Bad summer has upside for some

WHILE Suffolk's rotten summer has hit the county's tourist industry hard, the poor weather has delivered unlikely benefits for others, it emerged today.

WHILE Suffolk's rotten summer has hit the county's tourist industry hard, the poor weather has delivered unlikely benefits for others, it emerged today.

Staff at Ipswich Museum in High Street have been staggered by a huge increase in the number of visitors to special events it has organised for the school holidays.

One event - an owl day - was expected to attract up to 100 people but in fact more than ten times that turned up on the day to watch live owl shows and learn about the birds.

An educational event about bugs, called Big Bugs, attracted more than 500 people - once again far above the expected attendance figures.


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Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service is delighted with the public's response to the events and, in a small way, is thanking England's disappointing summer for helping its own fortunes.

Judy Terry, the councillor with responsibility for culture and leisure at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “Museum staff were stunned when more than 1,000 people turned up last Tuesday for the owl day. It was wonderful news.

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“We're staggered and delighted that so many people have come along to join in the fun at the museum in High Street.

“We are putting on more events of this nature, both in Ipswich and Colchester, and we're sure we're reaching out to more people.”

The Go Live events were part of a week of hands-on activities for the family during the summer holidays.

As reported in The Evening Star on Tuesday, East Anglia is on course for its worst summer in more than 50 years, with Suffolk deprived of almost 200 hours of sunshine over the past three months.

The mercury has only risen to 80F (27C) on two days since May, while the total rainfall in the region has been almost double the average.

The tourism industry has been one of the worst hit, with predictions that business performance would be seriously affected.

Have you found a novel way to get through the dull summer? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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