The Awards Ceremony for Suffolk Museum of the Year 2019 was held at the University of Suffolk on Wednesday 30 October 2019. I was honoured to be one of the judges and we were all impressed by the variety and quality of museums across the county.
Suffolk Museum of the Year 2019: large category. The Red House, Aldeburgh
Suffolk Museum of the Year 2019: small category. Bawdsey Radar
Highly Commended: Felixstowe Museum
Innovation Award. Ipswich Museum
Family Friendly Award. Lowestoft Maritime Museum
Volunteers of the Year: Natural Science Volunteer Team at Ipswich Museum
Highly Commended: Elaine Nason from Laxfield Museum and Paul Durbidge from Lowestoft Museum
The Old Customs House on the Wet Dock in Ipswich was completed in 1845 by J. M. Clark (who had won a competition to build it). It has a Tuscan portico, and a clock tower at the north-west corner. The Customs House was adjacent to the wet dock part of the developments in Ipswich designed by Henry Robinson Palmer (1795-1844) in 1837 and opened in 1842.
The RSA Heritage Index is using the erection of blue plaques as one of the indicators of heritage in a locality (‘Cultures and Memories’). I realise that these numbers could be out of date. The Ipswich Society lists 22 for Ipswich (see Open Plaques), whereas the Bury Society lists 8 for Bury St Edmunds. Other parts of the county also mark individuals, e.g. Aldeburgh, Woodbridge.
The port of Ipswich can be traced back to the Anglo-Saxon period. Traces of the medieval town peep through, notably the medieval churches such as St Clement that lies to the north of present marina. The Isaac Lord building (now a quayside pub) is a former 17th or 18th century brick maltings with kiln.
The Wet Dock, designed by H.R. Palmer, was opened in 1842. A number of warehouses associated with this phase can still be seen. Palmer also designed the dock facilities at Port Talbot and Neath in South Wales, and at Penzance in Cornwall.
The commercial Wet Dock is now largely used as a marina.
The HLF announced today that it had awarded £538,100 to the Stage 1 funding of ‘The Hold’, the working title of the new Heritage Centre that will include the Ipswich branch of the Suffolk Record Office (‘New Suffolk Heritage Centre wins HLF support‘, HLF Press Release, May 23, 2016). The Heritage Centre is a collaborative project between Suffolk County Council and University Campus Suffolk (to be known as the University of Suffolk from 1 August 2016).
The second stage of the project will be for £10.3 million to allow the construction of the new centre on the UCS North Campus (to the north of the Waterfront Building).
The aim of the project is ‘to create a flagship heritage facility to protect and promote the county’s archives, provide state of the art learning facilities, and engage more people in the history of Suffolk through an ambitious programme of community activity’.