New book shines 'the spotlight' on coastal town's past and present

Haileys London Road South Kirkley Lowestoft

Haileys department store on London Road South in the mid–1970s. - Credit: Bert Collyer

A new book that celebrates Lowestoft's past and present has been unveiled.

Remembering "the old places" while being brought up-to-date with "what's happening there now," the new book showcases North and South Lowestoft.

New book Lowestoft Right Up Your Street and Spread a Little Kirkleyness

The cover of Right Up Your Street and Spread a Little Kirkleyness. - Credit: Dean Parkin

‘Right Up Your Street and Spread a Little Kirkleyness’ is the title of Dean Parkin’s new book which offers a double-bill of his recent community poems highlighting the past and present of both North and South Lowestoft.

The limited edition publication features the poems commissioned by East Suffolk Council and supported by Historic England that celebrate Lowestoft’s two Heritage Actions Zones – the High Street and Scores, and London Road South.

Also included is a mix of contemporary images and rare archive photographs from the collections of Bert Collyer, Jack Rose and Robert Whybrow.

Dean Parkin Lowestoft author

Dean Parkin rides the Claremont Pier land train in June 2021. - Credit: Joshua Freemantle

Originally created by Mr Parkin as video poems, he said: “The film versions have proved so popular that a book – of both the poems and the best photographs – was the obvious next step.”

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Mr Parkin worked at Panda Books in the High Street for 15 years and co-wrote the book of ‘The Grit’ – about Lowestoft’s lost fishing village – with Jack Rose in the mid-1990s.

High Street Lowestoft 1880s

High Street (looking south) from Rant Score in Lowestoft in the 1880s. - Credit: Jack Rose Collection

He said: “The High Street and Scores are my patch. I've loved the opportunity to reconnect with my old haunts and, amongst the familiar names, to discover new shops, fresh faces and building restoration under way.

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“It was good to get the chance to shine the spotlight on the south end of town - Hutson’s butchers, Hailey’s department store and Reg Regis sports shops are all local icons.

"Almost half a century later, and despite the pandemic, I discovered the vibrancy of a new generation of independent shops and Kirkley’s real village feel.”

Wellington Gardens seafront Lowestoft

Early morning overlooking Wellington Gardens and seafront in Lowestoft in June 2021. - Credit: Elaine High

He added: “I’m so pleased to present the two poems together in this book.

"The book remembers the old places and also brings you up-to-date with what's happening there now.”

Jack Rose Collection

The Albion pub, Pandora’s Boutique and Blue Bell fashions in Lowestoft in the early 1980s. - Credit: Jack Rose Collection

‘Right Up Your Street and Spread a Little Kirkleyness’ was launched on Saturday at Christ Church Hall in Lowestoft alongside a public screening of his two video poems as part of Lowestoft’s Heritage Open Days.

The new book, published by Corner Street (2021), costs £12.50, and is available from Paper-works* and Waterstones in Lowestoft or via

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