JAMES BARRY CULLINGHAM

1947-1949

DURING JAMES’S MAYORALTY 

THE MAYOR’S VISIT TO BUCKINGHAM PALACE

The Mayor and Mayoress were invited to Buckingham Palace for Princess Elizabeth’s tea party. Over 300 guests enjoyed afternoon tea and were joined by the Duke of Edinburgh. Guests viewed the hundreds of wedding presents from around the world. The Mayoral party travelled with the wife of the Bishop of Edmundsbury Mrs. Richard Brooks and Mrs. Temple, the widow of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Ipswich Star – 16th December 1947

FOOD PARCELS FROM AUSTRALIA FOR CHRISTMAS

In 1947 the manager of the Regent Cinema (now Regent Theatre) Mr W. Sherwood, following correspondence from the Hoyts Theatre Ltd. Australia. Hoyts Theatre group was set up in 1909, first using small touring tents, entertaining people with live shows including magic tricks and moving pictures. By 1930 the group had a chain of picture houses across Australia and were acquired by the USA company Fox Film Corporation (now 20th Century Studios). Hoyts has a long history of raising money for good causes and charities. After the war Hoyts had been sending food parcels to the UK filled with Austrian produce. The food parcels arrived in December  where the Mayor was contacted to receive the parcels by Mr Sherwood, where they were to be distributed by the Ipswich Social and Welfare Department, for the sick, needy and deserving of Ipswich. The Mayor was greeted by Mr Sherwood and Mr A.J. Smith the assistant manager at the cinema to view the parcels for a photo opportunity and to thank the staff. The Mayor was escorted by Alderman Mary Whitmore, the deputy Mayor. Hoyts is still the largest chain in Australia and New Zealand with a Cinema in Ipswich Australia. Rationing was still in place until 1954.  The picture was published in the Ipswich Star – December 1947

THE MAYOR’S CHRISTMAS DAY TOUR

On Christmas Day 1947, Mayor James Cullingham and Mayoress Miss Marigold Keeble visited each ward at Ipswich hospital. At the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital, they were greeted by Mr. R.H. Paul, the chairman, Mr Tom Brand the treasurer, members of the board and the Matron Miss J.G Thompson. The Mayor was invited to address the hospital over the public address system, broadcasting seasonal good wishes to all the patients. The Mayor and Mayoress then toured the wards, each ward had been gayly decorated with their own trees on each ward. Throughout the week the patients had been entertained by the Salvation Army Band, playing Christmas carols, and the CO-OP juniors performed after lunch. The Mayoral party continued to Lower Brook Street Nursing Home and was greeted by the Matron Miss Blyth. The Mayor met some of the Christmas newborns, one just a few hours old – Godfrey Frederick Webb, both mother and child were thriving.   At the Borough General, the Mayor was greeted by Matron Miss Grieve and enjoyed Christmas dinner with wine. Gifts from South Africa were handed out to patients. Later in the evening, the nurses performed their own pantomime Red Riding Hood. The party moved on to Freeland Children’s Home, then the Isolation Hospital accompanied by Mr F.W. Goodchild, the Ipswich director of Social Welfare. At Heathfield’s old people home, the chairman Mr C.W. English of the Social Welfare Committee met the Mayor, where gifts were distributed from the British Legion and music was played by the Ipswich Mission Band. At the Isolation Hospital, the Mayor was greeted by Matron Miss C. Melia, then later the Mayor visited the Mental Health Hospital, and was greeted by the Reverend Rochfort Brandy, they were all entertained by the choirs of St. Lawrence and St. Stephens.

On the 31st December 1947, the Ipswich Star reported that the “Ipswich Fund” providing new housing for the elderly had reached £2,874. 11s 7d. with a new Elizabeth Wing added to King George V  Memorial Home. Since the war, the town had built 558 homes for families and had 1,212 contracted to be built.

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