These images of west Norfolk will bring back memories

PUBLISHED: 06:30 29 September 2015 | UPDATED: 07:56 29 September 2015

John and Elaine Gittens Kings Lynn publisher appeal. Pictured: Hunstanton Lido. Picture: Supplied

John and Elaine Gittens Kings Lynn publisher appeal. Pictured: Hunstanton Lido. Picture: Supplied


These pictures capture life in west Norfolk during the 1950s and early 1960s and were taken by a professional photographer, who also used to submit his work to the Eastern Daily Press.

John Gittens had a studio in Norfolk Street and the images are part of a wider collection which he would like to see published in a book.

He said: “I do so much more work on the computer now these days.

“I was working on my pictures of King’s Lynn and the local area and thought: ‘These could make a great book’.”

Mr Gittens and his wife, Elaine, moved to California in 1962 with their family, and the collection of photographs travelled with them. There are shots from newspaper assignments, as well people enjoying local life and events.

Mr Gittens, 81, said: “I used to know the guy who would carry out the surveys on the Ouse channel.

“One day, he saw what he thought to be seals laying around during low tide. When he looked closer, he realised they were not seals – they were bombs!

“Altogether there were 23 bombs, each 500lb, and I joined the bomb disposal team as they carried out their controlled explosions. It was quite an astonishing day.”

In another incident at low tide on the Ouse, he was also sent to photograph a ship that had been stranded.

Mr Gittens said: “I thoroughly enjoyed photographing people. Starting on his 100th birthday, I photographed Jasper Barnes, of Grimston and returned to see him every year afterwards on his birthday.”

His last picture was taken on his 105th birthday.

He added: “I hope people in King’s Lynn get as much enjoyment looking at these photographs as I did taking them.

“They should bring back some great memories.”

If you can help John get his photographs published, email

Do you recognise yourself or a family member in any of these photographs? Email if you do.

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