New trail celebrates cultural diversity

RARELY told stories about Ipswich's rich history are at the centre of a new heritage walk being held during Black History Month 2004.The African Heritage Trail takes walkers through some of Ipswich's best-kept historical secrets and opens up a world of black history which has been hidden for decades.

RARELY told stories about Ipswich's rich history are at the centre of a new heritage walk being held during Black History Month 2004.

The African Heritage Trail takes walkers through some of Ipswich's best-kept historical secrets and opens up a world of black history which has been hidden for decades.

The first of the walks was held on Monday and was hailed an immediate success.

Black History Month 2004 project co-ordinator Del White said: "We've very pleased with it. It's a very groundbreaking venture.

"It revealed hidden stories, hidden histories and hidden connections."

The two-hour walk visits key locations in Ipswich town centre which unlock the forgotten and unexpected links that join Ipswich and Suffolk with Africa and the African migration across the world.

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One of the stops on the trail is near Foundation Street where walkers are told how Ipswich residents would once visit travelling events to see 'exotic-looking people'.

Another stop is Ipswich docks where walkers learn how ships built there went on to be used in the slavery trade.

Ms White said the walkers who took part in yesterday's first event were intrigued by what they heard.

"They came with great interest that there was something there to be told," she said.

"People are just amazed at the history and the connections."

African Heritage Trail walks will be held on Mondays throughout October.

The walk leaves Ipswich Tourist Centre, St Stephens' Lane, Ipswich, at 10am.

For more information call 01473 258070 or the Nia Project on 01473 221715.

Tickets are £3 or £2 for concessions.

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