Happy Ipswich is smilier than Norwich

A new survey reckons Ipswich is a smiles happier place to live than Norwich.The survey - carried out for internet bank First Direct - showed that 68 per cent of people questioned in Ipswich said they were happy, with only Cambridge rating higher in East Anglia.

ACCORDING to Ken Dodd, happiness is the greatest gift you can possess.

And now it looks as if the effects of his marathon shows at the Regent may be rubbing off on the town - a new survey reckons Ipswich is the second happiest place to live in the region!

The survey - carried out for internet bank First Direct - showed that 68 per cent of people questioned in Ipswich said they were happy.

Only Cambridge, with 70 pc, had a higher figure in East Anglia. And that figure put Ipswich joint 24th nationally in a poll of 78 towns and cities.

Ipswich people are happier than those in Peterborough, Norwich, Chelmsford, and Colchester - where only 60 pc of residents are happy with their lives.

Town mayor Henry Davies said: “There is a very strong community feeling here in Ipswich. That has shown itself many times and especially with the dreadful events of the last few months.

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“You only have to walk around the town to see people having a good time and with all the developments happening around the Waterfront there's a lot going on here to make people feel happy.”

The borough's spokeswoman for fun, Judy Terry, thinks developments over recent years had transformed the image and reality of Ipswich.

She said: “When you look at the wide range of entertainments we have here, the improvements to the museums, the work on the parks there is a great deal going on to improve the quality of life. People recognise that and it is giving the whole town a real buzz.

“There's an awful lot to be happy about here.”

Even Ipswich Town have started to give their fans something to be happy about over the last week - and nothing can beat the joy of watching the team put the Canaries to the sword.

Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy is Ipswich born-and-bred and is sure the town's famous football heritage is responsible for spreading happiness: “There were a lot of people here very happy when we beat them at Portman Road and are looking forward to repeating that happy feeling at Carrow Road in a few weeks' time,” he said.

Ipswich MP Chris Mole felt the town's happiness stemmed from it being just the right size: “It's large enough to offer a wide range of services and so not everyone knows your business.

“But it is small enough to be a cohesive community. I've always felt Ipswich was very well-balanced.”

And Ipswich is certainly doing better than some parts of the country. More than half the residents of both Luton and Walsall are unhappy with their lives

Are you happy? What is happiness? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

The man who wrote Spread a Little Happiness, Clifford Grey, is buried in Ipswich cemetery after he died during a visit to the town in 1941.

The ten happiest UK towns and cities

Rank Town percentage of people who are “happy”

1 Bournemouth 82pc

2 Llandudno 77pc

3 Plymouth 76pc

4 Tunbridge Wells 76pc

5 Derby 75pc

6 Dudley 75pc

7 Huddersfield 75pc

8 Oxford 75pc

9 Taunton 75pc

10 Gloucester 74pc

Ann Clear - Killara Duke Street, Hintlesham.

“I love coming to Ipswich as people are always smiling. Everyone is so polite opening doors for each other etc. It's a very friendly place”

Linda O'Dell - Elmcroft Road, Ipswich

“Suffolk people are very friendly in general, and Ipswich is no exception as a very happy town. I'm originally from Essex, but I prefer it here”

Sophie Allen - The Street, Rushemere St Andrew

“Ipswich is ok but I'd be happier if there was more to do for younger people at the weekends and during the evening. I've noticed it's the older generations that tend to be grumpier”

Anthea Pyke - Stowmarket Road, Stowmarket

“I'm surprised by the result. Over the year's we've lost many of the quality shops that sell middle priced quality clothes. Nowadays, the shops tend to be discount stores and those aimed at younger people”

Chloe Warden - Moffat Avenue, Ipswich

“A lot of younger people are unhappy because there's nothing for us to do. I'm close to my friends in Ipswich though and the schools and colleges offer good courses”

Frances Gilson - North acres, Willisham.

“The weather in Ipswich plays a huge role, certainly on sunny days everyone is happy. I disregard any complaints about Ipswich as I'm very happy to come here”

John Lister - Brenthouse Road, London

“Although I'm not from around here, when I come to this area on business people are very pleasant. I'm very happy to come down and work in Ipswich, which I must say I favour to Norwich”

Tony Buckingham - Blythe Road, Parham

“I'm very surprised by the result. There's been days when I've been in Ipswich and haven't seen one smile, so I just tend to come into town, do my business and then leave”

Glyn Pitman, Nacton Road, Ipswich

“I've lived in Ipswich all my life and I'm very happy. It's an up and coming place that is getting a lot busier, and there are some really beautiful sites including the lovely docks”

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