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The Queen is coming to town

PUBLISHED: 16:05 27 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:23 03 March 2010

HER Majesty The Queen will visit Ipswich as one of the highlights of her Golden Jubilee Tour. In a massive boost for Suffolk's county town - and its hopes for city status to be bestowed in Golden Jubilee year - The Queen has pinpointed Ipswich for one of the major visits of the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

HER Majesty The Queen will visit Ipswich as one of the highlights of her Golden Jubilee Tour, The Evening Star can exclusively reveal today.

In a massive boost for Suffolk's county town – and its hopes for city status to be bestowed in Golden Jubilee year – The Queen has pinpointed Ipswich for one of the major visits of the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

The visit, which will include a tour of Ipswich's blossoming Waterfront area, is a glorious reminder of the Silver Jubilee tour – when The Queen came to Ipswich in 1977.

During her Suffolk visit, in July next year, Her Majesty is also planning to visit Bury St Edmunds. Today both the county's first and second towns were "thrilled and delighted" at the honour.

In Ipswich, civic leaders and police chiefs already are beavering away at the fine detail of the visit – with crowd control and security at the heart of their early brief.

Ipswich council chief executive James Hehir said this afternoon that the visit would be "a major boost to the standing of the town and a great boost to the local economy".

He said further details would be unveiled in coming weeks.

The visit will be a massive fillip for the rejuvenated Waterfront area of Ipswich – where business is mushrooming and where hopes are high that the transformation from relative dereliction to model business community will be further boosted.

During her time in Ipswich there are hopes the Queen will go to the Town Hall and Corn Exchange and wave to crowds from the balcony – although this will present the town with a major challenge. For the building is in need of a major "sprucing up" operation and the clean-up will need to start soon into 2002.

Thousands are expected to line the streets, in a cavalcade of colour and celebration, with children at the heart of the proceedings. Many Suffolk schoolchildren – in their last week of term before the summer break, will be taken to line the streets.

The festivities will ensure both Ipswich and Bury will be awash with colour, with hundreds and thousands of banners and flags to hail her arrival.

Dozens of street parties are expected to be planned for the grand occasion and The Evening Star has already launched a competition in which organisers will be able to win part of a £5,000 pot to pay for their event.

Although the full details of her itinerary have not been revealed, Her Majesty is also expected to be greeted by the Ipswich Mayor of that year – who has not been announced yet.

It mirrors her previous royal visit 25 years ago on July 11, 1977, when she chatted to youngsters on the Cornhill and there was a civic reception in the Town Hall.

Ipswich MP Jamie Cann was overjoyed with the visit to the town.

He said: "It is smashing news for Ipswich. It implies the kind of recognition that the town deserves. We are a growing town and it is pleasing that she is going to see the things we are doing over a number of years – with private enterprise, public enterprise and the media all working together for our town. It is great news and we are all proud to welcome her."

She is also planning a tour of Bury St Edmunds as well as taking a trip to Norfolk during the two days.

Her visit is all part of an exciting calendar of events planned to celebrate The Queen's 50 years on the throne.

Festivities will be concentrated on the summer months of May, June and July 2002.

The official weekend of national celebrations will take place over the weekend of June 1-4.

A spokeswoman from Buckingham Palace said: "It is too early to give the details of Her Majesty's visit yet.

"She will be spending a day in Norfolk and Suffolk, or even a couple of days."

She added it is part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Tour where she will be visiting places across the UK.

THE QUEEN'S GOLDEN JUBILEE PROGRAMME:

May 1-2 South west of England (including Cornwall, Devon and Somerset).

May 7-8 North East of England (including Tyne and Wear and Durham).

May 10. South East of England (Buckinghamshire and Berkshire).

May 23-29 Scotland

June 1-4 Jubilee weekend in Windsor and London

June 7 The South East of England (West Sussex)

June 11-13 Wales

June 27 Visit to the armed forces, Portsmouth.

July 2-3 West Midlands (including Staffordshire and Warwickshire).

July 11-12 Yorkshire and Humber (including West Yorkshire and East Riding)

July 17-18 East of England (including Suffolk and Norfolk).

July 24-26 North West of England (including Merseyside and opening the Commonwealth Games in Manchester).

July 31-August 1 East Midlands (including Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire) and Yorkshire and the Humber (North Lincolnshire).

August 4 Closing of the Commonwealth Games.

August 5 North West of England (Lancashire).

Copyright THE EVENING STAR 2001

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