Ipswich Building Society will participate in celebrating the first-ever Suffolk Day, on 21 June with a 100 mile charity bike ride and a number of fundraising events across 5 of its branches.
The Society is delighted to be working in partnership with Ipswich Building Preservation Trust* which is seeking to identify a property built by the Freehold Land Society for renovation by the Trust as an exemplar project. Just over 100 suitable houses have been selected for possible purchase if they should come on the market. Occupiers of these special homes will be contacted by letter in the next few weeks.
If you have received a letter from Ipswich Building Preservation Trust and would like more details, call in and collect a personalised information pack about the history of your property from either our Ravenswood or Sailmakers branch.
*Ipswich Building Preservation Trust is a registered charity set up in 1978 to monitor buildings at risk and support officers of the Borough in working to secure historic buildings. The Trust is ready to play its part when buildings become available for restoration.
From 1849 through to the first quarter of the 20th century, many parts of Ipswich as well as other Suffolk towns were developed by the Society under its original name of the Ipswich and Suffolk Freehold Land Society (I & SFLS).
This was part of a national movement to create what were known as 'forty shilling freeholders'; giving the ordinary man a chance to buy enough land to give him the right to vote. In the early days the Society purchased large parcels of land, laying out roads across this land and dividing it into allotments that were offered for sale to its senior members.
Later the Society branched out into house building, constructing good quality properties with an identifiable style. The Society continued to branch out in the 20th century with 10,000 members by 1924 and an asset size of £1m (worth £64m in 2016) in 1934. The Ipswich & Suffolk Permanent Benefit Building Society outlasted other, smaller building societies in the region, becoming the Ipswich & Suffolk Building Society in 1969 and finally merging with the Ipswich & District Building Society in 1975 to become Ipswich Building Society.
Ipswich Building Society was established in 1849 as the Ipswich & Suffolk Freehold Land Society, as part of a national movement to create 'forty shilling freeholders' - giving the ordinary man the chance to buy enough land to enable him to vote.
Ipswich was fast developing, spreading westwards along Norwich Road and eastwards along Woodbridge Road. During the 1840s the Wet Dock was opened, the largest in Europe, and new railway lines linked Ipswich to Colchester, Bury St Edmunds, Hadleigh and Norwich.
The Society’s declared aim was to “improve the social position and promote the moral elevation of the unenfranchised population of this country”. People would be able to invest their savings with the Society, with that money being used to purchase areas of freehold land. This land would be divided into plots of sufficient size to confer its owner the right to vote.
At the first meeting on 4 December 1849 at the Ipswich Temperance Hall (demolished 1964), the Society enrolled 140 members with 150 shares taken. Within a week this had increased to 400 shares.
In 1850, the Society acquired its first piece of land – 98 acres at the Cauldwell Hall Estate. Now known as the California area of Ipswich at the time it was part of an outlying farm well outside the town.
By 1858 the first come, first served model of allocating plots to members was replaced by balloting. Members interested in a particular development would submit their ballot paper to the Secretary; should their corresponding numbered ball be drawn out they could proceed to purchase outright - or through an affordable mortgage with the Ipswich & Suffolk Permanent Benefit Building Society.
In 1866 the Society built houses for the first time, having already allotted 1,000 plots of land across 22 estates. The Society laid out two new Roads, Palmerston and Lancaster, with 28 houses built and sold by ballot for £145. The last houses were built in Shafto Road, Ipswich in 1933by which time the Society had developed over 50 estates in Ipswich, and more across Suffolk including Felixstowe, Stowmarket, Lowestoft, Framlingham and Hadleigh.
Now, 167 years on, the Ipswich Building Society remains a mutual organisation working in the best interests of its members, with 9 branches throughout Suffolk.
Ipswich Building Society Head Office: PO Box 547, Ipswich, IP3 9WZ. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered on the Financial Services Register, Firm Registration Number (FRN) 104875.
Ipswich Building Society is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service and The Building Societies Association. Ipswich Building Society participates in the Financial Services Compensation Scheme details of which can be found here. Ipswich Building Society complies with the Retail Banking Conduct of Business which sets standards of good practice for building societies and banks. Ipswich Building Society records some telephone calls for quality and training purposes.
We may monitor and record phone calls to ensure we have carried out your instructions correctly, to help us improve our service, to enable us to resolve complaints, and to help investigate or prevent fraud or other crimes. Any recordings we make are the property of Ipswich Building Society.
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