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Lowestoft WWII Letters Provide Account of Town at War

Posted on 22 July 2014 by Love Lowestoft

The letters of Alfred J. Turner to his son, John P. Turner, reveal what it was like to live in Lowestoft during World War II, as it came under attack from the Germans.

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Discovered in 1995, they detail Alfred’s life living in war torn Lowestoft. Highlights include local beauty spot Sparrow’s Nest being raked by German machine gun fire and nearly three hundred mines being dropped into the sea around Lowestoft. Alfred’s son, John, was a school teacher in Berkshire, which was relatively less damaged by German bombing.

If you’d like to read the letters for yourself, they can be found online, here. For those wishing to learn more about Lowestoft’s rich and varied past, there are many museums located around the town that are dedicated to its history.

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Lowestoft Maritime History: ‘The Battle of Lowestoft’

Posted on 01 May 2014 by Love Lowestoft

Battle of Lowestoft

On the 13th June 1665, forty miles to the East of Britain’s most Easterly town, the Battle of Lowestoft took place between English and Dutch naval forces commanded by the Duke of York and Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam.

After having suffered a crushing blockade of their ports by the English, the Dutch political forces ordered a naval attack on the British fleet. Unfortunately for the Dutch, the attack didn’t go quite as planned. The Battle of Lowestoft occurred during a period of Westerly wind that gave the Duke of York’s forces a particular advantage over van Wassenaer Obdam’s already inferior fleet. The battle cost van Wassenaer Obdam his life and 17 ships, and caused the deaths of over 2000-2500 Dutch crewmembers, with 2000 taken prisoner.

The Battle of Lowestoft is not solely confined to the past, however. You can check out lots more interesting facts and details about it by taking a trip into town to see (or should that be sea?) the Lowestoft Maritime Museum, where there’s always something fun for all of the family to do.

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The Beauty of Lowestoft Porcelain

Posted on 29 April 2014 by Love Lowestoft

Find Out About Lowestofts Porcelain Era

Beauty-of-Lowestoft-PorcelainThe history of Lowestoft and its famous porcelain goes way, wat back. Take a read about Lowestoft Porcelain….. During the 2nd half of the 18th century a factory in Crown Street produced soft-paste porcelain ware, the first of its kind in a truly commercial sense in Lowestoft. Items of Lowestoft Porcelain still exist, and there are collections at the museum in Nicholas Everett Park, Oulton Broad, and at the Castle Museum, Norwich.

This Lowestoft factory produced a range of experimental wares in about 1756 and first advertised their porcelain in 1760, operating until about 1801. The factory was in production for longer than any English soft-paste porcelain producer other than Royal Worcester and Royal Crown Derby.

Periods of Crown Street Porcelain Factory Periods

Lowestoft collectors divide the factory’s products into three distinct periods, Early Lowestoft circa 1756 to 1761, Middle-Period circa 1761 to 1768 and Late-Period circa 1768 to the closure of the factory in about 1801.

During the early period wares decorated with Chinese-inspired scenes in underglaze blue were produced. This type of decoration continued throughout the life of the factory but scenes were gradually simplified. Overglaze colours in enamel were used from about 1768. The factory, which was built on the site of an existing pottery or brick kiln, was later used as a brewery and malt kiln. Most of the remaining buildings were demolished in 1955. You can still source Lowestoft Porcelain from specialists dealers / auctioneers such as Russell Sprake based in Lowestoft.

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Literary & Artistic Connections of Lowestoft

Posted on 29 April 2014 by Love Lowestoft

Find Out About Lowestoft literary and artistic connections

Literary-Artistic-Connections-Lowestoft

Lowestoft has a number of literary and artistic connections. The most famous of which being the composer Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft in 1913. However we can go back even further to find rich sources of Literary & Artistic Connections of Lowestoft.

In the 1840s, Charles Dickens came to stay with Sir Samuel Morton Peto. Lowestoft’s Beach Village became, along with Blundeston village, the inspiration for David Copperfield.

Joseph Conrad came to live in Lowestoft in 1878 from his native Poland. Edward Fitzgerald, the translator of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam, lived in Lowestoft. W.G. Sebald, who taught at the University of East Anglia and was tragically killed in 2001, wrote about Lowestoft in The Rings of Saturn.

Glam rock band, The Darkness was formed in Lowestoft but spent their formative years in London. Three of the four founder members were raised in Lowestoft. Justin Hawkins, Dan Hawkins and Ed Graham all attended Kirkley High School. Several of their songs are either about or make reference to the town: Black Shuck is a retelling of the famous local legend of the same name; Stuck In A Rut tells of the band’s desire to ‘escape’ from the town, making reference to ‘the Barnby Bends’ and ‘the Acle Straight’, popular nicknames for local roads; and Hazel Eyes starts with the lyrics “I hail from the flatlands of East Anglia/In a town that once could boast prosperity.”

Also, scenes from Coronation Street were filmed at a local hotel.

In 2006, Lowestoft’s Kirkley High School was subjected to the Gene Simmons experience when the Kiss bassist brought Rock School to the town. There are some disgruntled residents of the town, however, who feel that the Channel 4 program didn’t represent their town fairly – Kirkley is an economically deprived area of the larger Lowestoft conurbation – the program refused to show the far more developed Northern end of the town, which in no way resembles “God’s Waiting room”. Also, several (un-proven) accusations, (supposedly formed on first hand experience from pupils attending Kirkley High School) suggest that students were in some cases paid sums of money to “misbehave” on camera, and were “bribed”, so to speak, to smoke cigarettes, curse and litter in front of camera. The school itself (as well as the town in which it was filmed) was thoroughly misrepresented, showing only the oldest or less well maintained parts of the building, as well as focusing on the bad aspects of the school and virtually none of the positive parts. A clear sign of this misrepresentation is that despite the fact that the programme was based entirely around Rock music, little or no mention at all was made of “The Darkness” whom primarily (3 of the 4 founding members) attended Kirkley High School. Despite this obvious misrepresentation of Lowestoft and Kirkley High School, the Channel 4 program was a relative success.

What are you thoughts on the Literary & Artistic Connections of Lowestoft? Leave your comments below:

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