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Ipswich is the county town of Suffolk, England, located on the estuary of the River Orwell, about 60 miles (97 km) north east of London. The town is one of the oldest in England and has been continuously occupied since the Saxon period. The port of Ipswich has been of national importance for the whole of the town's history.

In 2011, the town of Ipswich was found to have a population of 133,384, while the Ipswich built-up area is estimated to have a population of approximately 180,000.

(Read more at Wikipedia.)

Links To Peel

Ipswich postcard

Ipswich lies about 15 miles to the SE of Great Finborough, the village closest to the family home of Peel Acres. Peel had no family connections with the town, but he passed through it regularly in 1967 when travelling by train between Felixstowe (or Frinton} and London, on his periods of shore leave from Radio London.

Peel attended numerous gigs in the town. Among the most memorable were Roy Orbison at the Ipswich Gaumont in June 1985 and Extreme Noise Terror at the town's Caribbean Centre, twice in 1988 [1]. As a champion of the Grindcore movement, Peel was thrilled to find that one of the genre's prime movers could be found almost on his doorstep.

The John Peel Roadshow is known to have visited Ipswich on at least one occasion, although it was probably something that he would rather forget: a booking at the Manor House Ballroom in 1970 or 1971 lived long in his memory as he found himself playing records to an empty venue when nobody bothered to turn up [2].

Peel occasionally attended stock car meetings at the Foxhall stadium on the eastern outskirts of the town.

On Thursday 20 November 2003 the John Peel Show was broadcast from the studios of BBC Radio Suffolk in Ipswich following the failure of the broadcasting equipment at Peel Acres.

Ipswich Town FC

(Main article: Ipswich Town)

Although a lifelong Liverpool supporter, Peel frequently accompanied wife Sheila Ravenscroft and assorted children to Portman Road to watch Ipswich Town.

The DJ's devotion to Liverpool caused a degree of friction in the Peel household, particularly in the two seasons from 2000-02 when Ipswich were in the Premier League and the two sides had to play each other. Similarly, East Anglian rivalry with Norwich City occasionally proved to be the source of discontent if results did not go the way of the Suffolk club.

Session Artists

The following artists from or based in the Ipswich area recorded Peel sessions:

Other bands from Ipswich to be featured on the John Peel show include Jah Warriors, Motives [4], Elmerhassel and No Routine [5].

Festive Fifty

The following artist from the Ipswich area had a Festive Fifty entry.

Mentioned In Shows

  • 03 May 1982: Peel says he celebrated the arrival of daughter Florence Ravenscroft by having "a solitary Indian in rather a revolting Indian restaurant" in Ipswich on his way home. He was gratified when a fellow customer bought him a drink upon hearing his news.
  • 15 June 1987: Peel mentions having taken son William to a specialist in Ipswich to have his teeth examined.
  • 24 June 1988 (BFBS): John mentions having recently seen Perfect Daze supporting Extreme Noise Terror in Ipswich.
  • 17 March 1986: Returning from a shopping trip to Ipswich, John and Sheila had found a letter from Littlewoods pools awaiting them, informing them they'd won the princely sum of £31.10.
  • 07 October 1989 (BFBS): John tells how he and Sheila had seen lights in the sky at the weekend and had thought it could be UFOs. It turned out to be a light display emanating from a disco in Ipswich.
  • 11 May 1996 (BFBS): John mentions having given a lecture on the music industry to a group of bored school kids in Ipswich.
  • 21 October 2003: It is mentioned that Sheila has been to the cinema in Ipswich that evening.

See Also

  • Ipswich Town
  • Norwich
  • Brian Eno: The celebrated producer, Peel session artist and John Peel Lecture presenter was educated at St Joseph's College, Ipswich, and Ipswich Art School. He was born in Woodbridge, Suffolk, around 9 miles northeast of Ipswich.[1]

External Links


  1. One of these gigs was reviewed for the Observer newspaper ('Extreme Noise Terror,' 05 June 1988). Reprinted in Olivetti Chronicles, pp. 75 - 76 (Bantam Press hardback edition, 2008). Peel was filmed attending an ENT gig at the Caribbean Centre in Suffolk Comfort.
  2. Article originally published in Disc & Music Echo, reprinted in Olivetti Chronicles, pp. 119 - 121 (Bantam Press hardback edition, 2008).
  3. Between the recording and broadcast of the session, Alliance Underground shortened their name to Alliance.
  4. 14 May 1980.
  5. 11 December 2003.
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