Gnarly Southwold

Scroll this

Southwold will forever hold a special place in my heart.


Because on a dark and wild day, I made the very first 10×12″ glass plate of the Project at Southwold RNLI Lifeboat Station — the view from the boathouse:

The Lifeboat Station Project by Jack Lowe
The view from Southwold Lifeboat Station, Suffolk, Monday 12th January 2015 (10×12″ Ambrotype)

Remember the relentless January wind we experienced in the UK?

Well, I love how this plate is every bit as gnarly as the weather we endured on the day.

It reflects that moment perfectly along with my janglin’ nerves right at the start of the Project; nerves which eased immeasurably from this plate onwards once I got into my stride.

The plate also depicts a wonderfully simple example of RNLI infrastructure: The Atlantic 85 lifeboat is launched via the tracks running along the ground from the left. Once it reaches the small buffers, it’s then hoisted into the water by the substantial davit.

In an emergency situation, this process takes just a few minutes.

The weather showed no signs of easing as I made my very first portrait of the project too — Southwold Coxswain, Alan Scoggins:

The Lifeboat Station Project by Jack Lowe
Alan Scoggins, Coxswain of Southwold Lifeboat Station, Monday 12th January 2015 (10×12″ Ambrotype)

Still, in the relentless wind and rain, Alan managed to kindly stand still for several seconds, just enough to record his image on glass.

My warm thanks to Gary Doy (LOM) and Alan Scoggins (Cox’n) for their time and cooperation on that dreich Monday.

I’ll look forward to visiting again very soon to photograph the crew.

Limited Edition Prints

If you would like to buy one of the 50 limited edition prints of these photographs, please click here.


  1. Anytime Jack it was a pleasure to be the starting point for this amazing journey , just give us some notice and I will get as any crew as possible down for the picture , many thanks and kind regards Alan

    • That’s great, Alan. I’m thinking about coming down next month before moving south to Aldeburgh and beyond… Best wishes, Jack

Share your thoughts: