Suffolk celebrations begin for Gosnold

A CELEBRATION of Suffolk's contribution to the creation of America's first English speaking settlement began in Ipswich today.This year marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of Jamestown in Virginia of which many original settlers were from Suffolk.

A CELEBRATION of Suffolk's contribution to the creation of America's first English speaking settlement began in Ipswich today.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of Jamestown in Virginia of which many original settlers were from Suffolk.

The settlers were led by Suffolk-born captain Bartholomew Gosnold, one of America's founding fathers whose family lived at Otley Hall.

As the US gears up to celebrate the anniversary Suffolk is joining in the cross Atlantic festivities thanks to £50,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund plus additional support from Ipswich Borough Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

There will be a number of commemorative events throughout the county during the summer.

One of the program's highlights will be a visit to Ipswich Waterfront by the Discovery, a replica of one of the three ships which reached the Virginian coastline in 1607.

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There will also be opportunities to explore Otley Hall and to tour the special Gosnold sights by coach.

And today a new exhibition on Gosnold's achievements was opened at Christchurch Mansion. The Ipswich and New World Exhibition will run from June 1 until October 30.

The Discovery is to dock at Ipswich waterfront from August 7 to 13 and will be open to the public.

Ipswich Blue Badge and Town Tourist Guides will be leading walks linking the boats visit with the exhibition.

The Ipswich Maritime Trust is also planning a display in the Old Custom House to coincide with the visit.

Celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of Jamestown will also take place in America throughout May. The Queen and Prince Philip are to visit Virginia on May 3 and 4 to mark the occasion during a state visit to the United States.

There will also be a special anniversary weekend from May 11 to 13 with a series of concerts and other events taking place at the Jamestown settlement.

Ipswich Borough Council is behind a number of initiatives organised to commemorate Ipswich and Jamestown's relationship, including a themed play area in Holywells Park, street names on the new Griffin Wharf development and a sculpture on the waterfront.

n. What would you like to see to mark the celebrations? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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