Friday, 23 Oct 2020

The Next 17 years - 1985 - 2002

The inside of the building was much the same as before. Some of the colourful decoration scheme introduced by the ICI paint advisors had been tastefully covered. A few new pieces of furniture, not many. The circular table in the Ante Room was still there in all its' glory resplendent with loving care given by the staff, plus equal coatings of wax polish and elbow grease. A television in the bar wasn't there before, he didn't think so ... BUT what did he see in the other comer of the room below the characters of mostly past, but still a few present members as seen with the pen and paints of the late Leslie Harrison, TWO LADIES!! They were not sitting self consciously on the edge of their seats waiting for their husbands, but firmly ensconced, looking completely 'at home' sipping their pre-luncheon drink.

St Mary Le Tower Church in IpswichThey were MEMBERS! He could see them studying an impressive menu - the menu of the day for daily diners, plus a most tempting 'a la carte' and wine list. At this point he was introduced to a slim figure in full chef rig and a distinct French accent.

He took a stiff drink, poured by the smiling Sheila. He needed a strong one, as in the space of only a few minutes he had witnessed more than a few changes of the past seventeen years ... not least, the introduction of ladies. What' s more, he had just heard that the Dining Room had been completely and rather tastefully refurbished and that the beautiful Adam Room - formerly a quiet haven for a snooze after lunch - was now used for business meetings and receptions

Other changes, not immediately apparent, came to light as more members came in, plus a lady who introduced herself as the Secretary & Marketing Manager, responsible for increasing the membership, developing marketing strategies and promoting meeting room facilities, as well as responsibility for day to day secretarial and administrative duties.

It is about these quite revolutionary changes which I propose to study in deeper detail. How, when and why did they take place and who were the main movers? Also, how did existing members react to the 21st Century being allowed into Archdeacon's House?