Taste of the Orient for Ipswich mayor

IT'S not just the football that's going oriental this month, Richard Risebrow will also be turning to the land of the rising sun.Or the mayor of Ipswich will be as long as he can find a rickshaw or sedan chair.

IT'S not just the football that's going oriental this month, Richard Risebrow will also be turning to the land of the rising sun.

Or the mayor of Ipswich will be as long as he can find a rickshaw or sedan chair.

Because the have-a-go mayor has pledged to carry out all his official functions for a day in a rickshaw.

It's part of a nation-wide, Mayors on the Move campaign aimed at encouraging people to find alternative forms of transport.

A council spokesman said: "The mayor has agreed to take part. Our only problem is coming up with a rickshaw or a sedan chair."

Importantly, two council workers have already agreed to be coolies for the dignitary.

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Anyone that can lend the mayor a rickshaw or sedan chair on June 11 is asked to call the mayor's office on 01473 723896.

Facts about the rickshaw:

Though it may conjure up images of the Far East, but the rickshaw is originated in 18th century France as a sedan chair.

The Belgian Duchess of Namur was carried 130 miles in one journey by 40 French coolies.

The French brouette was the forerunner of the jinrikisha (jin meaning man, riki meaning power, and sha meaning carriage.)

East Asian runners can travel up to 50km a day.

Rickshaws were outlawed in China after human horsepower was considered degrading.