This week we have marked ten years since the opening of our Ravenswood branch, on the outskirts of Ipswich, with a day of celebrations and the unveiling of a new office mural showcasing the history of the local area.
The colourful mural was designed and painted by Clare Shaw, a Customer Experience Team Leader at our Woodbridge and Aldeburgh branches, and is inspired by the former Ipswich Airport where the branch is located. It celebrates the timeline and history of the airport, which was operational from 1930 until 1997 and hosted various aircraft used in World War II, including Blenheim light bombers, Spitfires and Austers observation planes. The new mural complements a full wall painting by the late J Brian Jepson, a local architect and artist, located in our main banking hall.
Continuing the history theme, our archivist, Margaret Hancock, was on hand to speak to members and showcase various artefacts and historical documents from our archives, including:
– War Damage Claim Forms: we have correspondence relating to some of the 42 houses in Nacton Road which were damaged by bombing on 24 March 1941. Several of these suffered further, more serious damage on 4 May 1941 resulting in the evacuation of many owners pending repair or demolition of their homes.
– Annual Reports 1941-1945: the Society’s business continued through the hostilities, though AGMs were held earlier in the afternoon enabling members to avoid the blackout. Directors’ reports included instructions about War Damage to properties and by 1944/45 reports were reduced in size to conform with the requirements of National Economy in use of paper.
– Microfilmed Records: in 1942 the Committee agreed for mortgage documents stored at Head Office to be microfilmed so that information would be preserved in the event of our offices in Upper Brook Street, Ipswich being damaged during bombing. This resulted in about 40 reels of film, then transferred to modern microfilm in the 1990s in order to ensure continuity of access to our historical records.