Wednesday, 26 Jan 2022

The First 100 Years - 1885 - 1985

Three main events shaped the future for us all:

1) The purchase of the freehold of all the Club premises. The main building and its commodious grounds and bowling green, the Pykenham Gatehouse and little house by the gatehouse and 11 Northgate Street.

2) The sale of land on the Tower Street frontage to the Borough of Ipswich enabling the road to be widened and the present car park to be constructed on the sacred bowling green.

3) The welcome addition of members from the County Club. .

The Church Commissioners approach to sell the freehold of the property was quickly followed up by the Directors. A sub-committee comprising Jack Ridley, Granville Haskell and N. J. Lucas. Various suggestions were made for financing the purchase. The members were approached and on 7th September 1961 each member was given the opportunity to make a loan, interest to be paid. For every £40 loaned the subscription would be reduced by 2 guineas.

Two thirds of the capital was raised on a ten year loan from Fisons Pensions Trust Ltd and the final third from funds loaned by volunteer members of the day, plus some help from Lloyds Bank.

The advance in the value of freehold property in central Ipswich, even allowing for the restricted use brought about by the building being scheduled as Listed, surely rates the action taken by the Directors as most prudent.

Subscriptions were raised to 12 gns for ordinary members. The finances were in good shape making a modest annual profit benefitting by over £200 from the fruit machines.

In February 1962 the Club applied to the Borough of Ipswich to convert part of the rear garden to a car park with an entrance into Tower Street. The Borough Surveyors Department, whose offices were at that time in the building facing the rear of the Club came up with a plan to enhance the vista in front of their office and also widen Tower Street, providing the paved boulevard with seats and trees. The Club would benefit by the provision of the rear entrance and retaining wall. The compensation for the land surrendered made a welcome contribution to the provisions of the car park for 30 cars.