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Big Lego Ipswich Build attracts more than 3,000 visitors after volunteers complete week-long construction project

PUBLISHED: 15:42 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:42 19 March 2018

The Big Lego Ipswich Build invited children and adults from all over the town to get stuck in. Picture: COLCHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUM SERVICE

The Big Lego Ipswich Build invited children and adults from all over the town to get stuck in. Picture: COLCHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUM SERVICE

Archant

Forget child’s play – this Lego project brought all ages together in a quest to create the perfect minature town.

More than 3,000 enthusiastic adults and children gathered to view a replica ‘Lego Ipswich’ over the weekend, after it was lovingly constructed by a team of 750 volunteers.

The sold-out project, run by the staff at Ipswich Museum, invited budding architects from all over the town to contribute to the big build. Volunteers created a range of mini models, including replicas of the waterfront, Ipswich Town’s own Portman Road, and even the old castle.

Brickologist Brian Hewitt, who inspired builders with his towering replicas of the Willis building and Christchurch Mansion, said the turnout had been “unbelievable”.

Melanie Hollis, one of the collections and learning curators at Ipswich Museum, added it was a real “family community event”.

Millions of Lego pieces were used to construct some of the town's landmarks. Picture: COLCHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUM SERVICEMillions of Lego pieces were used to construct some of the town's landmarks. Picture: COLCHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUM SERVICE

She said: “It has done everything that we wanted it to do. It also fitted in perfectly with the Making of Ipswich exhibition.

“A lot of people have gone home really proud of where they live. It was a huge aim [of ours] for people to think about the good things about Ipswich.”

When asked whether it has been a challenge to manage the hundreds of children, including five school groups, who took part, Ms Hollis said the volunteers had been a dream to work with.

“Everybody really got on board with what the challenge was,” she added.

A miniature Ipswich Town in construction. Picture: COLCHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUM SERVICEA miniature Ipswich Town in construction. Picture: COLCHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUM SERVICE

“We want people to come and be noisy and active – museums aren’t about ‘hush hush’ and quiet anymore.”

However the week wasn’t just about child’s play, as fourteen teams of adults also went head to head to build some of the town’s more complex buildings and features. According to Ms Hollis, things got quite competitive as the grown-ups turned up to “get their geek on”.

Throughout the week, more than 400 people joined museum staff for three family build days, while 300 schoolchildren and teachers learned more about the town’s history in a bumper construction session.

The schools taking part included Birchwood, Mortland, Tattingstone and St Margaret’s primaries, Farlingaye High, and Ipswich Home Education Group.

The schools taking part included St Margaret’s, Farlingaye, Morland, Birchwood and Tattingstone. Picture: COLCHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUM SERVICEThe schools taking part included St Margaret’s, Farlingaye, Morland, Birchwood and Tattingstone. Picture: COLCHESTER AND IPSWICH MUSEUM SERVICE

Ms Hollis added that she wanted to thank the whole team at the museum for their hard work.

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