Hanse Festival ‘set to be the biggest yet’

Hanse Festival Launch at Hanse House King's Lynn,''Medieval Merchants Ian Pycroft (far left) and Kindra Jones (far right) are joined by (LtoR), Nick Daubney, Dr Paul Richards, Ostap-Taras Paparega ANL-140204-192318001
Hanse Festival Launch at Hanse House King's Lynn,''Medieval Merchants Ian Pycroft (far left) and Kindra Jones (far right) are joined by (LtoR), Nick Daubney, Dr Paul Richards, Ostap-Taras Paparega ANL-140204-192318001

A replica medieval ship and music from home and abroad will be among the attractions when Lynn celebrates its historic Hanseatic trading links next month.

The town’s annual Hanse festival is being launched today and organisers say it is their biggest yet.

The two-day event, which will take place over the weekend of May 16 and 17, coincides with International Hanse Day.

And Ostap Paparega, West Norfolk Council economic development and regeneration manager, said: “As this year is the 10th anniversary of our membership (of the modern Hanse organisation) we have planned our most ambitious Hanse Festival yet.

“We are delighted to announce, that thanks to generous sponsorship from ABP Ports, Greenworld and the Dutch Embassy in London, a 14th-century replica Hanseatic trading ship, the Kamper Kogge, will be visiting us from the Netherlands.

“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 set to be a fun-packed weekend with something for all the family, where people can learn about the town’s Hanseatic links both past and present, and enjoy all the activities, music, food and drink in the town’s historic quarter.”

The weekend programme includes a medieval market and dancing in the Hanse House itself, together with an office explaining the trading customs of the time and a chance to find out more about different crafts of the age.

Visitors can have a go at the sport of archery and arts workshops will be taking place at the Lynn Arts Centre, while local producers will be trading in the Saturday Market Place and the Lynn Town Guides will be offering guided walks.

There will also be live music on King Staithe Square from 5pm on the Saturday, with a line-up including local band Jessie’s Ghost, Marga Musika, from Lithuania, and Artisidir from Iceland.

The show will end with a fireworks display along the waterfront from 10pm.

Meanwhile, the Sunday line-up will feature a special musical performance featuring around 70 pupils from the Whitefriars Primary Academy and the newly-formed Hanse Orchestra of King’s Lynn.

The groups have been working together on the Hanse Crazy Composers project with the council and the Bafta-award winning Children’s Company, a television production company.

There will be further musical performances at King’s Staithe Square and the Lynn Minster.

And, ahead of the festival, on Friday, May 15, business leaders have also been invited to attend an international trade conference in the town in a bid to further strengthen overseas trade links.

Representatives from all 16 of the nations which have towns in the league will be at the event.

More information about the festival can be found online at www.kingslynnhansefestival.co.uk