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Old Lowestoft

This site is provided to showcase, mainly for reference purposes, some of the various ephemeral items that have passed through the hands of Lowestoft bookseller G. A. Michael Sims and also to record some of his research into aspects of the history of Lowestoft. Sometimes a few of the ephemeral items may still be for sale.

Most ephemera is uncommon but not particularly valuable. Only one person can purchase each example that we come across but many can refer to or examine them if we place copies online. Not all lend themselves to this but those that do can then be appreciated by far more people than simply the one purchaser.

Many will be satisfied just to be able to access these details but fortunately for us there will still be those who want to possess the original source, with which we can sympathise and for which we are very grateful! There is nothing quite like having the original document(s) to examine.

As well as the ephemera some other items of local history interest will be parked here as a not illogical place to put them.

This site is dynamic. As more items are prepared for online display so the divisions and/or categories are likely to change. Apologies are offered for this but it might encourage you to recheck the site from time to time!

There is also the site search facility in the banner, not comprehensive but better than nothing.


Mike Sims

Update to Help Save our Record Office

December update

The SORO campaign continues with perhaps a change in direction. We shall have to wait and see the result of the AGM in January at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 23rd at the Stella Maris Hall in Gordon Road. If you would like to attend you need to be a member - fee £3 - see the SORO Facebook page for details - find in the events files.

November update:

Sadly the promise of fresh thinking announced in June by the new SCC leader has not borne fruit. The Suffolk Record Office public  consultation was a travesty of the word being a tck box questionnaire with no opportunity for opinion to be expressed.

June update:

A recent change in the leadership pf the Suffolk County Council seems to have prompted a change in the fortunes for our Record Office. The new leader, Matthew Hicks, has stated that his preference is for the records to stay in Lowestoft and despite there being no allocated funds in the capital or revenue accounts efforts will be made to source them.

Perhaps a spirit of co-operation can bear fruit via the promised public consultation rather than confrontation which we have seen rather too much of since 10th January.

It is understood that the petition will remain open so that those who signed it can be kept up to date with progress.

Help to Save our Record Office (SORO)

On 10th January we heard that the Lowestoft branch of the Suffolk Record Office would close, with all the records being transferred to Ipswich, and that it would be replaced with an unmanned 'access point' at a location yet to be decided.

Many records have been loaned or donated with the sole purpose of their being able to be easily accessed by future generations of Lowestoftians. To remove them nearly fifty miles away to Ipswich is NOT providing easy access.

It is hoped that Suffolk County Council can be persuaded to reverse this decision.

To view progress see the Facebook pages of SORO and SORO (New)

Recently acquired

A recent acquisition from Germany is a colour print of a painting of 'The Battle of Lowestoft 25th April 1916' by the artist Hans Bohrdt, shown on the introduction to the Bombardment of Lowestoft.

Cuckoo air raid warning

1st February 2018 will be the 76th anniversary of the raid which led to the installation of the Cuckoo air raid warning at Lowestoft during WW2. The 'imminent danger' alarm to the public of low level hit and run raiders subsequently saved many lives but at the cost of the lives of a mother and two of her children in Victoria Road, Lowestoft.

A more detailed account can be found on the ABfaR blog.



Recent additions

In pre 1914 there is a timeline of the history of 10 Kirkley Cliff, Lowestoft, since 1919 the home of the Lord Kitchener Memorial Holiday Centre.

WW2 Letters from Lowestoft

A collection of letters from Lowestoft, sent by resident A J Turner to his son J P Turner, of local news during WW2 which is linked directly from the WW2 link. AJT was one of the original members of the management team of the Kitchener which is described in the 'background to AJT' on that site.

Floods 1912 Directory

Find the Floods Directory of Lowestoft Fishing Vessels as at 1912 in the pre 1914 section.

Content © 2013/20 G. A. Michael Sims

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