Word on The Saints – Reflections: Looking Back and Forward
As we look forward to a New Year, it’s worth taking stock of our year on the Saints. Against the backdrop of challenging times for our high streets, the Saints continues to strive to deliver a quality small high street experience.
We welcomed several new businesses to the Saints. We have Ipswich’s first Harry Potter shop, which has proved very popular. Emma’s Florist opened her second shop on St Peters Street. Jackie’s Deli has opened on the corner of Rose Lane; another great coffee shop. I Scream relocated to the courtyard adjacent to the Thomas Wolsey Pub and can now offer outdoor seating. The old Claude Cox building has new owners and renovations are continuing there. During the summer’s Heritage Weekend, the building was opened to visitors and some of us were lucky to attend the lecture on the history of the building and the area. On St Nicholas Street, Doorsteps gained a new owner, the Loft opened - offering beauty treat experiences with Prosecco! And finally, Palmers Estate Agents relocated to the top of St Nicholas Street.
Sadly, we said goodbye to a very dear friend and colleague, Malcolm Marriott, owner of Rovian Sports, who died in the summer. He had been a retailer in Ipswich for over 40 years both on St Peters and Queens Streets, he will be missed by many.
Some of the highlights of our year were the very successful Street Markets in June and December. It was great to welcome back lots of old friends and meet loads of new visitors. The Saints Community Interest Company was formed in June to enable the Traders to continue to support the local community. It was also exciting to see the Pyre Parade, part of the Spill Festival, march through the Saints in November.
Congratulations must go to Jenny Wren’s Yarns and Applaud Coffee for winning more awards in 2018; great to have award-winning neighbours amongst us! The Saints sadly didn’t make the final shortlist for the Great British High Street Competition, but we were highly commended.
As we look forward to 2019, the main focus for the Saints CIC will be to deliver more markets and events. With challenging times ahead for both the high street and the unknown effects of Brexit, the Saints wants to continue to provide a varied and interesting visitor experience: linking the town centre with its new plaza, to the beautiful Waterfront. We look forward to welcoming you in 2019, and thank you to all those who have supported us in 2018.