King’s Lynn celebrates its rich trading heritage

Hanse Festival
Hanse Festival

There were fireworks and plenty of fun as Lynn celebrated its proud and rich trading heritage during the 12th annual Hanse Festival at the weekend.

A packed programme of events and activities highlighted the town’s famous sea-trading links.

Hanse Festival
Molly Housego

Hanse Festival Molly Housego

There was Medieval dancing in Stone Hall at the town hall, live music and creative activities for youngsters, which included making a cardboard Hanse ship, and a rare chance to see inside the incomparable Elizabethan tower at Clifton House.

The ever-popular medieval dancing returned to the Stone Hall and there was live music throughout the two days on King’s Staithe Square.

Councillor Nick Daubney, English Commissioner for the Hanseatic League, said: “The Hanse Festival was very successful, and one of the best things was the great deal of interest we had in the event from local communities who have come to us from Hanse countries.

“It was a great joy to launch a short Hanse film, made by the Lynn Hanseatic Union, which will continue to be shown as part of an exhibition in Stories of Lynn.

Hanse Festival

Evie Whitmore 10 and Rosie Benstead 10

Hanse Festival Evie Whitmore 10 and Rosie Benstead 10

“All the activities in King’s Staithe Square were well attended, and although the weather was bad on Saturday it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits; by the time Trad.Attack ended a line-up of exciting music with a Hanse theme, the square was full.

“The magnificent fireworks were a gift from local businesses, which shows the confidence they have in our town and its economy.

“The children’s activities at the town hall on Sunday were very busy, and everyone told me how much their children had enjoyed them.

“The weather was much better for the Sunday programme of music, and everyone enjoyed the ambience. The festival showed that our Hanseatic tradition of building links and coming together to have a good time is still strong.”

Hanse Festival

Hanse Festival

Another attraction included the Hanse Walks which explored the fascinating history of Lynn’s links with the Hanseatic ports.

By the 13th century, Lynn was one of England’s foremost ports and the commercial opportunities and rewards offered by the town attracted merchants from across Europe. The walks were led by Lynn Town Guides.

An hour-long concert, entitled Hanse Musik, celebrating Lynn’s Hanseatic, nautical and fishing heritage, also took place at All Saints Church on the Saturday.

A new book called ‘Six Essays in Hanseatic History’ was launched following a History and Archaeology Symposium lecture at Marriott’s Warehouse.

Councillor Elizabeth Nockolds said: “The Hanse Festival attracted both residents and many visitors from Poland, Germany and Holland to the town.

“The festival concluded with great music in King’s Staithe Square, and with warm weather the large crowd brought a happy atmosphere to our heritage centre.”