Lowestoft Group


LOWESTOFT - the British Isles' most easterly town, is situated in the north-east of the county and was mentioned in the Domesday Book. In the 18th & 19th Centuries it expanded and absorbed the adjacent hamlets of Kirkley, Normanston and Carlton Colville and has grown to a town with a population of 70,000.

Many of the major industries have disappeared but some tentative regeneration is occurring, mainly in the field of windfarm turbine building and maintenance. Two large marinas attract private yachts and cruisers from Europe. The town still manages to attract day visitors with its superb Blue Flag beaches and safe bathing


 The Maritime Museum in Sparrow's Nest Gardens houses a large collection dedicated to the now defunct fishing industry. During WW2, Sparrow's Nestiwas the home of was the The Royal Navy Patrol Service which occupied the Nest throughout the war and was named HMS Europa. The  Lowestoft War Museum, which contans a vast collection of  photographs and artefacts of Lowestoft in WW2, is alway pleased to welcome visitors.   A memorial to members of the RNPS is in the adjacent Belle Vue Park displaying the names of 2385 seamen who "have no known grave".

The Lowestoft Museum in Nicholas Everitts Park, Oulton Broad, has a fine collection of Lowestoft Porcelain.





Our Group

In 1975 Katherine Bardwell with a few like-minded individuals started a small group which was held at Lowestoft library - there was no record office there then. The launch was very successful and the Suffolk Genealogy Society was born, with Katherine as its chairman & magazine editor. Later a group at Ipswich was formed and the name changed to Suffolk Family History Society.

The group has been active over the years in promoting family history with stalls at various local events. Parish register transcriptions have been foremost and most parishes in the Waveney district have been transcribed wholly or partially. Likewise with Monumental inscriptions and most churchyards have been transcribed.

Meetings are held, usually, on the first Tuesday of each month (except Jan & Aug) at 

United Reformed Church, London Road North, Lowestoft, NR32 1HB.

Ample free parking is available and there is disabled access.
Click here for directions.

Doors open at 7pm and the meeting starts at 7.30pm with entry for SFHS members £1.50 and non-members £2.00. Newcomers are especially welcome.

We have a varied programme of interesting talks & speakers and following this tea or coffee and biscuits are served. We usually have a book stall and CDs of transcripts and other documents are available if requested.

We always like a chance to discuss Family History interests so if you're just starting or stuck and need help or advice do please feel free to ask any of the Committee.

We also transcribe Parish & Workhouse registers for the Society's current projects at the Lowestoft Record Office and if you'd like to help or know more about this, again do please ask.


Now find us on Facebook - Suffolk Family History Society - Lowestoft Branch

Royal Naval Patrol Service Memorial - The Memorial commemorates members who died during 1939-1946 and have no known grave other than the sea.

"Excelsior" LT472 - A Lowestoft smack built in 1921, this fishing vessel has been meticulously restored to her original sailing appearance.

Lowestoft Workshop and Heritage

Lowestoft Maritime Museum Sparrow's Nest

Lowestoft Museum, Nicholas Everitts Park - Lowestoft Museum collects, preserves and displays objects relating to the history of the area and its people, and promotes awareness and interest in our rich heritage.

Lowestoft Archaeological & Local History Society - meetings at South Lowestoft Methodist Church,London Road South at 7.30.


Secretary: Beryl Capps
01502 562584
or by Email:  lowestoft@suffolkfhs.org.uk

Last Modified on 16/04/2018 by Janis Kirby


Next Monthly Meeting

Posted by Malcolm Rose on Mon, 4th Jun 2018

Flint House Cafe Meeting

We will have our next monthly meeting at Flint House Cafe on Wednesday 20th June from 2-4pm.  Please come along with your family history research and we will endeavour to see if we can help each other.  So many of us who live locally seem to be chasing the same families, that this gives us a chance to sit down, over a cuppa and find those connections.  There is no charge, all you need to do is buy a drink and perhaps one of Maria's delicious scones or cakes an cakes.

Members needed for photo call

Posted by Amanda Straderick on Wed, 30th May 2018

At 10.45am on Wednesday 27th June Suffolk Family History Society is taking part in a photo shoot along with Suffolk Historic Churches Trust. This is to launch the SHCT annual fundraising event called Ride and Stride. Which is taking place on the 9th September.  The photo call is to take place at St, Edmunds church, Southwold. If any would like to come along and show their support please just turn up on the day. No riding or striding will be required on the day, just yourselves! There will be press and vintage cars there to. So hopefully a good morning will be had by all.

Lowestoft Group's Facebook Page

Posted by Janis Kirby on Sat, 7th Apr 2018

Don't forget to take a look at Suffolk Family History Society, Lowestoft Group's Facebook Page - we now have 229 members and lots of questions are put by various members.  We are already finding distant (and not so distant!) cousins around the globe.

Afternoon meeting at Flint House Cafe, High Street

Posted by Janis Kirby on Sat, 7th Apr 2018

We are trying a new venture, an additional monthly meeting beginning on Wednesday afternoon, 18th April starting at 2pm to 4pm. The idea is for people to meet, chat and actually get down to some hands-on Family History at Flint House cafe in the High Street. All you need to do is buy tea/coffee and maybe one of Maria's delicious cakes or scones. There will be internet access so just bring your Ipad, laptop and research notes. Many of us have shared ancestry, so perhaps we can will find that  connection, as well as helping each other with queries. This is an experiment, so please come and support it, and make it a success - we intend the meeting to be informal and open to non members of SFHS.

"Blackadder Goes Forth"

Posted by Janis Kirby on Sat, 17th Feb 2018

Part of an article from Lowestoft Journal 17th Feb 2018 by Mark Boggis

"A popular television star and historian has added his weight to a campaign to save Lowestoft’s record office.

Sir Tony Robinson has backed the campaign to overturn a decision by Suffolk County Council to close Lowestoft Record Office and absorb its archives into a multi-million pound facility in Ipswich.

With more than 5,000 signatures having now been collected in the fight to save Lowestoft’s record office a meeting with members of the Save Our Record Office group (SORO), Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Suffolk County Council will take place on Friday, February 23, at Lowestoft Library,

The campaign group was formed following an announcement on January 10, when the county council said the record office, based at Lowestoft Library, would be replaced with an unmanned access point by the end of 2019. The decision would also see the documents currently stored there moved down to Ipswich.

Sir Tony, star of the hit BBC comedy series Blackadder and Channel 4’s Time Team, sent a message of support to Trudie Jackson, who set up the SORO group with Janis Kirby.

In an email to the SORO group, Sir Tony said: “Waveney and the Suffolk coast have their own unique history. To amalgamate their records and stories with those of the rest of Suffolk would do a great disservice to the strong sense of localism that makes this part of our island so special.”

The petition can still be signed online at www.change.org/p/tony-goldson-save-our-record-office

Lowestoft Group visit

Posted by Janis Kirby on Tue, 6th Feb 2018

On Thursday 18th January the Lowestoft Group, together with friends, visited the Heritage Centre in Lowestoft’s historic High Street and enjoyed looking through bound copies of old issues of Lowestoft Journal and viewed a photographic display of the town in years gone by.  The model of the now demolished beach village proved a talking point, especially when the room lights were dimmed and the model’s lights lit up. 

A detailed explanation of the 17th century plaster ceiling recovered from a now demolished farmhouse at Stoven, proved enlightening. Thanks to all at the Heritage Centre for opening up for our visit.

After a very successful evening, the group of 20 people retired to the Flint House Café (built in 1586, and the home of the Wilde Family and Admiral Sir Thomas Allen) and conveniently, next door to the Heritage Centre where tea, coffee and cake were enjoyed by all.  We’d like to express our grateful thanks to Maria for opening the Flint House Café especially for us on a cold winter’s evening.

Proposed Closure of Lowestoft Record Office

Posted by Malcolm Rose on Mon, 5th Feb 2018

The recent announcement by the Suffolk County Council that the Lowestoft Record Office will be closed in 2019 has angered  local historians, family history researchers and others who relied on having access to such a resource. What annoyed them was not only the fact that they were losing an essential facility, but the manner in which it was announced, without any indication  that the SCC was even contemplating such massive reduction in Lowestoft’s  local history resources.  There had been no prior notice of intention and no discussion with interested parties.

 It was decided to call a  meeting to organise a protest against this decision by the SCC. At the meeting a committee was formed and an action plan formulated . It was decided call our protest SORO (Save Our Record Office) and engage social media, a Facebook account was  opened, paper and internet petitions set up.  If you wish to register your protest, you may sign the petition on line at this address:  tonygoldsonsaveourrecordoffice.  Alternatively, you can contact SORO at soro@lowestoft.org.uk

BBC Radio Suffolk Interview

Posted by Amanda Straderick on Mon, 1st Jan 2018


Happy New Year to you all.  I hope you had a enjoyable night.  Today at 2.20pm you will hear me on BBC radio Suffolk talking about family history.  The interview is covering many aspects of the subject.  I hope you can listen in if you our free to do so. 


Amanda Straderick

Lowestoft Group Treasurer

Admin Trustee

Lowestoft Long-serving Committe members stand down

Posted by Malcolm Rose on Wed, 22nd Nov 2017


Posted by Janis Kirby on Mon, 20th Nov 2017

Lowestoft Group now has its own Facebook Page thanks to Committee member Sue Barnard.  You will find us on Suffolk Family History Society Lowestoft Group, please take a look and “Share” us.  Perhaps you would like to join the Group if you have family connection in this area.


06/02/2018Photographs of Old Lowestoft
An evening of nostalgia from a collector's album
Bert Collyer
06/03/2018Lowestoft Artist - George Vemply Burwood
The Life and work of a prolific Suffolk Artist
Janis Kirby
03/04/2018April Fools - Pitfalls in Family History Research
Tell us about any brick walls encountered in Family History Research. We may be able to help.
Members and Visitors participation
Followed by a talk - A Suffolk Family Heads West - A Story of Dedication, Strength and Courage
Ivan Bunn
05/06/2018Beccles Museum and World War One
The history of Beccles Museum and World War One
Alan Wheeler
03/07/2018Change to the Programme -- Nelson's Women
Programme Change We now have a talk by Sue Pearce of the Nelson Museum in Great Yarmouth on Lord Nelson and his Women
Sue Pearce
07/08/2018NO MEETING
04/09/2018Failed to Return
A number of aircrew, from Lowestoft, failed to return from missions over Germany, Bob Collis relates the stories of these men
Bob Collis
06/11/2018World War One Battlefields
Robin Keighley
04/12/2018Reading Old scripts
How do you decipher old documents? - we hope to show you how.
Ann Youngs
08/01/2019A Visit to St John's Ambulance Museum
A visit to the St John's Ambulance Museum in Oxford Road.
05/02/2019Sir Walter Runciman Bart. Master Mariner
The life and times of a mariner from boy to Master
Ann Youngs
05/03/2019The Life of Nelson
The Life and Times of a Famous Admiral
Sue Pearce
A Dramatic Presentation
Elfreded Bramley Crawshaw
Talk to be arranged
Ivan Bunn


For further details on the programme you should contact

Secretary: Beryl Capps
01502 562584
or by Email:  lowestoft@suffolkfhs.org.uk

Group Contact

Secretary: Beryl Capps
01502 562584
or by Email:  lowestoft@suffolkfhs.org.uk

Group Projects

We don't have projects to show you at the moment but please call back to see what we had achieved.