Sunday, 28 Nov 2021

The First 100 Years - 1885 - 1985

The Ipswich & Suffolk Club a light hearted look at the past 100 years

Dedicated to Members past & present by Harold Page

Acknowledgements to Members and Eddy Plummer for their notes and contributions, also Ipswich Preservation Building Trust, Jim Roberts, John Burge and Geoffrey Barnard.


The year 1985 will be the 100th year of the Ipswich Suffolk Club in its original headquarters Archdeacons House, Northgate, Ipswich. The purpose of the Company is, as it always has been, to provide club facilities for professional and business men practising or living within the Ipswich area.

Members meet to eat, drink, relax, play billiards, snooker and bridge. In yesteryear they played bowls on the sacred turf at the rear of the building and parked their "motors" for those who had them, in the front of the building. Today, the car having dominated the lives of us all, every available space is required to provide parking so desperately scarce in the centre of expanding Ipswich. Dare I say that car parking has become one of the most attractive facilities of the Club? Nevertheless, we are a Club with car parking facilities, not a car park with club facilities.

Many similar clubs have been formed and operated all over the country for much the same purpose as the Northgate Club, as it is generally known, but comparatively few have withstood the many hazards which beset them over the years. Some have suffered dwindling membership. Some having been overcome by ever increasing running costs, and no doubt many occupying attractive sites in developing cities have succumbed to selling their assets to the advantage of the shareholders - or even to payoff their trading losses.

No such fate has visited the Northgate Club. After 100 years "sailing", the ship is still afloat. I think it hit the bottom on one or two occasions but it is still very much "afloat", alive and well. In good financial state as well. It is for these reasons that the Directors feel that we should put on record as many of the events as could be researched recalling the past, and perhaps giving some guidance for future custodians of the Company.