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Lowestoft ( or ) is a town in the county of Suffolk, Englandmarker, lying between Suffolk Broads. With Lake Lothingmarker being Lowestoft Harbourmarker which heads towards North Seamarker. Lowestoft is also the most easterly town being home to Ness Pointmarker, the most easterly point of the United Kingdommarker and of the British Islesmarker. It is twinned with the Frenchmarker town of Plaisir and was twinned with Katwijkmarker in the Netherlandsmarker until that relationship ended in the 1990s.

Geography

Suburbs

Borough of Lowestoft.

History

Lowestoft is Suffolk's second largest town (second to Ipswichmarker). It has Lake Lothingmarker, home of its Marinamarker, itself divided into an inner- and outer-harbour by a bascule bridge carrying the A12marker through the town. The town contains a variety of business and residential areas, with the main shopping centre lying just to the north and the award-winning Blue Flag beaches to the south.
Excelsior, Lowestoft
The one main pier in Lowestoft, Is The South Pier situated on Lowestoft Harbourmarker.. The other pier in Kirkleymarker, is called the Claremont Pier, originally served as a port of call for steamers travelling to and from Londonmarker. The Claremont Pier structure itself has been closed for many years, is now in a state of disrepair and not open to the public, though the building at the land end still hosts things.

Lowestoft railway stationmarker is centrally placed within the town, within walking distance of the beach, and provides services to Ipswichmarker on the East Suffolk Line. Many services also continue to Ipswichmarker along the main line from London Liverpool Streetmarker. All services are operated by National Express East Anglia.

The settlement's name is derived from the Viking personal name Hlothver, and toft, a Viking word for 'homestead'. The town's name has been spelled variously: Lothnwistoft, Lestoffe, Laistoe, Loystoft and Laystoft. In the Domesday Book, it was spelled Lothu Wistoft and described as a small agricultural village of 20 families, or about 100 people.

In the Middle Ages, Lowestoft developed into a fishing harbour , a trade that continued to be its main identity until the 20th century.

In the 1665, the first battle of the Second Dutch War was the Battle of Lowestoftmarker off the coast of the town .

In the 19th century, the arrival of Sir Samuel Morton Peto brought about a change in Lowestoft's fortunes. Railway contractor Peto built a rail link between Lowestoft and Ipswichmarker. After that Peto helped development of Lowestoft Harbourmarker he provided mooring for 1,000 small boats.

The major development of Lowestoft Harbourmarker including the building of the docks was carried out from 1848 by the Eastern Counties Railway, and continued from 1862 by the Great Eastern Railway with Peto having no input to this work. Upon completion, the improvements gave a boost to trade with the continent. Peto helped to establish Lowestoft as a flourishing seaside holiday resort by connecting several other parish's still keeping there name which know are apart of Lowestoft. However, some of the buildings associated with him have now been demolished.

In World War I, Lowestoft was bombarded by the German Navy on 24 April 1916.

During the World War II, the town was used as a navigation point by German bombers . As a result it was the most heavily bombed town per head of population in the UK. Old mines and bombs are still dredged up and have been hazardous to shipping.

Lowestoft has been subject to periodic flooding; the most notable was in January 1953 when a North Seamarker swell driven by low pressure and a high tide swept away many of the older sea defences and deluged most of the southern town.

Until the mid-1960s, fishing was perceived as Lowestoft's main industry, although from the 1930s the percentage of those employed directly and in trades associated with fishing was actually only around 10% of the working population . Fleets comprised drifter and trawler, with the drifters primarily targeting herring while the trawlers caught cod, plaice, skate and haddock. By the mid 1960s, the catches were greatly diminishing, particularly the herring. Consequently the drifter fleet disappeared and many of the trawlers were adapted to work as service ships for the new North Sea oil rig. The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), a large fisheries research centre, which is a part of Deframarker is still located in Lowestoftmarker.

The Eastern Coach Works was another big employer and in the 1960s it was a regular occurrence to see a bare bus chassis being driven through the town to the coach works by a goggled driver. Installing the bus's superstructure, body work and seats was the job of Eastern Coach Works. Both double decker and single decker buses were built there and sent all over the country.

Brooke Marine and Richards shipbuilding companies, who together employed over a thousand men, went out of business in 1990. In order to carry on the skills and traditions of the threatened shipbuilding trade, the International Boatbuilding Training College [14882] was formed in 1975 and has been largely successful at producing graduates who carry on the legacy of Lowestoft shipwrights.

From the late 1960s to the late 1990s, the oil and gas industry provided significant employment (if often seasonal and erratic) in the Lowestoft area. For many years the Shell Southern Operations base on the north shore of Lake Lothing was one of the town's largest employers. A decision to close the Shell base was finally made in 2003.

Lowestoft porcelain

During the second half of the 18th century a factory in Crown Street produced soft-paste porcelain ware. Items still exist, and there are collections at the museum in Nicholas Everett Park, Oulton Broadmarker, and at the Castle Museum, Norwichmarker. The factory produced experimental wares in 1756 and first advertised their porcelain in 1760.

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 1799.

During the early period wares decorated with Chinesemarker-inspired scenes (Chinoiserie) in underglaze blue were produced. This type of decoration continued throughout the life of the factory but scenes were gradually simplified. Overglaze colours were used from about 1765.

Much of the small factory building remains, home for many years to a manufacturers of artists' brushes.

Places of interest

  • Ness Pointmarker, the most easterly location in the United Kingdommarker, is located in the town close to the wind turbine. At the most easterly point is a large compass rose set in the ground which gives the direction and distance to various cities in Europe.
Ness Point
  • Town Centre consisting of; The Britten Centre, The Britten Market, London Road North, Station Square, Suffolk Road, Bevan Street, Historic High Street, The Triangle Market, Eastern Sails.
  • Pleasurewood Hillsmarker is located in Gunton
  • Belle Vue Park has the Royal Naval Patrol Service memorial located in Gunton
  • The Marina Theatre, in Lowestoft.
  • The South Pier itself consisting of an entertainment centre along with, The Royal Plain Water Jet Fountain's and The Royal Plain Events Area.
  • Sparrows Nest Gardens has one Fountain in the middle of a pond as a water feature located in Guntonmarker
  • Africa Alivemarker is a wildlife park in Kessinglandmarker
  • Suffolk Broads at Oulton Broadmarker, the most visited area. Motorboats can be hired to travel on the broads, however tours are also available. Powerboat racing also occurs every Thursday throughout the summer, hosting local boats and occasionally a round of a national or international championship throughout classes of powerboat.
  • The East Anglia Transport Museummarker is located in Carlton Colvillemarker, which has a collection of working trams, trolleybuses and a miniature railway, as well as various buses and other transport artefacts, many with local connections.
  • The Seagull Theatremarker in Pakefieldmarker
  • Mincarlo is the last surviving sidewinder fishing trawler of the Lowestoft fishing fleet and can be visited at Lowestoft Harbour.


Lowestoft Seafront Air Show

For two days each year, Lowestoft's South Beach plays host to the Seafront Air Festival. Since its first opening in 1996, the event has gained much popularity and media attention.

In 2002, a Royal Air Force Harrier plane crashed into the sea during the festival. An RAF board of inquiry later established that the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Cann, had accidentally operated the controls for throttle and nozzle direction lever at the same time, causing it to drop sharply. Cann ejected as the aircraft dropped, via the ejector seat to rise safely above the crashed plane. He then descended safely by parachute until he struck the sinking plane and fractured his ankle. People in the sea were swiftly evacuated, and the Lowestoft Lifeboat was quickly on hand to take the pilot from the sea to the harbour where he was winched to the SAR Helicopter from RAF Wattishammarker and flown to James Paget Hospitalmarker in Great Yarmouthmarker. The recovery of the aircraft was watched by hundreds as it was winched out of the North Sea several days later.

Future performances were thought to be under threat with the cessation of the main sponsorship by the Birds Eye frozen food company, but the show is administratively underwritten by the Waveney district council until 2010 and new main sponsors are currently being sought by the management committee. In 2006 only £62,000 was raised in donations from the estimated 420,000 spectators, but in 2007 donations of £59,000 from the reduced crowd of 270,000 (due to poor weather on the first day) is considered a positive step towards the future of the show, as is the new link forged with the Honda Powerboat Grand Prix which was held on the two days following the air show.

Renewable energy

A large wind turbine, named Gulliver, was built in December 2004 and is located near Ness Pointmarker. It was the first commercial wind turbine in Suffolk and the largest wind turbine in Britain. The site is also home to OrbisEnergy, a state-of-the-art building intended to attract business in the green energy sector to the town.In April 2009, Associated British Ports announced that the Lowestoft Harbourmarker is to become the operations centre for the 500 megawatt Greater Gabbardmarker Offshore Windfarm which, when completed, will be the world’s largest offshore windfarm. The turbines will be located 15 miles off the Suffolk coast, and Lowestoft’s Outer Harbour is to be used to house the necessary operational support facilities.

Lowestoft is also bidding for to be the operational base for the proposed 5,000 megawatt 'Zone 5' wind farm, planned for construction 25km off-shore from the town.

Connections to arts

The Elizabethan pamphleteer Thomas Nashe, one of the fathers of modern journalism and a primary source for the literary milieux of William Shakespeare, was born in Lowestoft in 1567.

The children's author and illustrator Michael Foreman was born in 1938, and spent his childhood years in Pakefieldmarker where his mother kept the grocers shop in Pakefield. He went to Pakefield Primary School, and played on Hilly Green - stories of which are recorded in his book War Boy.

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

The 19th-century writer and traveller George Borrow lived in Oulton Broadmarker for many years and wrote most of his books there. Joseph Conrad came from his native Polandmarker to live in Lowestoft in 1878. Edward Fitzgerald, the translator of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam, lived in Lowestoft. W.G. Sebald, who taught at the University of East Angliamarker and was tragically killed in 2001, wrote about Lowestoft in The Rings of Saturn.

The composer Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft in 1913. In 1933 he returned to Suffolk to establish a Festival, it was not to Lowestoft, for which he had little regard but to Aldeburghmarker. The Benjamin Britten High Schoolmarker and The Britten, Shopping Centre are named after the composer.

A Darlington Bandmarker once played in Lowestoft. There is The Denes Public Park and The Denes High Schoolmarker named in their honour.

Connections to Lowestoft



References

  1. Lowestoft Town, Suffolk Website. November 2009
  2. Response to the Draft RES by the Lowestoft & Waveney Chamber of Commerce. 21 November 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2009
  3. Suffolk - Piers & Ports: Lowestoft South Pier. Retrieved 14 June 2009
  4. Suffolk - Piers & Ports: Lowestoft Claremont Pier. Retrieved 14 June 2009
  5. Mills, A.D. (1998). A Dictionary of English Place-names. Second Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford. p227. ISBN 0-19-280074-4
  6. Talks over Shell shutdown. 3 April 2003. Retrieved 14 June 2009
  7. Lowestoft Town Centre Information and Map
  8. Air show Harrier crashes into sea. 2 August 2002. Retrieved 14 June 2009
  9. Pilot error caused Harrier crash. 18 December 2003. Retrieved 14 June 2009
  10. RAF harrier pluges into sea near bathers. Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 June 2009


External links




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