Lynn is getting set for a weekend of spectacular free events when the clock will be turned back to the 1940s
On Saturday, July 18 , 42F (King’s Lynn) Squadron Air Training Corps will exercise their Freedom of the Borough for the first time.
Celebrations, including a performance by Marham Bluebirds Military Wives Choir and Springwood High School Concert Band, will begin in King’s Staithe Square at 11.30, with the formal parade taking place at 12.45.
There will be stalls and not one, but two flypasts – the first by a Grace Spitfire, at 1pm and the second, by a Dakota at 2.40.
The Flight Path of the Spitfire sculpture trail will also be launched at the event.
Designed in conjunction with the borough council and sponsored by local businesses to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the trail includes 24 Spitfire sculptures – each uniquely decorated.
Trail maps will be available from King’s Staithe Square on 18 July and from King’s Lynn Tourist Information Centre throughout the summer.
The trail includes a prize draw competition. To enter, people need to discover the motto hidden within the displays. Each display contains one letter.
The sculptures will be in place until September 30.
To celebrate the launch, a life-size replica MK805 Spitfire will be on display in Tuesday Market Place on July 18.
The craft, which has taken its creator, Terry Arlow, over 25 years to complete and is based on original drawings, will also be the centrepiece on Sunday between 10am-4pm, when visitors will be invited to step back to the 1940s for Forties Lynn: Life on the Home Front.
In Tuesday Market Place, alongside the Spitfire replica, there will be a display of military and civilian vehicles from the period and vintage market, as well as 40s music.
Elizabeth Nockolds, cabinet member for culture, heritage and health, said: “The 18th and 19th are definitely dates for everyone’s diaries.
“There’s so much to see and do, from amazing flypasts, musical performances, displays, a tea dance and much, much more.
“There’s something for all the family and everything is free so I hope people take the chance to get involved.”
People will also have the chance to meet wartime characters including Winston Churchill and be able to explore the air raid shelter beneath the car park.
Martin Strals, from the Bridge for Heroes Living History Civil Defence Group, which will lead the air raid shelter tours, said: “The group, which consists of volunteers and beneficiaries, aims to provide an authentic experience, which will include sound and lighting effects, bringing to life this aspect of our history and helping to educate and inform visitors.”
There will be a voluntary collection for Bridge for Heroes. The original Corporal Jones’ butchers’ van from television favourite Dad’s Army will be on display in the Vancouver Quarter (Baxter’s Plain) and the team from the Dad’s Army Museum, Thetford will be on hand to give shoppers an insight into the Home Guard.
At King’s Lynn Town Hall people can join in a tea dance, get a forties makeover, test out a Morrison shelter and learn all about the role of the town hall in the response to war from characters from the period, as well as picking up a sweet ration card that can be exchanged for a treat at Lynn Museum, where there will be a variety of wartime-themed activities and displays to explore. Admission to the museum will be free on this day. Everyone is invited to come in their best 1940s’ attire!
For more information about Forties Lynn: Life of the Home Front or other free public events organised by the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk please visit www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/events.