KLFM Off Air, by Charles Dennett, October 17, 2017

The South Gate entry to King's Lynn on London Road.
The South Gate entry to King's Lynn on London Road.

You might have seen the news that last week King’s Lynn was named in the top ten happiest places to live in the UK.

It came in sixth, just behind Royal Tunbridge Wells. As is the way of these things, it didn’t take long for people to make their way onto social media and start having their say. We were shocked at KLFM at the response the news got – with a few people questioning whether or not we’d got the dates mixed up with April 1. To say that a lot of people were negative is an understatement – we couldn’t believe the number of people (some of whom no longer live in the town and haven’t for some time) lining up to have a pop.

Now I’m not naïve to Lynn’s faults – there are things about the town that could be improved, and I have to say, much like anyone, there are things that frustrate me about it.

I find it mind boggling that all it takes is for one car to break-down on any of the routes around town and the whole place will gridlock for hours. It’s maddening beyond belief that Lynn is overlooked all the time when it comes to funding and infrastructure – investment in getting two trains an hour to London would boost the local economy and don’t get me started on the A47, A10 and A17.

But, I believe, it’s always easier to moan than it is to see the good in a place and in a situation. King’s Lynn is not perfect, far from it, but guess what? It’s better than a lot of other places. An hour and a half to get to London, and 50 minutes to Cambridge.

House prices that either of those places would die for. An incredible hospital with unbelievable staff. Brilliant (and I mean brilliant) schools. A fantastic college. Festival Too (which, in case you’ve forgotten keyboard warriors, is free).

Proactive councillors who are forever putting on events to showcase what this town has to offer (Mini Meet, Fawkes In The Walks, The Hanse Festival, Fairytales and Legends to name a few). Theatre venues which bring the biggest comedians to our town. The UK’s best town pub. The oldest running ferry in the country.

Then there’s always our community spirit. Which is one of the things that respondents to the survey were asked about. I get to see this all the time. Only last week, when the hospital announced that toys from paediatrics were going missing, a local business phoned up our radio station to donate £500 worth of books.

Nowhere is perfect. But please don’t make the mistake of thinking that there’s more that’s wrong with our town than is right. Sixth happiest place to live in the UK? Nice one. That makes me happy.