Music glory days to be relived

PUB-GOERS are set to recreate four years of music madness this weekend.When last orders were called for infamous Ipswich venue The Earl Roberts it brought down the curtain on one of the town's best-loved music venues.

PUB-GOERS are set to recreate four years of music madness this weekend.

When last orders were called for infamous Ipswich venue The Earl Roberts it brought down the curtain on one of the town's best-loved music venues.

And the shock of the pub's closure was all the harder for regulars because it was so unexpected.

The pub, which stood between the carparks at the back of Co-op and Woolworths, was condemned as unsafe.

Landlady Val Bint recalled how the last night at The Earl Roberts in 1998 was almost washed out by the rain flooding through the roof.

Investigations the following day revealed severe problems with the fabric of the building and the closed sign going up immediately.

Most Read

Mrs Bint said: "On the last night we had about 6in of water flooding the back corridor.

"It was a shock to everybody when we had to close because it was like a second home to so many people."

The landlady is now trying to generate the same feelings of affection at the Steamboat Tavern, in New Cut West, Ipswich.

And she has organised an Earl Roberts reunion weekend to bring back some happy memories. The weekend will mark 10 years since live music began at her old pub.

She said: "At the end of the day it can never be replaced, but we have tried our best. We have as much fun and success, but everybody moves on.

"People had wedding receptions and Christening celebrations in The Earl Roberts, it was a part of people's lives."

The theme of the old pub was 'live music and living madness' and Mrs Bint remembers one event summing up the philosophy perfectly.

She said: "We did a 60s weekend and the whole building was painted in psychedelic colours – that was what the pub was most famous for."

Many of the bands who made the pub what it was will be performing at the Steamboat Tavern. Red Flag 77 will be topping the bill on Friday, with Groove Doctors and Mean Red Spiders following on Saturday.

The popular Sunday Jam Session will also be recreated.

Mrs Bint has collected pictures and videos from down the years and there will be a special guest appearance by the old pub sign.

She said: "Everybody's really looking forward to it. It was quite an era in the town on the music front. We're expecting quite a get together."

For more information, contact the Steamboat Tavern on 01473 601902.

n Do you think the Ipswich live music scene needs more venues like The Earl Roberts? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter