Archive for the ‘History’ Category

‘Stories of Lynn’ lecture series launches

Autumn Lectures 1 600Autumn Lectures st johns cup 300The first in a series of ‘Stories of Lynn’ lectures takes place on Tuesday 13 October. Each will take place in the Town Hall, 6.00 pm – 7.30 pm.

Designed to start telling some of the fascinating stories contained within the buildings and collections that make up the Town Hall complex and the magnificent buildings of the town, each lecture will focus on a particular theme or artefact ranging from medieval times through to the 18th and 19th century.

The first lecture will be given by Dr Andy Mills, Project Curator from the Norfolk Museums Services. Dr Mills, an anthropologist and historian of art, has worked on research and exhibition projects for a number of institutions, including the University of East Anglia, and has had the enviable task of packing and researching the Town Hall collections over the last nine months, and watching the new Stories of Lynn exhibition coming to fruition.

His lecture, entitled ‘The Civic Insignia of King’s Lynn: Some Reflections on its National and World Context’, will look in some detail at the King John Cup, the King John Sword, staff, maces, chains, robes and other accoutrements that form the jewels in the town’s crown and symbolise the importance and significance of the Mayor’s role.

New light will be shed on these well-known items showing them from a different perspective. The culture and tradition behind the use of such status symbols will also be explored along with the historically important role of the Mayor as the head of the powerful corporation which controlled the land and sea through the courts.

There will be six lectures in total. Each 1 hour lecture is free to attend and starts at 6pm in the Town Hall’s magnificent Georgian Assembly Room. Refreshments will be provided.

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds said: “As we head towards the opening of Stories of Lynn next spring, I think it’s really exciting that we can start to hear about some of the town’s fascinating but hidden history through this autumn lecture series.”

The full programme of lectures is as follows:

13 October – Dr Andy Mills – the Civic Insignia of King’s Lynn:Some reflections on its National and World context

20 October – Professor Mark Bailey – ‘Towns and Markets in Medieval East Anglia’

27 October – Ms Ruth Farnan – ‘Understanding Pieter Van Roestraeten’s Still Life with King John Cup’

3 November – Dr Julian Litten FSA – ‘The Stained Glass of All Saints Church’

10 November – Dr Paul Richards – ‘The Merchants of Lynn & their World 1685 – 1789’

24 November – Mr Adrian Parker – ‘The Angel Roof of St Nicholas Chapel’

Opening in 2016, Stories of Lynn will enhance and remodel the town hall complex, allowing people to explore the buildings and learn more about the economic and social history of King’s Lynn – one of England’s most important medieval port towns.

Using the archive, collections and fabric of the buildings, innovative interpretation devices and a diverse activity plan, the attraction will unlock the stories of the seafarers, explorers, merchants, mayors, magistrates and miscreants who have shaped King’s Lynn.

The project has been made possible thanks to a £1,850,600 Heritage Lottery Fund grant and £800,000 investment by the borough council.

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Gaywood and Downham clocks are latest miniature collectables

Gaywood and Downham Clocks in miniature.

Gaywood and Downham Clocks in miniature.

Two new Lilliput Lane Limited Edition pieces, new to the West Norfolk collection and exclusive to the Caithness Crystal Visitor Centre, will be available to buy from 9am on Saturday the 3rd October.

King’s Lynn is the only town in the country to have an exclusive building launched every year. The collection so far includes the King’s Lynn Library, St Nicholas Chapel, St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham and the Red Mount to name but a few.

The 2015 pieces are the Gaywood Clock and Downham Market Clock: the Gaywood Clock has a Limited Edition of 500 pieces and the Downham Market Clock has a Limited Edition of 350. Each piece is uniquely numbered and priced at £23.95 each.

The Caithness Crystal Visitor Centre is holding a launch event on Saturday 3rd October. Between 10am and 2pm visitors can meet the artist Lynne Thomson from Lilliput Lane and have their Limited Edition pieces signed by her.

So what building will it be next year?

“Last year someone suggested the two clocks and “hey presto” we have two clocks!”

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Heritage Open Day 2015

  • Heritage Open Day 2015 programme

    Have a wonderful FREE day out exploring King’s Lynn’s historic buildings. Visit houses, offices, gardens, churches, chapels, interesting cemeteries, towers, tunnels and even a temple not normally open to the public. Look out for special events, colourful reenactors, music, dancing, classic cars and exhibitions.

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    70th anniversary of VJ Day service

    A service commemorating the 70th Anniversary of VJ Day is being held in Tower Gardens on Saturday, 15 August 2015, starting at 11am.

    Organised by the Royal Air Forces Association, the service will be led by Canon Paul Wright MA RAuxAF, Sub-Dean HM Chapels Royal, and will be attended by WWII veterans along with the Deputy Lieutenant, Dr Paul Richards, the Mayor of the Borough of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Cllr Colin Manning, the High Sheriff of Norfolk, Nick Pratt and the Vice Chairman of the County Council, David Collis and Leader of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Cllr Nick Daubney.

    Members of the public are welcome to attend to remember those who fought to assure our freedom and those that laid down their lives for their country.

    Wing Commander Stapley OBE DFC, President of the King’s Lynn Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association, said: “We are delighted to join the Mayor of the Borough of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk in inviting our WWII veterans, especially former members of the Burma Star Association and the Far East Prisoners of War and of course members of the public to this very special service. It was 12 years ago when the Burma Star Association laid up their Standard owing to the falling membership. It was at that time that they accepted our offer to organise the annual service. We have been pleased to arrange the service ever since and feel honoured in being asked to do so. We hope that many of our veterans will join us and wear their medals with pride.”

    The service, which starts at 11am, will be conducted around the Burma Star Memorial in the Tower Gardens. Chairs will be made available for the verterans and every effort made to provide the best possible view for everyone. Some parking bays have been cordoned off in St James Street for the benefit of blue badge holders attending the event.

    Following the service, there will be a 1940s-style tea party for veterans and their guests at the Conservative Club in King’s Lynn.

    The Mayor, Cllr Colin Manning, said: “We have been trying to get in touch with World War II veterans in West Norfolk and have been delighted by the response that we have had. We are expecting around 30 for our special commemorative tea party and we are looking forward to meeting them and hearing their stories. We owe a great deal to those who fought for their country during the war, and the 70th anniversary of VJ Day provides us with an opportunity to say thank you.”

    The service in the Tower Gardens is open to all. The tea party is strictly by invitation only.

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    Gory world of the barber surgeon comes back to life in Lynn

    barber surgeon re-enactment pic

    The gory world of the barber surgeon will be brought back to life in King’s Lynn’s Saturday Market Place this September as the fascinating history of traditional trades from that part of town are explored in an exciting event for all the family.

    Beer, Barbers and Butchers celebrates a host of traditional trades that were based in the St Margaret’s and St Nicholas Townscape Heritage Initiative area. Some of the trades that have existed in the area over time remain important professions in that vicinity today, especially hairdressing and barbering.

    This fun, free, family event features a host of activities including a Barber Shop Quarter performance, local butchers and brewers selling their wares and demonstrating their skills and a display of hairdressing and barbering skills from local salons.

    The event will also feature a re-enactment giving an a eye-opening insight into the life of a barber in medieval times, when their easy access to razor sharp blades made them the perfect physician – often charged with amputating limbs as well as cutting hair!

    In addition hairdressing and beauty students from the College of West Anglia will be putting on a show exhibiting their ability to create intricate hair and beauty makeovers which show how styles have changed over the ages from Elizabethan times to the swinging sixties.

    Beer, Barbers and Butchers takes place on 12 and 13 September from 11am until 5pm. Activities vary each day.

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    Art of the Mart exhibition

    A wooden carved dobby horse made by Savage's of King's Lynn between 1860 and 1874.

    A wooden carved dobby horse made by Savage’s of King’s Lynn between 1860 and 1874.

    art of the mart posterA fascinating new exhibition at Lynn Museum looks at the art, craft and design of King’s Lynn’s funfair, known as ‘the Mart’.

    The Mart opens each year on Valentine’s Day, traditionally the first of the fairs in the Showmen’s year.

    King’s Lynn was famous in Victorian times as the home of creators of steam powered merry-go-rounds, Savage’s Ltd.

    In 1973 Savage’s factory at the St Nicholas Ironworks closed but the Savage name can still be seen around the town centre.

    The exhibition runs at the Lynn Museum, near the bus station, from 25 July 2015 until 2 July 2016.

    art of the mart savages factory

    "Sea on Land" boat merry-go-round.  According to their 1902 catalogue: 'The roundabout ... has delighted many thousands of visitors at our English Fairs, the motion resembles the rocking boat at sea.'

    “Sea on Land” boat merry-go-round. According to Savage’s 1902 catalogue: ‘The roundabout … has delighted many thousands of visitors at our English Fairs, the motion resembles the rocking boat at sea.’

    A modern galloper made of fibreglass

    A modern galloper made of fibreglass

    Part of the exhibition includes a working model galloper.

    Part of the exhibition includes a working model galloper ride.

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    Follow the Spitfire Trail!

    40s weekend spitfire trail king streetModel spitfires are “flying” all around King’s Lynn until the end of September.

    Visitors can follow the The Flight Path to find 24 spitfires located all around Historic King’s Lynn.

    The role of the Spitfire was critical during the Battle of Britain, so the Spitfire trail was set up by a partnership involving the local authority and the King’s Lynn Air Cadets.

    Each of the 20 fibreglass models, with a wingspan of 1 metre and colourful design, is sponsored by a local enterprise.

    Heather Garrod, the president of West Norfolk Chamber Council, said:
    “I think it’s tremendous and it will bring a different sort of people into town. It’s phenomenal.”

    Nova Fairbank, who works for the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, says the local economy should receive a boost from the event, stressing the potential importance of increasing visitor numbers to the core of Lynn.

    Flight Lieutenant Pauline Petch says a leaflet with more information and a map is available from the Tourist Information Centre at the Custom House. The leaflet includes a free competition where visitors can fill in the answers as they travel along the trail, with the chance to win a signed aircraft print.

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    40’s Weekend ~ Pictures

    40s weekend cadets 1

    40s weekend cadets and mayor 1

    40s weekend cadets and mayor 2

    40s weekend dakota

    40s weekend spitfire flyover

    40s weekend spitfire replica

    40s weekend spitfire trail king street

    All Photos: John Beck

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    Magna Carta Drama ~ In Pictures

    magna carta 800 fighter full

    The culmination of the Magna Carta 800 weekend was an historic dramatisation, held on the Tuesday Market Place, in which King John seals the Magna Carta after a heated debate with his barons, followed by the King taking a symbolic toast of tea with the Borough Mayor and Mayoress.

    magna 800 enactment group fight

    magna 800 enactment group with King John

    King John takes a symbolic toast of tea, with Borough Mayor, Cllr Colin Manning and Mayoress Mrs Julie Manning in celebration of the rights and freedoms that the Magna Carta secured.

    King John takes a symbolic toast of tea, with Borough Mayor, Cllr Colin Manning and Mayoress Mrs Julie Manning in celebration of the rights and freedoms that the Magna Carta secured.

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    Marking Magna Carta ~ 2 day event

    MagnaCarta-295x300This weekend (Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June) King’s Lynn’s will host a range of free medieval themed activities as it marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta – the document which laid the foundations for modern rights and freedoms.

    Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage and Health, said: “The Magna Carta had a huge impact upon shaping the rights and freedoms we enjoy today and our fun family event will celebrate this and King’s Lynn’s particular links with infamous King John! I hope lots of people come and join in the fun.”

    Magna Carta 800 will include falconry displays, fire breathing, a knights’ tournament and historical enactments and will be based in Tuesday Market Place from 10 am until 4 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. All activities are free of charge.

    As well as enjoying the exciting displays, people will be able to learn more about King John’s Magna Carta and the monarch’s particular associations with King’s Lynn at Lynn Museum. One of the things they will discover is that King’s Lynn was one of the places to mint King John pennies during John’s reign.

    In recognition of this, people will be able to strike their own King John pennies as a souvenir of the day. The pennies can also be used to pay the storyteller based in Baxter’s Plain. For the price of a King John Penny, the storyteller will tell you tales of ancient kings, saints and exciting adventures! Entry to the museum is free of charge on 13 & 14 June.

    During the weekend, families will also be invited to take part in the King John treasure trail. The trail takes a route around King’s Lynn’s streets, where participants will search for pennies hidden in shop windows and solve the word clues to be in with a chance of winning their own bag of treasure. Treasure maps are available in Tuesday Market Place, King’s Lynn Tourist Information Centre and Lynn Museum or can be downloaded here.

    At 3 pm on Sunday 14 June, King’s Lynn will join in with the national Liberteas celebration. King’s Lynn Minster, in Saturday Market Place, will ring a quarter peal of bells . There will also be a brief dramatisation, in which King John seals the Magna Carta after a heated debate with his barons, in Tuesday Market Place. Finally, the actor playing King John will take a symbolic toast of tea, with Borough Mayor, Cllr Colin Manning and Mayoress Mrs Julie Manning in celebration of the rights and freedoms that the Magna Carta secured (Tuesday Market Place).

    The anniversary of the Magna Carta and King John’s connections with King’s Lynn are also the subject of an exhibition at King’s Lynn Tourist Information Centre (TIC) (Custom House, PE30 1HP), which runs until 30 June (£1 entrance fee applies). With special focus on the King John Charter, the exhibition provides a real insight into why, this famously unpopular king found such support in the town. The TIC has also organised a free quiz for children on 13 & 14 June (prizes available).

    Magna Carta 800 has been organised by the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and is part of Stories of Lynn – an ambitious project which as received £1,850,600 of Heritage Lottery funding and funding from the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and is being delivered in partnership with Norfolk Museums Service and Norfolk Record Office.

    2 Day Magna Carta Event

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    Monday Evening Walks with the Town Guides

    Every summer the King’s Lynn Town Guides produce a special programme of walks on Monday evenings, covering a wide range of historical topics.

    The walks are especially aimed at local people who may not be able to take part in the daytime walks because of work or other commitments.

    This year’s programme lasts throughout June and July. Tickets may be purchased in
    advance from the Tourist Information Office but people are also welcome to just come along and pay the Guide at the start of the walk.

    Prices: Adults £5, Concessions £4, Children £1

    town guides evening walks

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    Two day Magna Carta event

    Magna carta

    King’s Lynn will mark the 800th anniversary of the granting of Magna Carta by King John in a two-day event taking place on 13 & 14 June.

    The Tuesday Market Place will be transformed into a hive of medieval activity with falconry displays, craft demonstrations and historical characters including an archer, storyteller and of course King John and his barons, as well as the opportunity to make a King John Penny and search For King John’s treasure. Includes free entry to Lynn Museum.

    Activities take place throughout both days (10 am – 4 pm)

    Tuesday Market Place

    • Falconry display
    • Fire breathing
    • Knights’ Tournament
    • Craft demonstrations – pottery, spinning, net making
    • Historical characters – including King John, an archer and fanfare minstrel
      King John will make his proclamation about the freedoms contained within the Magna Carta

    Town Centre

    Search for King John’s lost treasure! Download a trail map here

    Pick up a treasure map from Lynn Museum or the Tourist Information Office (maps available from 23 May).

    Lynn Museum

    • Free admission
    • Make your own King John Penny and use it to pay the storyteller in Baxter’s Plain
    • Explore activities and displays about King John
    • Make your own Magna Carta – what rights and freedoms would you demand?

    Baxter’s Plain

    • Medieval storyteller
    • Pay the storyteller a King John Penny and he’ll tell you a tale!

    This event is part of the Stories of Lynn project which has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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    Unlocking eight centuries of King’s Lynn history


    King’s Lynn Town Hall and Gaol House is about to be revitalised, revealing hundreds of years of the town’s history through its archives and objects.

    A new exhibition ‘Stories of King’s Lynn’ will transform the Town Hall complex, including Trinity Guildhall and the three story Gaol House, showcasing the bejewelled King John’s Cup, amongst many other items of regalia as well as archives belonging to the town’s long history of trade, migration and immigration.

    The beautiful King John Cup

    The beautiful King John Cup

    The exciting project has been made possible thanks to a grant of £1.8 Million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and will bring to life the stories from King’s Lynn seafarers to merchants, explorers to adventurers, mayors to magistrates.

    It will draw on the outstanding archives of King’s Lynn as well as the Regalia and silver collections of the Borough and help create a high quality heritage resource at the heart of the local community.

    Says Sarah Oswald, project director at designers PLB, “Our work will help paint a picture of the town through the years through the eyes of the community whose lives are recorded and reflected in the Town Hall’s archives and collections. We will also consider how this project will link with other heritage sites across the town, enabling visitors to build a fuller picture of the town’s heritage.

    “Our role is to help the Borough open up this wealth of history, build on the local pride and make the complex once again the centre of town life with a wider appeal amongst new audiences, including tourists and young people.”


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    PICTURES ~ Hansa Festival

    Hanse Festival horse riders

    hansa festival fire breather

    hansa festival medieval parade

    medieval dancers

    hansa festival medieval parade 3

    hansa festival medieval parade 4

    hansa festival medieval parade 5

    hansa festival medieval parade 6

    hansa festival medieval market

    hansa festival kampen kogge

    All Photos: John Beck

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    VIDEO ~ Kamper Kogge arrives in Lynn

    The Dutch vessel Kamper Kogge arrives at the pontoons on Thursday afternoon, ready for the Hanseatic Festival Weekend.

    Cameraman: Alan Taylor Shearer for King’s Lynn Online
    Produced in association with Dutch website

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    Kamper Kogge arrives

    Kamper Kogge 400
    The replica 14th-century Hanseatic trading ship Kamper Kogge, has arrived in King’s Lynn from it’s home city of Kampen in the Netherlands.

    The historic ship moored at the pontoons on the South Quay as part of the Hanseatic Festival, which takes place on the 16th and 17th May.

    The Mayor of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Barry Ayres climbed aboard and presented the crew with a flag depicting the King’s Lynn coat of arms, which was quickly hoisted up at the stern.

    Experienced guides will be welcoming people aboard at the weekend to have a look around and learn about the history of the Hanseatic Kogge.

    Members of the crew, with Dr Paul Richards (centre)

    Members of the crew, with local historian Dr Paul Richards (centre shades)

    King's Lynn coat of arms flies above the ship.

    King’s Lynn coat of arms flies above the ship.

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