All aboard for your big Hanse weekend

Hanse boat Kamper Kogge

Hanse boat Kamper Kogge

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A fun-packed weekend of activities has been organised to celebrate Lynn’s 10th anniversary as a member of the new Hanse.

Taking place on Saturday and Sunday, the King’s Lynn Hanse Festival promises to offer something for everyone with a host of interactive activities, music, food and drink, fireworks, a medieval procession through the town and a visit from the replica Hanseatic trading ship the Kamper Kogge.

Countries across the Hanseatic area have been invited to celebrate International Hanse Day on May 16, and as this year is the 10th anniversary of Lynn’s membership, West Norfolk Borough Council, along with a sub committee of the Hanseatic Club, have planned an ambitious and exciting programme of activities.

A 14th-century replica Hanseatic trading ship, the Kamper Kogge, will be visiting the town from the Netherlands thanks to funding from The Dutch Embassy, ABP and Greenworld.

People will be able to jump aboard and take a tour of the vessel to get an understanding of what it was like for medieval sea-faring traders in Hanseatic times; it’s open on both days and costs just £1 per person.

Other events on Saturday include live music from 5pm on King Staithe Square including Jessie’s Ghost, Marga Musika (Lithuania), Roving Crows (England) and Arstidir (Iceland). Fireworks follow at around 10pm lighting up the river and waterfront.

Marriott’s Warehouse Trust will be hosting a History and Archaeology Symposium from 9.45am to 4pm on Saturday.

For full details of the symposium call 07582037301; tickets start from £3 for half-a-day to £5 for the whole day, available from Lynn Tourist Information Centre.

Medieval dancing and a medieval market will be inside the Hanse House, along with a Hanseatic League ‘office’ to explain medieval trading customs of the time. But keep an eye out for the beggar, pickpocket, drunken soldier, crosslaced woman and general ne’er-do-wells who inhabit the dockside!

The Saturday Market Place will be bursting with local food and drink producers and at Lynn Arts Centre, interactive arts workshops will take place throughout the weekend where visitors can learn about the history of Lynn as a trading port, and get creative with Hanseatic-themed crafts such as creating paper boats inspired by Hanseatic Kogge or designing trade maps or postcards from Hanseatic trading posts. Perfect for all ages and abilities.

Visitors to the Hanse House will be able to meet and discuss medieval crafts and guilds with the cordwainer, potter, chapman, alchemist, spicer, tailor, painter, cook, blacksmith, netmaker and tiler. A firebreather will add his skills to the show, and storytelling will delight all who stop by to listen.

Have a Go Archery will be available for any to enjoy, alongside demonstrations of this ancient skill during the day.

Lynn Town Guides are leading free taster walks at 11am on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. These will provide an excellent opportunity to find out about Lynn’s fascinating history and its connections to the Hanseatic League; places are limited and should be booked through the King’s Lynn Tourist Information Centre.

Sunday sees the culmination of the Hanse Crazy Composers project. Seventy pupils from Whitefriars Church of England Primary Academy will perform some special pieces with the newly-formed Hanse Orchestra of King’s Lynn, which is made up of leading professional baroque musicians from the UK and guests from other Hanseatic countries - a unique initiative in the Hanseatic world.

The project has come about thanks to an innovative collaboration between the borough council, the Whitefriars Academy and the BAFTA award-winning The Children’s Company.

The Crazy Composers ‘Theme and Variations’ and Handel’s Water Music and Fireworks Music and works by other composers with Hanseatic connections including Teleman and Bach will be performed at Lynn Minster and King Staithe Square.

Lynn Hanseatic Club are hosting a community breakfast on the Saturday Market Place on Sunday at 10.30am. The event has received some grant funding for the THI project and is being supported by Bookers Cash and Carry, Norbury’s Deli, Florence Cafe and The Olive Branch. It is a ticketed event and you can pick up free tickets from Lynn Tourist Information Centre.

More information about the festival is available at www.kingslynnhansefestival.co.uk.