For the love of wandering the streets Written by Robin Hawes,

Published on September 27, 2023

For the love of wandering the streets -

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

I was born in Ipswich town centre in 1955. We lived on the northern edge of town, and I went to primary school at Westerfield. When I was 11 I started at Tower Ramparts Secondary Modern School. It was not the best education. I spent many hours exploring the town, all the historic areas. I also spent much time in the reference library of the Central Library in Northgate Street. I was a skilled truant from school, and am quite certain that I gained a better education by researching at the library and exploring the town.

No one ever seemed to discover that I wasn’t at school quite often. My parents knew I went to the library, as I used to tell them what I had been discovering of the history of Ipswich and Suffolk, and I also read voraciously, all kinds of books. The staff at the library were very kind and helpful to me. I virtually had my own desk in the Ref.

I get really quite upset when I hear people running our town down. There is a huge amount going on, if only we take time to discover.

Since I moved back, after living in many places, I have been rediscovering and enjoying the wonderful town that Ipswich is. Like many of my generation I am sad for the loss of many of the old businesses in town, that we all knew and loved so much. But this is common in many other places, including London.

I go into town at least once a week. I always visit the wonderful Ipswich Institute and am attending a course on the history of Ipswich at the moments and I love the food in the Chart Room. Sometimes I walk along the Waterfront, marvelling at the extraordinary changes from when I used to walk along the Docks, with my Granny. I loved all the sights, sounds and smells of the Docks, but the Waterfront is a fantastic place now too.

Sometimes I walk around Christchurch Park, in which I used to walk every day of my schooldays. It is as marvellous as ever, and perhaps even better tended than before. Sometimes I just wander around the historic streets, looking around, and especially upwards, to delight in the tremendous historic buildings which grace our town. I also attend lectures, have belonged to the Ipswich Society for many years, attend concerts and other events.

I get really quite upset when I hear people running our town down. There is a huge amount going on, if only we take time to discover.

Everyone I know who has more recently moved here loves the town and all it has to offer. There is really something for everyone in Ipswich. I always say that I am a proud and loyal citizen of Ipswich, even if now I live just outside the Borough boundary. I’m also an enthusiastic country boy at heart, since when I was at primary school my life centred on Westerfield, school, church and many friends. Long may Ipswich prosper.

Let’s wave our flag ardently!

Robin Hawes

Love Letters to Ipswich

An aerial shot of a crowd taking part in the Park Run in Ipswich

For the love of heart and soul

I’ve since moved away, and spent longer living out of it than I spent growing up there, and yet, Ipswich is, and always will be, my home town.

For the love of heart and soul -

By Tash Acres

For the love of making me who I am -

For the love of making me who I am

Ronan Palmer writes a love letter to Ipswich. "Being a queer individual, growing up in Suffolk had been difficult"

For the love of making me who I am -

By Ronan Palmer

For the love of Ipswich Parks -

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I would like to say how very lucky we are to have so many beautiful and different parks in Ipswich.

Anne Harvard - Ipswich

By Ann Havard

For the love of spreading your wings. -

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If a man who has lived in one of the most revered cities in the world can see all the glorious beauty of Ipswich, then anybody can.

For the love of spreading your wings. -

By Gary Pope

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