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‘Cosmopolitan’ Ipswich street continues daily meet-ups they started in lockdown

PUBLISHED: 17:34 21 September 2020 | UPDATED: 18:39 21 September 2020

Residents of Cobbold Street have carried on their doorstep meet-ups. Denise Dye and her mother Pauline Astley waving to their neighbours. Picture:SARAH LUCY BROWN

Residents of Cobbold Street have carried on their doorstep meet-ups. Denise Dye and her mother Pauline Astley waving to their neighbours. Picture:SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sarah Lucy Brown

Members of a ‘cosmopolitan’ Ipswich street are continuing daily meet-ups outside their homes which they started during lockdown - more than six months after restrictions were first introduced.

Janette and Nick Powell are part of the Cobbold Street community Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJanette and Nick Powell are part of the Cobbold Street community Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Residents in Cobbold Street began meeting up at a safe distance on their front porches at the end of March, just days after prime minister announced the lockdown restrictions and ordered people to stay at home.

The neighbours had hardly spoken to each other before - but there is now a buzzing community in Cobbold Street that has only been strengthened as the fight against Covid-19 pandemic has continued.

Denise Dye, one of the street’s residents, said: “We all went out on the first Monday after lockdown.

“We thought it would be lovely if we could all come outside together, and we’ve decided we would carry it on.

Margaret Stephenson has lived in Cobbold Street since 1962.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMargaret Stephenson has lived in Cobbold Street since 1962. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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“It’s helping out a lot and brought us all closer together. We’ve got to know each other and learned all about each other.”

Cobbold Street is home to residents of a vast range of nationalities and ethnicities, with people from countries such as Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Poland and Turkey, as well as many other parts of the UK.

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Despite hardly communicating between themselves before, the lockdown proved the perfect opportunity for the neighbours to finally get to know each other.

They have been religiously emerging at their doorsteps every evening at 6pm, where they share their tales and experiences of the impact the lockdown has had on their lives.

The residents also took part in the Clap for Carers movement to applaud hard-working NHS frontline staff every Thursday at 8pm.

With the nights drawing in, the group may soon have to stop meeting up on a daily basis - but Cobbold Street community has special plans for when the pandemic passes.

Residents of Cobbold Street, including Ian and Nicole, have bonded together Picture:SARAH LUCY BROWNResidents of Cobbold Street, including Ian and Nicole, have bonded together Picture:SARAH LUCY BROWN

When the virus is no longer a threat, the residents are planning a street party where they will share food and meals from their respective cultures.

Ms Dye, who herself his mixed race, said: “We’re very cosmopolitan and very diverse.

“With the nights getting dark, we might have to bring our torches out.

“We’ve all said when this is over we will have a street party. There’s so many people from all over the world. It would be lovely.
“We would never have thought of this before lockdown.”

Residents of Cobbold Road have carried on their 6pm doorstep meet up. Picture:SARAH LUCY BROWNResidents of Cobbold Road have carried on their 6pm doorstep meet up. Picture:SARAH LUCY BROWN

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