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Newsletter, July 2010 (Issue 180)

The Magic of Ipswich

Discover the Magic of Ipswich

(Thanks to Jonathan Glancey for inspiring this title)

I read with interest Geoff Knight's article "Walking in Ipswich" in the April Newsletter. Here is another one about walking in our town. Happily, Ipswich is enjoying a boom in guided walks.

For some time the Association of Ipswich Tourist Guides has been conscious of the fact that the number of people enjoying walks is increasing rapidly. This is good news but the need for additional guides has become more urgent. To address this need a course was designed during 2009-2010. This was open to any member of the public with a keen interest in our town who wanted to extend their knowledge and understanding of its history and current developments. The course consisted of a series of lectures by Keith Wade, John Blatchly, Frank Grace and John Norman followed by an intensive training in Town Walks, a written examination and practical tests for those who wished to become involved.

The culmination of this effort was the award Ceremony held at the TIC in April. Four new guides were welcomed- Robert Burlinson, Mike Garland, Evelyn Hewing and Ken Nichols. Eric Hickman and John LeMare were made Honorary Fellows in recognition of their long and valued service. The presentation of badges and certificates was made by the Mayor of Ipswich Councillor David Goldsmith and Lesley Dolphin of Radio Suffolk.

The programme of walks for this season is designed to have a wide appeal. In addition to the well established Thursday afternoon Town Centre and Waterfront Walks new themed walks are offered on Tuesday afternoons. Any of the following could be repeated in future. The following walks have already taken place once:

  • Barley, Beer and Brewing
  • Selig Ipswich - Glorious Churches
  • Victorian Ipswich
  • Ipswich and the New World
  • Ipswich Riviera - the Modem Face of Ipswich Waterfront
  • Cardinal Wolsey
  • Discovering Art in Ipswich
  • Authors, Artists, Poets and Performers
  • Holy Ipswich - Lost, Closed and Open

The walks still to take place are:

  • Felix Cobbold - Philanthropist and Parliamentarian (20 July)
  • Merchants and Manufacturers (27 July)
  • Priories, Friaries, Churches and Chapels (3 August)
  • Old or New, True or False (10 August)
  • Marvels of Medieval Ipswich (17 August)
  • Anglo-Saxon Ipswich (24 August)
  • Hidden Corners of Ipswich (31 August)
  • What the Victorians Did for Us! (7 September)
  • Theatre in Ipswich (14 September)
  • Historic Ipswich (21 September)
  • Victorian Visionaries (28 September)

You can of course book your own group walks to suit your requirements. Some ideas might include:

  • I've never noticed that before!
  • Step back: Look Up
  • A Baker's Dozen: Some Ipswich Personalities
  • The Ipswich Wall Hangings

Look out for advertised pre-booked "specials" ending with a civilised cuppa and a bite to eat in attractive surroundings, e.g.

  • In the Footsteps of Darwin
  • Education in Ipswich from Tudor Times to the 21st Century Remarkable
  • Women of Ipswich
  • The History of Theatre in Ipswich - Shakespeare to Dance East

The Guides also offer Children's Walks generally suitable for "under elevens", e.g.

  • Horrible History
  • Tudor Ipswich
  • Victorian Ipswich
  • A Walk for the Eagle-eyed

To find out more, please phone 01473 258070 or email tourist@ipswich.gov.uk or pop into our award winning Tourist Information Centre and pick up a leaflet.

One of my flights of fancy is the re-establishment of the Promenade - a popular Victorian and Edwardian walk. This was a shady avenue planted with limes and poplars, running parallel to the New Cut. It had seats along the way and at the southern end there was a graceful canopied shelter known affectionately as The Umbrella. Could it ever happen? How magical would that be!


    Front cover of issue 180 Cover, issue 180

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