Freedom of borough granted to local historian

Deputy Mayor Colin Manning presents award to Dr Paul Richards

Deputy Mayor Colin Manning presents award to Dr Paul Richards

Local historian, Honorary Alderman and former Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Dr Paul Richards was granted Honorary Freedom of the Borough on Thursday, 23 April 2015, following a unanimous decision at the specially convened council meeting.

Nominated by Cllr Nick Daubney, Dr Richards is the first individual to have this honour bestowed upon him since St John Barbirolli in October 1969.

The Honorary Freedom is the highest award the council can bestow and it must be agreed by resolution at a special meeting of the council passed by no less than two-thirds of the members at the meeting.

paul richards freedom group

The granting of this honour is an exceptional event and in this case was granted because of Dr Richards eminent services to the town. He was a borough councillor from 1991 to 2003. He was the first and only Mayor of the borough of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk to serve two terms in succession 1998/99 and 1999/2000. He is a well known author of historical books on the area and has worked tirelessly to promote the history of the borough and its links with the Hanseatic League. He is a town guide, Chairman of the North End Trust and a supporter of many other worthy organisations including the Purfleet Trust. He was appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk in 2014/15.

Deputy Mayor Colin Manning who presented the award said: “It was my privilege to chair last week’s full council meeting in the town hall. When the normal business was concluded I opened the special meeting when I asked Dr Richards to join me and stand in front of the dais together with the council leader Cllr Nick Daubney and the Chief Executive Mr Ray Harding.

“I presented Dr Paul Richards with the scroll confirming his Freedom of the Borough. Paul Richards gave a few words and the whole council chamber gave him a standing ovation. It is an understatement to say he was a first-class, unanimous choice to receive this honour.”

Dr Paul Richards, on receiving the award, said: “When I received a letter from the Council Leader, Cllr Nick Daubney, saying I might have the Borough Freedom bestowed on me, I was lost for words – an unusual occurrence!

“The grand event on 23 April, at the Town Hall, coincided with St George’s Day. The gallery for visitors was full.

“After welcome by the Deputy Mayor and the reading of the Resolution by the Chief Executive, Ray Harding, followed by a speech by Cllr Nick Daubney, Council Leader, I addressed the audience in our magnificent Assembly Rooms.

“For me, it was simultaneously an awesome and humbling experience, a unique event in my life, never to be repeated. I was born and bred in Lynn and returned to my home town after 7 years at university. My end line was that I was proud to be English, a Norfolk man and a “Lynn Boy” and (cheekily borrowing Nelson’s phrase) – I glory in so being!”


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