Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Old Pilot Cinema ~ Going Going Gone!

From Picture Palace to Pile of Bricks …

The Pilot Cinema in 1937.

The Pilot Cinema in 1937.

The building as it appeared before demolition.

The building as it appeared in 2012, before demolition.

Workers start to demolish the old Pilot Cinema

The old Zoots nightclub sign lies on one side of the site.


The front of the building disappears in a pile of rubble.

pilot cinema demolition 3

Half demolished!


Nothing left standing – time to bring on the rubble crushers!

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New Borough Mayor announced

 Deputy Mayor, Councillor Barry Ayres - Speeking at Trues Yard. Photo:  Alan T Shearer

Deputy Mayor, Councillor Barry Ayres – Speaking at Trues Yard. Photo: Alan T Shearer

Councillor Barry Ayres will be nominated as Mayor and Chairman of the Council for the forthcoming year at the Mayormaking ceremony on Thursday 8 May at King’s Lynn Town Hall.

Cllr Ayres has lived in the borough with his wife, Christine, for 27 years and took early retirement in 2006 from Terrington High School, after 32 years in the teaching profession.

Fully involved in the local community, Cllr Ayres has played in local folk music clubs, founded a West Norfolk motor club, has been a parish councillor in Tilney St Lawrence for 17 years and has chaired the Parish Council for the last 14 years. As a Borough Councillor for the last 11 years, he has served on various panels and committees, including the Cabinet Scrutiny Committee, chairing the Standards Committee and vice chairing his local Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel working with Parish Councils and Police liaison.

Having held the position of Deputy Mayor in 2013-14, Cllr Ayres is familiar with the Mayor’s civic duties. He said: “I am very much looking forward to my year as Mayor of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk. I shall do my best to serve the people of this borough in a fitting and proper manner. I am particularly keen to work with members of the community at all levels and feel honoured and privileged to be nominated for this role.”

Cllr Colin Manning, who has represented the Heacham ward for nearly 3 years, will be nominated as the Deputy Mayor.

Outgoing mayor, Cllr Elizabeth Watson reflected upon her time as Mayor. She said: “My year as Mayor has really opened my eyes to all that is good in West Norfolk. We have a huge amount of talent in the borough and there is an army of volunteers who do so much for the community; it all adds up to making this a brilliant area in which to live. I wish Cllr Ayres all the best in his new role and I know he will be a great ambassador for us all.”

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Reduced to rubble – old Pilot Cinema

pilot cinema demolition 3

Less than half of the old Pilot Cinema building was left standing on Friday evening … making way for 25 new homes by the end of the year.

More Pictures

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Demolition of old Pilot Cinema

Workers start to demolish the old Pilot Cinema

Workers started to demolish the old Pilot Cinema on John Kennedy Road on Monday morning, making way for 25 new homes by the end of the year.

The old Zoots nightclub sign lies on one side of the site.

Graham Tinkler ( @GrahamTinkler) tweeted: “I can remember my Mum and Dad taking me to see Cooperman there. Dad moaned the entire way through about uncomfy seats!”

Marie Connell (@MarieConnell1) tweeted: “I remember seeing Grease there.”

Do you have any memories of the old Cinema? Let us Know!

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Manage your Council Tax online!

council tax PayOnline

From March people will be able to manage their council tax accounts online.

The new View and Do it Online facility will mean that customers can create an electronic council tax account, where they will be able to make balance enquiries, update personal information and pay their bills.

As well as giving customers greater convenience, as it will mean that basic enquiries and updates can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it will also mean that more complex enquiries can be dealt with even more efficiently by advisors.

Cllr David Pope, Cabinet Member for Assets, said: “Thousands of customers already choose to pay their council tax bills online because of the convenience it allows. The View and Do It Online service will give people even greater flexibility; whether they want to notify us that they are moving house or check their council tax balance, they will be able to do this, without the need to call or visit the council.

“Increasingly, customers expect digital services to be available. We think the View and Do It Online is a great way to offer customers more choice and make the most of our resources. Enabling people to make simple checks and changes for themselves will mean that they can get the job done in a couple clicks, at a time that suits them. It also means that people with more complex enquiries, who need the assistance of an advisor, can be helped more quickly. As well as benefitting individual customers, the new service also has the potential in the longer term to be more cost effective, helping to keep council tax low.”

People can register at: Applicants will receive a username and password. The system is easy to use and features a user guide detailing the process for completing key tasks.

The council say this is an additional service, and residents will still be able to manage their council tax accounts in the usual way if they prefer.

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In Pictures ~ The Queen at Wolferton

The Queen attended a service at Wolferton Church on Sunday. Despite the rain, there was a turnout of about 200 spectators. Photos by Kevin Elfleet.

Queen at Wolferton0001

Queen at Wolferton0002

Queen at Wolferton0003

Queen at Wolferton0004

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King’s Lynn Flood ~ In Pictures

By 6.30 pm the river had alreay breached the South Quay.

By 6.30 pm the river had alreay breached the South Quay.

Flooding at the customs House. Photo: letsbooktoo (Twitter)

Flooding at the customs House. Photo: letsbooktoo (Twitter)

Floodgate holds back the river from flooding the town. Photo: Shan Durrant

Floodgate holds back the river from flooding the town. Photo: Shan Durrant

Flooding on the Quay: Photo: Shan Durrant

Flooding on the Quay: Photo: Shan Durrant

Fishing boats at Boal Quay. Photo: Kevin Elfleet

Fishing boats at Boal Quay. Photo: Kevin Elfleet

South Quay, alongside Millfleet.  This used to be a road! Photo: Kevin Elfleet

South Quay, alongside Millfleet. This used to be a road! Photo: Kevin Elfleet

Cars being carried away from Boal Quay. Photo: Kevin Elfleet

Cars being carried away from Boal Quay. Photo: Kevin Elfleet

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FLOOD WARNING for King’s Lynn

Flood Warning Area shown in RED. Fllod Alert Area in ORANGE.

Flood Warning Area shown in RED.
Flood Alert Area in ORANGE.

The Environment Agency has issued a FLOOD WARNING for the Tidal River Great Ouse along the Kings Lynn river frontage.

Among the areas included are the South Quay, and most of South Lynn.

High tide in King’s Lynn is 7.15 pm.

Police officers will visit homes that need to be evacuated.

Latest details available at:

Environment Agency Flood Alerts

Live Flood Warning Map


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Storm surge could cause coastal flooding in Norfolk

Amber Warning covers most of the East of                        England.

Amber Warning covers most of the East of England.

The The Environment Agency and Met Office have warned there is potential for significant coastal flooding along the East Coast of England during Thursday and Friday, which may result in flooding affecting parts of the Wash and North Norfolk, with possible travel disruption.

Gale-force winds with gusts of 70-80 mph will cause large waves to form, and combine with spring tides and a large surge later in the day.

The east coast including Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Essex and Southend-on-Sea could also be affected. Coastal communities around the Thames Estuary and Kent could also see flooding.

John Curtin, the Environment Agency’s Head of Incident Management, said: “Gale force winds and large waves along the east coast of England are forecast during Thursday and Friday, coinciding with high tides.

“Impacts could include flooding affecting some coastal properties and communities. Coastal paths and promenades could be highly dangerous as there is an increased risk of being swept out to sea. People are warned to stay away from the shoreline.

Diagram shows how strong winds, low pressure + high tides are combining to give risk of flooding.

Diagram shows how strong winds, low pressure + high tides are combining to give risk of flooding.

“The Environment Agency is monitoring the situation closely, working alongside partners including the Met Office and local authorities. Environment Agency teams are out on the ground confirming that flood defences are in good working order, monitoring sea levels and preparing to issue flood warnings if necessary.

“People should check the Environment Agency website or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood outlook, and to sign up to receive free flood warnings.”

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Cargo Ship Blaze ~ In Pictures

Photo: Keith Berry

Photo: Keith Berry

Ten fire appliances attended a fire on board the ship Hanseatic Scout berthed at Bentinck Dock. The fire was in the hold which contained wood chippings. Firemen used breathing apparatus and compressed air foam to extinguish the fire, and all of the ships crew are said to be safe.

ship fire 2

ship fire 3

ship fire 1

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Fire at KFC

KFC Fire

Pictures & report by Alan Taylor-Shearer

At 08:41 On 1 Aug 2013 I received the following tweet.

“SDDG7TFL @alantshearer I hear that kfc in kings lynn had a fire last night?”

So I headed down to Hardwick Road, King’s Lynn, to find out more. Outwardly there was
no sighs of fire damage but taking a look inside I could see that there was some fire
damage in the kitchen area. This was confirmed by a statement from KFC.

A spokesperson for KFC said:
“We can confirm that our Kings Lynn restaurant is currently closed after a small fire last night. The restaurant was immediately evacuated, and nobody was injured.”

“The fire service turned up quickly to put out the fire, and we are now carrying out a clean-up operation. We hope to reopen in the next few days, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience this will cause.”

Norfolk Fire & rescue service had the following information on their incident feed.

“6442 Jul 31 20 13 22:51:24
Kings Lynn. Three pump from Kings Lynn were mobilsed to a building fire on Hansa Road. Crews wore breathing apparatus and used hose reel jets to extinguish.”

The clean up was in full swing before 9am this morning & staff where busy cleaning the
store. Whilst I was there the smell of smoke was still hanging in the air and it was obvious that the fire service had done a stirling job.

Its not localized snow in August, this is foam used to extinguish the fire.

Its not localized snow in August, this is foam used to extinguish the fire.

Its a good point to note that no one was injured in this fire & the emergency service response was prompt and effective.

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New website offers help with domestic and business chores

Phil Pedder-Smith

Phil Pedder-Smith

An innovative new website is offering help locally with both domestic and business chores.

Owner of Helping You Out Phil Pedder-Smith from Gaywood is a former business developer who is experienced in turning around loss making companies into a successful businesses with multi-million pound turnovers.

But for the past two years he has found it a real struggle to find work.

“Last year I started up a business consultancy website, but found it very hard to get work around the King’s Lynn and West Norfolk area.

Helping You Out Screenshot



“I just got sick and tired of all the not knowing. and got to the stage where I felt something has to give. I sat down and thought to myself I’ve got all this business knowledge, and of course domestic experience like everyone else, so I came up with the concept of this new website where anyone can just call up for help.

“On the domestic side somebody might just want a pet taking to vet, or somebody else might need a bit help with the heavy lifting of furniture around the house. On the business side, somebody may want someone to just cover a shift but don’t want the hassle of calling up a temping agency.

Phil is offering domestic help with things like heavy lifting, moving furniture,
building flat-pack furniture, taking pets to vets, shopping, cleaning and dog sitting.

He can also offer business help with advertising, marketing, covering staff absence, office help, manual labour, yard work, budgets and creating procedures.

“When you go into business you have to be prepared to adapt, so if one side of business does better than the other then I will focus on developing that. The idea is as the business grows I’ll be able to take on extra people on a sub contracting basis.

“I haven’t got a budget so its going to be literally word of mouth. So far I’ve had some very good feed back from friends and people seeing me on Facebook and Twitter saying what a beautiful idea this is.”

Phil’s website Helping You Out can be found at

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Owl on the prowl in King’s Lynn

Eagle Owl

We were told about this good looking geezer by Jennifer Calaby, who said the Eagle Owl has been flying around the Thomas Street area for several weeks, and she would like to know if he belongs to anyone please!

Click Here to Listen to Full Interview

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Thousands of Norfolk homes to get superfast broadband early.

broadband ethernet cable

The Better Broadband for Norfolk programme is set to bring an early bonus to thousands of people living and working in the county as around 30 locations are due to get faster broadband at least three months ahead of schedule.

The first communities to benefit from the partnership between Norfolk County Council and BT will be upgraded to high-speed (24Mbps and above) fibre broadband between July and September. The partnership had originally pledged that the first locations would be enabled by the end of 2013.

Around 3,500 homes and businesses will be able to access better broadband sooner than anticipated due to engineers being able to identify areas where BT’s existing fibre infrastructure could be quickly extended.

Work is already underway to extend these networks and high speeds are set to become available in stages over three months in parts of towns and villages including Ditchingham, Emneth, Gressenhall, Gorleston, Holt, South Wootton and Thetford.

For a full list of place names that will be the first to benefit from the Better Broadband for Norfolk programme, see below.

Fibre Optic Tips

The roadside fibre broadband cabinets that are being connected to the new network serve very localised areas, so in each location only certain parts of the towns and villages will be able to receive faster broadband speeds. As the services become available from July, people will be able to check whether their home or business can receive better broadband services as a result via the Better Broadband for Norfolk website at

These first locations are in addition to the dozens more roadside fibre broadband cabinets due to be connected later this year, and announcements about these will be made every two months once survey work has been completed.

The partnership builds on BT’s own commercial plans, which have already made high-speed fibre broadband available to 125,000 Norfolk homes and businesses.

George Nobbs, Leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “This news is such a huge bonus for Norfolk and I’m sure lots of people living in these communities will eagerly take up these faster broadband services as soon as they become available over the next few months. The sooner we start improving broadband access in Norfolk, the sooner our county, its residents and its businesses can reap the benefits, so I’m really pleased that BT and our Better Broadband for Norfolk team seized this opportunity to bring forward these locations. The next, much larger phase is still on track for later this year too, so by the end of 2013 our broadband landscape will be starting to look very different.”

Dave Hughes, BT’s East of England regional director, said: “We are working hard to make high-speed fibre broadband available as quickly as possible. This is an exciting time for Norfolk and the beginning of a journey.

“This ambitious project will boost the productivity of local businesses and help to attract a more diverse range of high-growth companies to the area as well as offering new training, educational and entertainment opportunities for households. It will play a major role in creating greater prosperity for the county.”

The £41 million deal between BT and the County Council means that over 80 per cent of Norfolk’s homes and businesses are expected to be able to access high-speed fibre broadband services (24Mbps and above) by the end of 2015, with the intention of providing all homes and businesses in Norfolk with access to a minimum broadband speed of 2Mbps (also by the end of 2015).

BT’s local network business, Openreach, will install the fibre network which will be open to all companies offering broadband services on an equal basis*. Households and businesses in Norfolk will therefore benefit from a highly competitive market, bringing greater choice and affordable prices from the service provider of their choice.
Fibre broadband benefits include users being able to run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time and sending and receiving large amounts of data much more quickly and efficiently.

Computer processing and storage of files will also become more sophisticated and secure using ‘cloud computing’ technology. There will be faster back-up of computer systems and wider use of high quality videoconferencing within businesses and between them and their customers.

More detailed information on the roll-out is also be available at the website

See also: Superfast fibre broadband coming to Lynn

Full List of Locations

Full list of towns and villages which contain areas that are set to be able to receive services made possible by the Better Broadband for Norfolk programme between July and September. Please note that not all homes and businesses in the towns and villages listed will receive better broadband services.
East Beckham
Great Yarmouth, more specifically: South Denes Enterprise Zone, Yarmouth Business Park on Thamesfield Way, parts of the town to the east of Hall Quay, South Quay and North Quay and Southgates Road plus areas centred around the bus depot on Caister Road.
King’s Lynn, more specifically: some areas of Bentinck Dock, north of Crossbank Road, south of Gayton Road, west of Railway and St James’ Roads and either side of John Kennedy Road.
Little Thornage
Lower Bodham
Norwich, more specifically: some areas west of Woodside Rd, south of Cantley Lane, either side of Cantley Lane South, west of Riverside Road, north of Queen’s Road and south of St Crispin’s Road.
South Wootton
Thetford, more specifically: Mundford Road Trading Estate, Threxton Road Industrial Estate and some areas north of Norwich Road.
Thorpe End
Upper Sheringham
West Beckham

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Superfast fibre Broadband coming to Lynn

broadband ethernet cable

Parts of King’s Lynn and South Wootton will soon be able to receive superfast fibre broadband with maximum download speeds up to 80 Mbps and maximum upload speeds up to 20 Mbps.

More specifically in King’s Lynn, some areas of Bentinck Dock, north of Crossbank Road, south of Gayton Road, west of Railway and St James’ Roads and either side of John Kennedy Road.

Work is already underway in these areas and high speeds are set to become available in stages over the next three months.

Check out our main news story for full details.

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Revealed ~ Air raid shelters beneath Tuesday Market Place

Air Raid Shelter 01

Two structures, which have lain hidden beneath the Tuesday Market Place in King’s Lynn, would have provided protection to people during the Second World War.

Whilst they have been undisturbed for years, recent survey work in preparation for the refurbishment of the town’s historic square, has drawn attention once again to the oft-forgotten air raid shelters, which are just feet below the surface of the Tuesday Market Place.

Believed to have been there since 1940-41, the two shelters are constructed from steel reinforced concrete. Each shelter is around 8′ to 10′ deep and together would have accommodated around 350 to 400 people.

Air Raid Shelter 02

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “We knew the shelters were under the Tuesday Market Place, but they haven’t been accessible for years. When we carried out the core sampling in readiness for the refurbishment work we are doing to the Tuesday Market Place, we took the opportunity to put a camera down the holes to take a couple of snap shots.

“The real surprise was how close the shelters were to the surface of the market place and the fact that they appear to be in such good condition.”

At present there is no money in the council’s budget and no plans to do any further work on the shelters. The priority is to complete the work on the Tuesday Market Place.

Once that has been finished, the shelters may be explored further to see whether they could be made accessible or brought back into some sort of use.

Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds added: “It’s always interesting when you uncover something like this. If anyone has any photos or stories about time they may have spent in the shelters during the war, or any information they may have about the shelters since then, it would really help bring this piece of Lynn’s history to life.”


We’ve had a lot of comments about this article on Twitter. Here’s a selection:

HANSE HOUSE @HanseHousekl
I’ve lived here a while now but never knew about those, great story!

PETINA BLANDFORD @tonypetina7haj
they should be turned into a living museum :-)

Karen Goult @karengoult
Maybe they could eventually make them open to the public on Heritage Days?

Katie Sutton @katiesutton56
wow great pictures!

You can follow us on Twitter: @Kings_Lynn

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