EDitorial ± 29-Dec-2008
Light Lunches: Bridge Nurseries, Dunwich
[presenting a guest review by Margaret Broom: hi, Mum!]
This cafe is tucked away off the main part of the village, and its website says it is open every day, and indeed it is, Christmas Day included. We went on Boxing Day, on a cold bright and sunny morning. The popularity of this place is evident, as we just managed to get a table inside, but there are outside tables and several people were sitting out in the sun although it was mighty cold.
There is a decent variety of food on offer but we both went for the broccoli and Stilton soup which although almost a fiver was well worth it. It came with a red-hot roll and a dinky little pot filled with butter. The soup was absolutely lovely, thick and tasty, and I could have eaten more of it. Also on sale are sandwiches, cream teas etc. If you sit next to the large windows as we did, it feels like summer if the sun is out.
Another point in its favour is that that day's East Anglian newspaper was available to read, although it was Boxing Day and no shops in sight to obtain it from.
We saw no celebrities to speak of but we did see lots of horse and pony riders coming along the main street. Anyway, well worth a visit, the only (and very minor) fault was that the young waiter gave me Dad's Earl Grey tea and I started it by mistake (ugh, like drinking perfume).
EDitorial ± 27-Dec-2008
Ipswich Sculpture Trail, Daily Express
Around 1997, if you'd gone into the splendid tourist information centre in downtown Ipswich, you might have come across a particular leaflet entitled:
The Daily Express Ipswich Sculpture Trail
35 Years Of Public Sculpture In Ipswich
This was an early-ish attempt to present some sort of consistent front for various works of art around the town, from the 1960s up to the then present day. The lucky 13 pieces featured on the trail were as follows:
- Giles' Family, Miles Robinson 1993
Fibre-glass resin (Queens Street)
- The Ship, Bernard Reynolds 1971
Aluminium, steel and fibre-glass (Civic Drive Roundabout)
- Spirit Of Youth, John Ravera 1990
Bronze (St Mary's Court, off Museum Street)
- Balance, Lee Grandjean 1987-88
Elmwood (Christchurch Park)
- Sor Of Hing, Mervyn Crawford 1963
Aluminium (St Matthews Roundabout)
- Tam, Honoria Surie 1995
Bronze (Black Horse Lane)
- Ipswich Stained Glass Window, Geoffrey Clarke 1961
Aluminium and glass (Foyer, University College, Suffolk)
- Triple Mycomorph (Fungus Form), Bernard Reynolds 1992
Aluminium (Christchurch Park)
- Ipswich Madonna, Robert Mellamphy 1990
Bronze (Lady Lane)
- The Trawlerman, John Ravera 1992
Bronze (Sainsburys, Hadleigh Road)
- Pylons, Bernard Reynolds 1961
Aluminium and concrete (University College, Suffolk)
- Cranes Tableau, John Green 1977
Bronze (Upper Orwell Street)
- Orwell Estuary, John Green 1971
Stone, copper and slate (Lower foyer, Civic Centre)
Among the useful information within the leaflet could be found profiles of each of these artists, as follows:
JOHN A GREEN
Born in Ipswich in 1932, son of a Master Mason. John gained his Master Mason certificate in 1951. He studied at Ipswich School of Art (1951-54) and the Royal College of Art (1954-57) where he was encouraged by Prof. John Skeaping. From 1957 until 1959 John was assistant to Jacob Epstein.
His main run of work is the restoration of church monuments. His studio is at Washbrook near Ipswich.
His works in Ipswich are the stone wall bearing a symbolic map of the Orwell Estuary with outstanding features depicted in engraved slate. This is just inside the lower foyer of the Civic Centre and a bronze panel on a brick plinth in Upper Orwell Street, symbolising the technical development in foundry methods during the fifty years since the firm of Cranes came to Ipswich.
Born in Ipswich in 1952. He studied at Ipswich School of Art and at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art.
He then ran a studio of in Dorset for two years before returning to Ipswich where he now takes classes at Suffolk College and teaches sculpture privately from his own studio near Ipswich.
He was approached by the Ipswich Promotion Bureau to design and make the Giles' Family sculpture at the Queen Street, Princes Street junction (opposite the cartoonist's drawing office) which was sponsored by Express Group Newspapers. It was unveiled by September 1993 by comedian Warren Mitchell in the presence of Johnny Speight and Carl Giles himself.
Born in 1943. A painter, foundryman and naturalist.
While on his National Diploma Course in Painting at Ipswich School of Art, he took a year off (1961-62) to help his neighbour Geoffrey Clarke with his work on Coventry Cathedral. Has been a marine foundryman and consultant engineer since then.
His sculpture Sor Of HIng (a newspaper typographical slip-up for "(this) sort of thing") was commissioned by architects Hare and Pert for their St Matthews Street roundabout development and was cast in Geoffrey Clarke's Hartest foundry.
He has always lived in West Suffolk.
Born in Norwich in 1915. Trained at Norwich School of Art. Reynolds met and exhibited with Henry Moore in 1936-37.
Since 1949 has organised nine exhibitions of East Anglian sculpture. Lecturer in Change of Three-Dimensional Design, University College, Suffolk until 1980.
The upright features Pylons at the entrance to University College, Suffolk were made in 1961 in co-operation with the architect Birkin Haward. The Ship sculpture now on the Civic Drive roundabout won the Sir Otto Beit medal for Sculpture in 1972.
In the Wolsey Gardens behind Christchurch Mansion is Reynolds' Triple Mycomorph commissioned as a memorial to his parents by Tom Gondris.
The sculptor's studio has been in Ipswich or nearby Barham for 40 years.
GEOFFREY CLARKE R.A.
Born in Derbyshire in 1924.
Towards the end of his studentship at the Royal College of Art he began working on the great nave windows and sculptures for Coventry Cathedral. These were followed by numerous sculptures for cathedrals, universities and office buildings including a vast internal wall relief at Castrol House and a 70ft bronze for Thorn Electric, London. Clarke pioneered the lost polystyrene foam method of casting aluminium in this country. The stained glass window in the University College, Suffolk foyer was the first commissioned work in England to be cast by this method.
His studio and huge foundry are at Hartest near Bury St Edmunds.
Born in Surrey in 1941. Trained at Camberwell School of Art. Works mainly in clay or bronze. Past President of the Royal Society of British Sculptors.
He has public monuments scattered over London and the home counties including the much admired Family Group near Battersea Bridge as well as works in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
His two Ipswich sculptures are the bronze Trawlerman in the Sainsbury Hadleigh Road precinct and the Spirit Of Youth commissioned by Churchmanor Estates in St Mary's Court off Museum Street.
His studio is at Bexleyheath, Kent.
Born in Hertfordshire in 1944. Trained at Watford School of Art.
Painter and potter who jointly runs the Barn Studios complex, pottery, tea room and art gallery at Butley near Orford.
The bronze of Tam, her daughter, is her first work of sculpture and is sited on the grass triangle between Black Horse Lane and St Mary Elms Church.
Born in London in 1949. He studied at North East London Polytechnic (1967-68) and at Winchester School of Art (1968-71). He had a studio in London until 1980 when he moved to Reepham in Norfolk from where he still works.
Grandjean has shown widely in Britain and has been included in many important sculpture exhibitions.
He had his first major one person exhibition at The Wolsey Art Gallery from which Balance was purchased with the help of Eastern Arts. He has had public works commissioned by Birmingham City Council, Peterborough Development Corporation, Cleveland County Council and the Dept of the Environment. Lee Grandjean is currently Senior Lecturer in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art.
Born in Cork City, Ireland in 1927. Studied at Crawford College of Art and Technology (1943-46). He then joined the Royal Air Force and travelled worldwide as an aircraft engineer, continuing this occupation since then with civil airlines.
Although he lives in Suffolk he still keeps his connections with Cork and is a member of the National Sculpture Factory.
The bronze Ipswich Madonna on the wall closely resembles the oaken statue now in a chapel in Nettuno, Italy, but which was probably once the focal point of the pilgrim chapel of Our Lady of Grace on this site in medieval times. Mellamphy modelled it after studying the statue in Nettuno.
Ipswich Borough Council Sculpture Working Group
(this was the paragraph on the back of the leaflet)
The sculpture panel was set up by the Council as a result of the generosity of Express Newspapers plc who after they had contributed to the funding of Giles' Family, donated a sum to promote further sculpture in the town. The panel consists of Borough councillors and officers and members of the public interested in seeing further sculptures in the town. So far it has commissioned Tam and moved The Ship to a more prominent position. Already developers have shown interest in having further sculptural work as part of their plans for new buildings. We hope that this will continue and the Trail will grow longer.
D. Warsop, Chairman of the Sculpture Working Group, 1997
EDitorial ± 16-Dec-2008
TT0809, Week 8
Because the calendar said I was playing just up the road at Norbridge, the dinner was late. Because the dinner was late, I was late to pick up Grenvyle. As I was picking up Grenvyle, I couldn't reverse due to a queue formed behind a learner driver and so arrived very late for ping-pong. Because we arrived late, there was no real chance for a "proper" warm-up.
Without that crucial warm-up tonight, we scored more points than the three previous games combined. Go, as they say, figure.
- first max of the season for unwarmed Rob, scraping past Big Colin in five ends
- an unlikely max for Ed, landing assorted edges at key moments to un-nerve Colin
- Coke Zero for Grenvyle, despite some promising signs; did well to stand up for three games given his barely registering BP
EDitorial ± 12-Dec-2008
Light Lunches: Orwell Crossing
In our Dylanesque neverending tour, we've supped at a wide range of eating establishments: the traditional tearoom, such as No 10; the modern coffee shop, such as Sangha; the upmarket deli, such as the Fine Food Company; the downmarket caff, such as the Family Cafe; plus the odd chippy, pub, golf club and, er, antique shop.
Maybe the closest we've come to a proper transport cafe before has been the Kesgrave Kitchen, but they didn't have to pick a fight with the Highways Agency to serve not just truckers but the general public too. Sitting defiantly on the A14 is the Orwell Crossing, aka Truckstop, or Lorry Park, though the restaurant is called Dickie's and the bar is called Olive's. Its names are manifold. Oddly, it occupies the same stretch of land as a now defunct McDonald's and petrol station.
We came in the secret way -- nuff said, wink wink -- and were a tad alarmed to find ourselves going in behind a coach party. Once in, I found it tough to take in the surroundings. For instance, there's often live music of an evening (this is home to the Suffolk Bluegrass jam sessions), and there are showers, and there's a coin-operated PC for email & web, and there's a large telly on the wall showing Christmas pop videos. Is that really Mel Smith? Hard to categorise, esp when you learn that they grown their own veg round the back.
Lots of food options on large chalk boards, and by no means chips with everything. Service is terrific, and my sausage and mash and onion rings and peas and gravy was mighty fine: bangers from posh Proctor's in town, natch. Not that I remotely needed any more food, but I couldn't resist a chocolate brownie and ice cream. Also good, as was the mug of coffee.
This place pickpockets your expectations, gives them a blinding Brasso shine then puts them back wrapped in a winning scratchcard. Leave your Peterbilt 379 in the driveway and steer your Smart car to the Orwell Crossing soon.
EDitorial ± 9-Dec-2008
TT0809, Week 13
How best to sum up tonight's ping-pong "performance"?
Well, it was so poor that there's already talk of a Make Defiants History campaign, in which Chris Martin and Desmond Douglas will:
- issue a white plastic band stamped "No Whitewash",
- and release a charity single in aid of the team, provisionally entitled Dig In
EDitorial ± 5-Dec-2008
Light Lunches: Suffolk Food Hall
- wound up the watering holes of Woodbridge,
- fully frequented the filling stations of Felixstowe,
- and feasted on the fast food of Framlingham,
... then where and what next?
James Brown looked down and told us to take it to the bridge. Plain sailing over the Pont d'Orwell paying no heed to the troubled waters beneath, then down past the ski slope and along The Strand, where you're never alone. Under the towering structure and keep going until you're nearly but not quite in the freakishly named village of Freston. Lo, here's the sign to the Suffolk Food Hall.
Past the butcher, the baker, the charcuterie maker and through to the compact cafe towards the back, a petite area that's still twice the size of Kitty's. So small, in fact, that there's no free tables. We park ourselves like shy fools on high stools and try to find a menu. There's a free-floating specials board which has a host of tasty sounding choices. Wee bit of um, soupcon of ah, sprinkling of er ... spicy beans and bacon on toast, if you'd be so kind. Ooh, and an apple and rhubarb juice. Lovely.
In a tactical move designed to test the mettle of the serving staff, we then head for an up-the-stairs table on the gallery that overlooks the hall. This is some kind of hinterland, a DMZ, the final resting place of the Duke Of York's men. Full marks to the nice young ladies for finding us with our hot food: quality items, one and all.
Only me for pudd -- lightweights, those two -- and I go downstairs to examine the cakes and place an order with the nice lady, who then directs me upstairs to the Samford Restaurant. Confused? I'm told the same menu is on offer both down (open plan) and up (hermetically sealed): as clear as a Strictly vote. Good but not great Victoria sponge (enviously eyed by A&G), very good Americano. And there's a little play area outside for us to run around afterwards, if we were only four decades younger.