History of King’s Lynn in 100 Objects: No23

Lynn Museum tin can
Lynn Museum tin can
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As home growers of fruit and vegetables continue to harvest their garden produce into the autumn, we consider this tin can from the Lincolnshire Canneries or Lin-Can and its part in local history. The large can forms is exhibited in the Working Life section of the displays at Lynn Museum and proudly boasts on the label ‘Picked and Canned in a Day’. Nearby in the museum are examples of products by Campbells and others, reminders of the area’s important canning industry.

West Norfolk’s rich soil is ideal for growing fruit and vegetables. The food canning industry developed in Lynn from the 1930s at a time when canning was the main way to preserve food and make fruit and vegetables available out of season. In 1932 and 1933 Beaulah’s and Lin-Can built factories in Lynn. Their cans of food helped feed the nation during the Second World War.

Campbells, an American Company moved to Lynn in 1958 to make soups from the locally grown vegetables. Developments in refrigeration and freezing however affected the industry causing the closure of firms like Anglia Canners. Production ended at the Campbells factory in 2007 and the red cooling tower, once the tallest building in the town, was demolished in January 2012. This brought to a close the story of canning in the town.

The museum is open 10 – 5 Tuesday to Saturday. Coming up at the museum are the monthly Wednesday afternoon talks supported by the Friends of Kings Lynn Museums and coffee, cake and collections mornings with a different theme each month. And don’t miss our current Art of the Mart exhibition about the town’s fairground heritage. All are welcome.

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