Dockside Dandies recalled as flamboyant fisherman are celebrated

Dockside Dandies Lowestoft

Some of the Dockside Dandies of Lowestoft. - Credit: Supplied

It was a popular craze that was commonplace in a coastal town during the late 1950s and 1960s.

And after a bygone fashion trend was brought back to life just over a decade ago, the once familiar flamboyant suits once worn by Lowestoft’s young fishermen are being highlighted once more.

Dockside Dandies of Lowestoft.

Just some of The Dockside Dandies of Lowestoft. - Credit: Supplied

Back in the early 1960s men working in Lowestoft's fishing industry took to the streets wearing specially-tailored vibrant suits in red, blue, lime green and tartan that helped to illuminate the town's nightlife.

The colourful clothes earned the fashionable fishermen the nickname of the Dockside Dandies - and the Dockside Dandies of Lowestoft are set to be recalled during two special talks this week.

After returning to his hometown, London-based artist Peter Wylie - who grew up in a Lowestoft fishing family - will bring the story back to life during special talks tonight and tomorrow (Wednesday and Thursday, October 13/14).


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Having spent years researching the history of the suits worn by the fishermen, and after gaining Arts Council funding, Mr Wylie brought together a Dockside Dandies exhibition in July 2010 highlighting the men who created it.

The tailor made suit for the Dockside Dandies exhibition is worn by student Fred Hoffman for a fitti

The tailor made suit for the Dockside Dandies exhibition is worn by student Fred Hoffman for a fitting by Robert Oliver. Watching is Peter Wylie who is putting together the exhibition. - Credit: Archant

And now, ahead of what are set to be "fascinating evenings" learning more about the history of Lowestoft and its fisherfolk, Mr Wylie said: "I’m very much looking forward to recounting how this untold and forgotten moment in Lowestoft’s past became so popular.

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"It was just over 10 years ago, that I did the project on The Dockside Dandies of Lowestoft.

"It was far more successful than I could ever have imagined - and without the wonderful support of the Lowestoft Journal, the project would barely have taken off."

The ensign is being flown at half-mast at the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club on Royal Plain.

The Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club on Royal Plain in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

At 7.30pm on October 13, at the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club, a ‘Dockside Dandies' talk with Peter Wylie will take centre stage, before a talk is held at the Lowestoft Archaeological and Local History Society.

A spokesman for the Lowestoft Archaeological and Local History Society said: "On Thursday, October 14 we are going to hear an account of The Dockside Dandies of Lowestoft, from Peter Wylie."

The Society meets at South Lowestoft Methodist Church, London Road South, and the ‘Dockside Dandies of Lowestoft’ talk will begin at 7.30pm.

The talk is free to members, and visitors are most welcome with entry £2.

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