Ambassador visits King's Lynn for Hanse Festival weekend
Diplomats and academics were among the guests as the communities of Lynn came together to celebrate the town’s historic international connections.
The 11th annual Hanse Festival, which took place at the weekend, offered a wide selection of events and activities at locations across the town.
Outgoing borough mayor Nick Daubney said: “The Hanse Festival celebrates everything we have to be proud of about our town – its history, people, cultural events, international links and stunning architecture.
“It draws people to the historic waterside and naturally focusses on the town’s maritime past and its position as one of the country’s most significant ports in medieval times.”
Mr Daubney said he had been “delighted” to welcome the Latvian ambassador to Britain, Baiba Braze, to the event on Sunday.
A Riga Art Nouveau exhibition at the Hanse House was part of the weekend’s festivities, while traditional Latvian dancing was among the entertainment on the South Quay.
Other special guests included Professor Anthony Bale, of Birkbeck, University of London and Dr Angela Huang of the Hansemuseum, Lubeck, who both gave talks during a history and archaeology symposium held at the Marriotts Warehouse on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the King’s Lynn Waites delivered the annual Hanseatic concert at All Saints’ Church, Hillington Square, with donations towards its renovation, and visitors were able to explore Hanseatic Lynn during a series of guided walks.
The main festival day was on Sunday and included a flag parade, featuring flagbearers representing all 16 nations which are part of the revived Hanseatic League and walking boats created by youngsters from local schools.
There was also live music in several locations, including a showcase event at the Rathskeller for acts hoping to book a place on the bill for the Folk in the Town music weekend in July.
Youngsters were able to test their boat-building skills on a mini-river, under the supervision of staff from Stories of Lynn, while larger vessels took part in a regatta and rowing races on the River Great Ouse.
Rachael Williams, engagement and learning officer for Stories of Lynn, said: “We had a wonderful turnout and a lot of little boats were created for children to try to float on our mini river.
“We held races to see which boats could cross the tank of water the fastest, powered only by the wind created by a fan”.
“The water tank was awesome and so many children loved and learned so much in just 4 inches of water. What a perfect day.”
Borough councillor Elizabeth Nockolds said: “As the river played an important part in our past Hanseatic history, it was great to see so many people enjoying and cheering on the Regatta and rowing boat race.
“The Baden Powell fishing boat was very popular with the visitors and I was fortunate to be a passenger on one of the trips to the end of the Great Ouse.
“Sailing back under wind with the sails full out was an amazing experience. The river front looked amazing from the boat, full of people enjoying the activities.”
Mr Daubney added: “The festival was magnificent, the support for the talks on Saturday, the visit from the Ambassador, the music, the boats, the children’s excitement were all fantastic.”