Dear Ipswich, I love you!
I’ve spent most of my life living in Ipswich and have seen how a town can ebb and flow. Change is a constant, sometimes for good, sometimes less so.
From about 12, I felt most comfortable being with people who were into alternative lifestyles. I never really fit in with what was supposed to be ‘popular’, so I gravitated toward different scenes to the ‘normal’.
Mosh pit rules apply: If someone falls, help them back up.
From about 15 (or, the late 20th Century, as my kids call it), I played in different local bands and hung out with people of all ages, backgrounds, musical styles and beliefs. That carried on when I started heading to the pub, the Spread Eagle in particular.
The Spread was always full, music blaring, chaos ensuing. My lasting memory was that everyone looked after everyone, whatever race, background, musical taste, hair colour, DMs, cowboy boots or Vans; you were all part of this pub’s crowd. Oh, and I’d be willing to bet you wouldn’t find a more eclectic jukebox on the planet.
As with the golden code of any mosh pit — “If someone falls, help them back up.” — The same applied to the Spread Eagle. That applied to when they’ve had too many drinks, were low, were looking for support, or just a friendly, sometimes-tattooed face.
I’ve taken that life lesson with me well into my forties. Do good things, be nice to people, and stand up for those who need help.
There’s lots of good in Ipswich, and people are doing amazing things; only by amplifying good things that are happening and confronting the negativity, unfairness or unwillingness will we be able to help grow the love for Ipswich.
It’s also amazing to see how the live music scene is making a resurgence in Ipswich. After years of small venues dropping because of the struggles in the pub trade, it’s encouraging to see, The Baths, Smokehouse and St Stephen’s Church start to make live music available and exciting – especially with across-town festivals like Brighten The Corners.
Being positive and seeking out those positives requires more energy than doing nothing or being negative. Still, I’m confident that if you give people the right opportunities, positivity will shine through, and we’ll see more love for Ipswich.
Ipswich is more than its town centre, more than its Waterfront, more than its football club, more than its University, more than its parks. The people of Ipswich are the glue that holds everything together and paints the purpose and character of the town for all to see.
Let’s grow the love and celebrate Ipswich for the good things we can do together.
Ipswich.love Team Member