News from the Dorian Singers

Our summer concert Curtain Up! proved to be a memorable evening of music and was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience and performers. It was a truly wonderful occasion, although tinged with sadness, as it would be our last under the baton of the very capable Alan Loader.

This September we start afresh with local musician and composer Brian Latchem as our new conductor. He is, however, no stranger to the Dorians as he was our assistant musical director for many years.

Rehearsals will start on Wednesday 7 September at our usual venue, Trimley St Martin School, at 7.15pm in preparation for our next concert, Christmas Joy, which clearly has a seasonal theme with some audience participation. The concert will be held on Sunday 11 December at 3pm at Trinity Methodist Church, Felixstowe.

New members are always welcome to join us, especially tenors and basses. For more details please contact our chair, Mrs Jean Shaw on 01394 448783 or visit You can find us on Facebook too.

Felixstowe Family History Society

We resume our series of speaker meetings after the summer break on Wednesday 14 September. Our speaker will be Chris Broom with his topic, Humour in Genealogy.   

A native of Hackney, London, Chris studied modern languages at Nottingham University in the early 1970s, before embarking on a 40-year career in banking. Prior to his retirement, Chris’ interest in family history was sparked by a request from his father to find his biological parents. 

Chris describes genealogy as an all-consuming passion upon which he now spends most of his waking hours, leaving his wife to joke that she is a ‘genealogy widow’. Chris is a graduate of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Canterbury, where he feels privileged to be a course tutor. He also runs a family history research and education business ( from his home in Suffolk, specialising in East Anglia and Heraldry. In addition, he is chairman of the Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group and promotes the study of family history at every opportunity. 

Chris’ talk will be preceded by the society’s Annual General Meeting at which officers and committee members, who will serve for the coming year, will be elected. 

All our evening meetings are held in Broadway House, Orwell Road, on the second Wednesday of the month. Please take your seats by 7.30pm. The adjacent municipal car park is free in the evening and is accessed off Highfield Road. 

There is no charge for members of Felixstowe Family History Society & members of Felixstowe History and Museum Society to attend. Guests and visitors are most welcome and will be asked to pay £3 at the door. 

In addition to our speaker meetings, Felixstowe Family History Society holds drop-in sessions for anyone, members and non-members, who want to move forward in finding the story of their forebears. We would love to share our enthusiasm and expertise and we have the facilities to help. Sessions are held at Broadway House on the last or fourth Friday morning of most months. For details, see our website:

We are holding a drop-in session on the 23 September. For the benefit of those who are housebound, we endeavour to hold all our meetings on Zoom as hybrid meetings. If you wish to participate in this way, do send an email to with an indication of your membership status. 

Nicholas Smith, Felixstowe Family History Society 

Felixstowe Garden Club

Following a busy August, 50 members enjoyed a coach trip to Hyde Hall Flower Show, a Show Prep Social evening with Gardeners Question Time and our Grow It and Show It Annual Show. We enter the autumn season with a speaker who doesn’t really need an introduction, but who could it be?  

Ken Emery, President of Felixstowe Garden Club and Felixstowe Fuchsia Society, local and national judge for horticultural shows, is an expert on all things fuchsia. Ken has a wealth of knowledge and experience of these plants so is an ideal speaker to tell us all about Growing, Showing and Enjoying Fuchsias. It’s an evening not to be missed.  

Join us for this enjoyable evening with fellow members, visitors and friends on Tuesday 13 September, 7pm at Old Felixstowe Community Centre, Ferry Road, Felixstowe IP11 9NB. Parking is available. Visitors are always welcome – £5 on the door or show offer membership of £10 until the end of the year. We accept cash, cheque or online payment, but please bring change for a raffle ticket. Refreshments are free.

Join is on 11 October for Beach Bonkers with Kate Osborne, Landguard Nature Reserve Rangers.

For more information, please contact secretary Jayne Steele: 01394 211739 / or visit our website:

Felixstowe Speakers Club

Better Speakers. Better Presenters. Better Leaders.

At our September meeting we started our assignment course where our goal was to get those attending their ASC Certificate of Achievement. In July we had two showpiece speeches and a small education session. We have no meeting in August but we’ll be back in September with a new programme of learning.

At the time of writing, we have just had our July meeting. The first part of the meeting consisted of our traditional warm-up section and the topic for this month was How are you dealing with the heat? We had a wide range of solutions from a gazebo in the garden, going to the office and taking advantage of the air conditioning, and one who simply loved the heat and was not bothered in the slightest.  

Next, we had a slimmed-down education session where we learnt about constructing a showpiece speech. We were given examples of famous speakers such as Barrack Obama, who used the pace at which he spoke to build rhythm and sell his cause. We were also given a construct used by TED Talks – a simple but powerful method where you take what is in your mind and rebuild it in the listeners. Not easy, but with practise it’s another very useful technique.

The final part of the evening consisted of three speeches – two showpiece speeches and one practise for a wedding speech. The first of our showpiece speeches was called The Power of 5, where a high 5 a day proved to be just the ticket to a great day! Next, we had A to C, which described the story of the nuclear power stations on the Suffolk coast. Unfortunately, both speakers narrowly missed passing their showpiece assignment, but I have no doubt they will pass with flying colours next time. Finally, the wedding speech was a beautiful journey of memories from the groom, quite simply detailing the love he has for his future wife.  

Our meetings are at the Brook Hotel, Orwell Road, Felixstowe IP11 7PF, 7.30-10pm. Whatever level of speaking skills and confidence you have, the club aims to help you develop your skills, with both prepared and off-the-cuff speeches, for entertaining or formal occasions. Do come along and see for yourself. The first session is free! For more information visit

Harry Larkins

Ipswich Transport Museum

The Ipswich Transport Museum, located in The Old Trolleybus Depot on Cobham Road, has been open for some time now following relaxation of controls relating to Covid-19, so why not pop along during our September Open Days and enjoy a nostalgic trip into Ipswich’s transport and engineering past?

We have over 100 main exhibits which were locally manufactured and/or used in the Ipswich area, ranging from buses, trolleybuses and trams to emergency vehicles, as well as a host of small exhibits located throughout the building, so you get a nostalgic look into the past.

Our vehicles are open for you to go on again. The museum tea room is open, along with the children’s play area. We hope that you will come along and enjoy all the museum has to offer.

If you think that you would like to become one of our volunteers, please give your contact details to any of the stewards on duty.

To find out more about the museum, including opening days and times, visit our website:

Felixstowe Men’s Shed (FMS)

How time flies. We have been at our workshop for one year this August and continue to expand our facilities. We now have an independent electrical power supply and no longer rely on a generator. This has enabled our new table saw to be fully operational. This saw was from a grant from Felixstowe Town Council and provides the ability to cut large timber and timber sheets in a modern and safe environment with built in dust extraction.

 At the present time we are actively looking for new members to come and benefit from Men’s Shed, to learn and impart skills with modern and traditional facilities. We are a friendly bunch and although we take health and safety seriously there is always laughter and banter in abundance.

Why not come along and see what is on offer. Some come by bus, others by the FACTS community service that offers special facilities for those living with a disability. Visit to find out more about FACTS.

To be part of Men’s Shed, you need to be 18-years-old or over and we welcome women. So why is it called Men’s Shed? The concept is based on the established fact that men do not cope as well as women in respect of loneliness and building social connections. Isolation can be hazardous to your health, but Men’s Sheds can alter all that. It started in Australia and is now worldwide with over 700 Men’s Sheds in the UK.

We are located at 158 High Road, Trimley St. Mary IP11 0TN and are open from 10am to lunchtime on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Saturday mornings from 9am-noon.

Further information and details showing past projects can be found on Facebook and

Chairman, Tony Allen

Felixstowe Museum – Museum Futures

Museums are often thought to be about the past, but we also have to plan for the future. Our 1980s exhibition has been a great success, but we didn’t have a huge amount of relevant material in our collection. We have been lucky that so many people have lent us appropriate objects, and, in reality, we would not have had the space to have collected everything we have on display. Furthermore, we were able to ask for people to lend us items which, with hindsight, we knew were iconic or helped us highlight a particular theme. For instance, we wanted to borrow a Sinclair C5 so we could contrast its limited impact when it was first released with the success of electric vehicles now, but I doubt that we would have had any reason to collect one when they were first produced.

Sinclair C5, on loan from Ipswich Transport Museum, on display in the 1980s exhibition.

Historically, museums have been passive about what they collect. We wait for people to bring things to us, often when somebody passes away and a house needs clearing, but this means we often miss the opportunity to collect the stories behind the objects and as a local community museum, we try to focus on people rather than things, using objects to help tell stories about people. As a museum accredited by the Arts Council, we are required to have a Collections Development Policy with ‘themes and priorities for future collecting’ and to have an active collecting policy to support these. It can be difficult to predict the future and what may still be relevant in 10, 50 or a 100 years’ time, and as part of our Collections Development Policy we also need to have ‘themes and priorities for rationalisation and disposal’, which means reviewing collections that are no longer relevant or that may be better served within the collection of another museum. The term ‘disposal’ in museum jargon does not mean throwing it away but is the term for a formal decision by a governing body to take objects out of its accessioned collection (deaccessioning) and ideally transfer them to another Accredited Museum where they may have more relevance.

There are some areas of contemporary collecting that we can identify that will be relevant in the future and a key theme is our community’s response to Covid-19. The pandemic is of global importance and the response by communities to one of the biggest challenges of recent times is something we must preserve for future generations. We need your help to identify the people, activities, groups that have helped Felixstowe navigate these challenging times so we can capture the stories and collect objects that can help us remember in the future.

If you have stories to tell, organisations and people you’d recommend we speak to or objects you think will help us in the future, get in touch with me for a chat on 01394 674355 or email

Museum Manager and Curator, Andy Calver

Felixstowe Community Choir’s 10th birthday year continues

Felixstowe Community Choir is 10 years old this year and over that time the choir has donated over £35,000, mainly to local charities, and has appeared in many charity concerts. They sing at local events and, two or three times a year, at Music in Felixstowe concerts, including with the Festival Orchestra at the annual Last Night of the Proms (Saturday 17 September 2022 at St John’s Church) and in a Christmas brass band concert (Sunday 4 December 2022). 

If you would like to join the Felixstowe Community Choir, they meet on a Monday evening at The Orwell Hotel, 7.30-9.30pm, and the cost is £5 a night. No experience is necessary, there is no audition, and you won’t need to read music. 

An informal mixed choir of men and women aged over 18, they sing show and film songs, pop and folk, learn harmonies, and sing and laugh with Music Coach, Emily Bennett. Follow them on social media and via their website:

Felixstowe outlets serving Fairtrade

During the hot weather this summer, what is more inviting than an ice cream on the sea front? Visit the Beach View or Beach Break kiosks on the prom near Felixstowe Leisure Centre to enjoy a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Fairtrade ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s have been big supporters of Fairtrade over many years and this has improved the lives of significant numbers of farming communities in low income countries.

Or, if the weather turns a little cool, why not enjoy a cup of Fairtrade tea at the Spa? These are just three of the 17 outlets in Felixstowe serving Fairtrade products. You can find them all at our recently revamped website: or pick up a leaflet at the tourist hut on the seafront or from Felixstowe Library.

The leaflet contains a message from Patrick Kaberia, a fairtrade farmer from Kenya who visited Felixstowe in 2016 as part of a tour of Suffolk organised by the Fairtrade Foundation.  He stresses the importance of buying Fairtrade goods which support premium payments to communities like his and enable them to invest in measures to mitigate the effects of climate change, such as planting native trees to provide shade and help water retention. The leaflet has been produced by the Felixstowe Fairtrade Forum. 

Find more community news in Spotlight on Felixstowe magazine: