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After the disappointment of a rainy start, last Sunday, to the Friends of Christchurch Park's summer season of brass band concerts, the sun smiled on Christchurch Park today (Sunday 24th July), when the Ipswich & Norwich Co-Op band entertained an appreciative crowd that eventually swelled to well over three hundred.

Sponsors of this occasion, the Ipswich Society, once again laid on complimentary champagne, and never seemed to turn anyone away. Their generosity as sponsors is very much appreciated by the Friends, and their generosity with the bottle was appreciated by one and all.

The band was in top form, and impressed with the breadth of their repertoire - Aida; Gershwin (the lovely, Someone to watch over me); Les Mis; a James Bond medley; the fiendishly difficult 633 Squadron; and a Disney medley towards the end. No wonder we clapped and cheered!

The fabulous Suffolk Phoenix Brass kicked off the Friends of Christchurch Park's summer series of Brass on the Grass concerts in fine style - despite the weather doing its best to dampen spirits.

 

Ten minutes before the scheduled start it loooked as though all the efforts of the Park staff (thank you Trevor and his team) to put out the chairs were in vain. But as David Routh took to the microphone to announce the band, the skies lightened and what followed was an hour and a half of pure pleasure.

 

The band - led by maestro Keith Nice - began and ended appropriately with "Singing in the Rain", but the crowd (that swelled in number to about a 100) enjoyed a variety of band numbers to please all ears.

 

After the interval, the rain returned with a vengeance and so the decision was made to shorten the afternoon just a little. But it was a wonderfully enjoyable event and the Band in particular are to be thanked for their enthusiasm and skills despite raindrops occasionally falling on their heads.

Christchurch Park is going global!

The festival of Global Rhythm, held in the Park on 2 July, currently features on the front page of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago's website.

Described on the webpage as "an explosion in cultural arts from around the Caribbean", this event was supported by His Excellency the High Commissioner Mr. Garvin Nicholas who enjoyed the day alongside "thousands of British nationals". 

Tens of thousands of music lovers flocked to Christchurch Park, today, for the 20th annual Music Day - part of Ipswich's immensely successful Ip-Art programme of events.  With six sound stages, there was something for everyone over the eight hours of the musical day.

Estimated attendance last year was 40,000 and, given th density of the crowds throughout the afternoon, there seems every chance that there may have been even more there today, enjoying this magnificent free show.

The Friends of Christchurch Park would like to announce the launch of their new website www.focp.org.uk

Our goal has been to create a site which is both an invaluable source of information about the Park, and also gives details of and links to all the events (organised by the FoCP, Ip-art, the Mansion, the Council team and many other external bodies) that attract visitors to the Park throughout the year.

We hope the site is attractive as well as useful, and invite visitors to contribute to our expanding photo-gallery.  For up-to-date news or information, why not also pay a visit to our dedicated Facebook page? www.facebook.com/ChristchurchParkIpswich

We are indebted to Ruth Cheesley of Virya Technologies (www.viryatechnologies.com) for her significant donation to the Friends in building the site at a cost that the Friends could afford.

Ipswich provided a great welcome home for 4 Regiment Army Air Corps at a march-past and ceremony in the Town centre and then in Christchurch Park.

The Wattisham-based regiment, which has the Freedom of the Borough of Ipswich, has recently returned from a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan, where its Apache helicopters formed a vital part of the allied forces.

On Landguard Point is a major project, funded by Arts Council England as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, and was launched in front of Christchurch Mansion this morning. OLP is a project about "Home", and explores how we construct our diverse notions of home, what home means to each of us, and what it means to host others in our home.

Coins arrive at Christchurch Mansion

A hoard of Iron Age coins found in a pot in a field in Suffolk is to go on display at Christchurch Mansion from tomorrow (22nd June 2011) until October. 

Cobbold Exhibition at the Reg Driver Visitor Centre
An exhibition at the Reg Driver Visitor Center, looking at the history of the Cobbold family in Ipswich, and the enduring story of Margaret Catchpole, was inaugurated on the 8th April, and will continue until the 10th April 2012.  The driving force behind the exhibition is the Cobbold Family History Trust, and its Keeper, Anthonty Cobbold, gave a fascinating introduction to the event.