For the love of the Wolsey 550 Written by Kath Cockshaw, Project Manager, Wolsey550

Published on November 10, 2023

For the love of the Wolsey 550 - Ipswich.love

Dear Ipswich, I love you!

I haven’t known you very long (just over a year and a half now), but I had to pen a note and tell you how I feel.

Within a fairly short space of time of being introduced, I have to say, I found myself falling in love!

I think it all started after a brainstorming meeting at The Hold in March last year. I was invited along to find out about a new heritage project all about Cardinal Wolsey. I met some great people, and the seed of something beautiful was planted that day.

As soon as I was involved in the ‘Thomas Wolsey 550’ project, I started to find out all I could about you by talking to all the people who make you what you are. There were a lot of meetings!! Following lots of consultation and chin scratching, we came up with a set of plans which, happily, the people at the Lottery really liked. Now, here we are – six months in to a lively programme of events lasting 550 days – and a 12-month schools programme has just launched, which has been thoughtfully designed to increase social mobility for our children and young people. It’s very exciting stuff.

It is hard not to compare your roots, your creative scene, and your fabulous waterfront development with Bristol – another place I love and know well, whose history centres on its port.

We really need to thank Ipswich Central and all the businesses and organisations who helped get Wolsey 550 off the ground – and who continue to fund some of the great, creative stuff going on. Without their passion and belief in you, this project might have been lifeless .. I mean, they were in it and committed from the early days. Nothing like this has happened before in Ipswich, it has been a big leap of faith for many, and all who are invested are really excited about where this can go.

To flatter you further Ipswich, I’m working with a very big fan of yours – Mr Terry Hunt – Wolsey 550 project chair. Terry gets really miffed when the keyboard warriors do you down on social media. So, together with the lovely people at Ipswich Central and Ipswich.Love, our amazing Wolsey 550 team is taking practical action to change people’s minds, generate positivity, and foster creative collaboration on a grand scale.

It is hard not to compare your roots, your creative scene, and your fabulous waterfront development with Bristol – another place I love and know well, whose history centres on its port. I have seen such great change in Bristol over 4 decades, it was a privilege to be a part of that – and it is a privilege to be part of your story too.

How lucky you are Ipswich, to be treasured and supported by such a great bunch of talented people. We must celebrate you, more and more.

Looking forward to the future,

Kath X

Kath Cockshaw
Project Manager, Wolsey550

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