Gem in heritage tour

A RESTORED machine room that once played an important role in the local brewing industry is the latest attraction on a heritage days tour.

Some of Ipswich’s most impressive buildings will be opened up to the public over the weekend of September 11 and 12, giving history enthusiasts behind-the-scenes access.

Dianne Hosking, of The Ipswich Society, which has organised the weekend, said: “This year we have got Isaac Lord opening their machine room for the two days.

“The machines haven’t worked for years but now they all up and running and the owner is very proud.”

John Jackaman, general manager, said the restoration was undertaken at the end of last year and they were excited about taking part in the open days for the first time.

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“The machine deserves to be looked at – it is so unusual to have a machine like that fully restored,” he said.

“You won’t see another one like it in Suffolk. Parts of the machine date back to the 18th Century.

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“It was used for the brewing industry and one of the pieces was used to grind down oats to feed horses at the Tolly Cobbold Brewery.”

Holy Trinity Church will also be taking part for the first time.

The rare Georgian church, in Back Hamlet, Ipswich, is deemed one of the town’s best-kept secrets.

But all that will change as guests are shown the remarkable stained-glass window which commemorates those who lost their lives in the First World War.

“There are 29 places taking part this year and we are being supported by Ipswich Transport Museum – they will be running a bus that will be going around a few of the venues,” Dianne said.

“Last year we had thousands of people come, and not just from Ipswich either, they came from all over Suffolk and even Essex. There were more than 1,000 visitors at the Tourist Information Centre and 600 at the University Campus Suffolk.

“The Freemasons Hall is always quite popular because everyone wants to see what they do. And Admiral’s House, which is a private library, is really interesting. It looks like something out of Harry Potter.”

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