From count to Carnival – how 2019 General Election is causing problems for Ipswich Corn Exchange

The Ipswich count in 2017. On December 13 council staff will have only hours to turn this scene into

The Ipswich count in 2017. On December 13 council staff will have only hours to turn this scene into a Winter Carnival. Picture by ASHLEY PICKERING - Credit: Ashley Pickering

The timing of the election has caused all kinds of problems for election planners – and nowhere more than at Ipswich council’s entertainments department which is responsible for the Corn Exchange.

The votes are being counted, as they always are, in the Grand Hall of the Corn Exchange on the night of December 12/13 - with the result likely to be declared (recounts permitting) between 3am and 4am.

However on the night of December 13 the Grand Hall is the venue of the town's first big Christmas Carnival Party - and for that it needs to be decorated and turned into a "magical kingdom."

This operation usually takes several days to complete - there are several Carnival Parties in the run-up to Christmas - but this time the staff won't have the luxury of days to get the place sorted out.

They'll be on hand as the last stragglers from the count struggle out in the early hours of the morning ready to start putting up the balloons, feathers and bunting to transform the hall.


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One thing that seems fairly certain - anyone who has been at the Corn Exchange the previous night probably will not want to be at the first Christmas Carnival Party! By the time that gets going they'll be happily putting their feet up at home and snoozing on the sofa with a glass of Pinot Noir (or whatever else they fancy) beside them!

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