Sketches of King’s Lynn

Old plans of Lynn ANL-140228-092115001
Old plans of Lynn ANL-140228-092115001
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The pedestrianisation of Lynn’s town centre 50 years ago was recently featured photographically in these pages.

Today we have another fascinating glimpse of the concepts and vision behind that sweeping change.

The work to pedestrianise the High Street was one of the earlier schemes undertaken in the country, following closely on one undertaken in Norwich.

The pictures here are supplied by Ray Spaxman, who worked on the original plans to take cars out of the town centre.

Here he explains in his own words what they show:

“I was working in my first job as an architect in Coventry in the late 1950s when I became intrigued by a series of articles in the Lynn News.

“I read it regularly for I was born and grew up in King’s Lynn and loved the town.

“The articles described an idea for replanning the town centre. The idea was to redevelop the High Street by widening it to accommodate the forecast increase in traffic.

“I became very upset about what I saw as the destruction of this wonderful street.

“For the first time in my life, I wrote to the Lynn News to bring the public’s attention to this terrible proposal.

“Fate has a funny way of working for in the next few months, Norfolk County Council advertised a position for a planner to prepare a new plan for King’s Lynn.

“I applied and got the job.

“A few months later, I had prepared a new idea for the town centre revitalisation.

“We mounted a public exhibition in the old town hall. It consisted of dozens of maps, diagrams and sketches I had prepared to illustrate the proposals.

“The pictures on this page are a series of four of the sketches for the exhibition that I had drawn to show the vision of what as proposed.

“I have often wondered when this series of diagrams might become of interest again.”

Mr Spaxman added: “Many years later in another lucky twist of fate, I became director of planning for the City of Vancouver, a modern city named after one of the most famous sons of King’s Lynn.”