Archive for the ‘Music & Arts’ Category

Win tickets to see Joe Brown in King’s Lynn

Photo:  Judy Totton

Photo: Judy Totton


Singer Joe Brown is set to appear at the Corn Exchange, King’s Lynn on Sunday 21st February 2016, and two lucky people will be able to visit FREE courtesy of King’s Lynn Online. Just keep reading till the end of this article to find out how to enter our competition.

Joe Brown MBE has hit the road again this Autumn on a major tour of the UK that takes him up to Christmas and then on into 2016 for another two months.

It’s a long tour, and a tough one, but it could so easily never have happened. And not just this set of dates.

Way back in 1960 Joe was on the road as lead guitarist with Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent. Joe already had solo hits with People Gotta Talk and Darktown Strutters Ball so Larry Parnes, his then manager, pulled him off the tour to do his own headline shows.

A stroke of luck? Fate? Who knows. One thing’s for sure, it certainly could have saved his life. If Joe’d stuck with the original plan he’d have been in the car crash that tragically cost Eddie his – and the last five and a half decades of JB music would never have happened.

Since that very first hit Joe has toured, performed and entertained like the master he is – a man with a musical skill set to be envied and totally at home with the quickfire gag and the effortless repartee that’s now part and parcel of the cheeky chappie.

Although born in Lincolnshire, Joe was evacuated to London and grew up in the East End in the pub that his mum ran. He started playing professionally at 18 and soon outgrew the music hall songs of his parents, embracing skiffle in his late teens and then rock ‘n’ roll. The revelation that was Little Richard changed his life.

Photo:  Judy Totton

Photo: Judy Totton

Much has been written of Joe’s role as a UK guitar pioneer and rightly so. But, as the man modestly says, “There was nobody around in those days to tell you you were doing it wrong”. So he developed his own style which included playing guitar behind his head (a move that is said to have influenced Jimi Hendrix).

His guitar playing has been lauded by many of his fellow artists including luminaries such as George Harrison, Mark Knopfler and Keith Richards, to name but a few. His receipt of a coveted Mojo Award a few years back proved one of the most popular awards of the night.

Joe’s last album “The Ukulele Album” demonstrated his love of that instrument, one he’s championed for many years, but his accomplishments are spread wide. He also plays mandolin, mandola, fiddle, trumpet, banjo and, of course, electric and acoustic guitar.

Accompanied by his four strong band which includes his MD son Pete, the forthcoming tour will see Joe playing old favourites, rockers and new songs with a twist. Like a ringmaster overseeing his domain Joe commands the stage and, like the true professional he is, always delivers.

So what’s in store? A great musical evening, a hugely enjoyable one and probably a complete revelation. An inspiring tour de force – that’s Joe Brown for you.


Can you name the county where Joe Brown was born?

Just email your answer to us, for the chance to win TWO FREE TICKETS to Joe’s Concert in Lynn on Sunday 21st February 2016. Don’t forget to include your name and contact details. Prize winner will be announced on New Years Eve.

2016 Tour Dates

January 2016

Wednesday 13th Milton Keynes Milton Keynes Theatre

Thursday 14th Crawley The Hawth

Friday 15th Eastbourne Congress Theatre

Saturday 16th Reading Hexagon

Sunday 17th Weston Super Mare The Playhouse Theatre

Saturday 23rd Buxton Opera House

Sunday 24th Southport Southport Theatre

Monday 25th Darlington Civic Theatre

Tuesday 26th Halifax The Victoria Theatre

Wednesday 27th Gateshead The Sage

Friday 29th York Grand Opera House

Saturday 30th Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Sunday 31st Llandudno Venue Cymru

February 2016

Thursday 4th Tunbridge Wells Assembly Halls

Friday 5th Bournemouth The Pavilion Theatre

Saturday 6th Torquay The Princess Theatre

Sunday 7th Bristol Hippodrome

Monday 8th Worthing The Pavilion Theatre

Sunday 14th Skegness The Embassy Theatre

Monday 15th Ipswich Regent Theatre

Tuesday 16th Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall

Wednesday 17th London Cadogan Hall

Friday 19th St Albans The Alban Arena

Sunday 21st Kings Lynn The Corn Exchange


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The stunning photography of Matthew Usher

Matthew Usher at his photo exhibition.  Photo: John Beck

Matthew Usher at his Landscapes of Norfolk exhibition. Photo: John Beck

Local press photographer Matthew Usher is holding an exhibition of his landscape photography, showing a completely different side to his image making skills.

When I met Matthew at the King’s Lynn Arts Centre, I had already had a chance to look around his fabulous collection of photos, and the only word I could think of was ‘Wow’.

Matthew, who has been shooting outstanding photos for the EDP for the last 15 years, decided it was time to explore his more creative side.

“I’ve been planning an exhibition like this for the last 5 years, and finally it’s here. There’s been a few hurdles along the way, but it’s all been worth it.

“In the first few days I’ve already had over 170 visitors and sold seven of my pictures.”

Matthew is obviously passionate about his photography and admits to being a bit of a perfectionist: “One thing I’ve learnt from photography is never to stop on an idea or image if you think you can get it better.”

When it came to having his own photo taken, Matthew seemed rather nervous: “I don’t do smiles, and I don’t like doing interviews,” he told me.

Matthews exhibition continues in the Red Barn at the King’s Lynn Art Centre until Saturday 21 November 2015. Entry is free.

Words by: John Beck

King's Lynn Custom House in Winter

Matthew Usher: King’s Lynn Custom House in Winter

Mathew Usher:  Snettisham Jetty

Mathew Usher: Snettisham Jetty

Mattthew Usher: Fireworks over King's Lynn

Matthew Usher: Fireworks over King’s Lynn

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A mediaeval Christmas comes to King’s Lynn

Mediaeval Babes.

Mediaeval Babes.

King’s Lynn hosts a mediaeval Christmas from 11-13 December, consisting of a market, a lavish banquet, and a carol concert by the Mediaeval Baebes.

The event begins on Friday 11 December with a mediaeval market in the Tuesday Market Place. From 2pm until 8pm, shoppers can browse rows of stalls selling handcrafted items; including jewellery, leather goods, bottles and barrels, homewares, trinkets and festive decorations.

The market will include food and drink stalls, selling spit-roasted pig, baked chestnuts, honey meads, spiced wines, and food made to authentic Tudor recipes. Visitors will have the chance to try their hand at archery. There will be games and activities for children to take part in. Many of the stallholders will be in traditional costume, including a jester.

As an added attraction, the Mary Rose pop-up museum will also be part of the market. The Mary Rose is a Tudor ship that sank in 1545 and remained at the bottom of the sea until it was raised in 1982. The Mary Rose was Henry VIII’s flagship, and provides an incomparable insight into maritime history.

Since it was raised, the ship, along with over 19,000 artefacts recovered with it, has become part of an award-winning museum in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The museum is about to enter a period of closure until summer 2016, and while it is closed a pop-up museum will be touring the UK, visiting festivals and historic events.

The Mary Rose pop-up museum features real and replica artefacts, a shop, and activities where visitors can learn about the ship’s long and fascinating history. King’s Lynn’s mediaeval Christmas is the only event that the pop-up museum is due to visit in December.

The market continues on Saturday 12 December from 10am to 8pm, and Sunday 13 from 10am to 4pm, so there are plenty of opportunities to visit this wonderful and unusual attraction.

On the evening of Friday 11 December, a traditional mediaeval banquet takes place in the Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, King’s Lynn.

From 8pm until late, an evening of memorable entertainment takes place in this genuinely mediaeval venue. The Trinity Guildhall was built in the 1420s and its impressive stone floor, exposed beams, and great south window make the perfect setting for this night of mediaeval feasting in the company of the Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Cllr Colin Manning, and the Mayoress, Mrs Julie Manning, and 60 other guests.

The banquet will be prepared by master chef Gerry Rhodes, and will consist of 20 dishes served, as they would have been in the Middle Ages, over 6 ‘removes’ (courses). The dishes will include legges of fowl with a Saracen sauce; procession of a boar’s head; urchins (minced meat with herbs fashioned into hedgehogs); a tipsy moyse of berries (stiff cream with fruit soaked in fruit liquor);subtleties of marchpane and fruit leathers. The full menu can be viewed at

As was traditional in mediaeval times, during the 6 removes music will be performed, and games played. Live music will be performed on the lute, a rauschpfeife and other traditional instruments. The games are based on traditional mediaeval revelries and include: The Wishing Tree, where every guests places a wish for his or her heart’s desire on a tree as they arrive and the wishes are to be granted by St Nicholas; The Tankard Game, a simple knock-out game to win a tankard and a chalice; a Wassail Race, you may choose not to drink from the wassail bowl, but it must reach the top table to win.

Mediaeval dress is optional. Tickets are £50 per person and are available from King’s Lynn’s Tourist Information Centre or

The mediaeval Christmas draws to a spectacular close with a Christmas carol concert from the Mediaeval Baebes. On Sunday 13 December the Mediaeval Baebes provide a remarkable evening of music, dance and theatre in the magnificent venue of St Nicholas’ Chapel in St Ann’s Street, King’s Lynn. The group will perform Christmas carol classics from their top ten album “Of Kings & Angels” as well as other contemporary and traditional songs. Doors open at 7:30pm. Tickets cost £20 and are available from

For more information on all of these events, please visit

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Talented local artists present new exhibition

greyfriars art space octavia hill 600
A group of talented, local artists based at Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum, in Wisbech, will present an exciting exhibition of oil paintings at Greyfriars Art Space, King’s Lynn from this weekend.

Open: 31 October – 9 November
Monday – Saturday 10am – 4pm
Join the artists at the preview of their show on Friday 30 October 6-8pm.

Admission is free.

Greyfriars Art Space, 43 St James Street, Kings Lynn PE30 5BZ

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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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Revenge of the fifty foot noodles!

revenge 50 foot noodlesRevenge of the Fisty Foot Noodles is an exciting pop-up fringe event for the first Kings Lynn Film Festival, that is coming to Greyfriars Art Space on 3 & 4 October from 10am-4pm.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the home-movie projector was a staple of many a household, and a thriving culture of movie-making and showing was supported by millions of enthusiasts across the world. Despite being beaten down by the march of the video recorder, Super 8 film remains in production, and this year celebrates its 50th birthday.

An underground culture of artists, animators and would-be movie moguls have rescued the dusty cameras from lofts and charity shops, to express their obsessions and ideas in a medium with all the homely warmth of a hand-knitted jumper or a home-baked cake.

Now Cambridge Super 8 Group, which both makes and shows films from around the world, is bringing Super 8′s quirky delights to Kings Lynn at Greyfriars Art Space in St James Street.

filming with super 8As a fringe display to the Film Festival, they will support the Festival’s theme of “food” with a showreel of food-related films, an exhibition of the work of Berlin artist Dagie Brundert who shoots and develops films in tea, coffee, wine and potato juice, and a display of lovingly-collected vintage equipment.

They will be on hand to explain the joys of serving a “fifty foot noodle” (the length of a three minute Super 8 cartridge) and to pass on their enthusiasm for the analogue artform that refuses to die.

They will also be able to advise you on the repair and preservation of your own Super 8 films and have a look at any vintage equipment you’d like to bring in.

This promises to be a really unusual and interesting free event, come along and feast your eyes!

More information on this and all the other fantastic Film Festival events can be found on

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Double Take is worth a second glance

garry hobbs in studioWest Norfolk artist Garry Hobbs is curently showing his nationally and internationally collected work at the prestigious Hanse House Gallery Kings Lynn.

His exhibition ‘Double Take includes work from the two sides of his artistic practise. Kirtsy Gauntley from Hanse House is delighted to show the challenging variety of work in the beautiful Grade 1 listed building. Garry’s work sets landscapes and his more controversial figurative works in a delightful restored interior that demonstrates the great contrast between historic Hanse House and contemporary art.

Hanse House is in the historic South Quay quarter of Kings Lynn and is one of the greatest survivors of the towns medieval importance. Garry is excited by the prospect of showing new works that demonstrate the two contrasting sides of his character. Garry has shown work in East Anglia and in London. He has collectors in Norfolk, London, Bristol, the Mediterranean and the Far East.

‘This is a great opportunity to show my work in such a location , I think that the contrast between old and modern , is similar to the contrast in my work .I am really grateful for this opportunity and wish Kirsty good fortune in raising the profile of this magnificent building and its history’.

Hanse House gallery is a free exhibition space and would welcome as many visitors as possible to this fascinating show. The exhibition will run from the 1st of August until the 15th in the gallery from 10am until 4pm.

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Festival Too 2015 ~ Line up

Heaven 17 photo: Andrew Hurley

Heaven 17 Photo: Andrew Hurley

Sat 27 June



Fri 3 July



Sat 4 July



Sun 5 July



Fri 10 July



Sat 11 July



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Picnic on the Park 2015 – Fun for all the family

Picnic on the Park

Picnic on the Park

Popular free family event Picnic on the Park is back for another year on Saturday June 6.

The local community event, held at Wootton Park, includes lots of live music from local bands and singers, charity and craft stalls, food, drinks, local cake makers, fun fair rides, laser games, demonstrations and a dog show.

The event supports the running of the park and facilities in the area, with 50% of all funds raised going to the The Woottons Football Club which is celebrating its 30th year.

The Fun Dog Show starts at 2pm, with an entry fee of £1 per dog per class entered, and rosettes awarded up to sixth place.

Aria's Echo

Aria’s Echo

Local performers will include:

The Puppeteers 1.30pm
Fazed 2.20pm
Kingdom Keys 3.10pm
Aria’s Echo 4.50pm
The Extons 5.40pm
Jimmy Rockit 6.50pm

Kelly’s Dance Crew will be performing in the arena at 1.30pm

On the food side, there’s a Hog roast, Barbeque, Duck Truck, Ice creams, Fish & Chips plus other food and drinks.


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VIDEO ~ Creative Studios at the College of West Anglia

Creative studios, situated within the College of West Anglia campus in King’s Lynn, is the home of Springboard TV.

The music and TV recording studios offer cutting edge industry standard facilities for students training for a career in the visual and performing arts.

The studios will play host to the national heat for the Worldskills Video Moving Image competition on Thursday 18th June. Entrants from all over UK will arrive to an award ceremony-style reception complete with limo and red carpet.

“It’s a great privilege to be hosting the competition heat and we want all the competitors to leave CWA having had a ‘wow’ experience, especially with our state of the art facilities,” said Media Lecturer James Fox.

Entrants were required to submit an idea for a new community television channel based on a given brief along with a 10 second video trailer to promote their concept.

Two teams of students from CWA have already secured a place at the heat.

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Amazing Hungarian ceramics on display

Forma Hungarica Exhibition

Forma Hungarica Owl

An amazing collection of post-war Hungarian ceramics went on display at the King’s Lynn Art’s Centre this week.

Over 400 hundred objects from the Graham Cooley Collection are spread over no less than four galleries.

We were lucky enough to go along to the launch last week, where Graham gave a fascinating introductory talk about his collection.

From 1945 to 1990 many great artists developed their work behind the Iron Curtain, in isolation from the West, meaning their works have been unseen of up until now.

The event also saw the launch of the brand new Arts Centre Supporters Scheme, which enables people to donate a small amount to the centre on a regular basis.

The Forma Hungarica exhibition continues until Saturday 20th June in the Shakespeare Barn, Fermoy Gallery and Red Barn at the King’s Lynn Arts Centre in King Street. Admission is free.

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A Day in Wonderland to Celebrate Alice!

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 300

On Saturday 18th April, King’s Lynn Arts Centre will be offering a day of fun and theatre for families, to mark the 150th anniversary of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’.

Published in 1865, the novel by Lewis Carroll remains a favourite for all ages with its outlandish characters and fantastical storyline. To celebrate, the Arts Centre will be offering a ‘Create Your Own Wonderland’ workshop followed by the enchanting show ‘Alice’s Adventured in Wonderland’ by theatre company Box Tale Soup.

‘Create Your Own Wonderland’, led by local artist Karin Forman, will offer the chance to delve into Alice’s world and create a personalised mini wonderland for a small toy, figure or animal. A palace for a princess, a toyshop for a teddy, a swamp for a stegosaurus – anything is possible! All they need do is bring a toy (no more than 15cm tall) and their imagination!

‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ will take you on a remarkable journey with Alice! From fleeting encounters with the White Rabbit, to a showdown with the Queen of Hearts, Alice comes face to face with her own imagination – be there with her! Featuring a dozen colourful, handmade puppets, a beautiful set that unfolds from a vintage trunk, and magical original music, this show is an inventive and refreshing take on Carroll’s classic. Young and old alike will find magic in Wonderland. The only danger is you may not want to leave!

‘Create Your Own Wonderland’ runs 10:30am – 1pm in the Arts Centre’s Shakespeare Barn and costs £6.50 (£5). Book by calling 01553 779095.

‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ starts at 2:30pm in the Guildhall Theatre.
Running time 55mins. Tickets cost £9 (£6). Call the Box Office on 01553 764864 to book. Suitable for age 4 years +

For more information on upcoming exhibitions, workshops and theatre shows, call 01553 779095 or visit

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New wave of Norfolk artists in the spotlight

Liam Briscoe with two of his portraits of injured war veterans.

Liam Briscoe with two of his portraits of injured war veterans.

The new season of exhibitions at the King’s Lynn Arts Centre has got off to an exciting start with “Emergence” highlighting the work of 20 young artists who have connections with Norfolk – some call it home, others have spent time studying the Visual Arts at local University.

The show offers a wide selection of art works covering a broad range of practices, from photography, painting, sculpture, video and textiles.

“We like to encourage emerging artists at the Arts Centre, and every time one of these young artists exhibit, it’s another step in their career” said organiser Liam Briscoe.

Liam Briscoe is also exhibiting himself. Following recent events in the Middle East, Liam has started to produce a series of paintings showing the struggles of veterans who have returned home with serious injuries. He says he produces his work as a means to educate, highlighting the effects that conflict has on the soldiers.

Untitled Sculpture by  Ivan Chamers

Untitled Sculpture by Ivan Chamers

Ivan Chamers describes his work as “an escape from the mundane, a search for otherness that draws upon location and dislocation. Creating sculptures that allude to the hut, the head and the home. ‘Home’ haunts, it is the place of dreams and shadows.”

Henry Driver‘s piece, called Drone, investigates the disturbing possibility of a war game turning into real life combat.

David Lakshmanasamy‘s work investigates the inherent properties of material. He works principally with raw and recycled substances – exploring how they respond to different processes, and searching for their hidden qualities. Once discovered these raw elements are then transformed into distinctive sculptures

Jake Francis uses everyday objects and combines them to redefine the mundane furnishings that surround us. These once bland objects are then morphed in a light hearted way to escape the restrictions set around us.

The exhibition runs from Tuesday 13th – Saturday 17th January from 11am – 5pm at King’s Lynn Arts Centre. Admission is free.

Fine Art Landscapes by  James Kilcoin

Fine Art Landscapes by James Kilcoin

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Beautiful South comes to Lynn

The South band

Former members of pop band The Beautiful South will be performing live at King’s Lynn Corn Exchange on Thursday 6 November.

Now calling themselves simply The South the re-formed band will be performing some of their classic songs such as A Little Time – the bands number one single – Perfect 10, Rotterdam, Old Red Eyes, Good as Gold, and of course Don’t Marry Her.

The original band split in 2007, although several members of the band weren’t ready to let it go. So two years later, singers Dave Hemingway and Alison Wheeler, alongside life long members Damon Butcher (keyboards), Gaz Birtles (sax) and Tony Robinson (trumpet), came out of retirement and formed the 9 new piece band, The South.

The South will be appearing at King’s Lynn Corn Exchange on Thursday 6 November.

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Beautiful Norfolk Coast inspires artist

Mari at a Private View of the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition

Mari with her work at the Private View of the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition

The wide expanses of the beautiful North Norfolk Coast has inspired professional artist Mari French while creating some of her dramatic and colourful mixed-media paintings.

Mari, who lives in the village of Harpley near King’s Lynn, also derives inspiration from the likes of the ruins of a Cornish tin mine, or the decaying exterior of a Venetian house.

Mari exhibits throughout the UK and her work is held in national and international private collections. Her painting ‘Duality’ was chosen as a finalist in this year’s Sunday Times Watercolour Competition.

Now, a selection of her work will be on display at Greyfriars Art Space in Lynn from 27 September to 11 October. Opening times are ​Monday – Saturday 10am-4pm with free admission.

Mari French Coastlines

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Heritage Open Day 2014 ~ Bigger and better than ever!

Cover of this years programme.

Cover of this year’s programme.

This year’s Heritage Open Day on Sunday 14th September promises to be bigger and better than ever, with over 50 King’s Lynn properties open to the public and lots of new events, including exhibitions, open gardens, story telling, music, art and dance demonstrations.

Also new this year will be a Classic Car Show to be held on the Tuesday Market Place, and a chance to go underground in an air raid shelter.

At the first King’s Lynn Classic Car Day, visitors will be able to see the “Cooper Car”, one of only 6 ever made at the Cooper Roller Bearings factory in 1909, and the only one to survive.

World War 2 air raid shelters were re-discovered during work on the Tuesday Market Place last year. The shelters were adapted for use from existing underground tunnels in 1939, and included two toilets and wooden benches around the walls.

The remains of a Benedictine Priory attached to St Margaret’s Church can be visited at Priory Gardens, and there will be access to Hampton Court Secret Garden via St Margaret’s Lane.

Visitors will be able to climb aboard the Three Counties catamaran, moored at the pontoons down on the quay and learn all about the Inland Fisheries Conservation Authority and the work they do around our coast.

There are also 14 artistically created landscape projects to view at various locations throughout the town created by highly talented artists and landscapers from France with the help of local people. These are all interspersed amongst King’s Lynn’s historic streets, gardens and along the waterfront, all worthwhile taking the time to explore and enjoy.

Heritage Open Day takes place in King’s Lynn on Sunday 14th September 2014 from 10am to 4pm. Full details can viewed by clicking the link below …

View or Download Full Programme (pdf)

Inside one of the air raid shelters under the Tuesday Market Place.

Inside one of the air raid shelters under the Tuesday Market Place.

King's Lynn Councillors and representatives of Coopers launch the new Classic Car Day.

King’s Lynn Councillors and representatives of Coopers launch the new Classic Car Day.

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