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Inspirational Mr Lowestoft remembered

PUBLISHED: 10:18 19 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:23 06 July 2010

"Mr Lowestoft" Jack Rose

ON Sunday, March 14, JOHN HOLMES will be presenting a slideshow on Old Lowestoft at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. The show will be held to raise money for the proposed new Palliative Care Unit at the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston.

ON Sunday, March 14, Pakefield's JOHN HOLMES will be presenting a slideshow on Old Lowestoft at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. The show will be held to raise money for the proposed new Palliative Care Unit at the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston. Here he explains more about his inspiration and old friend Jack Rose, who died 10 years ago.

I first met Jack at one of his slide shows in 1971 and became an instant fan. From then on I endeavoured to attend all his shows.

In the EDP March 19, 1980, Jack was described as a “self-taught and unassuming historian”, which in my mind sums him up superbly. I felt it worthwhile to include the following brief extra from this account as it expresses so well what I and many others felt about Jack.

“They call him 'Mr Lowestoft' but it is not a title that Jack Rose ever sought, and he would certainly prefer to keep well out of the limelight.

“But within the Lowestoft community, a man such as Jack Rose is hard to overlook. A self-taught historian who likes nothing more than the opportunity to share his knowledge with others, he has over the years given his willing help to dozens of good causes with a series of slide shows.

“School children and their teachers have come to know that information about the town's buildings and characters can usually be supplied by Mr Rose, and that there is 'open house' at his modest Crown Street home for anyone who wants to chat about the history of Lowestoft.”

It was in 1990 that the Old Lowestoft Society was disbanded and I wrote to the Journal to express my sadness at this.

The new Jack Rose Lowestoft Society came into being in April 1990 at an open meeting held in the United Reformed Church. Some 60 people attended the meeting and Jack became the society's president, I became the chairman, Chris Brooks the vice-chairman, Peter Killby the treasurer and Jacqueline Button our secretary.

From then on Jack and I became close friends and with the support of our membership we achieved much as far as promoting Old Lowestoft was concerned and raised funds for worthy causes. We held services for those who were killed in world war two and raised £850 for a new commemorative stone to be erected near the town centre.

When Jack decided that he could no longer meet all the requests for him to do slide shows he encouraged me to take over future requests and supplied me with a selection of slides. I then set about building my own personal collection which was made easier thanks to the wonderful kindness of a few local postcard collectors who readily gave me free access to their collections.

This was supplemented by the kindness of various local people who gave me postcards/photographs at my slide shows. The entire collection was then converted into slides and reproduced in my publications.

After Jack ceased to do slide shows he set about creating the Lowestoft War Memorial Museum in Sparrows Nest.

There is so much more I could say about Jack but space will not permit this and it is for this reason that I may endeavour to publish a small booklet in memory of the man who popularised the heritage of Lowestoft.

Tickets for the slide show cost £5 per person and are now available.

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