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Why do we love Suffolk so much? For all these reasons

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 June 2020 | UPDATED: 07:11 19 June 2020

Terzija Hirs on Southwold beach Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Terzija Hirs on Southwold beach Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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To mark Suffolk Day, we asked some prominent people in the county to tell us what they love about it, and what makes it so special.

BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy is celebrating Suffolk Day  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy is celebrating Suffolk Day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mark Murphy, BBC Radio Suffolk presenter:

Suffolk means everything to me, I love it and I owe it so much. It is simply the best county in the country with a stunning coastline, big skies, a beautiful countryside and most of all incredible people. It’s great that so many people want to make their home here.

I was born in Ipswich Hospital in May 1964 and I’ve lived in Suffolk ever since. I grew up on a council estate in Ipswich where everyone knew each other and as kids we were always in and out each other’s houses. We had time to play in the streets, play football in the park, I loved the sense of freedom we had to go off on our bikes to explore and sometimes get up to mischief!

I owe my education to Suffolk. I went to Murrayfield Junior School and Northgate Grammar School in Ipswich, then went on to study at Suffolk College and subsequently received an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Suffolk.

Sally Fogden, who was one of the inaugural recipients of the Suffolk Medal.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSally Fogden, who was one of the inaugural recipients of the Suffolk Medal. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

My broadcasting career began at Ipswich Hospital with Hospital radio and I joined BBC Radio Suffolk when it opened 30 years ago. In that time I’ve been privileged to meet so many great people from all walks of life in the county. People who share a love of where we live and want to make it an even better place to live and long may that continue. I’ve been asked many times why I don’t go to work elsewhere, maybe a bigger radio station but why would I? Home is where the heart is and mines definitely in Suffolk.

Canon Sally Fogden MBE:

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Suffolk, Salig Suffolk, is the County where I have lived the greater part of my 80 years. The county where my husband Tim and I saw our children grow up which makes it a very special place in our hearts. What a place to grow up, rural Suffolk with its wide skies and east winds, a place to explore and find coastlands rich in wildlife, ancient woodlands and our varied farms. A place to learn so much history and yet so modern.

To see the Port of Felixstowe form before our eyes and at the same time to see the Cathedral tower completed at last, somehow looking as if it has always been there!

For me it is a county where my vocation to ministry was taken seriously and enabled to be fulfilled, and so that leads me on to another reason for it being such a special place for me: the people of this county.

We have seen in the last weeks the great gift so many have of supporting others in so many ways. That is something of which I have been aware for years. People who don’t throw cold water over any idea you might have to help others but pick it up and say “come on then, let’s do it” and help make it happen. At the heart, deep within so many is that wonderful rural spirituality, deep gentle and abiding. No wonder I love Suffolk!

Oliver Paul, director Suffolk Food Hall, Suffolk Day steering committee chair:

Glorious weather; most of the time. A cold Aspalls. Football frustration; too often. Smell of the sea. The thunder of the gallops. Endless dog walks. Opportunities, social mobility and economically resilient, in the main. Connected to the Capital and the Continent; but without the pretensions and pressures. Humour in the beer tent at the Suffolk Show. Diverse landscape influencing an unrivalled diversity of food. Loyal non-league football; little posturing. Unassuming and modest but could be more aspirational. Sailing; the marvel of mudflats not rocks, “On th’ huh”; and other quirky curiosities. Some duff westbound transport links. The balance of countryside, coastal, and towns. Traditional values. Down-to-earth, perhaps from our farming heritage! Red Polls and Punches. Safe and friendly. Varied and entertaining, albeit you need to make the effort to find it, as the Suffolk light is often under a bushel!

• We’ll publish more of these tomorrow.


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