You've got a friend - in East Anglia

IF YOU are in need of a mate, look no further than right here in Suffolk because this region is the friendliest in the country.

Naomi Cassidy

IF YOU are in need of a mate, look no further than right here in Suffolk because this region is the friendliest in the country.

One in 20 East Anglians claim to have no less than ten best friends according to a new survey, and after taking to the streets of Ipswich, this certainly seems to be the case.

However those questioned around town seemed to have mixed feelings about the latest assertion that East Anglia is the cheeriest region in the whole of the UK.

The survey of 2,000 people nationwide, also revealed that three out of four East Anglians said they could trust their best friend 100 per cent.

Sergi Jarques, who is the insight manager at the East of England Tourism Board in Suffolk, first moved from Barcelona to the UK in 1993. He first settled in Swansea before moving to East Anglia, which he claims is the best place to live.

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He said: “The east has one of the best climates in the UK. It has got the lowest rainfall in the whole country and is the first to greet the sun every summer morning.

“Plus, the locals are friendly and the countryside is beautiful.”

Dr Susan Quilliam, a relationship psychologist based in Cambridge, said: “I live in East Anglia myself. It's a wonderful place to live, especially since I'm originally from Liverpool, which the survey has shown is one of the unfriendliest regions to live in the UK.

“If you're from East Anglia, that's wonderful - you must be lovely people and have loads of friends.”

Only one per cent of people surveyed in the north east of England said they had more than ten best friends and Londoners also scored low in this category, with just two cent claiming their group of friends exceeded ten.

Despite those in East Anglia rating honesty and dependability as the most important attributes in a friendship, one out of 20 admitted betraying their best buddies in the past.

Yet according to statistics, those living in Yorkshire and Scotland are more likely to betray their friends.

- Do you think Suffolk is a friendly place to live? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

- Frances Grimwood, 72, of Bentley, said: “A lot of people around here are friendly. It is a nice place. I suppose there are always going to be people that are not as friendly.

“I have quite a few friends. I think I probably have about 45 friends-some are from way back when I was at school.”

- Maurice Green, 73, from Broke Hall, said: “I have no complaint about the people in this area. People are generally friendly.

“I don't know if people would say I was a friendly person but I think I have at least ten friends.

“Some are not that friendly here but that is down to lifestyles rather than the area, I think.”

- Beryl Rice, 71, from Stoke Park, said: “Wherever you go here, it is generally friendly. It is always the way that some people are not friendly at first but once you become friends with them, it is for life.”

- Janis Clarke, 56, from Kesgrave, said: “I would say it is a very friendly area. There are about 14 in our circle of friends-all couples.

“Kesgrave is friendly because it has its own community.”

- Alexander Webb, 25, of Wherstead Road, said: “I wouldn't say it is especially friendly here. There are probably other friendlier places in the country. I haven't been everywhere in the region.

“There are probably more friendly people up north.”

- Keith Scott, 22, from Grange Farm, Kesgrave, said: “It is quite friendly here but I don't know if it is the friendliest place.

“When I went on a lad's holiday to Magaluf, everyone was really friendly when they were coming out of the clubs. If you bumped into someone, they were really nice when you said sorry but over here that would never happen.”

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