March 23 – An afternoon in Ipswich

Some field puzzles

Hello from 1066 – A Medieval Mosaic

I was desperate for a haircut so we decided to go into Ipswich for the afternoon. I was able to go straight in and a lovely Polish lady cut my hair while Mike went to visit St Mary-le-Tower. The reredos goes around three sides of the altar with gesso work and gilt on wood. East Anglian saints line the wall of the chancel and there is a Victorian sedilia in the sanctuary. There is another amazing transfiguration altar in the Lady Chapel and a Charles II royal coat of arms. There are some fantastic medieval bench ends and amazing bench ends. There are fabulous windows by O’Connor as well as Lavers, Barraud and Westlake.

When we met up again we walked down towards St Peter-by-the-Waterfront passing a statue of a rugby legend Alexander Obolensky. On 4 January 1936 Obolensky scored two tries on his England debut in a 13-0 victory over the All Blacks, the first time England had beaten New Zealand. We also passed bronze sculpture of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey by David Annand of Ipswich. When we arrived at St Peter-by-the-Waterfront, a traditional-style former church converted into a music and arts centre, with regular concerts, it was closed. We particularly want to see the Ipswich Charter Hangings but when we arrived we discovered it is only open on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm. The Ipswich Charter Hangings were commissioned by the Ipswich Arts Association to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the granting of a Royal Charter to Ipswich by King John, and are a major artefact celebrating the history of Ipswich. We were very disappointed not to be able to see them. It does have a fabulous metal door which was worth seeing.

On our way back through the marketplace, we saw the bronze statue of Giles’s “Grandma, Vera” and Butch the dog. Sculptured by Miles Robinson, 1993. Giles, created by cartoonist Ronald “Carl” Giles OBE faces the newspaper office window where Giles used to work.

I had noticed a series of field puzzles in Kesgrave which is on our way home and we decided to do them as it would make a nice change. The first puzzle was a large box containing a Where’s Wally picture and we had to find certain parts of the picture to give us the combination to open a padlock to the box holding the log. This didn’t take long and we walked along a wide track at the back of Kesgrave to find the next puzzle. The second one was a Cuban puzzle box which we came across while geocaching in Wales. While we knew how to open it, it still took us a few minutes to find the right corners and it just slid open. Such a cool puzzle! The third one was a plastic cube with a maze inside and a ball bearing which you had to get to a certain position in order to open the slider to the door holding the log. This took us a while as it needed a fair bit of dexterity and memory about where we were sending the ball. I finally worked out how to do it and was very excited to open the box. The fourth one was the easiest and was another combination lock with a little maths involved. The last one had us completely stumped though. We tried and tried. It was a bit similar to the Cuban puzzle box but not and although we got it open enough to find the keyhole but couldn’t get any further than that. In the end, we gave up and decided to see if Google would be able to help us. I found something similar but I don’t think it is the same thing, so the search continues.