Revellers put money worries aside

PUBS and clubs in Ipswich today appeared to have weathered the economic storm for now with a largely successful New Year's Eve.

PUBS and clubs in Ipswich today appeared to have weathered the economic storm for now with a largely successful New Year's Eve.

Feedback from some of the town's boozers suggests takings have been similar or slightly higher than the same day the previous year, while business over Christmas was also strong.

But there are concerns that customers have brushed off the monetary downturn to enjoy the festive period before pulling the purse strings tightly shut in the coming weeks and months.

And the positive verdict may not have been widespread, though, after it emerged two surveys taken before the celebrations suggested New Year's Eve was the latest victim of the credit crunch.

Around 42 per cent of people told the National Savings and Investments that they planned to stay in, while a poll by the Post Office showed that almost two out of three were not going out to a club or bar to see in the New Year.

Avenue Taxis, based in Neale Street, Ipswich, seemed to reinforce that statistic after saying fares to the town centre had dropped on New Year's Eve, while house-to-house requests had risen.

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But Richard Mainwaring, bar manager of the Greyhound in Henley Road, said takings were likely to be slightly up on last year, although he was wary that customers may now start to tighten their belts.

He said: “New Year's Eve was great and for our pre-Christmas bookings we had a couple of hundred people more than last year.

“People are saying 'let's have a good Christmas and New Year and be more careful in January'.

“Give me a few more weeks and I'll know how the land lies.”

The Cock and Pye had a very successful night with a “Dad Rock” theme which saw the place packed out with punters dressed as their dads.

Adrian Caldwell, manager of the Upper Brook Street pub, said it was the best day's trading of the year and refused to be dragged down by talk of the recession.

He said: “It was absolutely brilliant. Business was about the same as the previous year.

“2009 will be okay. It is not as bad as people make out.”

Pals nightclub also fared well with similar takings compared the previous year.

General manager Andrew Burford also reported improved figures over the Christmas period.

Were your New Year celebrations unusual in any way? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to

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