the grand houses was occupied by Uncle Bugg and his family ... .I believe the Ipswich Society's Blue Plaque scheme is an extremely worthwhile operation and it added to the interest of exploring the streets of the town.

The Lanes and Alleys of Ipswich
From Christine Hyde

Sonia Brown is quite right about the quirks of Ipswich's town centre. Last week I left the Unitarian Meeting House in Friars Street and went exploring east to see how far I could walk without traffic. I crossed over St Nicholas Street, headed into the first alley and crossed Silent Street; then Turret Lane alley No 2, and across Turret Lane; No 3 into Lower Brook Street; alley No 4 Rosemary Lane across Lower Brook Street; alley No 5 still Rosemary Lane; then alley No 6 through (what used to be) Wingfield Street to Foundation Street and the walk way through Blackfriars Court to Upper Orwell Street. An exclusively pedestrianised and nostalgic way of getting to Martin & Newby's!

    Front cover of issue 178 Cover, issue 178

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