Ipswich: Old documents show plans for Greater Ipswich were snubbed in favour of expansion of Peterborough
EVIDENCE about how close the town came to doubling in size during the 1970s and 80s has emerged during research for a new play.
Regional touring company Eastern Angles – which is based at the Sir John Mills Theatre in Gatacre Road – is bringing Parkway Dreams to the theatre next week.
It is a musical documentary about the expansion of Peterborough, which became one of the largest new towns in the 1970s.
During research before the play was written, director Ivan Cutting visited the National Archives in Kew to find out more about the planning of the developments in the 1960s.
Last year The Ipswich Star unearthed the plans put forward by the Labour government in the 1960s to double the size of the town from 123,000 to 280,000 by the early 1980s.
The proposal was not pushed forward because of the cost of building new roads around the town.
However Mr Cutting found that, in the government documents dating back to 1965, references to Ipswich had been crossed out in pen and ink – and replaced with Peterborough.
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He said: “We were looking through loads of documents about Peterborough which were very useful in creating the play – but I was very interested to see those documents which had had Ipswich crossed out and replaced by Peterborough.”
Peterborough and Northampton both had major expansion in the early 1970s.
Parkway Dreams is at the Sir John Mills Theatre from May 14 to 18. Tickets are available at www.easternangles.co.uk