Family gather to salute Ipswich champion

IPSWICH: A unique collection of family members are being brought together from across the world today to mark 100 years since the death of one of the town's most influential characters.

IPSWICH: A unique collection of family members are being brought together from across the world today to mark 100 years since the death of one of the town's most influential characters.

Felix Cobbold gave many gifts to Ipswich, including Christchurch Mansion, and was a member of the famous brewing family, which made beer in the town for 266 years.

He was also an MP, mayor of Ipswich and a champion of agricultural practice.

The family also had a big hand in Ipswich Town Football Club's history, with his relatives making up around one-fifth of the 35 directors since the club went professional 72 years ago.


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To honour his life, the Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service and the Cobbold Family History Trust are today co-hosting a special event at Christchurch Mansion.

In attendance will be many members of the Cobbold family, including Dickie and Jeannie Cobbold from Canada and Owen Duffy from New Zealand.

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Lord Cobbold, patron of the Cobbold Family History Trust and the chairman and trustees of the Felix Cobbold Trust are also expected to be there.

An official ceremony, to be opened by Ipswich Mayor David Goldsmith, will be followed by a trail around the museum featuring items from his life.

In his will, Mr Cobbold left �20,000 “for the purchase and housing of works and objects of art”, which has funded in whole, or in part, around 1,000 purchases, of which around 100 make up the trail.

A new book called To Suffolk with Love, The Life of Felix Thornley Cobbold will also be launched by the Cobbold Family History Trust.

In 1895, Mr Cobbold bought Christchurch Mansion from the Fonnereau family to prevent it being knocked down for homes and gave it to the borough in a deal which saw the council buy the Christchurch Park.

In recognition of the gift, Mr Cobbold was made Mayor for the 1897 Jubilee year despite not being an alderman (a council member) and therefore not normally eligible.

Has the Cobbold family influenced you? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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