It was a real treat to spend some time with Maureen and Paul Izzard in their comfortable home at Deben View, to get to know them better and hear about their lives. Deben View is the large building at the back of the Jetty Lane site and Paul and Maureen’s flat has a window overlooking the site, making them our closest neighbours. I was keen to hear their views about our proposed new centre.

Maureen originally comes from Edinburgh and Paul from Hertfordshire.  His father was a milkman who delivered the milk with a horse and cart. Paul has done a lot of research about his family history – he has a spreadsheet full of dates and names – and is now writing it all up, initially with spectacularly neat handwriting!  He and Maureen met at work and married in 1969. Although Maureen was diagnosed with MS in the seventies she nevertheless raised two children who now have children of their own. It’s clear from the photos on display that this is a close and loving family. The Izzards previously lived in Kesgrave in a bungalow with a garden and greenhouse which they miss but as it wasn’t adaptable for wheelchair use they moved into Deben View five years ago.

From their second floor flat Paul and Maureen have great views over the river Deben as well as over the Jetty Lane site.  It’s difficult for Maureen to get out much as the footpath is unusable by her wheelchair and there is too much traffic for her to use the road. They would love to be able to get to Kingston Field safely. They are understandably very interested in the development of the Jetty Lane site and think that some of the people who live at Deben View and at Morley Avenue  are likely to use Jetty Lane, especially the New Horizons lunch club. They were intrigued to see the old youth centre being demolished and Paul took photos. They say that the new centre will be much better than the one it replaces as the old one was very flimsy. They can’t see any disadvantages to having the new centre and think it’s a nice looking building. ‘We need to provide somewhere for kids to meet, the art studios will be great… all the different groups will appreciate the space,’ says Paul, ‘we used to love hearing the Company of Four rehearsing and used to open our windows so that we could hear the singing louder. When they did The Pirates of Penzance it was very rousing.’

Cordelia Richman