For the love of our creativity and warm welcomes Written by Danielle Hopkinson, Co owner or The Stained Glass Studio and Stoke Bridge Workshops

Published on September 18, 2023

For the love of our creativity and warm welcomes -

Dear Ipswich, How are things with you?

I was born and raised in a small village near Swansea in south Wales. Life and love brought me to Ipswich. After graduating from Swansea college of art, my then boyfriend was heading to Colchester to study for two years. Our plan was to go together, I would get some work, he would study, and then we would head home! Here we are 30 years later, married and with our soon to be 18, Ipswich born daughter, running two creative businesses at the edge our our amazing historic waterfront. The Stained Glass Studio has been at its Stoke Street site for 27 years, with Stoke Bridge Workshops being launched 5 Years ago.

We have always found Ipswich, welcoming, encouraging and supportive, with an incredible amount of creative people. From artists, designers, makers to musicians, there is so much talent here and always something going on. Our theatres, cinemas and music venues are amazing and the amount of free events throughout the year is truly incredible. If you choose to look, you will always find something to celebrate in our lovely, warm and friendly town. The Spill festival attracts people from far and wide, Brighten The Corners, Music Festival has Ipswich alive with music and positivity. Dance East shows us incredible talent, both international and national. Ipswich’s Music Day in Christchurch park gives a platform to local talent, Alexandra Park’s May Day and One Big Multicultural Festival, bring us all together. At grass roots level we have The Hive, on Norwich Road, who build connections between communities, the building oozes with creativity, love and support. Chip Hub, on St Nicholas Street, offers a creative space for anyone to drop in and engage, find support and even sell their own work.

We have great independent shops, these are the future of our town, they will flourish and grow if we support them. Along with our independent coffee shops, restaurants and bars, we have a lot to celebrate. The Saints makers markets are always buzzing, showcasing the incredible local artists and craftsmen that call this town home, and The Ancient House pop ups have been a great insight into what the team there plan to bring us, with a whole, iconic building full of outstanding local produce. The theme here is people, positive, passionate people. That is what makes Ipswich great, the doers, the ones who make things happen, the ones who want to help, to connect with others, to make things better. I feel the negativity circling on social media, is lazy and ill informed, a boring band waggon of doom! My advice, to anyone wanting to engage in that sort of behaviour, is go and look again, look up at our stunning architecture, walk in the parks, stroll along the waterfront and most importantly engage, be a part of something, be a positive part of your town.

Danielle Hopkinson
Co owner or The Stained Glass Studio and Stoke Bridge Workshops

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