Every shit thing you’ll find in Ipswich

The blue octopus, T-Shirt Lady and gary boys


From unfinished buildings to people dwelling in their own misery, Ipswich really does have it all. You will rarely see an Ipswich inhabitant smile, but they have good reason. Sympathise with us, because we have so much to complain about.

But even though it is a shithole, that’s what makes it so great. Ipswhich is our shithole and we love it.

The buildings that have been derelict for twenty thousand years

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The first thing you will see when driving into Ipswich are the shit derelict buildings. They have fallen apart so much, you can literally see the inside of every floor. When I told my Dad they had been like that for as long as I could remember, he said they’d been like that for as long as he can remember, too. He has lived here over thirty years.

The octopus painting13608308_10208673071017435_1923800171_n

So, Ipswich decided to paint a massive blue octopus with a big smiling face on the side of the building. You know, something subtle to detract everyone’s eyes from the ugly, grey concrete beneath it. Good old Ipswich.

The Fat Lady

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This is the main meeting point in town. Since I was thirteen, I have been receiving texts from friends saying to meet them by the Fat Lady. Just to clarify, this isn’t an actual fat lady. It is just a statue of a green, old woman surrounded by faded green children. The statue is nothing special to look at, but located in the town centre, it makes for the perfect meeting point.

The T-Shirt Lady

So this one is an actual living, breathing woman. With no trousers on. Known by all the town folk as the T-Shirt Lady, this local legend does not give a single fuck. With her wild black hair, she can often be spotted wandering the streets of Ipswich with nothing but her T-Shirt on. She strolls about proudly with her knickers on display. Only tourists will look on with disbelief, as the people of Ipswich are so used to seeing her they hardly raise an eyebrow.

Pound Stores

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Anyone from Ipswich will know that if you want to do some decent shopping, you have to take a 45 minute train journey to Norwich. The best retail therapy Ipswich has to offer is a very small and constantly crowded Topshop. After that, it’s pretty much pound shops in every direction you look, possibly a Gregg’s if you’re lucky.

The cashpoint at Sainsbury’s which is always broken, but you risk it anyway because you can’t be arsed to walk all the way to the next closest one at Santander

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Shit mate, it’s swallowed my card again.

The pigeons

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Every street in Ipswich is brimming with gammy pigeons. They are as dull and grey as the buildings. The one that loves by the Buttermarket bus station only has one foot. Everyone waiting eyes him up warily, willing their bus to come, wondering what disease they may catch if that infected, hobbling pigeon leg gets any closer to them. The pigeons are like a living symbol of Ipswich. They look like shit, smell like shit and are covered in shit.

The teenagers outside McDonald’s

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I think every town has a shop that collects groups of teenagers. The meeting point for teenagers in Ipswich is Tavern Street McDonald’s. You can hear them screeching and swearing at each other before you see them. They all bundle on the window ledges, trousers rolled up to show off their latest new trainers, popping inside every half an hour or so for another McFlurry, cheeseburger or medium fries, which they will probably use to chase their friend down the road, before chucking it all over them.

That girl from school you really don’t want to engage in small talk with

Is she following you now? There’s no avoiding her. She’s always there, every time you pop into town, even if it is just for five minutes. You eye up every corner of a shop before going inside to make sure she’s not there. And then she’ll jump out from behind a clothes rack, exclaiming: ‘Oh my God! I haven’t seen you since high school!’ You think ‘yeah, you said that last week, love’. But quietly, you stand there grinning for five minutes, trying to look sincere when you agree with her that yes, we definitely need a reunion with all the girls soon. And yes, we will get a group chat together on WhatsApp. Eventually, you will make some shit excuse as to why you need to get away, probably the same one as last week, before running to escape out of the door.

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That boy from school who struts around the highs street in his suit like he has the most successful job in the whole of Ipswich

The boy from school in a suit is also impossible to avoid. He will literally run after you to stop you for a chat. ‘So, how have you been since school?’ Cut the crap, suit boy. You’re only asking me this so you can tell me all about the ‘awesome’ job you have had since school, how successful you are and how stupid I am for taking the risk of going to university and ‘oh my god, how are you dealing with all of that debt?’ He will patronisingly remind you that id you had got a job straight out of school, you would probably be just as successful as he is right now. But before you even have a chance to answer his questions, he will flash his designer watch. ‘Sorry, lunch is over, I best get back to the office.’

I bet he bought his suit from Burton.

The Double D’s

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Nearly as bad as suit boy, are the gary boys (Ipswich terminology for boy racers) who spend all their time racing their souped-up cars around the Royal Mail sorting office and the fire station.

Once tired form all the heavy revving, they will park up at Cardinal Park McDonald’s to give compliments on each other’s new body work, alloy wheels and subwoofers. Alright mate, it may have a good sound system, but it is still a Ford Fiesta.

The students of UCS

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You almost feel sorry for them. Those poor students, wondering how the fuck they ended up at such a shit university. They could be at Glasgow, Manchester, York or Durham – but they’re in Ipswich.

ITFC supporters

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The only day you will see the whole of Ipswich come together in one, united, unbreakable force of community spirit is on match days. The Tractor boys march down to Portman Road in their thousands to watch the blue army play football. Seeing the crowd flying their flags, wearing matching blue scarves, hats and shirts, all chanting in unison really makes you proud to be a towny. Sure, it will all end in a fight at the station pub 90 minutes later, but it is good fun while it lasts.

But you’ll forget about it all when you see the waterfront

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The waterfront is known as the only nice place in Ipswich. And it lives up to its reputation. The line of bars and restaurants overlooking the river always makes for a fun night out. Being the only picturesque place in Ipswich, the whole of Instagram is clogged with pictures of the same sunset view. Almost as a ‘fuck you’ to anyone who has ever slagged Ipswich off. The identical scenic snaps on every born and bred Ipswich’s Instagram screams out: ‘See! I told you Ipswich isn’t that shit.’ The pretty pictures act as evidence that Ipswich can be a nice place to be. To prove the point even further, every snap includes a #nofilter.