Ordnance Survey of Great Britain 1954, Sheet 137 – Lowestoft
(click on the image for a closer look)
A recent trip to Hastings lead to a Sunday morning treasure hunt in Roberts Rummage, a small living room piled high with loosely sorted items and belongings of past lives. My friend Christopher and I spent a couple of hours searching the stacks of china, jars of buttons and drawers of brass wear and the excitement is the unknown item you will stumble across, the joy of cleaning it up and the new life and place it will have in our lives.
I often think of the life items have had and if you could trace them back where they would take you. Amongst the old board games I discovered this map. Having grown up just outside Lowestoft I was thrilled, it felt like a gift to trace back the villages and towns I have known all my life.
I love how the 2 dimensional markings of maps trigger 3 dimensional landscapes in your mind’s eye and memory. I don’t just see the roundabout outside Bungay but the chickens that roam wild on it.
Framlingham castle is days spent brass rubbing and watching medieval jousting
and Southwold Pier the Sunday it collapsed into the sea and the hours my sisters and I spent collecting the coppers washing up onto the shore from the slot machines with glee.
Maps are also markers of change. The lost railway line to Great Yarmouth from Oulton Broad South and the deserted platform that still remains when I visit home,
the coastline erosion at Dunwich and the reminder of how separated the small villages and communities were before the connecting new houses that have dramatically changed from those mapped here.
Just like the junk shop this map is full of unknown treasures. I will frame it to have a new life in my kitchen and will love the markers of my memory and the future adventures and unseen landscapes it still holds.