For the love of … well, love! Written by Tracy Ward,

Published on January 25, 2024

An Aerial picture of the Willis Building, Ipswich

Dear Ipswich, I hope you are well.

After University I was looking for my first job. I applied to Willis Faber and Dumas which was a company I had never heard of! It was in a place called Ipswich that I had only heard of from my Dad talking about football when I was young. I knew it was on the bit of England that stuck out on the right but that was all!

I nearly didn’t come to the interview; my car broke down on the way and it all became a bit of a struggle as I ended up having to get the train from London.

Like all towns, cities and communities, Ipswich has its challenges, but the diversity is what makes it so brilliant!

I walked down Princes St and saw the football ground that my dad had talked about and then, I saw this black glass building that in 1986 looked so futuristic. I was intrigued about it and then realised that was where I was going. I remember the escalators and how grand it was. I did not realise then how icinic the building designed by Norman Foster was.

The interview went well, I was offered the job and moved to Ipswich on 31 August 1986 without knowing a soul!

Everyone made me so welcome, in the office, at social events and as I played table tennis in the local league.

It was through table tennis that I met and fell in love with Martyn (a Tractor boy through and through!) We were engaged within a few months and as you can imagine, I am still here in lovely Ipswich! Our two boys were raised here and, although are now making their lives elsewhere, they still support The Blues.

Like all towns, cities and communities, Ipswich has its challenges, but the diversity is what makes it so brilliant! The amazing architecture, from old, (or ancient), to new. The lively and picturesque docks to the peaceful, green parks. There is easy access to beautiful countryside, the coast and the hustle and bustle of London. And yes, the diverse people who make up our lovely Ipswich.

I will always be grateful for deciding to make it to that interview all those years ago. For being persuaded by my future boss that it would be a good career start. Taking the leap of faith.

Tracy Ward

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