Flats are a memorial to hall
A PROJECT to transform Ipswich's Grimwade Memorial Hall into a set of plush apartments is nearly complete.Developer Braceforce Properties is behind the development, which has the seen the 19th century structure, situated at the junction of Back Hamlet and Fore Hamlet, converted into 32 one and two-bed flats.
A PROJECT to transform Ipswich's Grimwade Memorial Hall into a set of plush apartments is nearly complete.
Developer Braceforce Properties is behind the development, which has the seen the 19th century structure, situated at the junction of Back Hamlet and Fore Hamlet, converted into 32 one and two-bed flats.
A 13-space car park has been built and will serve a third of the building's new residents, while new blocks have been constructed at the rear.
The completion of the project will follow hot on the heels of the opening of nearby Cardinal Lofts and is sure to come as yet another boost to the waterfront regeneration, which continues to gather pace.
The hall is one of Ipswich's last memorials to one of the town's greatest founding families, but in recent years had gone unused and fallen into a state of disrepair.
Since its construction, the hall has been used by thousands of Ipswich residents, playing host to guides and brownies, sports clubs and youth groups.
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Bryan Potter, a former user of the hall, said he was glad the restoration had been carried out.
He said: “I used to run a youth club there around 50 years ago and I can remember we painted and decorated the whole of the inside of the building.
“It was a wonderful old building. The heating came from four gas fires buried under the floor two foot down, which would heat the whole place.
“A lot of people and different organisations used the hall.”
Mr Potter, 66, of Benacre Road, in south east Ipswich, is hoping to organise a reunion for past members of the club - St Clements Congregational Youth Club - which met at Grimwade Memorial Hall between around 1956 and 1959.
Anyone who would like to be involved in the reunion should call Mr Potter on 01473 725343.
The Grimwade name has been closely associated with Ipswich for more than a century, with the family providing four mayors and running a department store on the Cornhill, which closed more than a decade ago.
Grimwade Street, on the eastern outskirts of the town centre, is named after a member of the family.