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Back to School Memories

As the school run begins again and the children’s long summer holiday is a fading memory, it is a good time to look back on our own school days.

Before I started school my grandfather would tell me how he would cross the road from my grandparent’s council flat, to talk to me through the fence at playtime. Sadly, he died a few months before I started at Hillside Primary School in Ipswich.

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The High Sheriffs of Suffolk and Norfolk

The ancient role of High Sheriff, in a modern society.

Every year, like other counties, Suffolk and Norfolk have a new High Sheriff. In April, James Bagge from Stradsett, was appointed to Norfolk, and Geoffrey Probert, from Bures, to Suffolk. A Royal appointment, this is an unpaid, unelected, non-political position, that lasts for twelve months. Apart from attending Royal visits to their county, and supporting High Court Judges and the judiciary, both new High Sheriffs have definite ideas of how they will use their year in office. 

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REVIEW: Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (adapted by Jessica Swale)

REVIEW: Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (adapted by Jessica Swale)

Gallery Players, Sir John Mills Theatre 17-21 October 2017

The story of a proud, independent and confident female, written in 1874, kept the audience in rapt attention when staged by the Gallery Players. The audience were seated on two opposite sides, so were at the heart of the action, totally involved through the many different scenes as Bathsheba Everdene (played by Leanne Wilcox) coped with running her inherited farm and the major distractions of three men who wanted to marry her.

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Review: Clare Teal at Snape Proms, 1st August 2017

Clare Teal and the Hollywood Orchestra

The music of Ella Fitzgerald, her contemporaries and those inspired by her, opened the 2017 Snape Proms with a swing. Clare Teal, award-winning vocalist and Radio 2 presenter, and the 17 piece Hollywood Orchestra, conducted by Guy Barker, were obviously delighted to be back at Snape Maltings.  With her warm, friendly and informal style it was easy to forget you were in a concert hall seating 800 and not in an atmospheric smoky jazz club, seating 30.

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Two Ipswich's - 10,000 miles apart

The county town of Suffolk is, of course, Ipswich, which has a proud history of manufacturing, beautiful parks, a thriving riverside and a popular transport museum. In Australia there is another Ipswich, 26 miles from Brisbane, which also has a proud history of manufacturing, beautiful parks, a popular transport museum, etc. This much I learnt from a guidebook, but I assumed that the similarities probably ended there as Ipswich, Queensland, is much bigger than Ipswich, Suffolk, with a population of around 200,000.

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Advice for a Festival Virgin

Music and mud. Is that really what you can expect when you attend a festival? Hundreds of thousands of music fans attend festivals every year and in Suffolk and Norfolk we have several we can be proud of. Forget Glastonbury and the V Festival, we have FolkEast at Glemham Hall near Woodbridge and Latitude at Henham Park, between Lowestoft and Southwold. On a smaller scale, we have the Holt Festival, Folk in a Field at West Acre, Norfolk and ThorpeFest at Thorpe Ness Country Club near Aldeburgh, plus many others.

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Horses in Suffolk

For many of us the closest we will get to a horse or pony will be when we admire them cantering in the Grand Ring at the Royal Norfolk or the Suffolk Show, or when we have a day out and visit somewhere like the Suffolk Punch Trust or the Newmarket Stud. 

Anyone can admire the power, beauty and grace of a horse without understanding anything about the responsibilities of owning a horse, or the pleasure of riding one. Indeed, the prevailing opinion seems to be that it is a very expensive hobby, so you must be rich to have horses!

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