Changing face of historic high street ‘brought to life’ in new video poem

Lowestoft's High Street in the early 1950s, near to the Crown Hotel. Picture: Jack Rose Collection

Lowestoft's High Street in the early 1950s, near to the Crown Hotel. Picture: Jack Rose Collection - Credit: Archant

Changes over time in a historic high street are set to be showcased as part of an “evocative” video poem.

The Triangle Market and High Street area of Lowestoft in the late 1970s. Picture: Jack Rose Collecti

The Triangle Market and High Street area of Lowestoft in the late 1970s. Picture: Jack Rose Collection - Credit: Archant

Right Up Your Street is a new video poem that celebrates the High Street and Scores area of Lowestoft over the years.

Written and created by poet and writer, Dean Parkin, Right Up Your Street has been commissioned by the Heritage Action Zone North Lowestoft team.

Panda Books was a popular local bookshop, situated at 117 High Street from 1977 to 2017. Picture: Ja

Panda Books was a popular local bookshop, situated at 117 High Street from 1977 to 2017. Picture: Jack Rose Collection - Credit: Archant

Mr Parkin gathered memories from residents and shopkeepers – past and present – via social media to create a poem and subsequently a film that highlights the history of the area and the changes that have taken place.

With young filmmaker Joshua Freemantle joining forces with Mr Parkin to contribute the filmed content, Right Up Your Street is produced by Poetry People’s Naomi Jaffa.

Arts and Craft in Wood shopkeeper Darren Breeze in the doorway of 117 High Street, Lowestoft in 2020

Arts and Craft in Wood shopkeeper Darren Breeze in the doorway of 117 High Street, Lowestoft in 2020. Picture: Jack Rose Collection - Credit: Archant


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Mr Parkin said: “The High Street and Scores are my patch.

“I worked in a bookshop in the High Street for 15 years and I wrote the book of The Grit with Jack Rose about Lowestoft’s fishing village, which was nearby on Whapload Road – so I know this area like the back of my hand.

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“I posted photos from the Jack Rose Collection on social media and asked people to share their recollections of the shops and the response was amazing, there were so many comments!

“It’s because Lowestoft people love their history and they love their town.”

Craig Rivett, East Suffolk Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Dean on this look back at the High Street and Scores.

“The changes are beautifully captured, it’s a trip down memory lane for some and an eye opener for others.

“What makes the video poem extra special is all the shopkeepers who contributed, it shows what a friendly and welcoming place the High Street is.

“We want to raise the profile of the area and for people to learn and enjoy the heritage, I hope as many people get to watch it as possible.’

Tony Calladine, regional director at Historic England (East of England), which manages Lowestoft Heritage Action Zones, added: “Congratulations on the creation of this evocative video poem, celebrating life around the High Street and the Scores in Lowestoft.

“This collaboration with creative partners, using the memories and images of Lowestoft people, shows how history can be brought to life for local communities and encourages a deeper sense of belonging, understanding and appreciation of the historic environment they work, live and shop within every day.”

The 10-minute video poem Right Up Your Street has its Facebook Premiere at 7.30pm on Thursday 29th October, viewable free via Poetry People’s Facebook page – @thosepoetrypeople – and subsequently on Poetry People’s YouTube channel.

A film trailer is available now via bit.ly/hazvideopoemtrailer

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