Thursday, 30 April 2009

East Anglian Pageant: Thorpeness

In-between tinkering with all sorts of things, including this blog, Unmann-Wittering are currently working on a tribute to library / private press LP’s we call ‘East Anglian Pageant’, a musical celebration of our home region. Each individual track will focus on providing a soundtrack for a village or town across the counties of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, and demonstrational MP3’s will be posted here as they emerge.

Thorpeness is on the rapidly eroding Suffolk coast, approximately 25 miles from Ipswich. In 1910, the tiny hamlet (and most of the surrounding area) was purchased by a Scottish millionaire and developed into a private fantasy resort for his family and friends to spend their Summers in. Notable features of this strange and slightly unsettling place are a Peter Pan themed shallow artificial lake complex called The Meare, a variety of houses built in mock archaic styles, including Tudor & Jacobean, and a 75ft high water tower converted to residential use called ‘The House in The Clouds’ (pictured).

Extremely busy in the Summer as a day trip and holiday destination, the village is virtually deserted and even more surreal during the rest of the year, so an off-season trip is recommended as the best way to see this extraordinary place. If Anglia TV ever remake ‘The Prisoner’, you can bet that this will be their first thought for a location.

‘Thorpeness Uncooperative Band’ seeks to portray a busy Summer day in this odd little resort. The sun is shining, the ducks are swimming, a brass band is playing, but something is not quite right, and we don’t just mean the drummer’s timing…

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