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11 signs you grew up in Ipswich in the 2000s

PUBLISHED: 19:00 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:39 14 November 2019

Despite mediocre football and a closed down cinema, Ipswich was a fantastic place to grow up, writes Oliver Sullivan  Picture: SU ANDERSON

Despite mediocre football and a closed down cinema, Ipswich was a fantastic place to grow up, writes Oliver Sullivan Picture: SU ANDERSON

Archant

To many, Ipswich is just a town - but to us, it is a way more than that. Here's our list of ways to know you're Ipswich born and bred.

Christchurch Park, Ipswich.Christchurch Park, Ipswich.

1: You spent your teenage years sat atop Hippie Hill

Ah, Christchurch Park. The perfect place to meet with friends on a summer day watching the world go by - or to sled down on one of the rare Ipswich snow days.

The park was always split between groups, you had those who sat near the mansion, those who played football near the Westerfield Road entrance, but the Hippie Hill kids were always the coolest.

Can winter be over with now, please?

Northgate High School,Ipswich.Northgate High School,Ipswich.

2: Your school defined you and your friendships

From the old-time Northgate and Copleston rivalry to those who still call Ipswich Academy "Holywells", you wore your school's heart on your sleeve when out and about on the weekends even if you relished in not having to wear a uniform.

Even at university, finding out someone from Ipswich went to a different school would have me on edge.

The former Odeon in St Helen's Street, Ipswich which is set to become a new church  Picture: DAVID VINCENTThe former Odeon in St Helen's Street, Ipswich which is set to become a new church Picture: DAVID VINCENT

3: You constantly wonder what will happen to the former Odeon building

From churches to bowling alleys, our lives have been shrouded by rumours about the mysterious building. The last film I saw at the cinema was Chicken Run - if you looked hard enough, you could still see a listing for Legally Blonde 2 above the entrance years after it closed its doors.

Hopefully plans to become a church will actually come to fruition.

Shake Shed was one of the most popular spots to hang out for Ipswich teenagers in the 2000s  Picture: ALEX FAIRFULLShake Shed was one of the most popular spots to hang out for Ipswich teenagers in the 2000s Picture: ALEX FAIRFULL

4: You spent your Saturday afternoon and pocket money in Shake Shed

Milkshake, Astroturf and a Nintendo Wii - for the Generation Z kids of Ipswich this milkshake shop in Thoroughfare was the perfect hang out spot for when rain cut your Hippie Hill session short.

Gosh you were cool if you made it onto their Facebook page.

Town fans singing late in the Ipswich Town v Leeds United match.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMTown fans singing late in the Ipswich Town v Leeds United match. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

5: You experienced the highs and lows of being an Ipswich Town fan

Portman Road - the theatre of dreams - or at least it was. For us younger Ipswich lot, the stadium has become more of a place to cry rather than cheer in recent years.

But don't fret - the boys in blue are slowly bringing the magic back - I'm sure the East Anglian Derby will be back next season.

Andrew Babington-Barber from the Hot Sausage Co is celebrating three decades on the Cornhill in Ipswich  Picture: NEIL PERRYAndrew Babington-Barber from the Hot Sausage Co is celebrating three decades on the Cornhill in Ipswich Picture: NEIL PERRY

6: You can't escape the smell of a hotdog from The Hot Sausage Company

Plain and simple - an Ipswich institution, the smell of a footlong hotdog from the Cornhill cart always drew you in. Mine's with ketchup and habanero and naga chilli sauce.

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And who could forget the days they gave out free hotdogs?

Did you know Busted and Fightstar frontman Charlie Simpson is an Ipswich Town fan?  Picture: PA WIREDid you know Busted and Fightstar frontman Charlie Simpson is an Ipswich Town fan? Picture: PA WIRE

7: You jump to the defence of Ed Sheeran or Charlie from Busted the second they are criticised

They aren't exactly from Ipswich but they're ours - leave them alone. So is Nik Kershaw, even if he's a bit more mother's magic than teenage dream.

You can regularly see Ed sporting his town top in the East of England Co-Op stand. A true blue.

Can you remember the clock in the former Tower Ramparts shopping centre?  Picture: HAZEL BYFORDCan you remember the clock in the former Tower Ramparts shopping centre? Picture: HAZEL BYFORD

8: No matter how hard you try, you still call it Tower Ramparts

Yes, it's called Sailmakers now - but to most of us, it will always be Tower Ramparts in our hearts and it was the best place to meet up before going to Hippie Hill. Remember the old clock with the kangaroo and the monkey? My mum used to park me up in my pushchair to watch it.

The SGR FM RADIO building off Whitehouse road, Ipswich  Picture: JOHN KERRThe SGR FM RADIO building off Whitehouse road, Ipswich Picture: JOHN KERR

9: You grew up listening to SGR FM

Way before the days of Heart and Town 102, SGR FM ruled the Suffolk airwaves and was the best place to hear the latest Busted or 5ive songs on the Sunday drive home from your nan's.

Crossing the border and having to listen to Radio Broadland was like finding out your Panda Pop had gone flat.

The Corn Exchange in Ipswich town centre. Picture: HOLLY HUMEThe Corn Exchange in Ipswich town centre. Picture: HOLLY HUME

10: Nights out at Indie were better than the nights out now

Remember when Indie was held in the Corn Exchange? The under-18s nightclub every month was where the cool kids danced the night away to The Hoosiers, You Me At Six and Enter Shikari before getting safely tucked up in bed at the raucous time of 11pm.

Going to a nightclub and listening to Drake just isn't the same.

The fireworks in Christchurch Park  Picture: MARK LANGFORDThe fireworks in Christchurch Park Picture: MARK LANGFORD

11: Nothing was more important than finding a date for fireworks night at Christchurch Park

The biggest day on every Ipswich teenager's calendar - could you win the funfair games and sneak a kiss under the fireworks? Or was it just an excuse to play on mediocre rides with your mates?

Whether generation z, a millennial or a babyboomer - one thing is always for sure - Ipswich is full of memories, happy and sad, and will always remain a great place in the world to grow up.

We have the history, the culture - a football club with its name etched in European history and... The Hot Sausage Company.

And to be honest, I don't think I could think of a better place to have called my home these past 23 years.

*Although another Shake Shed would not go amiss and would make my mundane 20s a far better time.

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