Lowestoft Archaeological and Local History Society


Society website: www.lowestoftlocalhistory.co.uk

Volume 35 Number 1


What’s On

28 September "Norfolk villages lost to the sea" by Chris Weston

12 October "Suffolk’s Ancient Woodland" by Simon Leatherdale

26 October "The Optical Telegraph, London to Great Yarmouth" by Bernard Ambrose

9 November "Bombs, beams and boffins – the secret site at Orford Ness" by Paddy Heazell

23 November "The History of the Lowestoft and East Suffolk Marine Society" by Peter Parker

5 December (Tuesday) Christmas Social, to be held at the Yacht Club.

All meetings are held in the SOUTH LOWESTOFT METHODIST CHURCH HALL, at the corner of

Please ring bell if the door is locked


Chairman’s Column

I hope you have all had an enjoyable summer break, and are now looking forward to our new programme of talks, which I am sure you will agree looks most interesting. Our first meeting is this evening, the 7th September, which is a little earlier than the usual second Thursday.

The Museum has been having another good season. We have lost a few of our stewards, but have gained a few more. As you know, Jon Reed has not been well, and unhappily, has retired from all Museum duties. He will be greatly missed. The Museum remains open until the end of October and we shall be having our end of season get-together for all our helpers at the beginning of November. I shall, of course, let everyone involved know the date and time and place where we shall meet.

There has been a meeting with a representative from Waveney District Council about the Council’s plans for part of the Museum building (formally Nancy’s flat). It is hopeful that the flat will become part of the Museum, but there is quite a lengthy procedure to go through. Then, of course, we shall have to apply for grants.

The buffet at the Yacht Club on the 8th June to celebrate the Society’s 40th Anniversary was a great success, and we were pleased to welcome some of the original founder members of the Society. Paul Durbidge’s talk was most interesting, and everyone enjoyed the buffet prepared by Andy Willows, who is now in charge of the catering at the Yacht Club - which is good to know.

Our talk tonight is The Development of the Saxon State in East Anglia by Andy Hutcheson.

With good wishes, Lilian Fisher

Wuffing Education at Sutton Hoo

Wuffing Education is now in its fourth year of running Study Days. The aim is to give in-depth explorations with specialists and fellow enthusiasts in the history, archaeology, literature, landscape, music and art of early medieval England in general and of the Wuffing kingdom of East Anglia in particular.

For details of dates and study subject, see the leaflets on the Information Table.


Please hand in any items you have for inclusion in the Newsletter at the Society meetings.
Don’t worry if spelling is not your strong point, we can help out.


This year the Society is 40 years old.

To mark the 40th anniversary, a celebration evening was held at the Yacht Club on Thursday 8th June.

Society members were joined by members from the earlier years of the Society and enjoyed a buffet and a talk by Paul Durbidge, who was one of the founder members.

In his talk, Paul told of the founding of the Society with some interesting and humorous tales about the Society, its activities and some of its members.

A cake, decorated with a copy of an original Lowestoft Porcelain birth tablet, was cut by founder member Bill Goode and enjoyed by all present.


Society Annual General Meeting.

At the A.G.M the following members were elected to the committee.

Chair: Mrs Lilian Fisher Vice/chair: vacant Secretary: Mrs Irene Ashman

Treasurer: Mr Ray Collins. Programme Secretary: Mr John Knowles. Newsletter editor: Mr Don Friston

Committee Members: Mrs Jenny Hatton, Mr Les Wilmot, Mr Keith Davies, Mr Ron Ashman.


11 May 2006, " Pottery through the Ages" by Alice Lyons

Pottery is very important to archaeologists for dating purposes. It lasts for a long period of time and the composition of the clay can determine where it came from. Also, particles found inside can give a clue to the use of the pot, for example storage or cooking.

About 6,500 years ago Neolithic man changed from a nomadic to a settled lifestyle. This was the period when they changed from the use of wooden and leather utensils to the use of pottery. They mixed clay with grit, to make the material stronger, made the pottery by hand and fired it by placing wood over the pottery, in the manner of a bonfire.

Around 1000BC amphora, which means two handles, were used to transport olive oil, wine, exotic fruits and fish sauce to this country from the Mediterranean states. Amphora were used by the Greeks, Egyptians & Romans.

The Romans introduced the use of the potters wheel and fired the pottery in kilns, in which the temperature could be controlled, which was a great improvement over the bonfire method. Within 50 years of the Romans leaving Briton, in the fifth century, the natives returned to the pre-Roman way of producing pottery. It was not until the Normans came in 1066 that the use of the potters wheel and kilns returned.

During the Medieval period the range of pottery increased. In the 13th to 15th centuries colour was re-introduced in the form of glazes. Green was a popular colour, formed by the use of copper oxide. This basically formed a glass glaze that made the pot watertight. The amount of glaze used helps to determine its age, as earlier pots were glazed only at the bottom, whereas later pots were glazed all over.