Saturday 17 September 2011

A town called modest

Rabobank riding through Christchurch Park without a parkie in sight

I've never previously understood the phrase, "it'll be good for the town", often repeated by local newspapers and parochial councillors talking up some event. I heard a local official stating it on the radio yesterday when talking about the Tour of Britain. I could never quite work out what was meant by 'good', always assuming that whoever was saying it meant financially. Cynically I thought, 'great, so the local Chamber of Commerce is happy, but what about the people working in shitty jobs for crap money'. But today I got a sense that the phrase was as much about the perception of where you live. There are a lot of positive things happening in Ipswich at the moment, culturally and socially. Its not perfect, obviously, and lots of opportunities aren't being realised, but the Tour of Britain coming to Ipswich today did feel 'good'. It was great to watch the riders come through a local park as crowds lined the paths and cheered them on.

The Tour of Britain website says of Ipswich, "…the birthplace of Cardinal Wolsey [is] a modest town with a big ambition. Ipswich is in the throes of cultural renaissance now boasting a state-of-the-art new DanceHouse and University located along the rejuvenated Waterfront amongst a bevy of bistros and restaurants."

A modest town with big ambitions. I'll settle for that.

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