Friday, July 31, 2009

Sir Bobby Robson Statue


A legend in his time. A familar site for any visitor to Portman Road are the statues of both Sir Bobby Robson and Sir Alf Ramsey two of England's finest ever mangers.

Sir Bobby Robson


Sir Bobby Robson, originally uploaded by Running in Suffolk.

Sir Bobby at the final match of the 2007-8 season at Portman Road

Ipswich Town visit Feyenoord


Here is Sir Bobby and the Ipswich Town team visting Feyenoord. Sir Bobby is in the front row wearing the captains hat.

Sir Bobby Robson


It is a very sad day for all football fans with the passing of one of our greatest ever managers and gentleman of football.

Obviously at Ipswich we were fortunate to have the benefit of Robson as manager throughout the 1970's taking us to sucess in winning the FA Cup and the Eufa Cup. The league alluded us but I thank Sir Bobby for the fantastic memories which are unlikely to ever be repeated at our club.

He was a regular visitor to Portman Road even in recent years and I will load up one or two photos.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Victorian Photographers of Bury St Edmunds Suffolk


From what little I have found out so far on the Victorian & Edwardian Photographers of Bury St Edmunds I believe the following to be true but happy to be corrected.

A collection of carte de viste (cdv) and cabinet cards from Bury St Edmunds Photographers has been posted on my flicker site here and includes these photographers

W Spanton
W.S. Spanton
J W Clarke
JP Clarke
WM Aston
JH Gill
F Barkway

The photographer of these two photos is John Palmer Clarke whose studios were at Abbey Hill House now the Borough offices and 31 Abbeygate Street Bury St Edmunds

JP Clarke moved to Cambridge in 1903. He was in business in Bury St Edmunds from 1868 to 1903 so these photographs dates most likely from the 1880-90's.

JP Clarke was the son of John William Clarke also a photographer working in Bury St Edmunds at Abbey Hill House from 1868.

JP Clarke's apprentice Henry Issac Jarman bought the photographic studio at 16 Abbeygate Street which was run by WS Spanton from 1870 to 1901 when he retired. Two years later JP Clarke moved to Cambridge to work as a photographer.

William Silas Spanton was the son of William Spanton who was based at 16 Abbeygate St Bury St Edmunds from 1864 to 1870. William Spanton died in Jan 1870 at the age of 47.

JH Gill was based at 77 Whiting Street

William Aston was based at 83 St Johns Street now the home of the shop called Sunrise

Monday, July 13, 2009

Walberswick Suffolk


Walberswick is an area of outstanding natural beauty with its heath,marshlands and coastland. Though to many it is known as the home of the British Open Crabbing Championship which this year is held on 9th August. I have never taken part in this but know the event seems to grow every year with nearly 1000 entries last year.

Staying in Southwold to get to Walberswick you have a few options. You can drive about 8 miles back to the A12 and around the River Blyth. You can see Walberswick from Southwold just the otherside of the River Blyth and only a hundred yards so this seems the least sensible option. You can walk over to Walberswick and there are many routes which will take you through Walberswick Nature reserve. The most direct footpath will take you over the bailey bridge which is the former route of the old Southwold Railway line. The walk will only take you about 20 minutes from the centre of Southwold.

The 3rd option is to cross over the River Blyth by way of the ferry service. There is a footpath from Southwold Common leading to the ferry and is definitely an experience to try at least once. The ferry service has been run by one family for many years and there is a book to be bought telling the history of this service.

Walberswick has a long association with the arts and the English impressionist painters and when we there there was a party of some 20 painters at the sea front.

On the beach we had a competition to collect sea glass and hag stones. Most sea glass comes from bottles and is picked by beachcombers and is then used to fill jars or to make jewellery. Apparently according to the Sea glass association (yes there is one!) sea glass can be bought on e-bay but isn't necessarily authentic. Green and white sea glass was found which seem to be the more common coming from broken bottles there jagged edges long since being worn by the sea to a smooth service.

We also found many hag stones. What are they? Well they are stones that have a hole running right through the middle of them. They are also known by many other names such as wish stones, holy stones and nightmare stones. Hagstones have often been worn around the neck in the past to ward off evil spirits or at the end of a bed to prevent nightmares. The hole in the stone is created by centuries of wave action.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dunwich and Minsmere Suffolk

Using some maps produced by Wilfrid George and a book by Jean and Geoff Pratt on Pub Walks in Suffolk we set off from Southwold to Dunwich. If you have never been to Dunwich then this is a must visit place. It has an atmosphere of history of what was once there but has now been swallowed up by the sea. Coastal erosion known as long shore drift silted up the natural harbour and killed off the fishing port.

Over the last 1200 years half a mile of coastline has disappeared under the sea taking it with it many churches and houses for Dunwich was once one of the largest seaside ports in East Anglia.

If you have time visit the wonderful Dunwich Museum this is nearby the pub The Ship Inn which was where we parked to start our walk. I wore my Garmin 205 for this walk , I have only previously used it for running but wanted to test its battery life and how useful it might be for walking.

We set off up to St James church and past this along Sandy Lane which is an old roman carriageway. At Dunwich you will often see deer and along Sandy Lane we spotted a couple having a graze.

On this walk you soon emerge on to Dunwich Heath where heather and gorse is abundant. The sandy loam soil is soft to walk on and the coastal views are fantastic. This area is a mecca for bird watchers and we spotted many with expensive set ups attempting to photograph rare birds.

We had lunch here at the Coastguard Cottages where there are some great views from the cliff edge. This is now a National Trust site and there are some tea rooms and 1-2 holiday homes. You can of course question whether Sizewell Nuclear Power Station is an ugly eyesore but it is providing many local jobs.

The question of how we meet our energy needs is a difficult one and greener means such as wind power can only meet part of this. When you look at Sizewell with its white dome that can be seen for miles you know it is a potential menace which creates much needed energy but leaves behind a long time legacy of nuclear waste and what to do with it?

As a complete contrast to Sizewell you have the beauty of Minsmere and tempted by this we decided to extend our walk to follow a footpath shown on the Wilfrid George map around Minsmere.

Here there are a number of RSPB bird hides to get up close to the many different wading birds and the terns which are happy to dive bomb you if you get too close to one of their nests. When you reach the sluice gate there is a path which travels inland following the path of the Minsmere River. This was one of the best parts of the walk with the only noise to be heard to be that of reeds in the wind and the call of birds. There is a real sense of peace and quiet and you could have walked this path naked if you had wished as there wasn't another living soul to be seen! However soon after I mentioned this we did come across two other walkers so perhaps just as well we kept our clothes on.

The pathway emerges in the village of Eastbridge and if you are sensible you will stop at the fabulous pub The Eels Foot Inn. The food looked very good but we had packed a lunch so it was a liquid refreshment in the form of another pint of Adnams this time the aptly named Explorer.

Feeling refreshed we continued our walk over the dam at Minsmere River and continued along a minor road before turning up a wide footpath which serves as the access into Minsmere Nature Reserve. However rather than visit the RSPB centre we continued on up Saunders Hill to a place called Downzarland. No idea why it is called this but this area is full of these yellow flowers/weeds?

Returning through Dunwich Heath we decided to visit Dunwich Priory. Little remains here and again you are reminded of the devasting power of the sea. Once the home of an order of Franciscan Friars from the 13th century but there is evidence of a lot of repair work to the ruins that remain.

A short walk back to the car at the Ship Inn and we had according to the GPS walked a little over 10 miles and had a day to remember.

Reydon Suffolk


A wet morning after overnight rains as I set off on a run with a new place for me to explore. What can be better than to run not knowing where you are going and what you might find? Far too often as a runner I know I opt to run on a regular route. It offers familiarity, a chance to compare previous times over the same course but at times it is good to spice it up a bit by running different courses or perhaps running a course the other way round for a change.

When running a new course in a place you have never been before it can work out really well as you stumble upon great views, woodland, hills, animals and fauna. Or you can run up blind cul de sacs and end up running in circles and totally miss an exciting footpath.My run to Reydon was a bit like the latter.

The name Reydon means Rye Hill , don being an old English name for hill. Reydon is inland from Southwold and tends to suffer in comparison as the poorer relation. I might be being a little unfair but I tended to just run past endless housing and some of the roads were just a bit to busy to try running on for any distance. However with house prices in Southwold being astronomical and bought up by millionaires and any new housing development being very limited it is Reydon which has new housing and an expanding population.

I ran out to the the local church St Margaret's at Reydon.
I took my camera as usually and as I ran the weather improved and it stopped raining.

Many almshouses are proudly built and ensure the benevolence of its charitable founder is recorded and displayed for all to see and Matthews Almshouses at Reydon are typical of this.

My run was a slow one doing 7.1 miles in 1hr 3 mins 10 seconds.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Southwold Suffolk


Southwold along with Keswick and Bury St Edmunds have to be my favourite places in England. So what could be better than starting a weeks holiday in Southwold and staying in a cottage in the High Street just a few doors down from the former home of the author George Orwell.

Though Montague House was the home of Orwell (real name Eric Blair) this is largely ignored and hardly noticed as the locals and tourists alike enter the bigger attraction next door which is Marks Fish and Chips. Having been to Marks many a time who can blame them as they do serve some great fish and chips.

Montague House was the home of Blairs parents and it was here that Orwell wrote A Clergyman's Daughter during 1934. I have read many of the popular Orwell classics such as 1984, Road to Wigan Pier, Animal Farm and Down and Out in Paris & London but have never read this one. Perhaps just as well as Orwell him self desribed it as a load of bollox!

The small cottage we are staying at is called Pebbles Cottage and has room for 2 + 2 in a sofa camp bed. The cottage is small but comfortable with every thing you need being just five minutes from the sea front. The stairs at this cottage though are steep and you do have to have your wits about you to avoid a fall.

The ice cream and tea shop on the sea front in front of the Sailors Reading Room was as ever popular.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Risby Suffolk


An out and back run from Bury St Edmunds to Risby in Suffolk. A long lunch time run the weather being a litle cooler and less humid I felt a lot more comfortable then I have done for the last few weeks.

I ran out 5 miles my route taking me out along the Newmarket Road and under the A14 flyover before turning towards Risby past the crematorium. The edge of Risby village is reached at around 3.5 miles. As I wanted to do a 5 mile out and back I continued on along School Road before turning right along Hall Lane and then turning right along the Flempton Road.

What has also helped with the longer runs is drinking my own electrolyte drink before the run. For this run I just added a pinch of sea salt to a pint of squash and it seemed to help though it could simply be a placebo effect!

Since then it looks as if there many recipes for making your own sports drinks and ditching the expensive sports drinks you can buy such as Lucozade and Gatorade.
The recipe I am going to try first is this - One third cup of honey, 1 litre of water,and a pinch of sea salt . Many of the recipes suggest adding half a teaspoon of baking powder as well. Mix all the ingredients together and keep chilled. I will let you know after I have tested and tried this out a bit.
This was a good enjoyable run in Risby.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Training for the Ipswich Half marathon on 30 Aug 09

I don't think I have followed a training schedule for many years. Mainly because it can set you for a fall as unless your time is your own you are likely to miss some sessions. Once you miss a session you then feel you need to play catch up and add in extra runs or longer distances.

However I am going to give this Bruce Tulloh (Runners World) schedule a go as the discipline of set sessions might be just what I need to kick start some improvement in my running times which have been slow and getting slower.

I have adapted slighhty to suit my needs. Firstly I only have 8 weeks so I am 2 weeks short of the 10 week plan suggested by Tulloh. However I do have a good mileage base as I have generally been running 30 miles a week all year.

This plan peaks around 40 miles a week. Not a huge increase in mileage compared to what I am already doing but I have tried to include 2-3 quality sessions each week. The cornerstone being a long run which increases gradually each week.

I don't know the course at Ipswich but I assume there will be hills and I am hopeless at them. Everyone comes past me going up them, though I tend to pass the same people when going down the hill. So I am including some hill training as part of the quality trining sessions.

Now that the West Suffolk Athletics Track has reopened with the track having been relaid I will include a number of interval track sessions.

This said I am sure I will have problems keeping to this schedule - best laid plans an all ......

Total Miles
Jul 6
hill reps
Warm up, then 16 x 60 secs fast, 60 secs slow
Warm down
Rest 10M slow
Warm up, then 4 x 3 mins, with 3-min recovery jogs 7-8M slow

Jul 13
4M easy 6M,
Repetitions: 4 x 3 mins fast, with 2-min recoveries 5M easy Rest 1M jog, then 5M fairly fast, then 1M jog 10M

Jul 20
5M easy, off
6M, starting slow, finishing faster 3 x 5 mins fast, with 5-min jog recoveries 5M easy, inc 6 x 150m fast strides Rest
2M slow, then 1M fast, then 2M slow 10M

Jul 27
5M easy Rest 5M, inc 16 x 1 min fast, 1 min slow 6M easy Rest
1M easy, then 4-5M fairly fast, then 1M jog 11M steady

Aug 3

5M easy, off
Rest 8M, fairly fast 4M easy Rest or 3M jog 4M on grass, inc 6 x 200m strides 11M

Aug 10
5M easy, off
3 x 1M (or 3 x 5 mins), with 5-min recoveries 5M easy Rest
6-7M, inc 10 x 30 secs fast, 30 secs slow 10-12M steady

Aug 17
5M easy 5M,
16 x 1 min fast, 1 min slow
Warm up, then 2 x 2M (approx), timed, at threshold pace 5-6M easy Rest
1M easy, then 4-5M fairly fast, then 1M jog 10M steady

Aug 24
5M easy 6-7M at a comfortable pace Warm up, then 2M at race pace, then 2M jog 5M easy, inc 6 x 30 secs fast Rest 3M, in race kit Ipswich Half Marathon


Anyone else training for a half and can recomend a schedule that worked for them ?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Ipswich Music Day 2009


The downside of this years Ipswich Music Festival was the decision not to allow cars to park inside the park although you can understand the decision if this protects the grass in the park. However the event was again very enjoyable and the weather was good and we avoided any rain.

One of the bands to play at the Evening Star stage was Thee Vicars. One of the good things about watching a band at this early stage of their career is the knowledge that a band like Thee Vicars nine times out of ten will vanish and never make it beyond a little local exposure and playing the local scene (which some bands may be happy with ) or just occasionally a band will get what is often a lucky break and achieve national or world wide aclaim.

Who knows what will happen with Thee Vicars but clearly they have image with some reminders of the Beatles and The Jam in what they wear and there enthusium on stage.

Though the music is quite distinctive being a throw back to American garage rock from the 60's. American bands such as the Sonics, The Seeds and the Kingsmen are largely unknown today certainly by 99% of the population and you don't here garage music on the radio so credit to Thee Vicars for playing what they like and just maybe there can be a Suffolk Garage Band Scene! When the Clash played in Bury St Edmunds they said we're a garage band so Thee Vicars are in good company.

Certainly a band to look out for and to go and watch if you see them tour in your area.

Unfortunately they were't blessed with the best stage at the Ipswich Music Festival as several of the bands playing here seemed to have problems with the initial sound checks and set up. Bands playing at the the 102 FM and CRM stage seemed to fair better with sound quality.

That said Thee Vicars did there best and generated some atmosphere for a crowd several hundred strong that was largely sat on the grassy embankment surrounding the stage.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Ipswich Music Day 2009


You are very lucky if you have stumbled upon this blog entry by chance. Here at no cost to you is possibly the greatest dancer in the world. Every year he puts in an appearance at the free Ipswich Music Festival and never fails to wow the crowds. By close observation you cannot help but notice the many adoring fans looking on at the great unique dance moves being performed. Always the greatest dancer is imitated and in this video you will see two boys try to imitate the worlds greatest dancer and to some extent they manage it but keeping up with the unique moves are frankly just impossible for any mere mortal.

The worlds greatest dancer was spotted in Ipswich at 12pm and was still going strong wowing the crowds at least until 5pm when I was beaten and I had to give up and leave but the worlds greatest dancer was still going strong.

If you haven't been to Ipswich or Ipswich Christchurch Park then surely this video will make you think about it for 2010. Look out for the IPART festival at Christchurch Park in 2010 . The worlds greatest dancer has no inhibitions as frankly he doesn't care what you think. With the passing of the great Michael Jackson surely this man in the video is now the worlds greatest dancer. What do you think?

More videos and photos from the great free music festival to follow

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Stinging Nettle Run


One of the great things about running in warm weather is to be able to remove the layers and to run in shorts and short sleeved t shirt.

For this morning's run I thought I would head through the Fornham St Martins Golf course and folow the pathway along the River Lark out to Culford. I haven't tried this route for a while and running besides a river always makes it sightly cooler.

The run started well, the weather was great and the golfers were out in force and I had managed to duck any flying balls. The pathway through the weeping willow was a bit more difficult than normal as the gap had almost grown over and I had to slow to just check there was a pathway rather than something I had imagined and I was just running into a tree as you do.

Once through the tree the obstacles became a little more daunting and as you can see from the photos it became a bit more of a jungle and my running style became more of a hop as I lifted legs in strange angles to avoid the stinging nettles. It was inevitable that I would get stung and I did but perhaps not where you would imagine first. My hopping had been quite successful and whilst my legs didn't get stung my left elbow was the first to brush with Urtica Dioica the common stinging nettle.

This perennial has many stinging hairs known as trichomes whose tips come off when touched. The tips turn into into needles that then inject a number of chemicals such as histamine causing a sting. This is all part of a run and I managed to reach the bridge at Fornham St Martin and tried the footpath besides the river on the other side of the road but very quickly gave this up as the overgrown foilage and stingers were slowing me down to a slow jog and sting.

Instead I headed for the Parkgate Woodland Walk at Fornham St Genevieve. This is a small woodland area but worth a visit. there are a number of signboards with information linked to the history of Fornham including the battle that took place here. Running under the canaopy of the trees was nice and cool and I returned home via the road giving the riverside path a miss!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Ipswich Half Marathon

Now i've gone and done it! I have entered the Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon on 30th August 2009. This is the first running of this race and what appeals is a chance to run around around the town centre of Ipswich.

To date there are are only 408 entries and the race can accept 1500 so uptake seems a little slow and I can only see one other entry from a Saint Edmund Pacer my running club. However I am sure the race entries will grow and be sold out by the time of the race.

My worry with the race is hot weather but it is at least an early 9am start so that is very good. My other worry is a switch of the Ipswich Town match due on the previous day Saturday to the same day as the race for tv coverage. Hopefully this won't happen but if so I am sure I can get a shower and go on to the match after wards.

Now I have a target to build my training through July and August and will need to build up my long runs to get the confidence to complete the distance. Anyone else out there running at this event ? What are you running next ?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Run to Ann Hathaway's Home


After yesterday's indoor run on the treadmill I was determined to get out doors for a run around the tourist spots of Stratford on Avon. At 7am it was nice,sunny and quiet and I was able to visit the tourist sites and take photos without cars and people in the way as a distraction.

I started of by visting Shakespeare's birthplace.Wiliam Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Henley Street. Two years ago I did visit his home which you enter though a visitor centre and there are many exhibits depicting his life. There is much to see with original books in glass cabinets. However what you really pay your money for is to see the home where he was brought up as a child. The only disapointment is the feeling of being on a conveyor belt as you are unable to stop and look for too long in any room as so many people visit this house that you just have to keep moving. The floors are worn down by the no of visitors.

I didn't no where I was going on my run but I found William Shakespeare'home very easily. When you are running in a starnge town I tend to run in straight lines as much as possible so I can find my way back . By chance I came to a place called Shottery a small hamlet outside of Stratford. Here is the the home of Anne Hathaway the wife of William.

It is clearly a major tourist attraction as the hamlet is dominated by the the house and the surrounding car park and a garden walk beside a stream. Hathaway married Shakespeare in 1582. They had three children Susanna, Hamnet and Judith which isn't a lot compared to many familes of this age but reflects the fact that Shakespeare spent a lot of his time in London whilst Anne stayed in Stratford. The farmhouse that Anne Hatahaway gew up in is an impressive building with 12 bedrooms substantialy larger than Shakespeare's home.

On my route back into Stratford I visited the Holy Trinity Church church where Shakespeare is buried. Close by is the home of one of Shakespeare's daughters Susanna who married an eminent doctor John Hall. This looks perhaps to be one of the better homes to visit and an impressive home and garden.

I used up my remaining time to make up to 7 miles by running along by the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre which is clearly undergoing a lot of refurbishment folowing floods two years ago.

The canal looked inviting for a dip as I ran past it and I was asked for directions and times of the nearest ferry as I ran past.

I returned to the hotel after my run long before many of the other guests at the conference had stirred from their sleep.

Now playing: The Lillingtons - War of the Worlds
via FoxyTunes
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