Merry Christmas to the world!

A VERY Merry Christmas to Evening Star readers across the world!Just a few years ago this message would have been to a print audience in Suffolk alone - but now we have a small army of world wide web loyalists who catch up with Evening Star updates across the UK and further afield … at any time of day or night.

A VERY Merry Christmas to Evening Star readers across the world!

Just a few years ago this message would have been to a print audience in Suffolk alone - but now we have a small army of world wide web loyalists who catch up with Evening Star updates across the UK and further afield … at any time of day or night.

Our journalists are delighted to be able to give their information to a growing audience - and now have the extra tools the web gives to their armoury - sound and movement.

From the stone tablet and the quill, to the screen and video camera, information provision has come a long way, particularly in the last few years. And the pace of change will not slow, I'm sure.


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Wherever readers are - and in whatever format they receive their news - the link is interest in Ipswich and Suffolk.

And what a fast-moving year it has been here.

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Just take the life and times of four key Ipswich brands and you'll see how organisations and people have to cope with the pace of change.

Ipswich Hospital:

Saddled with historic debt and with ongoing financial challenges, chief executive Andrew Reed and his team have had to learn to be sharper, leaner, fitter and pacier and more thoughtful than ever before.

The sad saga of medical secretary re-organisation was not well handled and even those with the rosiest of tinted spectacles had to admit the hospital had blundered by acting too quickly.

While there have been other “pain of change” issues, there has been so much good work too - the imminent opening of a new critical care headquarters, the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson centre, will give the hospital a huge boost.

And at year end, The Evening Star's Christmas Magic stories showed how brilliant the staff are at Heath Road. Good luck to the entire team.

Ipswich Town:

It's been a great year at ITFC - after all the pain of administration just a few years ago.

Charismatic manager Jim Magilton's reign has been going along nicely - the string of home wins has been a joy to behold - and now all we need is an away win!

Meanwhile, international business guru and magnate Marcus Evans' £44million takeover - well-orchestrated by the Strictly Blue Dealing team of chairman David Sheepshanks and chief executive Derek Bowden - went without a hitch. Well done too to hard-working Terry Baxter, who has oiled the fast moving wheels.

Ipswich Borough Council:

Well done to everyone at Ipswich Borough for all the hard work that went into the unitary status bid - and the dignified way most people at Suffolk County Council responded to what must have been a hard blow.

That such pace of endeavour - and such detail - was thrown on the scrapheap must have annoyed all concerned. But a brighter future awaits for both SCC and IBC - and what about an Ipswich and Felixstowe unitary council?

Ipswich Evening Star:

What a year for us! During 2007 we became both Britain's Community Newspaper of the Year and Britain's Daily Newspaper of the Year for our passionate, caring, community coverage. It's our 14th newspaper of the year victory in a dozen years, a fabulous record.

There's no doubt we'll be pitched into even more frenetic activity in 2008, not least because we are the lynch-pin, with BBC Radio Suffolk, in the 30 Years of Honour Celebrations planned for May.

We will celebrate, with heart, passion and emotion, the glorious Ipswich Town FA Cup win of 1978 - and Sir Bobby Robson has accepted my invitation to be here in Ipswich for the event. Watch The Evening Star for more details as they emerge.

On behalf of everyone who works for the proud and successful title that The Evening Star is, may I wish you the best for Christmas and a more peaceful and loving 2008.

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