Building society goes back in time

SHILLINGS and farthings may be long forgotten tender but Ipswich Building Society is taking a step back in history to the days before decimalisation.

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SHILLINGS and farthings may be long forgotten tender but Ipswich Building Society is taking a step back in history to the days before decimalisation.

For a week staff at the Society's eight branches across the county will be donning period costume as they join in events marking local history week.

Each branch will represent a specific era from World War II, to Victorian, to Edwardian, to the 1930s and 1960s.


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The Society's branches in Upper Brook Street, Ipswich, and Woodbridge will take on a wartime feel, while the Ipswich Tower Ramparts and Hadleigh branches will hark back to the days of Queen Victoria.

To aid the authenticity of the Society's step back in time and help highlight the importance of local history week, which runs from May 4 to 12, the society's archive resources will be put on display.

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Items such as maps, ballot papers, passbooks, deeds, photos and office equipment reflective of the different periods of the past will add to the educational aspects of the week.

Ipswich Building Society has a large archive of local history material

accumulated since it started business in 1849 as the Ipswich & Suffolk

Freehold Land Society. About 95 per cent of archive material has Suffolk Associations.

During local history week, which is being supported by the BBC History magazine, many branches of Ipswich Building Society will also be

liasing with schools in the county to see if they wish to visit the society's offices to learn about the origins of building societies.

A spokeswoman for the Society said: "All our staff are looking forward to this exciting event which welcomes everyone, from those who just want to discover more about history to serious historians from all backgrounds.

"The Society hopes most importantly that it will provide a way for communities to come together and for individuals to discover their roots."

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