The Grit was an award-winning community project — supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The project celebrated Lowestoft's long lost fishing village, known to locals as The Grit, which was once the most easterly community in the country, right next to the North Sea. In 1900 The Grit was home to 2,500 people, 13 pubs, three schools, two churches, shops and cafés and the often poor ‘Gritsters’ were known for their spirit of independence. The decline of the fishing industry, coupled with bomb damage in the Second World War and the 1953 flood, resulted in the demise of the village in the 1960s.
The inspiration for the project was the book of The Grit, written by Jack Rose and Dean Parkin and published in 1997 which became a local bestseller. Using stories and characters from the book, The Grit Project ran throughout 2018 and delivered:
• GritFest– a celebration day in Sparrows Nest Park
• Schools workshops & resource to teach The Grit's history
• Reminiscence and oral history sessions with local care home and sheltered housing residents
• A new theatre show, Pearls from The Grit, bringing to life the old fishing village
The Grit Project was devised by Poetry People, in partnership with the Lowestoft Maritime Museum, and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Lowestoft Rising.
In autumn 2019 a second tour of Pearls from The Grit took place, funded by Arts Council England East, coinciding with the publication of a revised edition of the original book available from Corner Street.