An Exam Day and some Dereliction, Ipswich, Suffolk - 13th November 2019

Nosher's in Ipswich to take a General Certificate in Brewing (Craft beer) exam, whilst the G-Unit has an appointment at Ipswich Hospital, so with a bit of temporal shuffling around we manage to fit both in with the same trip. The exam finishes first, so there's an hour or so to kill looking around the old stomping grounds of Ipswich to see what's still derelict and what's changed. Whilst the "High Street" seems to be more-or-less OK, there are a lot of shut-up shops around, but by far the biggest crime is that the old St. Helen's Court - once the home of Suffolk County Council - is still derelict after at least seven years since the last visit. On the upside, at least St. Andrew's - the old Libraries and Heritage/Education building - seems to have now been converted to flats. Other than that, the old Odeon, burned-out St. Michael's Church and the Ipswich Bagel Bakery are still pretty much as they were, whilst Barnes of Ipswich has now gone completely. Meanwhile, the former SCC Social Club seems to making a bid to become a small spot of dense jungle, as nature reclaims it in a process that somehow feels more visceral than usual, given the number of good times had within its walls in times past

next album: Isobel Sings at the Eye Lights, Eye, Suffolk - 28th November 2019
previous album: A Musical Miscellany, Eye and Dickleburgh - 11th November 2019

Another legend of the High Street - Thomas Cook - goes bust

The Hot Sausage Company van is still going

The Corn Exchange square has had a make-over

The ornate frontage of Lloyds Bank

On Westgate Street

A lot of identical For Sale signs on Arcade Street

A derelict building, about to be done up, on Arcade Street

The Swan has been re-branded as The Swan and Hedgehog, for no apparent reason

The Giles Family statue on 'Giles Circus'

Another relic of the past: British Home Stores, or BHS - still empty after a few years

The old 1950s/60s office block next to the Co-op building

Broken windows

Funky mural over Cox Lane

The Co-operative building near Cox Lane

Derelict Indian restaurant on Upper Orwell Street

The very derelict Ipswich Bagel Bakery is still standing

There's a nice bit of 1975 stained glass in a shop window

The back of the co-op building

The burned-out St. Michael's church is getting a thick layer of moss

The wrecked clock face on St. Helen's Court tower

The trace of the former 'Odeon' sign has now gone, on the former cinema

The tragedy of the derelict St. Helen's Court

Round the back of St. Helen's and the old councillors' entrance

The great hall is clad in scaffolding

Detritus on a window sill

St Michael's, from Bond Street

The 'spire' of St. Michael's is being held up by scaffolding

Le Garagiste Citroën Garage on Bond Street is an absolute time warp

This derelict house manages to look less derelict than last time

The former SCC social club is in a sad state

The front entrance to the social club has almost disappeared in foliage

The steps are fairly overgrown

The end of St. Edmund's House and some new Suffolk College buildings

The derelict SCC social club

A mattress leans folornly up against a fence

The boarded-up social club and the former St. Ed's House

Pop art on a door, with some odd grammar

Emeny News is still there, but sadly the 'Rinning Grat', a.k.a Grinning Rat pub, has closed

It's a crime that this building is being left to rot

The old Suffolk Connexions - once a sort-of shop for Libraries and Heritage

St. Helen's was previously the seat of East Suffolk County Council, before the 1974 merger

The Suffolk county crest

Another Giles statue pokes out above the trees near the public bogs at Major's Corner

Age UK's massive - and empty - shop

Another closing-down sign

Trashed shop interior

The other side of Cox Lane as it comes out on Carr Street

A dilapidated link bridge and empty shops on Cox Lane

Another shop to let

The Great White Horse Hotel has been closed down several times in the last couple of decades

Back entrance to the Great White Horse Hotel, as seen from Northgate Street

A fine timbered building on Northgate Street

A painted elephant in the entrance to Ipswich library

The old Ewers Grey-Green Coach station

Inside the old coach station

Seperate doors for reading and lectures, in Ipswich Library

The grand Bethesda Baptist Church, near Christchurch Park

An old Egerton's sign on Crown Street

Autumn colours in Christchurch Park

The war memorial

Some other monument in the park

It's true: Ed Sheeran is everywhere

A 100-year old oak tree, and maybe a former relative as mayor of Ipswich

Stripy lawns at Christchurch Mansion

A deep pile of brown leaves

A blue house, and some very yellow leaves in the sun, on Fonnereau Road

Nicely-distressed railings

The Ferodo bridge on Norwich Road

The arches under Ferodo bridge are all a bit seedy

The other side of Ferodo bridge, on Norwich Road

Bakc in Eye, Isobel roams around the shop Shelf

Isobel buys a thing

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Another legend of the High Street - Thomas Cook - goes bust