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News and views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
Issue 10 Winter 2009

An afternoon by the sea at Q Tower

Martello towers were, we know, built along our coastline to defend the realm from enemy attack as my cars rear bumper bears testimony, the dent having occurred while retreating from a strategically placed cannon, first line of defence at Q Tower, Felixstowe. The occasion an invitation by the Revd Dr John Hare and his wife, Mary, to members of St Marys Church to An Afternoon by the Sea on Sunday 16 August.

Q Tower drawbridge
The drawbridge to Q Tower

To live in a Martello tower is, to say the least, exciting and somehow "Q Tower" sounded to me more like the title of a spy mystery novel than an address, so I was curious to know more. It was later explained that each of the towers along the East Coast was identified by a letter, or letters, of the alphabet, and some have been preserved and adapted to be re-invented as most unusual historic homes.

Defending their fortification was far removed from our hosts on this particular afternoon, the warmth of their welcome matched only by the ambient temperature sunny skies and sunny smiles surrounded us. Tables were laid in the garden and attentive waitresses served generous cups of tea, while inviting us into a stunning kitchen area to make our choices from the delicious homemade cakes on display.

Later, we were given an indoor guided tour and admired the cosy feel of the semi-circular rooms, the unusual layout and the white painted walls everywhere, providing a perfect background for bookshelves, paintings and objets dart. Then, up the last staircase to the roof top and panoramic views of the town, beach, promenade and, of course, way out to sea.

We were given freedom to roam the ramparts, or to remain at ground level and enjoy the garden. Guests much appreciated a leisurely, delightful Afternoon by the Sea, and our grateful thanks are extended to Mary and John for making this possible.

A variety of social events is organised by St Marys Church throughout the year watch out for details in the weekly pew-sheet or on the website