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Archaeological and Local History Society

PUBLISHED: 15:01 02 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:25 06 July 2010

Last week Rob Jarvis spoke about Lowestoft's defences from 1939-45. At the outbreak of war, being a seaport with low shelving beaches and cliffs, Lowestoft became a prime target for aerial and sea attack.

Last week Rob Jarvis spoke about Lowestoft's defences from 1939-45. At the outbreak of war, being a seaport with low shelving beaches and cliffs, Lowestoft became a prime target for aerial and sea attack. Within this area were many and various ditches and lines of concrete blocks to deter tanks in the event of an invasion. The beaches had barbed wire and scaffolding barricades from 1941, punctuated at intervals by pill-boxes. Seaward-facing batteries were placed at Gunton Cliff, the South Pier, Kensington Gardens and Pakefield (Pontins), anti-aircraft batteries at Pakefield and near St Margaret's Church. In addition, the north beach was mined. The Home Guard was formed and Royal Navy personnel based at Sparrow's Nest. Residents had to get used to the black-out regulations and the Andersen or Morrison air-raid shelters. Local industries like the coachworks turned to products for the war effort and boat-building yards made various craft from airborne lifeboats to minesweepers. Pill-boxes can be found in several places but the south Lowestoft battery observation posts and gun casemate, remaining by the CEFAS building at Pakefield, are not recognised by today's generation.

The next meeting will be at South Lowestoft Methodist Church Hall, at 7.30pm on Thursday, October 8.


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