Reading the last Ipswich Society Newsletter I thought I'd contribute
an article from a youth perspective about the county town of Suffolk
we know so well. For my generation, Ipswich shops are pretty
decent. It's no Oxford Street but it still has a lot to offer. People
from Colchester and other towns surrounding us often come to
Ipswich as we have a wide range of shops which other towns may
not have and therefore they are attracted to Ipswich.
We are still attracting new shops such as Paperchase and White
Stuff which are new faces to Ipswich and have been warmly
welcomed by 10Gals. JD Sports has moved into the old Zavvi
building, leaving yet another vacancy down the Regent end of town.
Ipswich is forever changing, which is a wonderful thing as we don't
want to get stuck in our ways!
There is a problem though. Apart from Poundland, there is not a lot
to encourage people down the Regent end of town in comparison
to the town centre. As we have lost Woolworths and the Co-op we
are losing interest in that end of town. The way forward purely
from my point of view is to develop the old Odeon into something
fantastic in order to draw people from the town centre. This would
encourage new shops, cafes and such. What to do with the old
Odeon is however another article! There were rumours of another
cinema, a shopping mall or a bowling rink. I personally thought the
bowling rink would be a brilliant plan as something to do on those
cold boring moments in town.
More things to do in Ipswich seem crucial as at the moment
shopping and the cinema are the main options. Having roller skating
or ice skating would be a definite popular attraction. But it's purely
a question of space and funds. Over the Christmas period we do
turn the car park opposite the football ground into an ice rink but
this is only for a month or so. A more permanent thing would be
best to entertain locals and tourists.
A couple of months ago, a friend and I went on a tourist route of
Ipswich. We visited the Museum, Christchurch Mansion and had
lunch in the park. These things are clearly underestimated by
people of my generation but are a brilliant slot filler for a dull day.
The Ipswich docks have really developed into a lovely place to be on
a Sunday morning!
It has a range of cafes and places to eat. Walking around the
docks is very peaceful and has an exotic feel about it, slightly like
a Spanish marina. Dance East and the university have brought new
genres of people down to the docks, which is a short walk from the
Transport into and around Ipswich is regular and reliable and is
frequently used by locals and people from out of town. Buses
are probably the most common form of transport after cars and
therefore having a good bus system is necessary. Ipswich train
station is just under a half hour walk from the town centre and is
frequently used by people coming into Ipswich who live a while
I think that clearly Ipswich is an underestimated town. I wouldn't
want to live here for ever, but I sure am going to defend it when a
boy in my science class says (in not so many words) that it's awful!