Gallery: Six editors join Ipswich celebrations for Star’s special birthday

SUFFOLK: VIPs and newspaper staff came together for a gala lunch to celebrate the 125th anniversary of The Evening Star.

Six of the eight surviving editors of the paper, which was born as the Star of the East in February 1885, shared their stories about some of the great times enjoyed by the newspaper over the last half century.

Tony Pyatt, who was editor from 1965 to 1978, remembered the notorious Tattingstone suitcase murder and the difficult decision to print a photograph of the severed head of the victim in an attempt to identify the body.

Terry Hunt, who was editor when Ipswich were thrashed 9-0 at Manchester United, remembered handing out rose-tinted spectacles to fans as they headed to a difficult away match at Spurs a few days later.

And current editor Nigel Pickover recalled how, during the 2001 Ipswich by-election, the Star had revealed that prime minister Tony Blair was unable to spell the word tomorrow!

Among the 125 guests for the 125th anniversary celebration at the Belstead Brook were MPs Ben Gummer and Therese Coffey, Ipswich mayor Jane Chambers and Felixstowe mayor and mayoress Jon and Jan Garfield.

New borough chief executive Russell Williams joined council leader Liz Harsant and East of England Co-op chief executive Richard Samson joined other business leaders and John Dugmore from the chamber of commerce.

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Mr Pickover said: “This was a wonderful celebration of a newspaper that has a very special place in the heart of its readers and the community it serves.

“I am delighted that so many of our friends and colleagues were able to join us for what was a tremendous celebration of a successful past and a glittering future.”

Towards the end of the event he told of the plans of Star owner Archant to redevelop the offices at Lower Brook Street in the heart of Ipswich.

Mr Pickover added: “The Evening Star has always been at the heart of the community, and that is where we will remain – at the heart of Ipswich in every way.”

n National Express East Anglia marked the 125th anniversary by naming a Class 90 electric locomotive The Evening Star in a ceremony held at Ipswich station in July.