New book released in memory of heroic former lifeboatman

Mickey Gibbons with the new book Sheet 137 Lowestoft. Picture: Jamie Thorpe

Mickey Gibbons with the new book Sheet 137 Lowestoft. Picture: Jamie Thorpe - Credit: Jamie Thorpe

A new book has been unveiled in memory of a heroic former lifeboat coxswain.

Containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey map from the 1950s, the book has been produced by Mickey Gibbons - the son of former Lowestoft lifeboat coxswain Peter Gibbons.

A hardback book containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey...

A hardback book containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey map from the 1950's in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mickey Gibbons

Featuring a series of his father's favourite spots to visit, Mr Gibbons has drawn the locations in felt tip pens before curating 48 of these drawings into the new book entitled  'Sheet 137 – Lowestoft.'

A hardback book containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey...

A hardback book containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey map from the 1950's in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mickey Gibbons

The former coxswain served with the RNLI in Lowestoft for 21 years, receiving two bravery awards.

Peter Gibbons. Picture: MICK HOWES

Peter Gibbons. Picture: MICK HOWES - Credit: Mick Howes

He was involved in numerous rescues, serving as coxswain from 1978 until 1984, before he was presented with a long service award on his retirement from the RNLI in January 1985.

Mr Gibbons was also well known on Lowestoft fish market, where after many years as a longshore fisherman he was renowned as a highly-skilled fish filletter.

He died in January 2014 aged 70.


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Mr Gibbons, a freelance creative director, publisher and printmaker, said: "I was born and raised in Lowestoft where my father, Peter Gibbons, was a keen naturalist and coxswain of the Lowestoft lifeboat.

Mickey Gibbons with the new book Sheet 137 Lowestoft. Picture: Jamie Thorpe

Mickey Gibbons with the new book Sheet 137 Lowestoft. Picture: Jamie Thorpe - Credit: Jamie Thorpe

"After his death a few years ago, I returned to Lowestoft from London, where I had lived for 25 years designing and publishing award-winning magazines and newspapers.

"I began visiting all of my father's favourite local spots around the Lowestoft area in my Mk1 Ford Transit campervan to draw these locations using a pack of cheap felt pens as a way of dealing with the loss of my father.

A hardback book containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey...

A hardback book containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey map from the 1950's in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mickey Gibbons

"After a while I had a huge amount of them, so I decided to put a curation of them together based around an O.S. map of dads."

With the book's format influenced by the original shape of the map, Mr Gibbons said: "I spent two years doing the drawings in my holidays and I am very happy with the quality and reproduction on the finished article."

A hardback book containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey...

A hardback book containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey map from the 1950's in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mickey Gibbons

Admitting he found "unexpected solace" in these familiar and also newly-discovered places "that had meant so much" to his father, Mr Gibbons said: "The book contains anecdotal pieces and stories which are relevant to the drawing locations and my father."

A hardback book containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey...

A hardback book containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey map from the 1950's in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mickey Gibbons

With 48 of these drawings "which radiate out of my hometown of Lowestoft" curated into a hardback book that was independently published by Mr Gibbons, the book was printed by The Leiston Press.

A hardback book containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey...

A hardback book containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey map from the 1950's in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mickey Gibbons

It features drawings of Birds Eye in Lowestoft, as well as scenes in Pakefield, Blundeston, Southwold and Aldeburgh among others.

He added: "It is an uplifting story of a local artist independently publishing a beautiful art book to bring some colour into these dark days."

A hardback book containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey...

A hardback book containing a collection of felt pen drawings that were made at locations on a discontinued Ordnance Survey map from the 1950's in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mickey Gibbons

Mickey Gibbons with the new book Sheet 137 Lowestoft. Picture: Jamie Thorpe

Mickey Gibbons with the new book Sheet 137 Lowestoft. Picture: Jamie Thorpe - Credit: Jamie Thorpe

The book is on sale via https://mickeygibbons.com/ and also at Paperworks Books & Prints in Lowestoft.

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