Search

County Hall shuts up shop

PUBLISHED: 18:00 23 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:49 02 March 2010

TODAY is the final day officials will be working at County Hall in St Helen's Street.

St Helen Court is shutting up shop and all the officials based there will be moving to Endeavour House from Monday.

TODAY is the final day officials will be working at County Hall in St Helen's Street.

St Helen Court is shutting up shop and all the officials based there will be moving to Endeavour House from Monday.

Yesterday the final full Suffolk County Council meeting in the building took place amid reminiscence and excitement.

Opening with a statement from chairman, Helen Whitworth, the brief history of the building and the council was expressed.

She said: "This is the last full council meeting in these chambers. I am the tenth chairman and it is a great honour to be able to chair the last meeting here.

This building is steeped in history and many councillors will have fond memories of it."

She continued with reference to the divorce of Wallis Simpson which took place inside the building. Mrs Simpson later became the reason Edward VIII abdicated from the throne.

East Suffolk County Council first met in St Helen Court in 1889, 26 years after it was built.

Public executions took place outside the building with the least public execution carried out in Ipswich in 1863.

It was more than 100 years later in 1974 that Suffolk County Council was formed.

And David Lockwood, the longest serving member those days well.

The former chairman of the council and mayor of St Edmundsbury joined the council in 1975.

He said: "I was 31 then and very shy, I was wearing flares when I came into the world of 82 councillors - not 80, we needed 82 then.

"Police headquarters were in the courtyard and it was full of police cars, you couldn't park there.

"After 25 years there has been more progress and we are now moving to the Glass House.

"We are going on holiday when we work in there. It looks just like Heathrow."

Mr Lockwood was referring to Endeavour House.

Since the council was formed in 30 years ago there have been 174 meetings at St Helen Court, many of those attended by Guy McGregor who also offered his thoughts on the move.

He said: "I am sure Endeavour House will be a great achievement and an asset to this county council. I have enjoyed working here and with this county council."

With the electronic voting system out of operation and sweltering temperatures inside the chamber, it was no surprise that the majority of councillors appeared to welcome the move.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star