Editorial: a good year for some, but not all
A number of people have commented on the effectiveness of Brian
Jepson's colour cover design for the last Newsletter. The contrast
of distinguished buildings both old and new illustrated the Society's
interest in both the past and the present. Incidentally, how many of
us had noticed that 'cut-off' roof-line of the Ancient House?
The launch of this special year for the Society took place at the
Tourist Information Centre on Wednesday, 7 April in the presence of
our President, the Mayor, Councillor David Goldsmith, and invited
guests. It was also the first exhibition of our splendid new banners
which you will see at later Society events.
The recession and various other factors (not least on-line shopping)
are not being kind to our town centre. The collapse of Vergo is
worrying. The row of six big buildings in Carr Street - stores which
still belong to the East of England Co-operative Society but were
taken over by Vergo - will take some filling! If it's true that
the huge Tesco Extra on Grafton Way will put paid to foreseeable
re-development of the Civic Centre and the Mint Quarter, we could
console ourselves that these sites are at least relatively hidden. But
the Co-op buildings in Carr Street are such a visible part of the
street scene and constant reminders of better days.
One wonders whether town centres everywhere will have to shrink in
the years to come. But I've no idea how that could happen without
threatening many fine buildings and the variety of historical styles
which characterise a British town.
The change of Government will affect planning matters. So-called
'garden grabbing' will probably be harder to achieve. And large scale
housing developments, much influenced hitherto by nationally set
targets, will be increasingly questioned. In Ipswich, for example,
one wonders what effect this will have on the 'Northern Fringe'
in the medium term. SE England with a growing population needs more
houses but we don't know where to put them!
I shall be very pleased to receive articles, letters or drawings for
the next issue by 20 August.