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Newsletter, July 2011 (Issue 184)

Adam Gordon (1934-2011)

Adam Gordon (1934-2011)

Adam became a key member of The Ipswich Society soon after it was founded. In the early 1960s there was no planning department in the Borough Council ('planning' was an aspect of the Borough Engineer's Department) and in many towns like Ipswich scant respect was shown towards buildings or whole streets deemed no longer fit for purpose. So it's not surprising that intelligent young architects like Adam Gordon and Peter Barefoot were distressed by what was happening and allied themselves with the civic-minded society which they helped to promote. Adam's regular contributions to the Society's Newsletter under the title .Streetscene' soon became one of the first articles that members eagerly read. He had an architect's eye for significant changes that were taking place in Ipswich but always wrote like an observant layman walking the streets. Adam also made his office available for producing the Newsletters which in those days could mean assembling Roneo sheets, sometimes scattered all over the office in Silent Street!

The Society in the 1960s and 70s also undertook some hands-on improvement projects such as the installation of the sarsen stones and river bank tidying near Stoke Bridge and the tree planting alongside Ranelagh Road near the railway station. Adam was one of the principal labourers. (Photo below shows Adam, with hammer, preparing to plant a tree. Another photo on page 19 indicates how such trees have matured.)

A number of buildings he designed or helped to design are part of his legacy to Ipswich. They include the Post Office sorting centre in Commercial Road/Princes Street, the extension to Cranfield Court on Tuddenham Road/Valley Road, and what is now the Ivry Street Medical Practice, which was originally designed as the Oncology Department for Anglesea Road Hospital. He became self-employed in 1986 and particularly enjoyed working for a number of private clients.

Adam's versatility, keen intelligence, determination and quietly spoken smiling manner will be remembered and appreciated by The Ipswich Society, to which he contributed so much.

    Front cover of issue 184 Cover, issue 184

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