Ipswich Building Society to host exhibition to mark centenary of the end of the First World War
A commemoration open to all at the Society’s flagship branch, Mutual House, Ipswich
Ipswich Building Society is inviting people to visit a special exhibition to mark the occasion of the centenary of the end of the First World War. The exhibition will showcase several artefacts from the Society’s extensive archive to illustrate how it operated during the First World War and provided homes in the challenging years after the Armistice was signed in November 1918.
Visitors can view the original documents explaining the fascinating story of the Society’s attempts to provide accommodation for ‘members and demobilised men’ at its Mutual House branch from 1 – 17 November. These efforts included converting former army huts into 3-bedroom bungalow dwellings with enough land to establish small market gardens and converting Roundwood, the former Mansion home of Admiral Lord Nelson, into flats for rent.
On two days during the exhibition the Society’s archivist, Margaret Hancock, also a Town Tourist Guide, will be in the branch to answer questions about the exhibition and the work of the Society since 1849. Margaret will be available from 10am to 4pm on Friday 9 November, and from 9am to 12 noon on Saturday 10 November.
Richard Norrington, Chief Executive, commented: “Ipswich Building Society continued to operate through the war years and actively supported those returning from war in the local area. We wanted to mark this significant occasion and welcome everyone to visit our exhibition at Mutual House, our accessible branch in the heart of Ipswich town centre which has been extensively renovated and restored.”
Founded in 1849 as the Freehold Land Society, Ipswich Building Society is believed to be the only building society to employ an archivist, who catalogues and curates the extensive collection of materials which includes estate plans, ballots, minute books, passbooks, mortgage deeds and more. The majority relates to Ipswich but also to land in Felixstowe, Walton, Beccles, Hadleigh, Diss, Stowmarket, Wickham Market, Woodbridge, Framlingham and Lowestoft.