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TV antiques expert adds voice to campaign group fighting to save record office

PUBLISHED: 11:43 02 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:54 02 April 2018

Antiques expert and BBC Flog It! presenter Elizabeth Talbot at the SORO (Save Our Record Office) meeting in Lowestoft. Picture: Courtesy of Bob Collis.

Antiques expert and BBC Flog It! presenter Elizabeth Talbot at the SORO (Save Our Record Office) meeting in Lowestoft. Picture: Courtesy of Bob Collis.

Archant

Antiques expert and BBC Flog It! presenter Elizabeth Talbot has given her backing to a campaign to save Lowestoft Record Office from closure.

Members of the SORO committee, from left Ian Robb, David Finnigan, Russell Walker, Wendy Brooks, Andy Pearce, Trevor Garrod and Bob Collis. Picture: Bob Collis/SORO.Members of the SORO committee, from left Ian Robb, David Finnigan, Russell Walker, Wendy Brooks, Andy Pearce, Trevor Garrod and Bob Collis. Picture: Bob Collis/SORO.

Mrs Talbot, a partner of the Diss-based auction house TW Gaze and Co, was a surprise guest at the recently held public meeting organised by the SORO (Save Our Record Office) campaign group.

In a message to SORO committee member David Finnigan, Mrs Talbot said her professional work was “set against a total belief in the importance of local heritage”.

She said that she had been following the group’s campaign on social media with great interest.

The Lowestoft Journal is backing the Save Our Record Office (SORO) campaign. Picture: Archant.The Lowestoft Journal is backing the Save Our Record Office (SORO) campaign. Picture: Archant.

Referring to the closure of the Lowestoft Record Office and the removal of its archive to Ipswich, Mrs Talbot said: “This is all wrapped up in local records, the emphasis being on “local”. The proposed closure of the Record Office seems absolutely and conspicuously at odds with all the commendable cultural investment currently under way in Lowestoft.

“Lowestoft is fortunate to be represented by SORO and I sincerely hope their strenuous efforts to retain Lowestoft Record Office, in Lowestoft, will be rewarded by success.”

The well-attended meeting was held at the Stella Maris Hall in Lowestoft last Wednesday evening, and also saw Suffolk county councillor for Beccles, Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, speak about her support for the campaign.

The record office is based at Lowestoft Library. 
Picture: Nick Butcher.The record office is based at Lowestoft Library. Picture: Nick Butcher.

It follows an announcement back in January by Suffolk County Council which said the record office, currently housed in Lowestoft Library, will be replaced with an unmanned access point by the end of 2019, and all of the documents currently stored there moved to a multi-million pound facility in Ipswich.

The SORO group has been campaigning against that decision for the past three months, with more than 7,000 signatures in support of the keeping the facility open now collected.

In February, the county council said it would put its plans on hold while a public consultation was held, due to start in late spring.

Suffolk County Council cited the reasons for the closure as a general decline in visitors and an ongoing requirement to make savings in line with its objectives to fill a budget gap of £56m by 2021.

To show your support for the campaign, join the SORO - Save Our Record Office Facebook group.

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