Ipswich: Around the world in eight Ipswichs

IPSWICH: For one Ipswich resident, his love of the town he was born and bred in knows no bounds.

Intrepid traveller Alex Nunn is today celebrating achieving a goal he set for himself more than a decade ago – to visit all the possible Ipswichs across the globe.

Having trekked across America visiting Ipswich in Massachuetts, South Dakota, New Hampshire and Wisconsin as well as visiting Ipswich in Queensland, Australia, the 65-year-old has conquered two more destinations.

The retired truck driver, who lives in Sidegate Lane, has just returned from his latest three-month trip across central and northern America.

And while on his travels he visited the last two Ipswichs on his wish list, in the parish of St Elizabeth, Jamaica and Manitoba, Canada.

The final two he knows of – Islas Ipswich, off the tip of Chile and another, much smaller Ipswich near Kingston in Jamaica – are too difficult to locate.

“It feels great to have been to them all,” he said. “I think I have managed just about all the Ipswichs you can actually get to.

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“The first one I visited was Ipswich, Massachuetts in about 1998. There was a story in The Evening Star about it and I had so many replies about other Ipswichs to visit, it started from there.

“It became a challenge to visit and see as many as I could.”

Describing Ipswich in Jamaica, Mr Nunn said it is one of the more deserted he has visited.

“The train station still stands bearing the name Ipswich, but there are only about three or four other buildings in the vicinity.

“I passed it twice before I realised where it was.”

But when he reached the Canadian leg of his trip, the rail enthusiast admitted finding Ipswich in Manitoba was more of a challenge.

“There is nothing there to say it is Ipswich,” he said.

“I found the area and looking through the local history books I found a picture of an old mill with the word Ipswich on it, dating back to 1970.”

He added: “That is them all now, I feel fulfilled.

“It has been a great challenge and I have seen some great places and met some lovely people. It has been fascinating seeing all the different Ipswichs and how they vary.

“The one in Wisconsin is probably the smallest I have been to. Ipswich in Queensland is a city and really similar to ours here in Suffolk.

“I have always enjoyed travelling and I am planning more trips this year.”

n Have you set yourself a fun challenge to fulfil? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk