Search

Suffolk college celebrates 10th anniversary – what are your memories?

PUBLISHED: 19:00 30 December 2019

The Civic College (now the Suffolk College), Ipswich, being built in April 1959  Picture: DAVE KINDRED ARCHIVE

The Civic College (now the Suffolk College), Ipswich, being built in April 1959 Picture: DAVE KINDRED ARCHIVE

As Suffolk New College prepares for its 10th birthday, we have taken a look back at the institution’s rich history in central Ipswich.

Suffolk College students took part in a Rag Week bed push through the Ipswich town centre in February 1989  Picture: TONY RAYSuffolk College students took part in a Rag Week bed push through the Ipswich town centre in February 1989 Picture: TONY RAY

The college, which has formerly been known as Civic College and Suffolk College, was originally opened by Queen Elizabeth II on July 21, 1961.

But before initial construction, an area of housing around Rope Walk and Grimwade Street known as "The Potteries" was demolished to make way for the then iconic tower building.

And since, over 58 years of history, hundreds of thousands of students have built their future thanks to the college, with sites spreading as far as Leiston - and soon, Otley.

But Her Majesty is not the only famous face to have passed through the college's doors, with then England manager Fabio Capello cutting the ceremonial ribbon at an official opening ceremony for the college in February 2010.

Former England football manager Fabio Capello opened the college in 2010  Picture: ANDY ABBOTTFormer England football manager Fabio Capello opened the college in 2010 Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

The new state-of-the-art building for the transformed college came at a cost of £70million, opening in the summer of 2009 and boasting a new sports centre, music studios, theatre and Shelley's Restaurant.

But the college is now set to expand further from December 31 when the Otley campus of Easton and Otley College is taken under its wing to become "Suffolk Rural".

Principal of the college, Viv Gillespie, said: "We are delighted to be celebrating our tenth anniversary in the town as Suffolk New College - although our history goes back almost 60 years to our days as Civic College.

"During our history, we have been able to teach hundreds of thousands of students, supporting them on their journey to further study or employment.

The Queen as she arrived to open the Civic College building in July 1961  Picture: DAVE KINDRED ARCHIVEThe Queen as she arrived to open the Civic College building in July 1961 Picture: DAVE KINDRED ARCHIVE

"It's a real pleasure to be able to work with generations of families and help them grow and learn throughout their time with us.

"We very much look forward to being able to continue to have a positive impact in this community over the next decade and beyond."

Alumni of the college include Stuart Humphryes, famed for colourising classic episodes of Doctor Who and former top 10 band member Asami Zdrenka, once of girl group Neon Jungle.

Other students have been given the opportunity to star in films including blockbuster World War One movie Journey's End alongside Ipswich-born Sam Claflin.

Fabio Capello with a framed copy of the Evening Star at Suffolk New College  Picture: WARREN PAGEFabio Capello with a framed copy of the Evening Star at Suffolk New College Picture: WARREN PAGE

Do you have any pictures of your time at the college you would like to share? Send them in to oliver.sullivan@archant.co.uk.

Viv Gillespie, principal of Suffolk New College, at Otley College campus. Suffolk New College is taking over Otley, which is being broken up from Easton, and will become part of Suffolk New College  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNViv Gillespie, principal of Suffolk New College, at Otley College campus. Suffolk New College is taking over Otley, which is being broken up from Easton, and will become part of Suffolk New College Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk New College in Ipswich is celebrating its 10th birthday  Picture: JOHN NICESuffolk New College in Ipswich is celebrating its 10th birthday Picture: JOHN NICE

Leisure learning courses at Suffolk New College and other venues offer opportunities to enjoy new hobbies and pick up new skills and creative ideas  Picture: SIMON PARKERLeisure learning courses at Suffolk New College and other venues offer opportunities to enjoy new hobbies and pick up new skills and creative ideas Picture: SIMON PARKER

You may also want to watch:


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star