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My Suffolk


of us in our family. The worst day of the week back then was Sundays – because there wasn’t anything to do and the best day was Saturday morning because we went to the cinema – either the Odeon, the Ritz or the ABC, which kept us occupied for three to four hours.

St Elizabeth Hospice has made a real impact in Ipswich this summer with its Pigs Gone Wild art project. The sculptures are going to be auctioned at Trinity Park on September 22. Essential Suffolk asks project manager Norman Lloyd, to tell us about his life in Suffolk What was it like growing up in Ipswich? I was born and raised on the Rushmere Estate and went to Coppleston High School. Growing up in the early 60s I have memories of being out all day in the summer holidays in the Fynn Valley catching sticklebacks, climbing trees and scrumping. We were just being boys and we didn’t get into too much trouble, although a policeman did speak to us once for picking up fallen apples – we were in someone’s garden! Thinking back we were probably scrumping because we were hungry, there wasn’t a lot of money around and there were five


How did you get into Radio? I have always lived in Ipswich apart from three months when I went to Tel Aviv and worked on a pirate radio station broadcasting to 9 million people in the Middle East every day. Although my radio career eventually took me to London it was this experience and broadcasting at the Hospital Radio that helped me make a career change. Actually to start with I was a painter and decorator and worked with my father but when he died in 1986 I thought do I want to do this for the rest of my life? I was offered a position at Radio Orwell as a Disco DJ on Saturday evenings and a Radio DJ on Sunday mornings. Then I moved into sales working my way up to Sales Director, before moving to Frinton-on-Sea, at Mellow 1557, as station manager and then commuting to London as Sales Director for commercial radio. Eventually I returned to Suffolk and worked for BBC Radio Suffolk for ten years. Where do you like to walk? I do a lot of walking with my two Labradors Molly and Bella – particularly in the Fynn Valley, Barham and Claydon. I’m really lucky because I can walk from my home across Purdis Heath and across the boardwalk between Foxhall Road and Bucklesham Road. There’s also nothing better than walking round Alton Water in the winter wrapped up in thermals and waterproofs and then having a cup of tea and a nice piece of cake at the cafe at the end as a reward. Also I like walking the dogs along Felixstowe seafront in the winter too. Have you got a favourite pub? The Dove in Ipswich – because it’s a ‘regulars’ pub and it does real ales. It’s always busy too, even on a weekday night. Do you like to eat out? Yes and there seem to be lots of places where you can get good Italian, Chinese and Indian food. If you go up the coast

to Aldeburgh it’s always great to have fish and chips and eat it on the beach in either summer or winter.. If you had to choose one picture of Suffolk what would it be? The Ancient House in Ipswich. I always look at it and like to imagine what it must have been like to have lived there as a member of Sparrowe family back in the 15th century. Where would you take people on a tour of Suffolk? Woodbridge Tide Mill and Sutton Hoo to see that wonderful views over the river. Then we’d go to Felixstowe for the Spa Gardens, which have been restored and are now so beautiful. We should have a lot of civic pride in those gardens because they are really special. Of course we’d visit Ipswich too – and walk along the Waterfront. I used to remember the days when this area was just the docks and we used to go there to fish for eels, but now it’s a different world. Going down there when it’s a lovely evening and looking across the marina with all those yachts moored up makes you think you could almost be in the Mediterranean. There are also Ipswich’s parks, which are amazing – and not just Christchurch Park which everyone knows about. I have to say it’s thanks to Pigs Gone Wild that I have been to Holywells Park and discovered what a fabulous place it is thanks to the restorations and it has a wonderful visitor centre too. Tell us about your charity work I’ve been involved in charity work in Suffolk for many years – to start with for Disability Care Enterprise which was set up by, what was, Guardian Royal Exchange. It was through this charity that my wife Linda and I started organising charity fund raising treks to Nepal and I have been back there several times. Actually I will be returning there with a group of friends in the autumn to raise money in her memory for St Elizabeth Hospice. Then I got involved as a volunteer with the hospice following her death and it’s through that they asked me to get involved in Pigs Gone Wild and as it was such a great project, I couldn’t refuse.

For details of the Pigs Gone Wild auction visit

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Essential Suffolk September 2016  

Suffolk's most exclusive and high quality magazine celebrating what makes our county great.

Essential Suffolk September 2016  

Suffolk's most exclusive and high quality magazine celebrating what makes our county great.