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Celebrating Heritage, Promoting Our Future

Light Up The High Street

Imagine standing at the top of London Road North, looking north. It's dusk. You can hear a choir, its sound drifting towards you from the market place. 

Christmas lights begin to illuminate the street, some flickering a bit, suggesting oil-lamps and covered candles. It seems every window is aglow. Every shop is open, welcoming your business. You walk up the street. Some people are apparently ghosts of the past. Many others are dressed to promenade. There's a market. Between carols, a town crier is announcing the names of the many businesses in the street.

Some you don't recognise at all. Again, strolling northward, the light seems to pour from every display. Shop doors are open. There's new businesses in shops that have been shuttered for years. These are sellers and services, trying out new ideas.
A poet laments the passing of the year, and welcomes the one to come. It must be Dean Parkin.
The Old Town Hall is bright with old films of Lowestoft, and on the corner of Compass Street a gazebo holds
an exhibition of the now transforming town hall. A single-decker Lowestoft Corporation bus rumbles up, disgorging cheery visitors from the villages around.

A bit further up, there's a crowd gathered round noted historian Ivan Bunn as he weaves a story of the buildings around you. At 6 o'clock all the shop lights are suddenly extinguished. There's only the sound of people. Then a deep bass drum. Hobnailed boots marching. Flickering torches. It's Old Glory. They dance, a combination of the menacing and the uplifting.

A strange contraption spews out your personalised programme – it's carbon-neutral Lowdown. Now you can hear another choir, this one not ethereal but robust and rocking. It's on the green, where there are yet more stalls and displays. Look east, the North Sea stretches out. Buoy lights wink. The lighthouse flicks seaward..

Now you return, this time taking time to investigate the new shops and pop into the established businesses. You might sample one of the high streets pubs, each one with a distinct identity and feel. Some sixties soul. From nowhere, some line dancers appear, line dancing down the street. To be joined by another troupe. And another. You join in, you can't help it. The whole street is doing the Madison!

You resolve to return. The High Street lives on.

By using light, sound, entertainment and business, create an atmosphere of life and energy, purpose and optimism.
Main elements:
Local businesses have to be on board, committed to having Christmas displays and lighting up their windows,
and opening late on one night.
Landlords of empty shops allow them to be used by start-up businesses for a week.
Street inhabitants join in, perhaps using their windows for history displays. And dressing up in period dress. Or space suits.
A programme of street events – choirs, dance, street theatre, a market, buskers
A bus (Transport Museum) collecting and returning people from Lound and Blundeston and outlying villages.
A planned publicity campaign.
• Local businesses collaborate and co-operate, developing their own ways to highlight the street and its
• Local creatives, including video, street art, workshops
• Local community groups
• The Town Council
• Lowestoft Vision
• Landlords
• Local radio

High Street
United Kingdom

52.482735442583, 1.756158

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