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Newsletter, January 2014 (Issue 194)

Letters to the Editor

Advertising hoardings from Ken Wilson
The picture of advertising hoardings in the October 2013 Newsletter, page 11 [from the Society's Flickr collection - Editor] is an interesting reminder of what our streets once looked like. At that time the visitor who arrived at Ipswich station had his first impression of us from a line of hoardings which effectively blocked the view of the town and as he ventured further, more followed.

The owners of the hoardings campaigned vigorously to try to persuade us how attractive their posters were but the council of the time took firm action and gradually all hoardings were replaced by something much better.

Incredibly, looking back, not everyone approved of this. The removal of the particularly dreadful example that you illustrate - the 'two-storey' hoarding as viewed from Queen Street - provoked an angry letter to the Star lamenting its loss.

Now, alas, the hoardings have been replaced by a forest of smaller but equally undesirable advertising boards - and our present Council is the worst offender, hiding the elegant doorway of St Stephen's church with a clutch of them plus an ugly concrete advertising column.

Indians and Chiefs - a correction from Ruth Serjeant
I would like to correct the 'job description' given to my position at the Suffolk Record Office in the article about the Society's slide collection which appeared in the October 2013 issue of the Newsletter. I was promoted in it to 'County Record Archivist' (a mix-up caused no doubt as my husband Bill Serjeant was County Archivist of Suffolk from 1974). My job (part-time at that!) was as an assistant working on the Local Studies Collection (the books etc.) at the Ipswich branch of the SRO, and definitely a 'little Indian' and not a 'big Chief'!

The future of the Cornhill... from Ken Nichols
I should like to add my name to the growing chorus of voices who do not wish to see the Cornhill reduced in size by fountains, posts or lots of trees etc.

Yes, I would agree that the Cornhill does need a spring clean and a change from the seam of red bricks could make it more attractive. However, can I implore the Council not to spend £3 million (if that is the figure) on filling this ancient meeting place with objects, barriers and create another Giles Square?

Perhaps a large mosaic telling the story of Ipswich would break up the area of red bricks making it more interesting when empty. Why not involve the young artists of Ipswich in such a scheme, rather than architects from outside the town who know little of the history of this place creating a clone of many other town or city squares?

I do feel strongly that the town does need to retain this area as the traditional meeting place for crowds to mingle, as Christmas, New Year, elections, ceremonials and sports achievements are traditionally celebrated on the Cornhill and long may they continue.

Also, in my opinion, the Cornhill should not be divided from Westgate Street, Tavern Street, Lloyds Avenue or the route down to Giles Square. Any interruption in the flow of people making their way across this area to offices, shops or just as visitors enjoying our town should also be rejected.

The balance of the above money could be well spent on tidying up the 'Mint Quarter' and the dozen or so other major street projects longing to be put to the top of the list of improving our townscape.

Think again, councillors; it's not too late for you to listen to the slogan 'Save Our Cornhill Space'.

from John Alborough
May I add another ingredient to the debate over the future look of The Cornhill?

Why can the statue of the soldier that used to stand on the Cornhill not be brought back? It would add status to the area and be in keeping with the architecture. It is currently languishing under the trees at the bottom of Christchurch Park. I would be interested to learn what others think. Shall we start a campaign?!

from Margaret Woollard
In the report from Norma Laming in paragraph 10 she talks about the council at one time considering tearing down Christchurch Mansion; we must not forget what happened to Holywells and its Orangery. The mansion had an amazing ballroom and held dances on a regular basis. The reason to pull down this asset to the town was that they could not maintain it. What a shame as, if not kept as a social asset, it would have been a very nice home similar to Chantry.

Ipswich Football ground from Colin Kreidewolf
It was disappointing to read the Snippets 2 section of the newsletter and to see that in the reference to Portman Road no mention was made of who petitioned the Council to achieve the Asset of Community Value registration.

The Ipswich Town Independent Supporters Trust completed all the necessary registration documents and made the case for the assignment including responding to questions from the Council. It was the Council as a body that listed it under the Localism Act although we note they are also the owners so they could have objected. They did not.

While there is a Labour administration I do not believe there is any danger of the ground being sold but the local Conservative MP argued earlier this year for a sale but for a derisory £1m; with rent at £114k currently that hardly seems sensible. (A similar ground at Peterborough was bought by the Council to save the football club some years ago for £8m and they charge the club £350k a year.) The ground has been in sporting use since 1853 and this is the 125th anniversary of the Town's official move to Portman Road (October 1st was the anniversary).

Meanwhile inaccurate op-ed pieces such as those referring to the town centre redevelopment process are printed as if they are the views of the Society. Coupled with the correction relating to John Field, it is a worrying trend.

Otherwise the Newsletter continues to be very interesting and welcomed.

    Front cover of issue 194 Cover, issue 194

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