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Town park to host restored historic cannons in Lowestoft

Refurbished cannons being installed at the war memorial in Belle Vue Gardens. Picture: George Ryan

Refurbished cannons being installed at the war memorial in Belle Vue Gardens. Picture: George Ryan

Archant

Historic cannons in a town park have been restored to their former glory thanks to some painstaking renovation work.

Refurbished cannons being installed in Belle Vue Gardens. Picture: George RyanRefurbished cannons being installed in Belle Vue Gardens. Picture: George Ryan

Waveney Norse and the International Boatbuilding Training College, based in Oulton Broad, brought the three historic cannons in Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft back to how they looked 200 years ago.

The cannons had fallen into disrepair and were removed in September to be restored.

Stephen Ardley, cabinet member for operational partnerships at Waveney District Council, said: “We are delighted that these cannons will once again be on display in the town.

“These are historic artefacts and it is wonderful to see them restored to their former glory for visitors to enjoy.

“Belle Vue Park is a scenic location which, with the Royal Naval Patrol Service memorial, offers people the opportunity to pause and reflect on our heritage.”

Belle Vue features a memorial to the Royal Naval Patrol Service (RNPS) which commemorates the 2,385 members of the RNPS who have no grave other than the sea, including 49 men from Newfoundland.

The new cannons were restored in time for the Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day commemorations.

Originally cannons were located along the cliffs at North Parade and the Denes however during the First World War, it is believed they attracted attention from German bombers and so were removed from sight.

As it was thought these cannons had once been part of a battery located at Belle Vue Park, three of these were remounted at the site in 1972.

In 1970, four cannons were found buried at the Waveney District Council depot at Rotterdam Road. These were restored and mounted on gun carriages based on an authentic style copied from ones on display at Southsea Castle in Portsmouth.

Paul Kent, watched as the cannons were put back into place, as it was his uncle, Bill Jenning, who helped uncovered them.

The 72-year-old, who lives on North Parade, said: “It is excellent to see them back here.

“As an ex-serviceman with 22 years active duty, Mr Kent said he always attends the Armistice Day service at the memorial.

Do you have a story about the town’s heritage? Email george.ryan@archant.co.uk

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