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Summer Newsletter for The Hold


Welcome to the Spring/Summer 2017 newsletter for The Hold.  We’d like as many people as possible to know about our project, so please feel free to share this widely.

Announcing….a summer of Pilot Projects!
No…not that type of pilot!  We’re ‘piloting’ several exciting activities over the coming months, particularly across the school holidays, to test ideas from the developing Activity Plan that accompanies The Hold.Watch our website for  details of the dates and venues  (

The pilots include:

  • touring exhibition – exploring the story of the Red Barn Murder at Polstead, and using this as a springboard to explore other themes.
  • A ‘TED-style talk’ – students from the University of Suffolk are writing, producing and performing a filmed inspirational talk on the theme of Fake News, exploring the nature of trust in archives. Want to be in the live audience?  Email:
  • play based on the Red Barn Murder will be researched, written and produced by a local Bury youth theatre group “Bring out your dead productions” (BOYD).  They will perform the play in Polstead itself, the original site of the murder, and various locations.
  • An Oral History event at the Waterfront by the site of The Hold, in early July.   There will then be a series of travelling oral history ‘mantelpiece’ events.  These will record family stories based on the treasured objects and images on their mantelpiece or mantelpiece equivalent (e.g. a shelf, top of a sideboard etc.)

We’re also running pilot projects on the Mapping Suffolk’s Stories strand of the Activity Plan, including:

  • Northgate School – 13 male pupils will be exploring (with the help of the SRO team, their teachers and the University of Suffolk) the stories of their parents/grandparents experiences in coming to Ipswich.

(Above: some of the Northgate pupils on a visit to the Ipswich branch of SRO)

  • Headway (the brain injury association) – two groups from  Headway at Bury and Haverhill will be using our wonderful collections to explore memories and create archives-inspired artwork.
  • Suffolk Mind groups based at Quay Place will be researching and illustrating the stories from a WWI memorial plaque in church, and layering them on maps to display digitally.  They will also be crocheting poppies to use in a display featuring the WW1 plaque in November.

Suffolk Show 2017 provides first glimpse of designs for The Hold


(Above: concept sketch of the foyer area of The Hold)
We were very pleased to be able to share some preliminary concept designs for The Hold at this year’s Suffolk Show.  Further opportunities to look at designs are as follows:
  • September 4th to 20th at:
    • The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
    • Ipswich Record Office
    • The Waterfront Building, Ipswich
    • Sudbury and Stowmarket Libraries
    • Lowestoft Record Office
  • Formal planning application consultation – September 26th onwards
(Above: our intrepid team at the Suffolk Show – one of the busiest Shows we can remember!  Thanks for coming to say hello to us)

Suffolk Archives Foundation seeks Secretary and Fundraising Trustee


The Suffolk Archives Foundation (SAF) was established last year as a new, independent charity to support the Suffolk Record Office in their work.  One of SAF’s first projects?  Why, The Hold, of course!

The board of Trustees is currently seeking to appoint a Secretary and a new Trustee with special responsibility for fundraising.  If you have experience and you’d be interested in learning more about these roles, please contact to express an interest.

Suffolk Record Office in new feature on BBC Radio Suffolk!

(Above: BBC Radio Suffolk’s Lesley Dolphin, with Suffolk Record Office staff Bridget Hanley (L) and Amy Rushton (R))

The Record Office is grateful to be able to share news about The Hold project, Mapping Suffolk’s Stories, and Record Office events and collections on a new, regular slot with BBC Radio Suffolk’s Lesley Dolphin!  Tune in every month, on the second Monday of the month at 1.30pm. Missed it? You can listen to recordings of the sessions on the website of the Suffolk Archives Foundation.
Taking ideas from elsewhere!
Now that our architectural team (Pringle Richards Sharratt) are on board and busy developing preliminary proposals for The Hold, the Record Office has been on a fact-finding mission to other archives in the country, to see how other people have created an immersive and welcoming visitor experience.

Huddersfield University Archives and Archive Plus in Manchester (see below) are two such examples, both using the best of what digital technology can offer to seasoned archive users and new audiences alike.  The key learning points from these visits will inform the design of The Hold as well as the events and activities on offer.

Seen something you like at another heritage venue or archive?  Please let us know by emailing a

New film to promote The Hold
Did you know the Record Office has its own YouTube channel?  You can access it from the front page of the website ( and there you’ll find our new, short promotional film!  The short film gives an overview of The Hold project and includes some lovely images – please check it out!
New feature in Waterfront Life magazine
The Record Office was very pleased to join Waterfront Lif’ in April – a magazine which aims to raise the profile of Ipswich’s unique Waterfront.  A new, dedicated monthly feature will provide regular updates about The Hold and about Suffolk Record Office generally.
Available online at and in hard copy at a wide range of venues in Ipswich, this stylish magazine is well worth a read and the website is packed with useful information for residents and visitors to Ipswich and the Waterfront alike.
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