Lowestoft truly is the unwanted child of the Suffolk coastline. Some people have even asked is Lowestoft the most depressing town in England’. This is partly because of the undisputed poverty in the town. A neighborhood in Kirkley, Lowestoft, just south of the bridge is the 10th most deprived neighborhood in England – out of more than 32,000.
I worked in Lowestoft schools for 5 years on and off and I saw first hand the challenges of unemployment, poverty and family break up faced by many of the families there. But I also worked with many intelligent proud committed people who love the town and have never moved from it.
So five reasons to love Lowestoft
- Lowestoft is the most Easterly point in Britain and therefore closest to our North European Neighbours.
- Benjamin Britten the renowned composer was born in Lowestoft and his musical works are clearly inspired by the sea and the town.He was born at 21 Kirkley Cliff Road, Lowestoft on November 22nd, 1913. Benjamin Britten was a gifted musician and had completed The Simply Symphony by the time he was 12. He moved back to Lowestoft after he graduated from the Royal College of Music in London and stayed there until he started work with the GPO Film Unit in London in 1935. As the house shows Lowestoft was a wealthy town in the Victorian Age.
3. The amazing ‘Hanging Gardens of Lowestoft’. In the 18th Century a number of very elegant houses were built along the top of the cliff for local boatowners and fish merchants and the face of the cliff itself was landscaped into a series of terraced gardens dropping down to the smokehouses and net-stores at the bottom. The so-called “Hanging Gardens Of Lowestoft” were a noted feature of their time and traces of them are still visible in one or two places.
Suffolk this painting by George Vemply Burwood (1844–1917)shows what one part of the terraced cliff side used to look like – Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft.
It has changed a bit but when I was working Mortellos in the Sparrow’s Nest Gardens next to Belle Vue were still a favorite place to get lunch and escape the 1960’s concrete bustle at the pedestrianized heart of modern Lowestoft.
4. It’s a real working port which handles around 100,000 tonnes of cargo each year and covers 97 acres. Situated directly opposite major Continental ports, the Port of Lowestoft serves the busy sea routes between the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, and the Baltic States.
Facilities are available for ship repairs, including a dry dock. A 14,000-tonne capacity silo and storage facility at Silo Quay accommodates a range of bulk materials, including grain and cement. The North Quay Terminal provides mobile cranage, together with 16,000 sq m of storage for forest products, steel, and general cargo
5. Lowestoft Beach. As these photo’s show Lowestoft has its own understated beauty. The beach is actually rated alongside Southwold and Kessingland as one of the best beaches in the country.
My son and I spent a happy couple of hours just exploring the seafront and the amazingly empty beautiful expanse of undisturbed pristine sand.