Town street celebrates the alternative

NESTLED just outside Ipswich town centre a thriving group of shops are today relishing in their very own cultural hub.An area located on Upper Orwell Street, Eagle Street and Fore Street has been branded by some as Ipswich's answer to London's Camden, the UK's centre for Goths, Rockers, Punks, Grungers, and all those eager to embrace the “alternative” lifestyle.

NESTLED just outside Ipswich town centre a thriving group of shops are today relishing in their very own cultural hub.

An area located on Upper Orwell Street, Eagle Street and Fore Street has been branded by some as Ipswich's answer to London's Camden, the UK's centre for Goths, Rockers, Punks, Grungers, and all those eager to embrace the “alternative” lifestyle.

Ipswich's very own, “Little Camden”, features a growing range of independent clothing shops, record and comic shops, a sex shop and tattoo parlour as well as cafés and bars, all helping to make it the trendiest part of town.

Michael Amilcar, 28, the co-owner of MILSAN, on Fore Street, a clothing and music store specialising in Urban clothing, reggae, R&B and Hip Hop CD's as well as skateboarding DVD's, said: “This area is good because it's away from the High Street and people want to escape that because everywhere is the same, whether you're in Manchester town centre or Ipswich.

“People want to break away from the “cloning look”, when you go to a party and there are ten other people dressed exactly like you, people want to choose for themselves.”

Fred Litley, manager of Pulse and Cocktails Superstore, a “sexy Superstore” on Upper Orwell Street, selling a range of interesting and sometimes risqué items, said the idea is to get the whole community involved and not just cater for a select “alternative” crowd.

Most Read

He said: “We want to get rid of the seedy side of being a sex shop and to get away from the image of the old man shuffling in to the shop to buy some dirty magazines. We have a lot of couples come in here and women on their own, which is nice to see.”

“It is a nice little community down here and it is different to the rest of the town.”

Next door, Chris Barnes and Janey Brooks are opening a tattooist and piercing shop, Skinwear, due to open within the next few weeks.

Ms Brooks said: “I really like this little road; you've got all your different nationalities for a start. It's a sweet little road, it is like a little Camden, and it's a concoction of lots of different things.”

Would you like to see more of an alternative scene in Ipswich? Do you think Ipswich has its very own “Little Camden”? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

> “Alternative” is the name given to a culture that exists outside or on the fringes of mainstream or popular culture.

These have included musical, cultural and political trends and movements in society such as Bohemianism, the rave scene, Goths, Hippies, New Age, Rockers and Ravers, Chavs and Skater Punks.

> Alternative culture was originally rooted in the development of new views of young people during the 1950s in Western Europe and North America with the emergence of the teddy boy and rock 'n roll music.

>It is widely thought that an alternative culture has stalled since the mid 1990s, since young people have adopted consumerism as a source of identity.

> Camden Town, in North London, is famous for its busy market and alternative scene.

It's population is diverse, with a large congregation of people, from Britain and abroad, following alternative subcultures such as goth, punk and emo.

For more information on “Little Camden” visit www.littlecamden.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter