When cars gave way to pedestrian power in King’s Lynn

Old views of King's Lynn shopping area

Old views of King's Lynn shopping area

Fifty years ago the former Borough of King’s Lynn council decided to follow Norwich’s lead and pedestrianise the town centre.

Naturally it was a controversial move. There was resistance to change, particularly as a number of properties would have to be demolished to allow vehicles to access the rear of shops where previously they had parked out front.

But the argument was that something had to be done. The population had increased dramatically since Lynn had been nominated an overflow town for London and new housing was built at the Woottons and Gaywood.

Some protests were made about the loss of some of the town’s historical landmarks, but as with elsewhere in the country, these were swept aside in the spirit of new optimism.

The man brought in to ensure the work was carried out properly was engineer Barry Williamson. Born and brought up in Lynn, he had moved away as a young man then eagerly returned for his ‘dream job’.

Mr Williamson has given these pictures to the Lynn News, along with many more that tell a remarkable story.

In the coming weeks we will describe how Mr Williamson set about his job in the mid-60s.




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