I recently went to visit Phil to take some stuff back. I’m terrible for not getting round to things and I’d had a pile of glass sitting on my desk at work for about three months, it’s heavy, he’s shut when I’m open and open when I’m shut and I just never got round to dropping it back off. I am a terrible human being. This week I rectified it and went in to give them back and have a natter about cameras and slides and stuff as everybody that ever goes in his Aladdin’s cave of stuff does. As I turned to leave he handed me an old ziplock freezer bag of slides; Have a look at these, I think they might be Norwich, might be Norfolk, not sure, have a look.

They sort of are and aren’t, border badlands around Lowestoft mostly. There’s a mixture of subjects, probably about 70 to 80 slides in total, all pretty anonymous. Two have what could be a surname written on labels stuck to them, they’re mostly Kodachrome, which isn’t terribly revealing. A handful have 1964 printed on the grubby card mounts, placed there at output when developed. Some seem like they might be late 1950s to me. They’re not in the best condition, scratches from the camera mechanism, a lot of dust stuck to them, and I mean stuck. I suppose these are the vicissitudes of being put in a box somewhere for possibly several decades. 1964 is 53 years ago which seems absurd to me sitting here being slightly over 50 years old watching the dust filter down on me, looking at the scratches the mechanisms have made.

They are actually rather nice bright things though, a decent photographer, not just a snapper, some are quite carefully considered; nicely posed portraits of family and friends, street scenes in Oulton Broad and Lowestoft and a few mysteries, actual compositions, plus some holidays, and some street recording which is always good. It’s nice to see these little windows into a previous time saved from a skip or a car boot sale revealed for a moment. I scanned a selection I just happened to like. I find staring at these little frozen patches of light and shadow trapped in salts on a piece of celluloid quite mesmeric, and by turns touching, seprated as they are from the lives they contain.


Aerial NH350 I think. These two photos are my particular favourites. The bike dates to about 1956 apparently. This is evidently a roadside fag break which is the sensible option to not burn your face whilst riding


The Suffolk Hotel Lowestoft. Note Traffic rozzer on left.

London Road South. – Jane Hore.

Demolished to build a Liptons supermarket, now a MacDonalds with offices above looking right up the High Street. Tuttles department Store to the right, the station out of shot on the left. The photographers would have the Harbour bridge and South Lowestoft behind him. Julian Swainson.


Another fave. It’s the car fins and the fashion that does it, marvellous portrait.


I have a sneaking suspicion there is a link between these slides and the Café, it appears a few times in the pile in various ways. If anyone ever says ‘bloody litter, not like it in my day’ show them the top photo of these two. Yes it was.




Two iterations of the South Pier at Lowestoft. Out of focus enough to not be able to see who is on and google when that might have been which is a bit annoying.


It’s a memorial, it’s got a ship on the top of it, and I don’t have the foggiest idea where it is.

Addenda: Thanks to Mandy Mcgill and David Pye amongst others I now know this is the Royal Naval Patrol Service Memorial, Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft, overlooking the sea and Sparrow’s Nest Gardens. It was erected and is maintained by the CWGC.


At the beach. Vauxhall Victor, My mum had a skirt like that, and I mean identical. This has only just occurred to me as I was typing, like a powerful LSD flashback to 1970, but that’s 1960s patterns for you how strange.


Lowestoft bridge. The buildings haven’t actually changed much, nor has much else apart from nearly everything.

The shot of the bridge also includes the frontage of Ford Jenkins photographic shop. A fine photographer and documenter of seafaring and Lowestoft life. – Julian Swainson.


Queenie and Phil doing some professional waving. I’ve no idea what this is from, but they look pretty young and vital. Does make me wonder if it could be coronation related or a visit, have a feeling this might be Lowestoft but can’t actually pin it down to where.


Nope me neither which is why I scanned it. If anyone knows where there’s a cross which appears to be encrusted in large seashells let me know. I’m not convinced this is in the UK.


Barbados, Lowestoft. Tough Choice. The boat is LT312 – Fleurette and dates from 1913 apparently.

The old side trawlers (the nets came out of the big hoop on the side) were perfected by Lowestoft shipbuilders, and very resilient ships in a fierce North Sea storm – their curved shape rode the rough seas well, which was always a bonus if you were off Doggar Bank in a Force 11 gale in January. But sea fishing had a death rate higher even than coal mining in those days, and was not for the sensitive soul. – Julian Swainson.


Not Lowestoft.

Should anyone know who anyone is in these photos, please do get in touch. Digital files in high resolution available.