April  2017
History of the Ipswich Co-operative Society

Christian Bone,  Head of Community Engagement, East of England Co-op 

Mr Bone illustrated his talk with many slides of the various shops over the last 150 years.  The East of England Co-operative Society is an amalgamation of smaller societies from across East Anglia which have joined together over the years. Most recently, the Colchester and East Essex Co-operative Society merged with the Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society in 2005.  George Hines was  the Secretary of Ipswich Co-op from 1869–1873

The consumer co-operative movement has its roots in the early part of the nineteenth century and the principles of self-help and social equity that developed during the Victorian era.

The first successful retail co-operative was established in 1844 by the Rochdale Pioneers with seven rules: Open membership; Democratic control; Distribution of surplus on proportion to trade; Payment of limited capital; Political and religious neutrality; Cash trading and Promotion of education.

The Ipswich and Norwich Society was the product of an amalgamation, in 1993, of the Ipswich Co-operative Society (known as the Ipswich Industrial from 1868 to 1968 and incorporating, since 1991, the engagements of the former Stowmarket Society, established 1889) and the Norwich Co-operative Society (formed in 1858).  The Colchester and East Essex Society was founded as Colchester Co-operative Society in 1861, expanding through merger with the following co-operative societies

The East of England Co-op is currently made up of 270,848 active members from Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

Following a question and answer session the Chairman John Southgate thanked  Christian for a most interesting and enlightening address and the meeting generously thanked them in the usual way.

March 2017
Past, Present and Future (stages CP5, CP6), and Beyond of the Railway
Simon Breatherton Planning & Scheduling Manager from Network Rail

Mr Breatherton began by saying that everyday 4 million people use the network and they are now carrying 50% more passengers than 10 years ago.  There are also 40,000 more passenger trains each year than in 2009 and freight moved has increased by 13%.  Simon illustrated these figures in more detail with slides of passenger growth since the 60's and he said that out of the 25 European countries the UK was equal first with Denmark for passenger and workforce safety.  The UK had 2.6 fatalities per billion train km, the worst being Bulgaria with 135.0 fatalities per billion train km.

He went on to describe the progress after the High Level Output Specification (HLOS) Railways Act 2005 Statement where the proportion of the national electrified network since 2013 and after HLSO has gone from 40% to 51% which was an increase of 3000 single track km.  In Stage CP4 the investment was £200m and this has now risen to £4bn in Stage CP5, mainly in the central section of the country, the midlands and the west main line to South Wales.  Each area of the country has been divided in to four sections; North East & Scotland; Central; Wales and the West and finally Southern, which includes East Anglia.  The partners of each section are made up of several major contractors giving benefits of structure which are carrying out the work.

This work not only involves the installation of overhead electric lines but includes other construction work, new and realignment of track, raising of bridges for overhead line clearance, with platform alterations and extensions to accommodate longer trains.  In addition to the work it has been necessary to update the National Rail Standard and providing for the training of additional engineering professionals and technician staff.  The creation an Electrification Academy and organising the supply chain of materials, equipment and people.

A High Output Plant System (HOPS), a "factory train", was specified designed and built, which can work in the "midweek night possession time" to carry out the reconstruction of one tension length of line over a 6hour shift.  This is the time between the last train at night and the first train in the morning whilst the other tracks are still live though trains have to travel at reduced speed while in the vicinity of the work.

Simon also explained the rest of the logistics of the operation and showed several videos of the actual operation of the HOPS train.

Following a question and answer session the Chairman John Southgate thanked  Simon for a most interesting and enlightening address.  The meeting generously thanked him in the usual way.

Some interesting web links

February 2017
CIBSE Lighting Guide 5 (LG5) Lighting for Education
Sonia Pepperell BA (Hons.), MSLL,  Lighting Design Engineer from  Thorlux Special Projects - Commercial, Education and Healthcare Division, along with Mark Ellis, (Area Manager) and Chris Ellis (Lighting Design Engineer).

Sonia began by giving the background to the guide which had its origins in the 1963 Illuminating Engineering Society's  'Lecture Theatre and their Lighting' guide which culminating in the LG5.  This brings together aspects of LG7, Part L, BSEN12464-1 and BS5266.

She concentrated on lighting in the classroom, the objective to be able to work, give visual interest, have good facial modelling and lighting that it is not boring.  Cylindrical Illuminance is one important factor which is the light on a vertical plane around 360 degrees and the other is a Modelling Index which describes the ability of light to reveal form.  This is especially important for the teacher / pupil relationship for them to see each others expressions.

Another effect is that of daylight on the biological clock.  How it affects our sleep /wake cycle, the changes in our core body temperature, hormone secretion and mood, all of which effects learning rates, concentration levels and comfort.  Getting  these right and can give improved learning rates which mean that in the educational environment lighting needs be dimmable depending on the amount of daylight that is entering the room and the lighting requirement of the room.  It also need to be varied depending upon the age of the class and whether it is a day or night class.

Sonia also covered the aspects of the type of fittings, how they are positioned, mounted.  Finally covering emergency lighting, escape routes and signage.

Following a question and answer session the Chairman John Southgate thanked  Sonia and here team for a most interesting and enlightening address.  The meeting generously thanked them in the usual way.

After the lecture members were able to examine various light fittings that the team had brought with them.
A number of guests were also welcomed for the lecture.

January 2017   President's Evening,
Being Mayor of Ipswich.
Councillor Roger Fern, Mayor of Ipswich

Dr Steve Chicken introduced Councillor Roger Fern, the Mayor of Ipswich for 2016-2017.
Mr Fern said that this is the second time he had been chosen to be Mayor, his first was in 2004 and went on to explained that the duties of Mayor are to chair the council meetings and the rest are largely ceremonial.  His chosen two charities to support during his year in office were, the Ipswich Housing Action Group (ihag) and the Alzheimer's Society.  His consort this time was his eldest grand daughter Elli, and he is supported by Andrew Beal the Town Sergeant.

Roger spent time in describing the Borough Regalia, its history and its intricate details and then went on to describe the history of Ipswich from its earliest times when it was first an Anglo-Saxon settlement called Gip's wic (gip meaning bend and  wic = port).  It is believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited town in England.

He then continued to tell us about other aspects of Ipswich's history of the famous people born in the town, the history of some of the ships built on the Orwell  and their innovative designs.

Finally told us of the various functions that he has attended during his year of office which ends in May 2017.

Following a question and answer session the Chairman John Southgate thanked  Councillor Roger Fern for a most interesting and enlightening address and the meeting generously thanked him in the usual way.

Interesting links

November 2016
"Getting it Right and Getting it Wrong". 
John Norman, Chairman of the Ipswich Society

Roger Hayward Introduced Mr John Norman, to speak to us on Planning and Development in Ipswich.
John began by showing us two pictures of Bramford Road, the first, taken in 1930 when there were no cars parked in the road and the other, taken recently when cars are parked outside nearly every house.  Then  that of another one a street where cars were parked either side of a narrow road and the street full of wheely bins.

He then went on to describe the reasons for the original development of Greyfriars which was to provide incentives for the proposed doubling of the size of Ipswich by London overspill.  This did not happen and how Ipswich was left with a grey concrete monstrosity, a night club in the middle of a roundabout and shops that opened for a few weeks then closed because of low footfall.

Ipswich town centre lies in a bowl and originally it was possible to lookout in each direction and see green trees on the hills but now the skyline is obstructed or broken by tall buildings all in inappropriate places.

Clean looking houses are now plastered with satellite dishes as planning permission is not required which also goes for a lot of small additions that can be added to domestic properties.

In 1987 there was a proposal for an extension to Marks &Spencer which would have meant demolishing buildings to the east of the store and the old William Pretty factory to provide a shopping mall and car park as far as Tower Ramparts.  This development ground to a halt after the William Pretty factory was demolished by the contractors and the developers ran out of money and we're now left with just a car park in its place.  M&S went on to extend their existing building.

John carried on describing various projected developments around the town where the designs for buildings were submitted for planning permission, sometimes they were approved and sometimes they were not.  If rejected the developers would appeal to the independent inspectors who might go against a planning committee decision or not.  Where permission was granted, the developers might change their ideas, re-submit various modifications, or not even complete what they started.  What might have started out as a grand plan ending  up a mediocre building.  He went on to talk about the Waterfront and  that the Irish Bank now owns much of it, and the likelihood of it ever being finished.  John gave us many examples of both where things went well and where they did not.

Following a question and answer session the Chairman  John South gate thanked  Mr Norman for a most interesting and enlightening address and the meeting generously thanked him in the usual way.

October 2016 
"What a Stroke of Luck" Tom Tyler

The Secretary, David Stokes, introduced Tom Tyler to the members and invited him to give his talk.
It was entitled "What a Stroke of Luck" and was about a number of events that occurred during the second world war which were to the Allies advantage and these are a few to which he drew our attention.

He began by reminding us of the film the Longest Day and the D Day landings and asked the question, did Hitler ever go to sea? Hitler was an army man so he was content on conquering Europe first, and Britain was an island and a sea faring nation.

After the Allied withdrawal from Dunkirk Hitler could have invaded Britain but did not which gave Britain time to build up its numbers of aircraft and rebuild its defences. It was also lucky that the pilots were told to bomb the East of England but not London, for fear of Berlin being bombed in retaliation.

Then there was the occasion when a Royal Navy Destroyer having depth charged a U Boat in the English Channel, saved the crew, and was able to capture an Enigma cipher machine and code books before it sank. The Germans were not aware of this and this assisted the British code breaking effort.

When Hitler switched his attentions to Russia he lost half a million men who perished in the Russian winter because they not prepared for the weather.

In North Africa, Montgomery was able to gain the upper hand after an American was recalled to the States, as his phone calls, via Italy, were being intercepted and the information was being relayed to Hitler.

Early on, Churchill had tried to get the US involved in War but it was not until the Japanese staged a pre emptive strike on Pearl Harbour did it convince them to join in.

When a Norwegian spy spotted the Bismarck sailing into the N Atlantic, the battleships HMS Hood & Prince of Wales were sent to intercept in the Denmark Straits. The Hood was sunk and the Prince of Wales was seriously damaged. The Bismarck also suffered damage and was leaking fuel oil. It tried to sail to Brest for repairs but was spotted by an RAF Fairey Swordfish biplane torpedo bomber which scored a hit on the steering gear, jamming the rudders so it sailed round in circles. It was then neutralized by the other ships and scuttled by its crew.

The Turpits was sunk by Tallboy bombs, invented by the famous engineer Sir Barnes Wallis, who also invented the bouncing bombs which destroyed the dams in the Ruhr and Eder valleys

When the Germans upgraded the Enigma cipher machine to the Lorenz, due to a message being repeated when an operator forgot to change combination, it enabled the British to subsequently crack the cipher.

The weather before the Allied, D Day, invasion of France was dreadful but a window of calm occurred just at the right time. These are just some of the examples quoted by Tom in his talk.

Following many question at the end, the Chairman thanked Tom for a spell binding and very interesting talk and the meeting showed their appreciation in the usual way.

September 2016
Generating Electricity Offshore- Gavin Green and Joanna Young

The Ian Manning introduced Gavin Greene, Principal Electrical Engineer and Joanna Young, Stakeholder Manager from Scottish Power Renewables, to talk to us on the aspect of Generating Electricity Offshore.
There are a number of tough technical challenges in building an offshore wind farm. From the wind turbine generator through the 66kV "medium voltage" collector system, to the offshore substation and then a 120km of high voltage 220kV cable back to the onshore substation. Gavin described Scottish Power's involvement in the East Anglian Zone wind farm. These will include East Anglian One (714 MW) the first, the East Anglian Three (1200MW), East Anglian One North(800MW) and East Anglian Two (800MW)

East Anglian One comprises up to 102 Siemens 7MW wind turbines, two offshore substation platforms with their jacket foundations and two seabed export cables, around 73km in length, with the landfall site at Bawdsey.

The onshore Infrastructure is: the underground cables from Bawdsey which is a 37km route of 2 circuits for EA ONE and ducts for the future EA THREE; horizontal directional drilling under the Deben, the A12, A14, the railway, Miller's Wood (beside the Bramford Substation), an underground connection to National Grid Substation and a new AC substation.

There will eventually be up to six onshore underground cables around 37km in length, and another onshore substation next to the existing substation at Bramford. Construction starts in the first quarter 2017, using a new generation of wind turbines. EA ONE will be capable of powering over 500,000 homes and creating up to 3000 jobs.

A future project is the East Anglia THREE (1,200MW) wind farm, again with landfall at Bawdsey and using the cable ducts laid during the installation of EA ONE to connect to the Bramford substation. There is future proposal for a HVDC converter stations for EA THREE.

Gavin illustrated his talk with many slides and diagrams of the project, including the route that the onshore cables will take from Bawdsey to the National Grid Substation at Bramford. This is a diverse route where the cables are being routed under the river Deben a few miles from its mouth, following various boundaries, south of Woodbridge then north round Ipswich and on to the Bramford substation.

The wind turbine nautilus stands at about 90 metres above the sea bed the blades of the turbine are 75 m long with a rota diameter of 154 m The Generator is direct drive as opposed to the gear box coupled type of earlier styles of generators.

Following many question through out the talk and at the end, the Chairman then thanked Gavin and Joanna for a very interesting lecture. The meeting generously thanked them both in the usual way.