Ipswich Group

Introduction

Ipswich, which claims to be the oldest continuously inhabited town in England, is located on the estuary of the River Orwell, which has always been important in the story of the town. A small harbour, behind what is now the home of Ipswich Town Football Club, was used by the Romans for trade and the Vikings raided the docks area, around 1010.
King John gave the town its Charter in 1200. The town flourished in the Tudor & Elizabethan era, with the Wool Trade, when Christchurch Mansion and other fine buildings were erected creating much of the street pattern around The Butter Market which survives to this day, along with some 650 listed buildings.
The Victorian era brought more prosperity and the building of new wet docks, then the largest in Europe, and the first public museum in the country which opened in 1847 (rebuilt in 1881).
The industrial revolution saw the rise of farm machinery manufacturers, such as Ransomes and Garretts, which hastened the exodus of many former agricultural workers to the town. The population increased six- fold in the 19th century, rising to 66,000 and doubled in the 20th century.

Meetings

Ipswich has much to offer those researching their 'family trees' and also gives the excuse of having a pleasurable day out.

Our meetings are held at:

The Pioneer Hall 
The Co-Op Education Centre,
11, Fore Street,
Ipswich, Suffolk IP4 1JW.

ALL MEETINGS START at 7:30 p.m., and finish at 9:45 as we have to vacate the building then.

Pedestrian access is through the front door at 11 Fore Street. There is a large car park at the rear of the building - Entry is from Waterworks Street (Enter IP4 1JG in your sat. nav.) Meetings will be held on the 4th Thursday in the month (apart from December 2015 -which is a week earlier on Thursday 17th December.

NOTE: We go on an Outside Visit for our June Meeting, and NO MEETING is held in August

We arrange a varied programme of interesting talks and guided visits which are open to members and visitors alike, especially newcomers, who'll receive a warm welcome.

We also offer tea or coffee and biscuits after the talk and this is included in the £2 entrance (£2.50 for non-members). Sometimes Meeting entry may rise to £3 per head for members, £3.50 for non-members - if the Speaker is coming some distance.

Those with problems with their research find it useful to chat to others at the meeting, about their "brickwalls". Informal help often results from this.

We can provide, for meetings, a laptop computer, with some of the Society's CD's and other resources, as outlined on the Publications page. This facility can be requested at a meeting, for viewing at the following meeting.

Alternatively, feel free to contact us beforehand if you'd like to request a resource or need advice so we're best placed to help you when you come to the meeting.

 

Links

Ipswich Record Office - The 'must do' place to visit/contact for all your family & local history needs; holding an amazing range of information about the history of Suffolk and its people.

 Ipswich Tourist information Officewho also arrange guided walks with Blue Badge Guides [May-Sept].

Ipswich Museum - has a timeline on events in the Town, plus many treasures.  Also use the same web link to find out about Christchurch Mansion - a Fine Tudor mansion STUFFED with amazing itmes - located in a Grade 1 STAR listed Park, Christchurch Park

Contact

Mrs Jenny Rawlinson (Ipswich Branch Secretary)

10, Carlford Court,

112, Parliament Road,

 Ipswich IP4 5EL  

01473 902367

e-mail: jennyrawlinson@hotmail.com
or
Howard King (Chairman)
01473 274300
or by Email:  howard.king1@outlook.com

Last Modified on 16/03/2017 by K Pulford

News

News and reports of group actitvities

Posted by Howard L King on Thu, 15th Oct 2015

On 24th September, Ipswich Branch, Suffolk Family History Society welcomed Beverley Cooper, who travelled from Norfolk to tell us the story of how she and a friend followed "In the Footsteps of our Fathers" from their fathers D Day (June 1994) landings in Europe, fighting their way up through France and Belgium, to the conclusion of their stories in the Arnhem area of Holland.
As a child Beverley and the rest of her family went on Camping Trips to the area... sleeping 5 to a tent .... but she took little notice of her father's stories.... It wasn't till after his death that she, and an Australian friend, started seriously retracing their Father's steps.
Her talk, notable in many respects, showed, time and again, how the locals of the area their father's visited still vividly remember the times of liberation, some remembered their Fathers... how many friends the soldiers made with local families. Full of emotional stories, and some rather alcohol laced re-unions, Beverly recalled what their fathers went through, how their fighting exploits are remembered, particularly with the 1st Battalion (43rd) Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. She gave details of some of the actual actions they took part in.... and how this
affected her Father in later life.

To see our latest newsletter, please click the file link at the bottom of this page.

Note: due to the extra costs involved for the Speakers, Admission for the November and December Meetings will be £3 for members, £3.50 for non-members

 

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On Thursday 22nd October, Ipswich Branch, The Suffolk Family History Society were delighted to welcome Fred Feather, ably supported by his Wife Heather. Fred is perhaps better known as the Editor of "The Essex Family Historian" for members of The Essex Family History Society.
 Between them they delivered a fascinating romp around Fred and Heather's Family Trees. Their Ancestors, with their antics and achievements, enabled Fred to introduce us to a couple of Circus performers. Another was named in a book"Heroes of Britain" for taking part in the grueling Expedition to find out what happened to Franklin's fateful Expedition to find The North West Passage, around northern Canada. 
A further relative was killed in "The Bulwark Disaster"... when all the ammunition on a Battleship of the same name blew itself to bits on the Kent coast on 26th November 1914...  Edward Stanley Gibbons (of Stamp Collecting fame), married 5 times... with some of his wives suffering somewhat mysterious deaths.... Edward Stanley himself died in the Savoy Hotel ...  (which is almost opposite the present Stanley Gibbons Shop on The Strand in London) his body being taken from the building  rolled in a blanket, so as not to upset other hotel patrons!
All these tales, and much more, were put into the public domain, by the painstaking research of Fred and Heather Feather... highlighting, how, with luck and perseverance, you can find fascinating tales about your forebears.
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On Thursday 19th November Ian Waller presented his talk "You may wish you had never started this!" to members of Ipswich Branch, Suffolk Family History Society.

His talk went through the whole area of efficiently and effectively Researching your Family Tree ... with many Hints, tips and reminders of useful research techniques... and the useful role that local Family History Societies play in helping people with their researches. 

He stressed on the importance of keeping accurate records - including where different facts were found - so that you don't repeat your researches. 

We were advised to treat online"Ancestry Public Trees" very cautiously - as there is "much rubbish", and perhaps wishful thinking, on this site.

He paid particular attention to "backing up" your information and family tree... remembering that  modern digital storage (eg DVD's, USB Sticks etc, Hard Drives) have only got a finite life - so back up regularly. Also consider how you will pass this information on when you pass on! Some people actually pass the results of their researches to Organisations such as The Society of Genealogists.

 The ultimate, and most long lasting record keeping medium is (perhaps unsurprisingly) using Pencil and Paper - provided you store the Paper in the right way!  

He gave us lots to consider !

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On December 17th 2015, Ipswich Branch, Suffolk Family History Society, welcomed Eve Regelous to present her entertaining talk on the History of Harrods., and what it is like to work for this iconic Knightsbridge Store. Eve worked for about 10 years as an Events organiser for the firm. She gave the History of the store, from its founder Charles Henry Harrod who was thought to have been born at Lexdon in 1799... to his first store in 1841 in Stepney... to today's store in Knightsbridge, with 6 floors, 40 lifts, 5000 members of staff, and own water supply from an artesian well. The store averages 20,00 customers a day - in peak periods, with the choice 35 restaurants and a Pub.

She revealed some of its well known customers... for instance Alfred Hitchcock... who loved their Cream so much that he had a pot of English Cream sent to America every month.... and A.A. Milne who  bought a stuffed bear and called him "Winny the Poo". 

Eve mentioned some Events she was involved with... for instance the windows of one celebrating British fashion Week... when 44 ballet Dresses were put on display. Christmas is a major time - with 12 father Christmas.There was a Special Exhibition about Diana Princess of Wales.... which was a huge hit with Japanese tourists.... There is insufficient space to go thorough the marvellous talk that Eve gave, which was really enjoyed by our members and visitors.

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On Thursday January 28th, Ipswich Branch, had a large turnout of Suffolk Family History Society members and visitors heard  Robin Durrell ask: "Can I see your Papers?".

Robin has spent many years researching Military History, using a mass of different military related documents to help trace military histories. A lot of these documents and the archives outlined are also useful to family historians.

Robin led us a canter through military archives..... many of which are held at (for instance) The National Archives at Kew,  in such as Registers of Effect of Soldiers who died in World War 1,  and War Diary collections, as well as specialised collections held elsewhere such as Red Cross Prisoners of War letters and Identity papers. The wide range of documents that survive is surprising.... far too many to mention here...... Remember that despite adverts on TV and online... only about 10% of useful records are available "on-line" so need dedicated personal research, often paying off. 

His detailed talk ranged from the Battle of Trafalgar to the 1939-45 War. Robin nicely interspersed stories of what he had found. One tale was of a baby born on board a British warship at the Battle of Trafalgar, who later claimed the Trafalgar Medal - this is in the records. Following the talk Robin was overwhelmed with requests of help and advice from members of the audience.

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On Thursday 24th March members and their friends of Ipswich Branch, Suffolk Family History Society met to hear all about "Maritime Woodbridge" presented by Bob Merrett, Custodian of Woodbridge Museum.

Some of those present may have thought they knew the story of this aspect of this lovely Suffolk Town. We were soon put right and learnt the story from the earliest records of the Port and the Town....From first records in the 1200's.... through the medieval times when the port and town started to grow commercially, and becoming particularly vibrant in the early to mid 1500's... The first Customs House was built in 1589 to apply taxes on Imported goods. Trade did suffer from piracy in the North Sea(!) in the 1650's to 1670's, but continued reasonably well until the arrival of the Railway in 1849, and was particularly hit by the repeal of The Corn Laws in the 1851-1861 period which flooded this country with cheap corn. 

Bob explained how the river front we know and love today evolved. He is looking forward to the redevelopment of the Whisstocks Boat Yard area.. which will tidy up the whole area. This will incorporate a new Woodbridge Museum.. to better explain the Town to visitors. His talk provoked a nice stream of questions and comments, and was very well received. 

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On Thursday  28th April, Maurice Clarke, founder of "The Heir Hunters Association" attracted a Full House to The monthly Meeting of Ipswich Branch, Suffolk Family History Society.

He outlined the role of the Association - being to help Heir Hunters in their quest to trace beneficiaries of deceased peoples unclaimed estates - particularly in intestate Estates - where no will has been made. At any one time in excess of 13,000 estates are unclaimed.

In his fascinating and informative talk - Maurice explained many of the issues that need to be addressed to help find unknowing Heirs benefit  from these estates - uniting money to those entitled  to receive (in many cases) small windfalls..... or even larger ones!

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At  our recent Meeting, on Thursday 26th May - we had our Branch A.G.M. - which passed quickly and without incident.......

Then we had a fascinating talk given by Micheal Holland, entitled "Weavers, Higglers and Moze Makers"..... all about obscure occupations - most of which have now passed into history - which Family History Researchers may come across as they research the lives and work of their forebears. Other occupations mentioned included brewers of Beer, who brewed in the back of their Cottage and sold it at the Front... and makers of Suffolk Cheese... and Newspaper Retailers - who also, in a couple of cases, were local Agents selling Fire Insurance policies!

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On Thursday 16th June, over 35 members of the Ipswich Branch, Suffolk Family History Society, met at The Suffolk Police Headquarters, for a private tour and view of the Suffolk Police Museum.

This large fascinating collection of photo’s  and artefacts, funded by visitor donations, and not normally open to the public, kept us enthralled until about 9:30…  all followed by refreshments. The knowledgeable and friendly guides – all volunteeers, - completed a lovely evening – even more for our members – all amateur family historians…. who really appreciated the informative, wide ranging, entertaining display.

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Our last meeting, was on Thursday 28th July, when we welcomed Sheila M Wright, who talked to us about using “Tact and Diplomacy in Family Research” – she used her fascinating books, telling stories of Suffolk villages and families, as a hook to advise us on how best to approach people to tell their local and family stories.

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Mervyn Russen came to the Thursday 22nd September Meeting of Ipswich Branch, Suffolk Family History to present his talk “The Railway to Ipswich and beyond”.

Obviously his talk hit a chord, as we had the biggest turnout we have had for a long while… nearly full capacity.

We were treated to a fascinating talk, on the trials and tribulations of getting the Railway, firstly just up to Ipswich, to the first Station located at Croft Street, near Station Street, to the south side of Stoke Hill, and then to the Station current site, and on across Suffolk.

He explained the huge amount of effort involved on tunneling through Stoke Hill, using mainly just muscle and sweat. The first stage of the work was to drop three shafts vertically through the hill and then tunnel the slightly curving tunnel sideways at the bottom, joining the bottom of the shafts. One problem they encountered, and still have to deal with, is flooding with spring water. Using photos Mervyn showed comparatively recent work to check out what remains of the vertical shafts. Later he met someone in the audience whose house was adjacent to one of these! Often during the talk the name Peter Schyler Bruff came up…. It was Bruff's dream for the London to Colchester line to carry on as far as Ipswich but the railway company did not have sufficient funds, This was down to John Chevallier Cobbold, who formed EUR, the Eastern Union Railway, using Bruff’s surveying work, enabling work to start, including the 361yd (330 m) tunnel through Stoke Hill by Ipswich Station. His work was more recently acknowledged in an engraved perspex panel in the Foyer of Ipswich Station – however It is understood that this had been taken down about 5 years ago, and returned to the artist. Perhaps now is the time to return this for re-display.  Bruff also went on to other things – using his skills and energy to develop Clacton as a seaside resort.

We were all very appreciative of Mervyn’s detailed research on this topic….. and the very entertaining talk he gave……. This is borne out by the other bookings he has since taken to give this talk to other local groups……

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 Regarding the Ipswich Branch Meeting of Thursday 28th September....

We are having a Talk by The Ipswich War Memorial Project.... Who have done a huge amount of work researching the Lives (and deaths) of  those on the War Memorial in Christchurch Park.

At this talk they will explain the Project - but will also try and help members of the audience who are intersetd in a particular person on the War Memorial.

So - if you have someone listed on the memorial - please tell Howard king, and howard.king1@outlook.com. as soon as possible, with as much information as you have..
This will be forwarded to the Ipswich War Memorial Project - but PLEASE let me have this information as soon as you can!

Regards,

Howard King 01473 274300

Events

DateDetailsSpeaker
22/10/2015Up my Family Tree
Up my Family Tree
Fred Feather
19/11/2015You may wish you had never started this
Keeping Effective research Records on a Computer is a sticking point for many people researching their Family Trees. This talk examines how to keep good records, looking at ways to overcome research challenges, turning negatives into positives.
Ian Waller
17/12/2015A History of Harrods - The Palace in Knightsbridge
NOTE: DATE is a week earlier than normal..... due to the Christmas Holiday!
Professional Events Organiser Eve worked closely with Harrods for almost a decade, and now gives a unique insight into this World famous Company.
Eve Regeleous
28/01/2016Can I see your Papers?'
All about using Military Documents to help trace your Family story. Bring along any documents or printouts you may have been given or have come across.
Robin Durrell
25/02/2016Giles (The Cartoonist)and his adopted Town - Ipswich
A description of cartoonist Carl Giles, his life, the degree which Ipswich and Suffolk locations form many cartoon settings. Local charities and groups he supported with free cartoons and drawings. How Ipswich celebrates this national figure.
John Field
24/03/2016The History of Maritime Woodbridge
This talk - given by the Custodian of Woodbridge Museum - cover the fascinaiting story of Maritime Woodbridge" - a lovely waterfront to explore - but do you know all it's story?
Dr Bob Merrett
28/04/2016The World of the Heir Hunter - A Lifetime Challenge.
Thursday 28th April: Maurice is coming from Rugby. He looks at what a heir hunter and intestacy is. Maurice outlines how heirs are traced, estates claimed and administered. Entry fee £3 members, £3.50 non members
Maurice Clarke - who founded the Heir Hunters Association (HHA) in 2009 and is a Director of the Federation of Probate and Asset Researchers
26/05/2016“Weavers Higglers and Moze Makers.”
Short Branch AGM New Branch Secretary reqd. THEN - Talk about workers in 18/19 C English towns. Based on a Halstead Parish Overseer 1831 Census, detailing names, addresses, occupations, of labourers & artisans. Entry fee £3 members, £3.50 non members
Michael Holland
16/06/2016Visit to Suffolk Constabulary Museum at Martlesham Heath Suffolk Police HQ - NOW FULL
NOTE CHANGE OF DATE £2 per head when booking. The Museum needs numbers/names in advance. The Police H.Q. is a Secure Site. Your money donated to Police Charity. Bus, Drive – or Car Share – sorted at previous Meetings. 01473 274300 for booking etc
Special Visit to this Museum - rarely seen by the Public at 7:30 p.m.
28/07/2016"Tact and Diplomacy in Family Research"
Researching your Family History can occasionally cause ripples (or worse) in the Family..... Sheila presents an entertaining talk on what could perhaps happen - and how to avoid problems.
Sheila M Wright
22/09/2016"The Railway to Ipswich and Beyond"
A fascinating talk about how the Railway arrived in Ipswich and spread across East Anglia... and the impact it had......
Mervyn Russen
24/09/2016EARLY NOTICE Family History Fair and Society AGM
10:00 to 4:00p.m. FREE ENTRY and hopefully FREE CAR PARKING University Campus Suffolk, Waterfront Building, Neptune Quay, Ipswich Waterfront IP4 1QJ. The Theme: T.B.A... Return to the main Society website to find out more as the Event evolves.
Annual Family History Fair - Bigger and Better than EVER
27/10/2016The History of Advertising
Advertising goes back further than you think! Coming closer to today - you come across adverts in Directories, old Newspapers, and the flood of adverts we are bombarded with today. Your forbears may have placed such adverts or even appear in them!
Stuart Bowell
24/11/2016Cakes, Ales, Partying, Feasting, and Fundraising in Medieval Suffolk.
The title says it all... but does not give full justice to a fascinating and entertaining talk.
Kate Jewell
09/12/2016Special pre-Christmas Talk The Victorian Ghost Hunter - PLEASE NOTE EARLY FRIDAY DATE
Special Talk - DIFFERENT DATE. FRIDAY NIGHT 16th December 2016 @ 7:30 p.m. Normal Venue. Meet a Victorian Ghost Hunter. Look at the tools of his trade. Hear of the Society for Psychical Research founded 1882, Cambridge and Edmund Gurneys strange tale.
Andrew Selwyn
26/01/2017Members Evening - telling us: Family Tales, Family Heirlooms and Black Sheep
If it helps, call Howard 01473 274300 and discuss. Each talk abt 10 min. For a Laptop, we have a Digital projector + a Visualiser , (Overhead projector with a camera); projecting the image. Afterwards discuss Research problems,suggesting solutions.
Mainly Ourselves
23/02/2017Victoria and her Children - The Ultimate Family Tree - by Breda Stringer
Queen Victoria.... whose children married into Royal Famlies across Europe.... Her descendants STILL influence Europe in one way or another! A fascinating Family Story.
Breda Stringer
23/03/2017The De-la-Pole Family - Dukes of Suffolk... the Family Story.
A grim tale telling how Frances researched what really happened to a relative, who survived the Burma Railway... but talked little of his experiences. How she used little known records and archives etc. A part of history we should never forget!
Steven Govier
27/04/2017"Fig Leaves, Farthingales and Fiches" - what your ancestors wore - with a few surprises!
A light-hearted evening of frolics and fun....
Frances Saltmarsh
25/05/2017Sex and War - American G.Is in Suffolk in WW2
Lucy has Researched the effect American G.Is (particularly coloured ones) had in East Anglia, meeting local ladies, fathering children in wartime. The consequences for the parents and the children. Telling fascinating stories, with some happy endings.
Prof. Lucy Bland (Anglia Ruskin University)
22/06/2017Day Trip to The National Archives at Kew - for records not held anywhere else!
Special Coach Day out , - leaving Martlesham Heath Shoppers Car Park 06:30, Tesco Copdock Bus Stop, Capel St Mary A12 slip Road Bus stop. Price £25/person. Book NOW. Call Howard 01473 274300, e-mail howard.king1@outlook.com
Organiser Howard King 01473 274300
27/07/2017A Short History of Shopping - (particularly relating to the Ipswich area).
Looking at the Shopping in the Ipswich area.... Do you remember Ridleys, Martin and Newbys, Footmans, John Colliers...... The list goes on and on. Wallow in nostalgia, in an era before the Internet. Did your family work in or own a shop in the area.
Linda Sexton
01/08/2017NO MEETING IN AUGUST
NO MEETING IN AUGUST PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL MEETINGS FROM NOW ON WILL START SLIGHTLY EARLIER - at 7:15. We aim to finish and Clear the building by 9:30. This is due to changes in the Security procedures at The Co-Op Education Centre!
28/09/2017The Ipswich War Memorial Project
Team members will explain this extensive Project - researching Ipswich War Memorial Great War deaths. They will also highlight some life stories. If you want to know more about anyone listed - contact 01473 274300 before the Meeting.
Members of The Ipswich War Memorial Team
30/09/2017Suffolk family History Society - Family History Fair
FREE ENTRY 10-00 - 4:00. University of Suffolk, Waterfront,. Ipswich.. Topline Speakers. Free Research area with on-line and personal help breakdown Research Brick Walls. Stands,stalls, displays. More info elsewhere on this website, or call 01473 274300.
Suffolk Family History Society - Annual Family History Fair
26/10/2017An Armchair Walk on "Remarkable Ipswich Women";
Looking in detail at Special Ipswich Women - many on Blue Plaques around the town. You probably know the Plaques - now find out the stories. Be prepared for some surprises.
Ann Day
23/11/2017Duleep Singh - The Story of an Indian Prince in Rural splendour at Elvedon in Suffolk
The fascinating story of an Indian Sikh Prince living in Splendour in a Large Suffolk House. A Story of Pomp and Ceremony... and a tinge of sadness..... How did he fit in with the British aristocracy, and what became of him?
Stephen Govier
14/12/2017Entertaining General History and Family History Quiz - plus your favourite Family Photo.
NOTE Thurs 14th December - An entertaining, light hearted evening of bonhomie, amusement and a mince-pie, with a few prizes.. Be amazed at what you know, learn something you didnt. Bring Favourite labelled Family Photo, which may win a prize.
Mainly Ourselves
25/01/2018A Look at "Ipswich Treasures" - things to notice as you perambulate our fine Town.
There are many hidden jems around Ipswich. John, who is an expert on Ipswich and Suffolk Buildings... will entertain us by telling us more about his favourites. You may never look at Ipswich in the same way again.,
John Field (who recently presented his talk "Cartoonist Carl Giles' Ipswich" to a packed audience.)
22/02/2018Insanity - How Previous generations (particularly the Victorians) dealt with this issue..
Kathy Chater.... Nationally Known Genealogical Researcher and Author, comes from London. She will explain how earlier generations recorded this issue for us to find. She has promised to look at the records for St. Audreys, and St. Clements for examples.
Kathy Chater, Nationally Known Genealogical Researcher and Author, is coming from London.
22/03/2018A Song of their Own - The Fight for Votes for Ipswich Women.
Joy is a well known local Researcher and Author..... who has produced a Book on this Topic..... Perhaps a lady i your Family Tree participated in this Campaign - and chained herself to railings outside County Hall or elsewhere.
Joy Bounds

Contact

For further details on the programme you should contact

Mrs Jenny Rawlinson (Ipswich Branch Secretary)

10, Carlford Court,

112, Parliament Road,

 Ipswich IP4 5EL  

01473 902367

e-mail: jennyrawlinson@hotmail.com
or
Howard King (Chairman)
01473 274300
or by Email:  howard.king1@outlook.com

Group Contact

Mrs Jenny Rawlinson (Ipswich Branch Secretary)

10, Carlford Court,

112, Parliament Road,

 Ipswich IP4 5EL  

01473 902367

e-mail: jennyrawlinson@hotmail.com
or
Howard King (Chairman)
01473 274300
or by Email:  howard.king1@outlook.com