Where is Ipswich’s Nik Kershaw museum and is bacon allowed on the Isle of Wight? Oddest questions asked at Ipswich’s TIC

Christine Pilsworth and Karen Edwards are celebrating the 21st anniversary of the Tourist Informatio

Christine Pilsworth and Karen Edwards are celebrating the 21st anniversary of the Tourist Information Centre being in St Stephen's Church, in Ipswich. - Credit: Su Anderson

It has won numerous awards, helped people even after they have left the town and fielded some quite bizarre suggestions.

Now Ipswich’s Tourist Information Centre is celebrating 21 years based at its home in St Stephen’s Church.

And as it marks the occasion the centre has revealed some of the strangest questions asked of its staff.

Previously based in the Town Hall the TIC moved to the former church in 1994 – and has not looked back since.

Now it is a multi-award winning service having been named Best Tourism Service in Suffolk three times, Best TIC in the East of England twice and has twice been named in the Top 10 of around 600 TIC’s in the whole of England.

As well as telling visitors and residents all about the best Suffolk has to offer the TIC has also become a booking hub for those buying tickets for the Regent Theatre, the Corn Exchange and National Express coaches.

In those 21 years though the staff at the TIC have fielded some odd requests.

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Manager David Stainer said despite the undoubtedly amusing nature of some questions the staff had to keep a straight face.

“First of all we treat our customers with respect and do our best to help them,” he said.

“You never know what you’re going to be asked. They stand out because you get so many different enquiries.

“They are the ones that stick in your mind. We have a lot of fun with our customers as well.”

Mr Stainer added it had been a “fantastic experience” working in the church and the staff were proud of the awards it had won.

He said: “It means a great deal to staff. They are a great team.

“We have a variety of people and everyone knows different stuff.

“That’s what amazes me, someone new who has been here only a few weeks but knows how to find something I don’t.

“It’s that mix that makes it successful, like a quiz team.”