For the love of finding a new home Written by Noma Khabo, Insights Analyst

Published on September 9, 2023

The front of MicroShops, Ipswich.

Dear Ipswich, I hope you are having a great week.

I was an outsider that happened to discover you by accident in 2016. I saw your beauty. My eye was immediately drawn to the buildings and churches which boasted you as one of the oldest Anglo-Saxon towns. I had great admiration for the Grade I and Grade II buildings which were alive and also appreciated those that were long dead. I was particularly drawn to those who had been dead for decades and saw their potential for revival and I saw a rich heritage. I also discovered your Grade II listed lido, which seemed to have been forgotten about. I saw its potential for revival.

I fell in love with your Waterfront and as a person who spent a lot of time in London’s Greenwich, which is along the banks of the River Thames, the Waterfront was totally up my street. I loved the restaurants, bars, and cafes along the waterfront. I liked how the University of Suffolk was situated right at the centre of the Waterfront and I got to attend public seminars and events at the institution.

I decided to move from London to join you that same year in 2016. I liked how I could get from you to London by train in an hour, and that was convenient as I was working in London. I’ve now been living with you for seven years. I love your parks. Holywells and Christchurch parks are particularly my favourites for walking and jogging. I enjoy visiting the Christchurch Mansion. I also love the festivals that are held at Christchurch Park during the summer. There’s always something on every weekend.

You have some gems. I recommend walking along St Peter’s Street which boasts cafes, restaurants, boutique shops, pubs and bars, and high-end salons. It’s for one who appreciates the finer things. On the other side of town, there is Carr Street, where you will find quirky and edgy Micro-shop establishments which have been started by budding entrepreneurs.

One thing I’d say I don’t like about you is the negativity towards you from haters who want to put you down and drag you down with them. I’m not denying that some issues need to be addressed. I can point them out as well but still recognise your potential.

Having lived with you for seven years, I can still see your beauty despite the negativity from some corners. I still like your Waterfront. I still visit the bars and restaurants. It has been a privilege to witness the university continue to grow and expand. It’s been awesome to see the completion of the shell that became known as the Winerack. I also still like the shops in town. In addition to St Peter’s Street, I love the regenerated Buttermarket complex which has restaurants, a cinema, clothes shops and a gym. I hope you continue to grow to be vibrant.

Noma Khabo
Insights Analyst

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