Blue plaques recognise Ipswich’s most successful women

Members of the Ipswich Women’s Festival Group at the blue plaques launch with Tony Marsden of the Ip

Members of the Ipswich Womens Festival Group at the blue plaques launch with Tony Marsden of the Ipswich Society. - Credit: Archant

Blue plaques commemorating four historically important women have been unveiled in Ipswich.

Mayor of Ipswich Roger Fern giving a speech outside Ipswich Town Hall for the celebration of four ne

Mayor of Ipswich Roger Fern giving a speech outside Ipswich Town Hall for the celebration of four new blue plaques for historically significant women. - Credit: Archant

Dozens of people attended a walking tour of the plaques for Margaret Tempest, Nina Layard, Constance Andrews and Mary Whitmore on October 8 ahead of a celebration event at the town hall.

Blue plaque for Margaret Tempest at the corner of St Edmund’s Road and Henley Road, Ipswich.

Blue plaque for Margaret Tempest at the corner of St Edmunds Road and Henley Road, Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

It was the result of four to five years of hard work by the Ipswich Women’s Festival Group (IWFG), which is aiming to redress the under-representation of blue plaques marking the contribution of female figures in the town.

Blue plaque for Constance Andrews at Arlingtons Brasserie, Museum Street, Ipswich.

Blue plaque for Constance Andrews at Arlingtons Brasserie, Museum Street, Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

Group member Joy Bounds said: “We had a really good day.

“It was lovely that so many people came out on a rainy day to visit the sites. It really shows the support the whole initiative has had.”


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A presentation was given at the town hall, with speeches from Robyn Llewellyn, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in the east of England; Tony Marsden, of The Ipswich Society; and borough councillor Carole Jones, among others.

The four new additions bring the ratio to six tributes to women, and 16 to men.

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Ms Bounds said the group was already putting together plans to secure more blue plaques for women in the future, including the first headmistress of Ipswich High School for Girls, Sophie Youngman.

A blue plaque is a sign installed on a public building to acknowledge a link between that location and a famous person.

Reader Danny Sawyer has sent the Ipswich Star images of a leaflet for the original Ipswich Women’s History Trail launched in 1996 by the Ipswich Women’s History Group. Mr Sawyer’s late wife Diane was one of the founding members of that group along with Ms Bounds.

On Sunday, November 6, the IWFG is holding a quiz and afternoon tea at Arlingtons Brasserie to raise money for a new website and members will also discuss their plans for more blue plaques.

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