celebrates Suffolk Day, June 21
What will you be doing on Suffolk Day, Thursday June 21? BBC Radio Suffolk and the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star are encouraging everyone to celebrate this wonderful part of the world. Breakfast show presenter Mark Murphy, who originally came up with the idea, says it’s about time we stopped hiding our light under a bushel and let everyone know about this wonderful part of the world. Last year was a great success, so we want it to be even bigger and better this year.
It’s not news to those who live here, of course. Every day I chat to people on my show who admit to being ‘Suffolkated’. They move here because they want to get away from the pace of life in the city and then discover it’s a special place. But, outside the east of England, do people know much about us, or even where Suffolk is?
Some people are worried that if we spread the word too much we’ll be overrun with tourists. But we need visitors, they’re an important part of our economy. We also need businesses to set up here. I often hear Norfolk mentioned as a thriving, culturally rich county. Why not Suffolk? That’s why Suffolk Day is so important. We need to get the county talked about throughout England, so that at national level we get a fair crack of the whip.
MY TOP FIVE REASONS SUFFOLK IS SPECIAL
1 We’re a train ride from London, so if you need to work there or visit, you can be home to the peace of Suffolk within an hour and a bit. Although, as Suffolk seeps into your psyche, you’ll want to spend more time here.
2 We have (nearly) every type of landscape – the heritage coast, fenland, forests, Constable country, even some hills and valleys to the west, and areas of outstanding natural beauty.
3 We have wonderful communities in which to live and bring up a family. In my daily Dolphin’s Dart competition I chat to people who are working hard to make their village or town a vibrant and happy place.
4 Suffolk is a great place for business. Our local food enterprises are already known outside the county and there are plenty of others working hard in rural Suffolk. And it’s a hugely creative place, home to artists, musicians and writers. 5 We have a great history. As part of celebrations marking 100 years since women first got the vote, a statue of Millicent Fawcett has been erected and unveiled in London. She was a Suffolk woman, a Suffragist who helped changed the course of history. Just hearing her story makes me proud to live in Suffolk. I wasn’t born in the county, but I’ve lived here longer than anywhere else and I am proud to call it home.
On June 21, BBC Radio Suffolk will broadcast from around the county. I’ll be at Ickworth House. The usual entry fee to the estate and gardens applies but entry to the house will be free. I’m hoping we can picnic in front of the rotunda! Check the website for ideas of where to go and how to celebrate - suffolkday.co.uk
ABOVE: All creatures great and small can find a way to celebrate the county’s special day, as this little pony at Easton Farm Park seems to be discovering . . .