JACK ROSE (1926–2000) was born in Lowestoft into a ‘Beach’ family. He worked as a longshoreman, trawlerman, drifterman, lifeboatman, fish worker and school caretaker.
His interest in the town began after he returned from service in the Second World War to discover how much Lowestoft had changed. In 1970 he began giving slideshows and talks in local venues, schools, clubs and old people’s homes for the next three decades, regularly filling the Marina Theatre and raising money for local charities.
Jack never saw himself as an historian and preferred to be thought of as the ‘last of the old characters’ (Trevor Westgate, Lowestoft Journal). The first of his 11 books was published in 1973 and his favourite was always The Grit (1997) which, along with five of his other titles, he co-wrote with Dean Parkin.
In 2019 Jack’s family appointed Dean as curator of the extensive archive of notes, photographs and slides. The Jack Rose Collection will now become the source for a number of forthcoming ventures including books, talks and heritage events.
To mark the 20th anniversary of Jack’s death, a revised and redesigned edition of his long out-of-print autobiography – Jack Rose’s Lowestoft Life (1991) – will be re-published in 2020 using materials from the archive.