8 ART at St Nicholas
The brilliant achievement in the early years of the "Club" of building its own gallery and the long years of distinguished use it was put to had stayed in the Society's collective memory. Since 1975, a modern Borough facility, the Robert Cross Hall, had been used for Annual Exhibitions but the feeling of homelessness remained. In the spring of 1998, a small group met with the positive aim of finding premises and out of that initiative came an approach to the Ipswich Historic Churches Trust who manage various redundent churches in Ipswich for the Borough Council. It seemed St. Nicholas might be available. The building was in a reasonable state of repair with a vestry that might convert to an office, sufficient space to establish an exhibition facility immediately, lots of future potential and it was only a couple of minutes walk from the town centre in an area of civic regeneration. This looked like the ideal solution. The membership were consulted. A lease was agreed with the Trust and signed in April 1999. ART at St. Nicholas came into being and the Society had a fresh home.
The first exhibition opened at the beginning of July. Called "First Choice", each and every Member and Friend of the Society was invited to contribute one favourite piece of their own work to a three-
[This is the point where the original publication ended. The next section covers developments that have occurred since it was written.]